Oooh la, now, who wouldn’t want to curl up and knit somewhere like this?
When Amy and I were planning our trip to Shetland last year, I was super keen to see if we could sit and learn with a Shetland knitter, especially about colour but really about anything she had to offer. Jamieson and Smith was my first port of call; although they were going to be busy hosting the official group coming up from Knitcamp for a full week of classes and tours around the islands, I hoped that they might be able to give me a few names of local knitters who would be happy to give us a class or two… but no luck. And, when we were there, we met and heard of a couple of people- but then couldn’t organize anything. Especially in island communities, where populations are spread out, it can be difficult to access people willing to share skills and, no doubt, we were a bit of a cliche, turning up and hoping to learn, especially when so much of the community moved on from relying on knitting for income a long time ago. Still, if the tourism office and the (amazing) museum are anything to go by, lace and fairisle knitting is still a big draw for tourists coming to Shetland… and the Brough Lodge project seems like a great way to combine the history and traditions of the islands with a living, breathing experience where participants could learn not only skills and craft but more about the local community and current issues and challenges faced by the local wool industry. I so hope that, with the support of Jamieson and Smith and the wider community, this gets up and running… it seems like a wonderful new undertaking for community and visitors alike.
(sounds of piggybank being broken into… )