Textile Celebrations in the Isles

by Deborah Leggate -

Next week sees the annual Shetland Wool Week take place, with a wide range of events and activities planned throughout the isles to celebrate Shetland wool and textiles.

Now in its third year, Shetland Wool Week is an ever growing festival and this year organisers are delighted to welcome internationally renowned designer, Kate Davies, as patron. Kate will attend the event and run a workshop on how to make knitting a career by selling designs and patterns. This follows a session by the UK's most respected technical editor, Jen Arnall-Culliford who will lead a tutorial on writing and editing patterns.

A number of local craft makers will be holding open studios during the week, with demonstrations of spinning, weaving, knitting, and finished works on display at a number of places including: Shetland Museum and Archives; Bonhoga Gallery; North Rock Gallery, Vaila Fine Art, Shetland College and many more.

Jamieson and Smith (Shetland Wool Brokers) Ltd will open their wool store and shop on Lerwick's old North Road for a variety of tours and teaching sessions with wool, felt and needlework. Trips to the old Adie's of Voe building will include demonstrations of traditional Fair Isle and Lace knitting in the place which was once a hub of knitwear production, which produced the jumpers worn by Sir Edmund Hillary on his trip up Everest.

There are many events planned every day during the week, leading up to the annual Flock Book sale at Lerwick Marts on Saturday, where Oliver Henry will judge the wool in the sale ring. This free event is open to the public, as is the Makers Market being held in the Town Hall, where a range of Shetland craftspeople will display their textile wares for sale.

There are still a number of events which have spaces available, and many are free and open to drop in. Free programmes are available to pick up at Shetland Museum and Archives, Jamieson and Smith Ltd, Lerwick Tourist Office, Mareel and many other locations. The full programme can also be viewed on the website at www.shetlandwoolweek.com

Shetland Wool Week is organised by a cross section of community groups and organisations for the benefit of wool producers and textile manufacturers in Shetland. Jamieson and Smith (Shetland Wool Brokers) Ltd, Promote Shetland and Shetland Amenity Trust are lead partners, with Shetland Arts, Shetland Guild of Spinners, Weavers and Dyers, Shetland Textile Museum, Shetland Organics, Shetland College and the Shetland Livestock Marketing Group all involved as event partners. The group would also like to thank all the local craftspeople and businesses who are involved in the week by way of opening their studios, holding events and supporting the on-going success of this annual woolly festival.

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