October 2011 Visit Shetland Newsletter
I'm Abby - and I'll be bringing you monthly Shetland happenings, information and holiday suggestions. If you are considering a visit to Shetland, please do not hesitate to contact us for holiday planning advice, using either the contact form on the website or by phoning +44 (0)1595 98 98 98.
I love this time of year - wrapping up and enjoying long walks, watching lithe shadows dance across amber hills tinged with russet reds and burnt orange. Wild autumnal weather mesmerises - its mood shifting from moment to moment - raging storms and gunmetal skies to golden days and calm cerulean seas… Afternoons spent in galleries; the ever-changing exhibitions never failing to delight, in particular the exquisite tapestries in bejewelled hues viewed at Da Gadderie. I love the evenings too - lighting the fire, reading a book purchased from The Shetland Times Bookshop, drinking mugs of tea, eating buttery crumpets and making Christmas lists - local crafts to be bought and future heirlooms gifted. It is that time of year again when my thoughts turn to Yuletide celebrations and two of my favourite festivals…
Arts & Crafts and fine fayre
Feast like a King at the annual Shetland Food Festival (5th-13th November) - a moreish event packed with seasonal bounty. Attend cookery demos - featuring Neil Forbes - Scottish Chef of the Year, make your own cheese, matured just in time for Christmas, with artisan cheesemaker - Jay, shop at the Producers' Market, dine out on exceptional lamb, fine beef and fresh fish at eateries across the islands. Combine all this yumminess with crafty sightseeing at the Shetland Arts & Crafts Fair (11th-13th November) - the ideal opportunity to meet the maker, buy Christmas presents and fill those stockings with traditional and contemporary keepsakes influenced by Shetland's dramatic scenery, heritage and culture. More than 55 artisans will gather at this event from across the islands. Combine the two festivals and satisfy both your inner craft junkie and appetite!
A walk on the wild side - Out Skerries
'Lets go for a walk' said hubby, 'on the Out Skerries!' Shetland's most easterly outpost, a birder's paradise and the perfect place for an easy circular day walk. Within half an hour of setting off from the mainland we had arrived! Under the bluest of skies we watched fishermen at work in the extraordinary natural harbor, viewed the historic 'Battle Pund' site - a rough circle of well-embedded large boulders - believed to be a place where blood feuds were once settled. We stopped for a picnic lunch - marveling at the rugged cliffs, long voes and breathtaking vistas. This walk is an absolute treasure, in fact, the Skerries are renowned as a popular destination for underwater explorers seeking their fortune from one of the many shipwreck sites dotted around the coast. No gold Ducats discovered that day, just a gem of a walk.
Nielanell - artwear with attitude
Nielanell's studio workshop - specialising in knitted textiles and located in the pretty village of Hoswick, is a must-visit on the Craft Trail. V, Nielanell's brilliant assistant, was on hand to guide me through the stunning collection. Together we pulled knitwear out of antique cabinets, capes off vintage mannequins, draped scarves and cardigans, talked colour and design. I found the perfect gift for a close friend - an über chic cape, the very essence of autumn style, in stunning shades of deep pink and wine rose; deliciously raspberry rippled together. Nielanell designs artwear with attitude - be sure to apply that flicked-out black eyeliner and drop by for some retail therapy. Open from May to September (will open out of season, if you call ahead).
Thomas Fraser Festival to host the acclaimed Malpass Brothers!
The 10th event, to be held in memory of the now-famous Burra musician Thomas Fraser, will take place in the Burra Public Hall, Hamnavoe, over the weekend starting on 10th November. People travel from across the globe to play at, and attend, this renowned festival and special guests performing this year are the Malpass Brothers - hailing from North Carolina - a group specializing in old-time country music with Hank Williams being the major influence. There's a spectacular line-up of new and returning acts too - Lynda Anderson, The Driftwood Cowboys, Moonshiners, Laeverick, Brian Nicholson, Arthur Pottinger, Alison Ramsay, May and Mackie - just some of the musos due to entertain at this year's festival which promises, once again, to be another spellbinding and popular event.
Shetland Wool Week Wows!
Ever considered a career in textiles? Wanted to learn more about hand spinning and knitting Fair Isle? Longed to join a weaving workshop, design and create a knitted landscape, practice Shetland lace? Well, now you can! These are just a selection of the events planned for the eagerly anticipated Shetland Wool Week. Visit Shetland between 10th-16th October and yarn bomb your life - meet like-minded folk, gain valuable insider knowledge from industry professionals, attend workshops, talks, masterclasses, exhibitions, tours…Have FUN! A superb programme of events and activities for all ages has been planned. Pack your bags with creative intent and get yourself over here - the trip of a lifetime awaits!
October's prize - a silk hologram
Congratulations to September's prizewinner Mrs M Norvell - a divine hand woven cashmere and lambswool shawl, created by Aamos Designs, is on its way to you! This month's prize is a beautiful silk hologram of waves. Award-winning artist - Hilary Seatter of Consulate Designs, captured the image at West Sandwick Beach, Yell. Her work, using long exposure pinhole photography and dark room processing, is created on fine silk using a photographic print. Stylishly mounted and framed in a 7'x 5" pine box frame - the rolling waves take on a subtle 3D holographic effect when displayed at eye level. A truly stunning and original piece of art - guaranteed to provide an instant wow-factor and focal point to any room. Wishing you the best of luck!
See you soon!
PS If you're at Sumburgh Airport - don't forget to view Anita Orheim's photographic portrait exhibition - 'Moving Through Borders' - a celebration of our international creative community. Shetland inspires!
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