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By Adam CivicoFebruary 9th 2024

Inspired by Shetland’s spectacular landscapes, stunning scenery, and dramatic light, the islands are home to a thriving and diverse arts and crafts scene. With skilled craftspeople creating beautiful pieces across a range of disciplines, there are gifts to suit every taste and budget. We asked Shetland Arts and Crafts Association members for inspiration. Check out the ideas below and find the perfect Valentine's gift, made with love in Shetland.

Muckle Octohug

Everybody loves a hug, and who better to give one than an octopus? Whalsay-based crafter Ann Marie Anderson runs Muckle Octohug Peerie Oorick creates many unique felted characters and among them is the characterful Muckle Octohug made with Shetland wool.

Get your hands on a Peerie Oorick, Muckle Octohug felted gift (£17).

Lovebird watercolour

What better way to say, "I love you" than with an original Lovebird watercolour painting?

Lovebird original watercolour by Linda Richardson (125mm x 120mm, unframed £145).

This painting is by Shetland-based artist Linda Richardson.

Shetland can't claim to have a breeding population of lovebirds, but Linda is inspired by Shetland's wildlife. She draws, paints and makes relief prints and etchings of wildlife like these Eider at Sea.

Eider at Sea original hand printed linocut (160mmx160mm), £95)

Seascape hearts

Also inspired by the ocean is award-winning artist Sarah Kay who lives in Scalloway, with a view overlooking the harbour and the castle in Shetland's ancient capital.

She specialises in resin seascapes and beach inspired jewellery, including these seascape hearts which are popular as a gift. Measuring 15cm across they are all original, finished with glossy resin and ready to hang.

Sarah Kay's resin Sescape hearts (£35 each).

Unique knitwear

Roisin McAtamney at R.A.M. Knitwear creates an array of original products using factory surplus yarns and her own faulty panels to make one off bags and accessories. With a rainbow of colours to choose from, in a range of styles and luxury fibres, why not pick up a unique piece for your loved one this year?

R.A.M Knitwear has unique textile accessories. (Pouches £20-£30).

Luxury scarves

Contemporary Shetland textile designer Neila Nell, has a wide range of knitwear, but her Marlet strippit scarf is an ideal Valentine's gift. Knitted in extra-fine merino, the soft marlet scarves are made in a large selection of colour mixes. Often bought as gifts, these are worn by men and women.

Neila Nell's Marlet strippit scarf comes in a selection of colour mixes (£95).

Smirkie Norie

Puffins are one of the most iconic seabirds that return to Shetland year after year to their breeding colonies around the islands. The birds are known to be monogamous and can stay together for 20 years!

In Shetland, the dialect name for puffins is "tammy nories". Combine that with well-known artist and caricaturist Smirk – aka Stephen Gordon – and you get "Smirkie Norie". This one is sending "Smoorikins fae Shetland".

One of Stephen Gordon's framed 'Smirk' paintings(£20).

Lace inspired jewellery

Inspired by Shetland's fine lace hand knitting tradition and the women who created it, Hoswick-based jewellery designer Karlin Anderson crafted these ear jackets which combine Shetland stones and the peaked detail of lace. The jacket connects to the back of the stud behind the ear and curves forward to hang beautifully below the lobe. The ear jackets and studs can be bought and worn individually or as a set. To discover more about how Karlin was took inspiration from Shetland lace knitting visit her blog.

Shetland lace inspired ear jacket and stud by Karlin Anderson (from £320.00 in Sterling Silver to £790.00 in 9ct white gold).

Shetland jigsaw puzzles

Our islands' spectacular landscapes are captivating and Shetland on Canvas has a range of beautiful Shetland Scenes, available as a high quality 500, 1000 and 2000 piece Ravensburger jigsaws.

Beautiful Shetland scenes turned into puzzles, 1,000 piece jigsaws (£40).

Crafters' collection

Based in the village of Gulberwick just south of Lerwick, The Annex, stocks a wide range of unique products made by Shetland crafters. Gifts are available from 19 different producers ranging from hand-made cards, key rings, art prints and candle holders or a cute heart magnet, hand-painted with a unique design of two puffins by Carte Blance.

Heart magnet, hand painted with puffins by Carte Blance (£4.25 available via The Annex).

All prices correct at the time of publication.

To discover more about Shetland's talented crafters and producers, visit Shetland Arts and Crafts Association website.