Friday, 7 October 2016

Shetland Wool Week 2016 - Day 2

After a very late night we didn't have to rush on Sunday morning, we sauntered down to the museum, had lunch at the Hays Dock Restaurant and chatted with fellow knitters in the Wool Week Hub.  Here we met Diana from Hamburg and forced her to come with us, it was great to be able to pick each others brains about the culture of our home countries and compare to Shetland and Fair Isle.  Have a look at her blog, she's a real explorer.

These first three photos are the work of one talented maker, Lauren Anderson, when she was 15,16 and 17 - left to right on the photo with rosettes. 

Impressive is all I can say.

The exhibition had 80 haps from different eras and different styles, what I found a bit overwhelming was that most of them had a date, a maker and photos of the knitter and sometimes the babies that they were made for.  

It was the photos and the stories that pushed me over the edge.  Whenever I see a hand knit in a charity shop I have to buy it because I feel so bad for the knitter who put in all the woman hours just to have her work discarded - has she died, gone into a home, given her work to someone who just doesn't appreciate it and I'm the same with embroidered tablecloths - and there is never a name, no credit given where it is surely deserved.  I tell my children that my quilts and shawls will be around for at least a hundred years if they look after them and here in Ollaberry Hall was the tangible proof that they could be, the maker gone but not forgotten.
 It was one of the best things that I experienced in Shetland.

Such a treat to see background material,
 how lucky we are that we can knit for pleasure rather than necessity.

I loved the patched hap, I can just imagine the conversation when the damage was discovered.

They were on stage to.

The tea was good and so were the people.  Every time we sat down for refreshments we spoke to locals, for them the coming together for Sunday tea is a normal thing, we just thought it was brilliant.

Plenty of tea and cake and knitterly discussion.  Shetland is a very small place, we spoke to people who were cousins of other Shetlanders we knew and one girl who came home on the ferry with an Australian Wool Weeker we knew.  I feel like I never drew breathe for the whole trip, it was wonderful to have so many interesting conversations.  I think we might have enthused a couple of Shetlanders to take up their needles again.

In the evening we went to The Wool Week Opening Ceremony at the Clickimin where it was good to see so many familiar faces.  The only irksome part of the whole trip was the Lerwick Jarl Squad, they put on a very good show but I noticed that there were no women and I think I had previously had a conversation about this with a local lady.  I thought that Viking women were treated more as equals and in other squads in Shetland woman do participate and particularly school age girls and boys but not so in Lerwick.  It seemed a funny idea to have such a display of misogyny in from a room full of mostly women who had come to Wool Week to explore the work of women that had not been recognised for its importance in the past.  I was astounded at what women had been able to achieve and create in times when they didn't have electric light, spectacles, computers, cameras, telephones, supermarkets, freezers, contraception, spare time!

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