I am thrilled to have been able to get together with my good frien Marilyn after a few years gap as she lives 200 miles off the North East Coast of Scotland !
The Shetland Isles are nearer to Norway than Scotland and in fact it used to belong to Norway until I think it was given as a dowry.
I have visited twice and loved it! The bird and wildlife is just amazing and everywhere, the people friendly and there is just so much going on!
Lots of art, music and culture, crafts abound,wool playing a huge part in all aspects of life and industry.
Fair Isle is just a short hop south and there are tweeds and wool mills on Shetland itself.I came home with both from visiting the Jamison's Mills and shop and they have been incorporated in my throws and bags over the years.
Marilyn runs a superb friendly B&B with a view down the Voe to die for and just within easy reach of Lerwick , which is both picturesque and thriving. Have a look at her web site www. windrush-shetland.co.uk click on the web links there for more on Shetland.
It still has strong links with Norway( Viking remains abound ) and a great link with "downunder" as many Shetlanders went there for work in the wool trade so there are relatives in both Australia and New Zealand and lots of to-ing and fro-ing between there and Shetland.
On one trip I met a weaver who experimented in weaving with all sorts of unusual materials and on her floor was a rug made of recycled fair isle sweaters and it has stayed with me in my mind all these years and with the help of my friend Eileen Sarup textile artist weaver and felter I have started my own with pieces left over from my patchwork Fair Isle throws this is no 9 above
The result is really interesting, I think if it is felted down a bit it will make a hard wearing rug. I look forward to experimenting with perhaps a mix of tweeds too.
The rug frame was made for me to make " proddy " rugs copied from an old Northumbrian frame , something I not done yet dispite my Geordie background.
I am pleased to be able to put it to use in this way for now.