Knitter’s Pilgrimage: Shetland


(Photo: at Eshaness)

One of my friends said, “I didn’t know there are pilgrimages in World of Yarn (WoY)”.

I didn’t know, either.

But, I would have to say Shetland, with its strong tradition in fair isle sweaters, lace shawls and the sheep, has to rank as one of the top 10 “WoY” pilgrimage destinations.

I have wanted to go to the Shetland Islands for a very long time. And, I am lucky enough to say that I have just returned from a marvelous trip.

IMG_1227 (Photo: Mary Jane knitting her latest fair isle hat. Pattern to be released soon, right, MJ?)

Knitting designers/gurus Gudrun Johnston and Mary Jane Mucklestone started running these fiber-centric tours to Shetland last summer. The moment the notice for this year’s trip was mailed out, I had my deposit down and flights purchased.

They took me, and 12 other knitters on a week-long journey through the islands, enjoying the fantastic landscape,


(Photo: Da Grind o’ da Navir in Eshaness)

the knitting tradition,


(Photo: Beautiful handspun, handknit sweater by Elizabeth Johnston)

and the current craft industry as it stands today.


(Photo: The beautiful studio of Morwenna Garrick, a textile designer)

We were based at the gorgeous Burrastow House, in Walls, where we were spoiled by Pierre’s fabulous cooking.


We saw a lot, crafted a lot, and had a grand time. More about the sheep we met during out Shetland adventure next time.

  1. Nancy said:

    Great post!!

  2. said:

    Hi Kei,   What a wonderful trip you took!!   The next time your family orders tea from F&M, please permit me to “piggy-back” on your order, as I would love to have some of their tea, but am not willing to pay 30 pounds to ship one or two tins to the US.  I would be glad to share the shipping costs with you, though.   I did purchase some of the Teapigs morning tea, and I like it very much!   Thanks, and take care,   Kate   p.s.  I look forward to seeing you at the fiber festivals this fall!!   k.

    • Hi there — I’m going to London in September so I’ll get you some tins. I’ll trade you for some of that blue-grey merino fleece.

  3. Veronica Carey said:

    Elizabeth Johnston is a wonderful knitter and fantastic teacher. I have been blessed to learn from her often here on “this side of the pond.” Hi, Elizabeth!! 🙂

    • You are SO LUCKY. I had an afternoon of spinning with her and she is absolutely wonderful. She is also responsible for me putting down a deposit on a spinning wheel. (I tried to steal one of her wonderful wheels!)

      • Hi, Elizabeth! I’ll be writing more about my time with you and what happened when I returned home!!!!

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