A Shetland Colour Story – Crofthoose Hat & Fingerless Gloves

When we visited Shetland in September 2015 we both took a huge number of photos. Since then I’ve been using my photos as colour inspiration for fair isle projects. Normally, I show photos of the finished items when I’m wearing them but the series A Shetland Colour Story will explore how I use my photos to help create a colour palette for the project I want to knit.

Shetland Colour Inspiration 1

I always start by creating a collage of photos that create a sense of place, colour and bring back memories of our visit. [Read more…]

Shetland Museum, Lerwick

Shetland Museum 1

After lunch in the Hay’s Dock Cafe, of delicious locally caught fish and chips with salad, we walked around the Shetland Museum for the first time. [Read more…]

Burra Bears Part 1

Why do I want to have my own burra bear as a keepsake for our visit to Shetland? Mainly, because they are absolutely the cutest bear I have seen in a very long time.
I’ve been dreaming about my burra bear over the last few months while I’ve been sorting through all the gorgeous shetland wool I brought home with me from Shetland… I emailed Wendy Inkster who makes these gorgeous bears, in early November and then, I had to embark on Christmas present knitting and my Burra Bear project ended up on the back burner. But I have not forgotten this bear.

Burra-Bears-1 [Read more…]

Modern Fair Isle Knitting on Shetland


If like me, you visit Shetland on the trail of fair isle knitting, you won’t want to just look at the beautiful vintage examples in the museums, you’ll also want to see the modern pieces which you will see everywhere. Many of these are inspired by the vintage fair isle knitting traditions but the knitter’s on Shetland have taken the traditional techniques and patterns in new directions. [Read more…]

Tangwick Haa Museum, Northmavine

Tangwick Haa Museum Northmavine

We were lucky to visit Tangwick Haa Museum, on Northmavine, when we visited Shetland in the Autumn. The changing exhibition at the Museum for 2015, was ‘The Way We Did It.’ [Read more…]

Searching for Seals on Shetland

One of the animals we really hoped to see when we visited Shetland were the seals.

Seals-on-Tombolo-2 [Read more…]

Scatness Tam

I’m not known for travelling lightly… My sister can travel for weeks with everything she needs squashed into a small backpack. So it wasn’t unexpected for me to go on holiday to Shetland and bring pattern books and shetland wool from my yarn collection with me. Of course I returned home to Belfast with even more! I however also had squared paper and marker pens for drafting patterns… you just never know when you’ll be inspired. As knitter’s I think we just like to be prepared.

Scatness Tam

I cast on the Scatness Tam on my 50th birthday after a wonderful day walking around Sumburgh Lighthouse and exploring Jarlshof. [Read more…]

Shetland Ponies

Shetland Ponies

One of the animals I really wanted to see when we were visiting Shetland were the Shetland Ponies. I’d seen the cute pictures of Shetland ponies wearing fair isle cardigans. Neil bought me a birthday card with the Shetland ponies wearing fair isle cardigans while we were wandering through Lerwick. Very cute. [Read more…]

Shetland Sheep

I was really looking forward to seeing the Shetland Sheep when we visited Shetland. I love Shetland wool, it is so soft and beautiful.

Shetland Sheep

I’ve knit accessories for myself as well as garments for the Sasha dolls. I adore wearing the wonderfully soft, light and warm hats, fingerless mitts and scarves that I knit using shetland wool. [Read more…]

Shopping on Shetland

When we visited Shetland I knew that I’d want to bring home a few wool related souvenirs. But I’m sure that is on the top of every knitter’s wish list when they are going to the home of Shetland sheep and Shetland wool… Especially if they love doing any fair isle or colour work knitting.

Jamiesons Lerwick

So please join me on my week of Shopping on Shetland… [Read more…]

Sumburgh Lighthouse and my Tam

In the week before we left for our holiday I knit a fair isle tam. I chose 15 different Shetland yarns using a triad colour scheme in purples, teals and a hint of orange to add a little bit of zinginess.

Fair Isle Tam Sumburgh

The pattern I used was Tam No 12 designed by Mary Rowe and published in her book Knitting Tams: Charted Fair Isle Designs. I adore this book. It has a short section at the front on the construction of a tam followed by the charted patterns for all 17 tams. I had so much fun deciding how to use my colour choice in the pattern. [Read more…]

Journey to Shetland…

In September we went for a long anticipated holiday to Shetland… I’ve wanted to visit Shetland for a very long time and eagerly read blog posts about Fair Isle knitting, the Shetland Wool Week and also love reading 60 North Magazine. October is going to be Shetland month on the Knitting Squirrel as I share the wonderful experience of a week spent walking and exploring Shetland Mainland.

“60 North Magazine – A quarterly publication which covers stories about all aspects of life in Shetland – bringing you inspiration, interesting information and stunning photography.”

We’d decided to treat both of our long drives as road trips. Why you are probably wondering, did someone who gets sea sick decide on a holiday involving four ferry journeys when she could have flown? Well it really all comes down to wool… Shetland wool… and how much you can squash into luggage for a flight? So we needed to bring the car. It also gave us an excuse to spend a week in the Cairngorms National Park on our way back! You’re going to love November… red squirrels… lots of red squirrels!

So join us for our Journey to Shetland! We left home in Belfast at 2:00 am to drive to the Stena Line ferry terminal to take the Stena Superfast VII to Cairnryan. It sailed on time at 3:30 am and we arrived in the port at Cairnryan pretty much on time just before 6:00 am. I usually take sea sickness tablets but made do with wrist bands on this leg of the journey. I curled up under my quillo and tried to snooze on the ferry. Neil couldn’t sleep and spent most of the time reading his novel.

Ailsa Craig

We drove north along the South Ayrshire coast for about 30 minutes, pulling into a car park near Girvan with a view of Ailsa Craig. [Read more…]