An Inspiring Visit to Shetland

If you've checked out the Avenue Yarns Instagram feed (@avenueyarns), then you'll know we recently returned from Shetland Woolweek 2017, on Mainland, Shetland.

The Shetland Islands lie to the northeast of Scotland, and are closer to Norway than to Scotland. We quickly learned that Shetlanders are Shetlanders first, then Scottish. Also, the islands were colonized by Vikings in the 8th and 9th centuries and only became Scottish in the 14th century. A rich, deep, Nordic influence is evident in many ways, from the names of streets ("King Harald" and "King Olaf" for example) to the fair isle traditions in knitting.


Top: A moody view from the hotel room. Middle left: Shetland Woolweek 2017 sign. Middle right:Entrance to "the hub" of Woolweek. Bottom left: Shetland sixareen boat in harbor directly in front of the hub entrance. Bottom right: The Lerwick LYS.



Top left: Farm humor. Top right: Shetland ponies. Bottom left: Hedgehog! Bottom right: A loch at the end of the road.

We've all heard designers -- of fair isle garments in particular -- wax on about the inspiring colors of Shetland. At the risk of sounding heretical, I didn't get it. Scotland is grey and green and brown and sea blue. Nice, but hardly the rainbow.

However, Shetland "live" is very different from Shetland caught in photos. Shetland is a dynamic vision. Light, cloud, sunshine, wind, greenery, the water of the ocean or a loch, even sheep and ponies, all play together creating new, breathtaking combinations over and over again, here and then gone in a heart beat. Inspiration beyond inspiration.


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