29 oktober 2012

Finally some rocks...

 Friday I had the car to myself. I could have been making pictures of my shetland shawls ON shetland, but this was my chance to see the part of the islands we hadn't any plans on going to. With Hermaness still in the back of my mind, (Thursday) we didn't make it 'to' Muckle Flugga...*
 I thought I'd go and see what's up in Eshaness.
Near the otter crossing. Didn't see any otters. They usually pass at dusk or dawn.
On the way to Eshaness. Just off the road, a dirt road, sand, shore and ocean. Right at your feet. 
On every sign you see, the (old) Norse and English name of the town is mentioned.

Ronas Hill. The tallest hill of Shetland, standing more than 450 feet above sealevel. Shrouded in clouds the whole time I saw it. Couldn't come close to it. No road to the top (on my map, anyway).

On my way up the lighthouse of Eshaness, just passing Hillswick, you see on your lefthand the 'Feeding Seahorse'. It's a rock, battered by the ocean waves and it looks like a seahorse.
The reason the picture is not neatly horizontal is that it is quite difficult to make a descent picture with the wind blowing the camera almost out of your hands. 

According to the information on location: this lighthouse is 12 meters tall. And stands 61 meters above sea level. Reaches 25 miles out to sea with her light and was built in 1929. It is squared, because round lighthouses required specially made furniture. It was automated in the '70s. 
I'll ease you in to the pictures of the ocean. Remember, the wind blew out of land. A shame, the waves were very pretty, but not as fierce as I had hoped. I did had 2 coats on...

Well worth the trip, don't you think?

I did drive up to North Roë after this. But I didn't get to see the ocean there, like in Eshaness. I had to get out of the car, and hike for 4 miles (or more). And back... 
I wanted to see other places too. I made it up to Isbister and then turned around. Hills were very high there and the Methodist church was separated from the water only by the road... 

 I took the road back, from North Roe to Brae, up to Voe. There I had a toastie in the restaurant. Some very cute 'boys' walked in, dressed in kilts and flowers in their coat. The three of them were probably the escort of the groom-to-be. No bride in sight....
I got back to my car and decided to continue up to Aith. My friend had stayed there, and it was a really lóvely trip. One road only, up and down and very curvy.
It was also very quiet there. And suddenly a lot of birds. Small birds.
Then I was already almost back in Scalloway again. But.. I knew it would be Knitting Café in the Theater in Lerwick. I texted Amy I would be found there, when she got back from her Drumcarding Class.
A relaxed ending to a wonderfull day... 

26 oktober 2012

Sandness Heather...

When you're on Shetland, you're surrounded by Heather. All over the place.
The culture shock for me, the no-trees thing, wasn't as 'bad' as the heather thing. The compact heather makes peat over the years/centuries and that is cut in the fields. And once dried it's to light a fire.
When you're European, you know that when you go to the mountains (there aren't any in The Netherlands) you see a nice valley with a village or a town or a city in it. Think of Rome...
Not in the Shetland Isles. Heather. And Water.

And then.... the Silence. I live in a area which is called: De Wâlden, or the woody area. So I'm used to hearing the wind in the trees. Here are NO trees. (at least not much, I spotted some pines in Voe and Brae).
So... no sound. I know, the wind is there, but the sound is different. And what I also missed was the smell of the sea. Sorry, the ocean. It probably was so windy, it blew away. The only day I smelled the ocean was on Friday, when it was very windy and the waves had a great time playing around the rocks.

Back to the heather.
Wednesday it was time to go to Sandness. Next to Eshaness and Hermaness my favorite place in the WORLD. Again, utter the silence, the sheep, the wideness of the landscape and the way that single road meandered through the land. I saw it with my own eyes, but couldn't believe it.


Because I got sick on the bus to Voe, Tuesday, we decided to take the car. A lucky thing, as I will tell you later. The road to Sandness is one of great boredom, like the picture on top. Wide valleys, hardly any sheep because it's too wet. Once you pass Hellister, the road to Weisdale is the most amazing drive to do on the entire island. The way goes up, and just at the right spot is a passing place, eventhough it is still a two way road, to take in the view.
We were fortunate enough that the sun was shining through the clouds and all the way to the south it was isles and the silver water.

Then, when you pass Bixter and continue on to the Bridge of Walls, nót going to Walls, you steer away from life as you know it, and continue on a single road. Thére the happiness begins.
Heather, small streams, passing sheep. Silence. Silence, more silence. Infact, we were driving and you could SEE the silence. There just wasn't anything to make noise.

I was VERY impressed. We passed only a few four wheel drives (you actually need those over there, it's not a fashion statement) and started to wonder what would we find at the end of this road!

Picture by Amy

And we found a very small village, and a factory. And even thát didn't make much noise at all. Or they were having a break. 
picture by Amy
 The Jamieson's of Shetland factory, where they select, dye, card, spin, weave and handle wool. Lots of it. And amazing quality. We got to see the machines make fabric (like tweed) and knit sweaters. We got to see all the steps of selecting, processing and producing products from the wool. Garry, the kind young man who showed us everthing, gave us the knowledge the plant had even woven fabric for Ralph Lauren. So.. at the end of the guide tour, Cathy was so kind to ask him, if it was possible for him to show us the fabric... The first tour group was already seated in the bus! So we went upstairs for a 'quick' look.

My mother had asked me, if possible, I could bring her some tweed so she could quilt with it. I asked Garry if it was an option for me to get me some tweed. He told me I could point at a roll of fabric, they would cut the amount and sent it to me.
But that wasn't what I had in mind. My mother cannot quilt with anything 'single'. He pointed at the waste bin... I asked, he nodded and then 6 women went wild in the bin. Picking out fabric, nicely putting back the (large) pieces that were tagged.

The call came that the bus would be leaving, and because Amy and me were by car, we kept on 'grabbing' at pieces and parts of the tweed in the bin.
Thanking Garry a lot, we went back downstairs and smiling at our new required treasure.
We were already sitting in the car, chatting about our luck, when the lady from the shop came running.
Oh oh..

We opened the door, thinking about what to say. She said we forgot something. Our goodie bag... Oh my god, more??
We thanked her vèry much, covering our treasure and googling the new found goodies.
A pattern, (lace) yarn, a colour card and a fabric bag with Shetland language for english knitting terms.

What a day.
We had to speed things up, because I had to be back at Jamieson & Smith by 18:00 for the Let's talk Lace evening. (more about that later..)

I did manage to buy some yarn at Jamieson's of Shetland. They had to pull it of a shelf out back, it was not on display in the shop. I had glanced at the colour card and noticed a lovely orange.
The same shade of the shawl the lady on the bus was wearing, the day before. She drove us back from Voe and I had found here wrap amazing. It was fine knit, and because I couldn't find the same shade in the right weight, I had bought the Heather Gingersnap instead.
The road from Voe to Lerwick was long enough for me, to try and study the pattern of her wrap. It wasn't so difficult. I could remember that. When I casted on, and had knitted the first three repeats, I thought it might look a bit to much of a leopard print. So I knitted a plain center part. Then, my mother saw it, loved it, and didn't want it that wide... Mirrored the little squares and bound off. 
She can wear it doubled around her neck, and when it's colder, once around her neck and the other half around her head.
It's 29" wide (double) or 250 stitches (on size 4,5mm needles).
The yarn? Jamieson's of Shetland Heather in Gingersnap and Mirrydancers.

25 oktober 2012

Monique on Shetland...

 Luminous Lights at the Böd of Gremista.
 One of the many bays on Shetland
 At Burra
 At the museum admiring the fine knitted lace knit by the lady I'm talking too at the Museum in Lerwick.
 Talking about my lace, I'm showing the Across the Beach at Jamieson & Smith Trunk Show by Kate Davies.
 At Charlotte's in the heart of Lerwick, quite sunny.
At the top of a moor at Hermaness, Unst. Furthest north I've ever been. 
 This cute little car made it possible to go anywhere (Bolt's Carhire).

 Showing my Across the beach shawl to Kate Davies and Cathy.
Talking with Garry at Jamieson's of Shetland, Sandness. Learned a lot!
With Amy holding up my lace shawl The One, so they could see how it looked overall. (Voe)

This is my most loved picture. For the very first time, I'm smiling on a boat! The pills for travel-sickness did their work perfectly. Finally I was able to travel like a normal person. This was the boat from the Mainland to Yell.

Thanks to Amy for allowing me to use her pictures.

WARNING: these will probably be the last pictures you see of me, I'm usually vèry camera shy..

20 oktober 2012

Day 3

Maandag. Het gaat beginnen. Maar eerst telefoon uit NL. Mijn ouders bellen om me te feliciteren met mijn verjaardag. Even later belt Manlief ook! De dag kan beginnen..

Monday. It's time. But first a phonecall from The Netherlands. My parents are calling to congratulate me on my birthday. Hubbie is calling also, but a bit later. Let's start the day.

 We gaan eerst een stuk wandelen. De vorige dag waren we daar verkeerd gereden en zagen dat we daar wel een heel mooi uitzicht hadden. Eenmaal om de bocht van de baai bleek een begraafplaats te zijn. Met hele oude en hele nieuwe graven. Eigenlijk was het mooiste dat bijna 'iedereen' uitzicht had op de baai.

First we took a walk. The previous day we had taken a wrong turn and saw it would be nice to be there a bit longer. Walking about a bit and turning the corner there was a cemetary. Old and new graves. The nice thing was that almost 'everybody' had a view of the bay (or "Sound" in Shetland).
Zie je dat kleine zwarte vlekje in het water?? Een zeehond! Er waren een paar aan het zwemmen in de buurt.
See the little black dot in the water?? A seal (Selkie). There were plenty of them.

Tijd voor wat lekkers. In het museum werden we gewezen naar een tafeltje bij het raam. Voor Amy hadden zelfs glutenvrije lekkernijen en ik nam een superscone! Met jam. In élke tafel was een paneeltje met een gebreid, geweven of gevilt item.
Time for some snacks. At the museum we were pointed to a table at the window. Amy was very happy to know they had an excellent choice of glutenfree products. I took a superscone! With strawberryjam. In évery table there was a little item knit, woven or felted.
 Fair Isle sweater
Finest lace knitted ever

's Middags was het eindelijk zo ver: De workshop van Kate Davies. Ik moest nog behoorlijk opletten; engels horen en NL schrijven. Enorm veel geleerd over ontwerpprocessen, vormgeven en het onvermijdelijke. Lévende modellen gebruiken. Ik wil zelf nog steeds niet op de foto, dus ik moet op zoek naar een ademend model.

The afternoon was reserved for the workshop by Kate Davies. I had to pay a lot of attention: listening in english and making notes in Dutch. Learned a lót about design processes, designing items and the inevitable. Using live models. I still don't want to be in the picture, so it might be time to search for some breathing models.
Op de voorgrond van deze foto zie je de Sixareen Kep. Een prachtig doordacht ontwerp van Kate, in de nieuwste garens van Jamieson & Smith: Heritage Yarns (6 kleuren). Ik heb alle kleuren gekocht en geloof me: het is heerlijk zacht. De Kep past me maar net, dus ik zal een maatje groter moeten breien (naaldmaat omhoog).
Kate had bedacht dat iemand van de workshop wel kon fungeren als model en dat de 'rest' mocht stylen en fotograferen. Bovendien mochten we discussieren over de naam en besluiten wat het uiteindelijk zou worden. Hier hadden ze nix aan mij; de taal was toch een probleem. Kate was erg aardig; ze heeft onze namen toegevoegd aan het patroon.
The inspiration...
In the foreground of the picture of Kate Davies you see the Sixareen Kep. A wonderful design with a well thought through design. She told us all about it, so later we were allowed to come up with a name for the design. Kate used the latest yarns of Jamieson & Smith: Heritage Yarns, 6 colours. I've bought them all and believe me: they're very soft. My big head didn't quite fit in the hat, so I will have to increase the needlesize when I knit it. Kate decided that we could also participate in the photographing and styling of the design.
Kate was very kind to add all our names to the pattern as coworkers. Thank you!
                                                                 Tile in the Shetland Museum: a sixareen
Later op de avond zijn we nog in Scalloway geweest; Amy wilde erg graag even kijken bij een groep vrouwen die bezig waren met erg mooie materialen. Er stond in het kleine studio-tje een paar prachtige weefgetouwen. Ik heb er geen verstand van, dus ik kan je er niet veel over vertellen. Maar gezellig was het wel!

Later in the evening we went to Scalloway; Amy wanted to look at a group of women working with amazing materials. In the small studio were a pair of looms, and Amy was very happy seeing them. I don't spin or weave, so you cannot get any useful information from me about that. It was a pleasant evening.

Day 4: Voe

17 oktober 2012

Day 2

De héle zondag hadden we voor onszelf. Waar te gaan op zo'n groot eiland. Het gebreide hek. Het was al beroemd op Facebook. Nu nog vinden. Dus.. op naar Burra, Hamnavoe

The whole sunday to ourself. Where to go on such a wonderful island. The knitted fence. It was already famous on Facebook. We only had to find it. So.. in the car to Burra, Hamnavoe.

Hamnavoe is een hartstikke leuk visserstadje aan de westkust van Burra. We parkeerderen even aan de rand van het dorp om van het uitzicht te genieten, gingen toen naar de haven en hebben werkelijk het HELE dorp door gelopen. Hamnavoe is a wonderful little fishermans village on the westcoast of Burra. We parked by the councilbuilding to take in the view. Then we went to the harbour and started walking the ALL the streets.
 Het was prachtig weer, dus dat was geen straf. Maar het hek was onvindbaar. Eindelijk kwamen we iemand tegen en hebben het gevraagd; het bleek bij het dorpshuis te zijn. Waar we in het begin waren gestopt om van het uitzicht te genieten. Hadden we ons omgedraaid en een stukkie gelopen, dan hadden we het zó gezien! hahaha.
It was bright and sunny so walking about was a treat. But the fence was nowhere to be seen. Finally we ran into someone who wás able to tell us where it was. It was at the viewpoint we stopped the first time. If we would have turned around and turned the corner it would be right there! hahaha
Voor iedereen die het wil weten: het hek heeft 27 herhalingen. Er is gebreid met vissersnet 'garen' en flinke houten breinaalden. Later in de week heb ik de maakster gezien en gesproken en ze had het materiaal mee. Zo konden mensen even proberen hoe het voelde om zo groot te breien.

For everybody that wants to know: the fence has 27 repeats. Fisherman's netting 'yarn' is used and some bulky wooeden knitting needles. Later in the week I had the opportunity to meet the knitter and she had the material with her. That way people can try how it feels to knit that large.

Toen was het tijd om een stukkie te rijden en te lopen. Het is zo ontzèttend mooi daar. We zijn zo ver gereden tot we niet meer konden en zijn gaan wandelen. Gelukkig hadden we goede schoenen aan. Dit is een tombolo; een stukkie strand tussen 2 watergebieden. Later in de week zul je nog een zien. Het is prachtig! Deze had veel stenen en het klonk geweldig; de golven door de kleine steentjes.
We zijn over het hek gestapt en zo de heuvel op gelopen. Helemaal tot de top hebben we het niet gered, maar we zijn een heel eind gekomen. Het gras was kort, de schapen bang en overal kleine schelpen, En toen... de oceaan! Jéétje wat was dat mooi.

Then it was time to do some driving and walking. It is só amazingly pretty over there. We drove till the road ended and went for a walk. Luckily we had our walking shoes on. This is a tombolo, a piece of beach between two bodies of water. Later in the week you'll see another one. The beach has a lot of pebbles and it gives such a lovely sound to hear the water picking them up in the waves and dropping them back to the land.
We stepped over the fence (it's allowed) and went up the hill. Didn't made it to the top, but we came a long way. The grass was short, the sheep afraid and there were little round shells everywhere. And then there was the ocean. My god, it's gorgeous!

Ik was al een fan van de serie Coast van de BBC. De aflevering over Shetland en Orkney heb ik wel 5x bekeken. Nu was ik er écht! Neil (de presentator) vertelde dat je op Shetland nooit verder dan 3 mijl bent van de oceaan. Op het britse vaste land is dat nooit meer dan 70 mijl..

I was a fan of the series Coast by the BBC. I've seen the episode about Shetland and Orkney about 5 times! And now I was thére. Neil (the host) told us that on Shetland you're never more than 3 miles from the ocean. On the British mainland it's never more than 70 miles..

Dag 3: Praten over breien met Kate Davies
Day 3: Talking about knitting with Kate Davies