Might I suggest that if you were to ask soothmoothers what they knew about Shetland the response might well be: “Well, they are known for their music and knitting.” And now the SIC in its wisdom has seen fit to stop free music and knitting lessons in the schools.
What on earth are they thinking of? Have they no care to safeguard the transmitting of the culture to future generations?
On a recent visit I was talking to the owner of a Lerwick shop specialising in the sale of hand-knitted scarves, jumpers, etc and she told me sadly, that all her hand-knitters were in their 70s.
It would be tragic if these skills were to die out because the money the SIC could save by stopping free music and knitting lessons is peanuts compared to what would be lost, probably forever, from the culture of Shetland.
In the mid-1970s my husband’s third cousin, Barbara Garriock of Burravoe in Yell, knitted jumpers for my husband and me. Mine was mostly in shades of grey and white in the snowflake pattern; my husband’s had 12 rows of lozenges, where each row was different, in browns, both in the natural colours of the sheep, of course.
I always thought of them as works of art and we wore them with pride. We have now passed them on to our daughter and son-in-law. I have a one-ply scarf (this was bought) and both my children had Shetland baby shawls made by cousins and I had a hap made by an old lady.
How are these skills going to be transmitted? I have a photo of my jumper on my wall to celebrate the undeniable work of art it is. Think, members of the SIC, what you are doing when you stop free knitting lessons.
There must be less drastic ways of saving this money. I do hope that the SIC will think again.