Wool week described as ‘phenomenal success’ by patron Henry

The 10th Shetland Wool Week ended on Sunday with a packed event at Brae hall featuring demonstrations by the Shetland Guild of Spinners, Weavers and Dyers, together with stalls, a raffle and Sunday teas.

It was a fine way to clew up wool week, according to patron Oliver Henry who described the whole nine days of the “week” as a “phenomenal success.”

Tutor Margaret Peterson of NorNova Knitwear leads a class at Islesburgh Community Centre in Lerwick. Photo: Rosalind Griffiths

Mr Henry said: “What a community effort. I was very touched with the whole thing.” He had been delighted to participate at the Brae event by drawing the raffle and added: “The guild did a marvellous job. It was a real worthwhile thing to put on.”

Mr Henry countered the opinion he had heard that wool week was getting too big – there were around 1,000 visitors, many based in Lerwick – by saying that more country halls should open up during the event.

He said: “The groups that went to Unst and Fair Isle were made up. I’ve been telling the organisers another year to get more country halls open. People around the world want to meet ethnic Shetland knitters in their own setting.”

That would stop people being disappointed if they could not get into classes of their choice.

Mr Henry added: “In order to cater for demand it [wool week] could be extended and more country halls utilised. The town has been struggling for teachers. Take it out of the town and lay on buses to take it to different places.”

He praised the halls such as Brae, Bigton and Ollaberry for putting on events, as well as the Old Haa at Burravoe and Speldiburn in Bressay, and urged more venues to follow suit.

The world’s fastest knitter Hazel Tindall said that this year’s event had been “busier than ever” with “so many repeat visitors” and agreed that visitors wanted to meet local knitters.

Mrs Tindall said: “People like to meet the locals. The library had a night with four local knitters speaking and the visitors appreciated what they had shared. And the night spinning and knitting at Islesburgh is always a huge success.”

• More in Friday’s Shetland Times.


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