I’m on a plane to Seattle today — tending to some very important FSCo holiday business, being a guest at Tolt’s Stitch Night (Thurs 6-8, are you coming?) and seeing a pack of my favorite knitters, some of whom are also in town for Tolt’s anniversary celebration this weekend. I’m sad that I have to board a plane on Saturday at the same time Gudrun Johnston is giving a talk at Tolt about the history of Shetland knitting. If you have to choose between going to Tolt when I’m there and when Gudrun’s there, you should totally choose Gudrun! She’s signing her new pattern collection, The Shetland Trader Book 2, in the morning and then the talk is from 1-3. For those of us who are going to miss all that, at least there’s the book, which she was kind enough to send me, and which is lovely. It was shot by Kathy Cadigan (whose photography skills, coincidentally, are the chief purpose of my trip) at the end of that Grand Shetland Adventure I wailed about missing out on a few months back.
The book contains nine patterns: four pullovers, a cardigan, a tank, a hat (two variations), a stole and a cowl, and it’s heavily Shetland inspired — from the yarns to the stitch patterns. But as Gudrun explains in the Foreword, it was also very specifically influenced by Belmont House, where the photos were taken. The house is on Unst, as far north as the Shetland Isles go, and the restored 18th-century estate lent its color palette to the garments as well as the photos. So there’s a lovely symbiosis about it all. My favorite patterns are the ones pictured above: Northdale colorwork pullover, Snarravoe twisted-rib and lace pullover, Hermaness Hats, and the Sandwick striped cowl for being so unexpected. You can see them all (and get the book for yourself) at Ravelry.
One quick note: DG will still be here packing the Fringe Supply Co. orders while I’m away, but today is Veterans Day, so there’s no mailman to hand off today’s orders to till tomorrow.