Tuesday, October 08, 2013

A moment of peace

Not everyone will understand this. After a few days of intense experiences - teaching, seeing wonderful new places, meeting and chatting with lists of lovely people, all compounded by a few nights of less than perfect sleep and some early mornings - I decided to take a day off. The other three have driven off for the best fish and chips evah! and a look around the more northerly parts of the Shetland mainland, but I have elected to stay behind, rest, read and maybe spin a bit. I will also cook them a version of my cauliflower casserole........

The two teaching days were great. Perfect students, who listened, and who threw themselves into whatever they were offered with gusto. Some comparative newbies to spindles who progressed in leaps and bounds, two of the least experienced at the outset ending up with spinning cotton, no less. We had some interesting conversations, and I do believe all learned a lot. I do so hope that they all enjoyed it as much as we did.

Yesterday, we went down to Hoswick in the morning to a drop in spinning and knitting clinic with Elizabeth Johnson, and, we knew, a visit due from a SOAR friend of ours. Deborah Robson, in fact, one time editor of Spin Off, now well-known and revered for her wonderful book The Fleece and Fiber Source Book. (I apologise for the lack of links, but I find these a little clunky to manage on the iPad and I am still somewhat tired!). Check out Deb's blog, The Independent Stitch for her island adventures.

The photograph below shows one of Elizabeth's spindles, which was found in a cottage or croft near her after the death of the elderly lady who lived there. Sometimes when you pick up a spinning tool, I get a strange but very good feeling from it, and I did with this. It felt smooth, satiny and warm, it also gave a sense of peace and calm. Very good. I also learned what the Shetlanders mean by driftwood - I had been told the day before of wheels made from driftwood, and my brain had put my usual southern interpretation on it, with so what bizarre results! But apparently, ships from Russia and Norway pass the islands laden with timber, which as it cannot be containerised, can sometimes be washed overboard. This fetches up on beaches, and is claimed for making all the usual things that would be made from wood that is not found in any other way here, as there are (very very few) trees!

Anyway, it was a splendid visit, with several other friends and acquaintances appearing, lots of terrific information from Elizabeth, and a warm welcome from the organiser of that event and the classes taking place there that day including an excellent homemade lunch.

We then set off back to Lerwick to pick up the bus for our trip to the Jameison factory up at Sandness, meeting another friend at the same time. Very interesting tour, with an excellent wee giftie at the end of it. But what impressed me most was that one of our friends had a bit if a diabetic wobble and had forgotten to pick up her emergency banana. Asked if there were any staff biscuits that could be raided, we were told, after a search, no, but someone had been dispatched to the shop in the adjacent village to buy some. And we were very firmly told that payment could not possibly be accepted.

All our interactions with people in Shetland have found them courteous and friendly, but this was extremely so, and we were all very impressed and touched. Such a good day all round! Finished off by a very nice meal in Lerwick before driving home.

I am including a photo of my sister, knitting. Even though you can't really see her face, she will kill me if she ever sees this. Fortunately, I am pretty certain she doesn't read this, or any blogs......


Sara said...

oh dear. Time flies.

When I met Pennie her hair was not grey (nor was mine, I suppose....).

Don't tell her I said this! or she will know you posted her picture :).

Anonymous said...

Met Carol and Pete at SOAR in 1997 - Hazel Stansfield and me (Joan Lemon) had drinkies in your apartment - a long time ago!
I re-emigrated to Ab. canada in 1997 so too far to visit your interesting studio for a day out!
Regards - Joan L.