Oh, how time flies. I’ve been diligently working on my Nihon Vogue homework this week trying to make up for spending the previous two weeks on Evelyn’s Angel Lace Shawl. Last night I just realized I have to redraw the pattern for my third assignment.
So I left off last time with having visited Shetland Designer to check out her fabulous array of Fair Isle garments. We were heading up north to Muckle Roe to checked in to our B&B before heading off to Eshaness. Around noon we found ourselves in Brae and decided to pick up a sandwich at the grocery store instead of trying to find a restaurant. As we were sorting through the “take-away” food case I overheard one local say to another, “Fine weather for November isn’t it?” In case you were wondering about the weather, for the most part it was cold and very windy. I don’t think it ever got over 55 degrees Fahrenheit the five days we were there although we did encounter a few sunny moments. From what I’ve heard since I’ve been back, the weather has been very cold and wet allover the UK this summer.
I booked a room at Westarye because it didn’t seem to be too far out of our way to Eshaness and would also give us a change of scenery. Just as the guide book said, it’s a modern croft house that we found to be very comfortable. During our entire stay I could look out the window and see sheep in the pasture doing whatever sheep do. Almost got me thinking about getting one for my garden.
After checking in and dropping off our luggage we drove over to Busta House to make reservations for dinner. If you’re a fan of a certain Scottish knitwear designer and have seen her video you might recognize this place. That’s where she filmed the knit-along part of the video. It’s the only place on Shetland with more than a hand full of trees. The staff indicated that no reservations were needed and as an alternative we could eat in the lounge. So with that chore done we headed north.
Just before reaching Eshaness there’s a turn off from the main road that makes its way to Tangwick Haa Museum. We decide to go ahead and take this diversion as it was about 3pm and according to the guide book it was only open from 1-5pm during the week. The description sounded very enticing “Kids and adults alike will also enjoy the shells, the Shetland wool and sand samples and the prize exhibit ,the Gunnister Man …”.
This small museum didn’t disappoint and certainly exceeded any expectations. The second floor of this old house held an armful of knitting gems – various types of knitwear, knitting implements, Shetland wool, documents and photos about local knitwear firms. There are more photos of this museum in my photo album (link on the upper right side).
This excellent display rivaled the one at the new museum in Lerwick and was certainly much more intimate. I was in such a state of awe over this display that I forgot to see the prize exhibit (although I think he’s in Edinburgh, right?). In the gift shop I picked up a small booklet called A Stitch in Time which gives fantastic insights into lace knitting and spinning from Unst. Of course I could have stayed there for the rest of the day (or a week) but I’m sure Paul was ready to move on.
Not much further down the road we finally reached the Eshaness lighthouse which overlooks the high rocky cliffs. It’s certainly one of the most amazingly beautiful dramatic coast lines I’ve ever seen (even compared to the Pacific Northwest). The place was so windy that even the most daring person wouldn’t stand too close to the edge for fear of getting blown over. About every 20 minutes or so I headed to the car for shelter so I could warm back up before heading outside again. It’s hard to belief this tiny flower could survive all that wind. Maybe it’s the inspiration for this jumper I saw at Tangwick Haa.
On the way back to Muckle Roe we made a brief stops at Stenness fishing station and Braewick Caravan Park. Odd as it may seem, this caravan park had an impressive small display of knitwear for sale. As I waited for Paul to return from the restroom a few woman were gathered around a table looking at a exquisitely knit lace baptism gown and booties that had been knitted by an elder woman that passed away. Knitting is ever present on Shetland and happens to appear in the most unexpected places. Hopefully it will stay that way for many more years.