One last chance to buy more Shetland wool

Day 5

Plan: Return to Lerwick to drop off rental car. Do last minute shopping before catching  ferry to Aberdeen at 5:30pm .

Leaving Muckle Roe It’s our last day in Shetland. We woke up to the cries of a lost lamb outside our window. Nobody seemed too concerned, including the mother who didn’t seem in much of a hurry to find him. After our traditional Scottish breakfast of an egg, ham, sausage, a slice of tomato, toast and coffee (but hold the beans please) we set off for Lerwick.

As we drove towards the main road that runs from Northmavine to Lerwick, I skimmed through the guide book and found what sounded like an interesting detour. Just a few miles north of Mavis Grind is a small winding road that heads west towards the coastline and eventually ends at a place called Nibon. The rocky landscape reminded me of our drive to Sandness but with more elevation. Like always, sheep and abandoned crofts dotted the hills. At the end of the road we reached Nibon which was nothing more than a few houses overlooking a picturesque rocky beach. What you don’t see in the picture is the sheep poo beneath my feet. Sheep are so ubiquitous on this island. If you don’t immediately see them you still usually come across some sign of their presence. After enjoying the view we head back towards the road to Lerwick.

As we drove into town it seemed like a good idea to stop at the ferry terminal just north of town to pick up our tickets and drop off  luggage before returning the rental car. Luckily they had a “left luggage” room. Oddly enough there was no attendant minding the baggage. The woman at the counter said that they’d never had a problem with theft ( or terrorism?).

After lunch at the Peerie Cafe we wandered around town poking our heads into place that we hadn’t visited and returned to others for one last look. One place that I hadn’t yet visited was Fibres. From the outside it’s kind of hard to tell whether it’s a yarn or knitwear store. The sweaters in the window didn’t look hand knitted but plastered on the other side of the door are yarn company posters. As soon as I stepped inside I saw shelves of yarn and figured I’d found yet one more yarn shop on Shetland. As I wondered up the stars I found knitwear in a variety of styles, some traditional and others less so. For the most part they had the usual UK yarn brands plus Noro. What caught my eye was a basket near the register. It was full of miniature skeins of hand dyed Shetland. As I sorted through the skeins the woman at the register mentioned she had dyed them herself. I picked out four skeins and walked out hoping Paul wouldn’t notice this small wool acquisition.

After Fibres I briefly visited Ninian, a shop with all sorts of gift items with a more trendy flavor. With no more room in my luggage I avoided buying more knitwear however I was very intrigued by the stitch pattern on this sweater in the window. Any ideas on what it is? It’s double-sided.

Besides wool and knitwear there was only one other thing that I was hoping to find on Shetland, a brooch for my lace shawls. I’m not sure whether such a thing is too old-fashioned or not part of their tradition but I couldn’t find one. I settled for this pin until later while in Edinburgh I found this Celtic style brooch which is close to what I had envisioned.

Before long it was time to head back to the ferry terminal to collect our luggage and board the ship for the overnight voyage to Aberdeen.

Along the way we passed Fair Isle. It was sad to be so close but not to have gone there. But there’s always next time.

Fair Isle

After Shetland we were off to spend a few days in the Highlands before heading to Edinburgh and eventually London. I have plenty of pictures of our visit to Leault Farm,  as well as a few from the National Museum of Scotland’s interesting display of textile related machines and a few knitwear samples from Shetland.

7 thoughts on “One last chance to buy more Shetland wool

  1. I have truly enjoyed your Shetland journal. Thanks so much for writing it. I missed the SKG meeting about blogging but Evelyn recommended your blog. It was so cool to read about the Up Hella Ay (can’t remember how to spell that) celebration since I am a direct descendant of those Vikings! And the pictures of fair isle swatches were just stunning. I’ve been to Scotland twice but not to the Shetlands. And I have a penanular brooch very similar to yours that I also got in Edinburgh at a little shop on the Royal Mile just down from the castle.


  2. I was so happy to see another post about your trip today 🙂 I really love 4 little hand dyed skeins of shetland yarn, they are gorgeous. And the pin and brooch are both simply stunning, I think you did wonderfully well getting each of them! They’ll make such lovely momento’s of your trip.


  3. Dear Melinda,
    I have really enjoyed going on your trip with you through reading your blog. You have been the traveler of the family since high school. Glad you still get to go on such wonderful trips.
    Love to read your blog.
    Love Always,


  4. any ideas on that herringbone stitch pattern? I would love to know too…just saw “Henry” in the Fall issue–a scarf in a herringbone stitch (although a slip st) knit the long way. Makes more of a “fabric”, but I don’t know what the other side looks like….If you find out the stitch pattern let us know! Why not query the shop?


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