First Stitches in Shetland Lace

Last weekend, my local yarn shop This Is Knit, organised a workshop on Shetland Lace with Gudrun Johnson. The class was really interesting. Gudrun began by explaining the construction used in Shetland lace, and then as we began work on our garter triangle, explained the history behind it. I found this really fascinating, it’s such an integral part of their heritage. I found some photos on the Shetland museum and archives website if you’re interested in seeing some historical examples. I love learning more about the history of knitting, it helps me feel connected to the past and particularly to the generations of my family who would have knitted to supplement their income.

As the workshop progressed we added to the body of our shawls and then added an edging. This is a mini version of Gudrun’s design Flukra and it’s really beautiful, with lace losenges. She recommended a pure wool yarn so I chose Shetland 2ply Jumper Weight in pink. Hmm, I don’t think I’ll be knitting with pure wool again, I’m all about the soft yarns, mmmm alpaca. But anyway….

MiaI didn’t get my shawl finished during the class but decided to finish it at home. Initially I thought I might frame it, as a piece of yarny art (and I think I’ll still do that with another lace swatch). But when it was blocked I realised it was the perfect size for my dog Mia. She loves dressing up. So now it’s her shawl and she loves it.

I hope Gudrun doesn’t mind me putting her beautiful design on my dog. I think it’s super cute on Mia and she got so much attention in the park today wearing it. I’m still going to knit some Shetland lace for myself. I’ve chosen Loren, especially after seeing this beautiful version on the This Is Knit blog. Isn’t it beautiful?

Have you ever knit a Shetland lace shawl? Or have a knitting tradition where you come from?


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