Work is beginning on the renovations of Brough Lodge, a nineteenth century estate on the Shetland island of Fetlar. It's stunning and everything - both the building itself and it's beautiful surroundings feel a little bit unreal, like something from a fairytale - but that's not the whole reason we're mentioning it to you...
One day Brough Lodge will be a knitting retreat. Yup, a place to cosy up for an entire holiday and knit. We've been speaking about this with the people behind the project, Pierre and Deborah (Deborah is a lovely knitter herself). The pair have the most amazing and inspiring vision for the place that includes knitting workshops and residencies. Plans are to finish the building to an exceptionally high standard in terms of materials, design and furnishings to create a place that you just won't want to ever leave.
The project is a big one - and it needs support. The house is in need of major repairs and there's a long way to go before it's a luxury knitting escape in the wilds. We can hardly wait for that point, so Jamieson & Smith are sponsoring the project. Individuals can also donate to the project here. Please do. Your name is kept on record as a supporter of the project. And if you're really keen, they are also looking for a patron who the Lodge will be named after... How cool is that?!
Part of a load of wool waiting to go out for processing. The numbers scrawled on each 275kg (roughly) bale identify the grade of wool, as well as the local wool grower it came from. These identifiers stay with the wool right through all stages of the process, both electronically and in huge marker pen, so we know who and where it came from. All we need now is a computer genius who can give us a system to let customers trace their products back to the origin, Original Beans style. Anybody?!
The photo was taken by Stuart when our first load of the season went out (which feels like forever ago now because we've put a few out since!). Stuart is back for the summer being indispensible in the wool store and just generally keeping us all entertained. He's off to the mainland for a week doing architecture stuff, and is apparently missing the rock already:
I finally got yun photo aff my phone if do wants it.
A mammoth photo post of the Cunningsburgh Show this Wednesday.
1.Entrance to the Wool tent 2, 3, 4.Oliver's fleece judging skills put to the test again 5, 6, 7. Some prize winning Shetland Sheep 8. Charlie Simpson and a herring feast 9. Cool footgear and a woolly dog 10, 11. More beautiful Shetland Sheep posing for the camera 12. Tractor love 13, 14. Elizabeth Johnson of Shetland Handspun's beautiful things 15 and 16. Yummy wool in the sun (which decided to make an appearance after weeks of grey, woop woop).
Beautiful pieces in Jamieson & Smith 2 Ply Jumper Weight from Rachel Antonio. Have a look at other pieces from Rachel's gorgeous new collection, which is beautifully crafted from British materials, on her blog.
Hjaltland - Old Norse (read: Old Romantic) name for Shetland.
Halo - the oh-so-technical term given to the fairy like haze that floats above real Shetland wool, created by the extra fine fibres.
= probably 'the' most natural, sustainable fibre.... ever.