If your Instagram feed is anything like mine, it’s starting to blow up with glorious images of Shetland Wool Week. It looks like a lot of fun. It sure is far away. Someday we will get there, my girl!
Meanwhile, there is other big news out of Shetland. As reported by The Shetland Times two weeks ago:
The Shetland Guild of Spinners, Knitters, Weavers and Dyers has released A Shetlander’s Fair Isle Graph Book, with knitting charts reproduced from two notebooks dating primarily from the 1930s and and 1940s.
The charts are aimed at adventurous knitters and also include Norwegian-inspired motifs.
The notebooks were in the possession of William (Bill) Henry who was in charge of the hosiery department of Anderson & Co, though it is not certain if Mr Henry compiled the books himself.
The patterns show the kind of Fair Isle knitting patterns purchased by the company from self-employed knitters at the time.
WHOA. Here’s the cover of this tantalizing tome:
A couple of small images of the colorful charts inside can be found at the blog Desperate Reader, in a post musing on the mysteries of the source and purpose of these charts. Were they really used by self-employed knitters? We may never know. But they are beautiful, and they are a window, however blurry, into the past.
The book is available from Jamieson & Smith and other sellers in the UK.
In the United States, the book may be available from Schoolhouse Press, which says it has low stock and will ship in October. If anybody can get us copies of this treasure, Meg Swansen can! Go on over and put it on your wish list, or weasel a copy out of anyone you know who is headed to Britain.