Shetland Wool Week 2016 : trip to Yell and Unst

One day Kerstin and I drove to Yell and Unst. We visited Global Yell and saw the looms guided by Andy Ross. There are more looms than you can see in the photo below. Weavers may be interested in the Tours hosted by Global Yell.


A textile sculpture made by students at Global Yell:



After Global Yell Kerstin and I continued to Unst Heritage Centre and saw the lace exhibition. I can’t show you photos, because:

someone has copied some of the lace, made patterns, and sold them on Ravelry!

The result is that it’s now forbidden to take photos. Things like that make me mad. Why do people act like that? And of course there was a person among the visitors this time also who took as many photos she could possibly do without her battery getting discharged… it didn’t help that she was told she wasn’t allowed to do that. Where do people like that come from? And how do their minds work?

But all the same. The Shetland Museum also has a lot of knitted lace, which you can see in an earlier post in my Shetland series. It would’ve been nice to show some of the lace in Unst Heritage Centre, as the most delicate lace was knitted in Unst. There are a few photos at the Centre’s site. Jamison & Smith has a booklet with lace history and patterns, Unst Heritage Lace.

While on Unst, you must visit Foords Chocolate. You can have lunch in the cafe, and you can buy chocolate. Or have their Deluxe Chocolate Experience… at your own risk.

We headed south again, and came upon one of these interesting small museums you stumble upon all over Shetland: the Viking museum at Haroldswick. A couple of photos:



Some of you may have wondered if we missed the Bus Shelter? No we didn’t!


It seems travel was the theme for 2016, as the shelter was decorated with maps and souvenirs, and travel guides in the book shelf:


It was a good trip, as all of Kerstin’s and my trips were during that week. Only a few drops of rain that day. Ferries from Shetland Mainland to Yell, from Yell to Unst, and back again. I love small ferries, got used to them in my childhood in the Kvarken Archipelago. My hometown Vaasa is almost empty of people in the summer, when everyone move to their summer houses on the islands. Only the tourists wander the streets, wondering where all the natives are. Do Shetlanders also have summer houses?

You could drive much faster from Mainland to Unst, was it not for the ferries. A tourist probably enjoys them, but I wonder what the people living in the islands think? Would they love bridges and much more tourists? I suppose this is a matter that divides people depending on what you work with.




There was no fog, so we could see all the rather scary stone walls by the roads in Unst. I always find myself thinking of the people who build these walls, and had to maintain them year after year. All the work people have done! And still do, but in another fashion in the western world. In many places in the rest of the world you still use manual power for big projects.


You may also have wondered why there are no sheep in my photos. Because there ARE sheep in Shetland! Everywhere! But it’s not easy to take photos from a moving car, and if you stop and get out, the sheep run away.


More stonewalls, more sheep, crappy photo from the car. This is what it looks like on many hillsides.



  1. Susan

    Unst………WHO would have the consummate bloody nerve to copy those lace patterns and sell them on Ravelry?? I am surprised R wasn’t able to shut them down. the Bus Shelter is a hoot. to think you were only there such a short time, you really packed in the sights. Good for you and for us. Thanks. Vaasa looked interesting.

  2. Marilyn F.

    What a wonderful trip for you. Thank you for the links to explore further. The Unst lace expo must have been soooo wonderful to see. Shame on those people who don’t follow rules, take photos, and sell patterns. My goodness. Chocolate and coffee? Yum. I’d love the ferry rides. Rode ferries in Canada many years ago. I would hope they keep the ferries and not build bridges. Oh, and who built the stone fences? I would think someone must have an answer to that question, they must be quite old. We have them here in California in the Gold Country mostly (but also in local farming communities) and know they were built by the Chinese who were laborers during the Gold Rush beginning in the mid 1800’s. Stonework is quite wonderful to see wherever it may be. Thanks again for sharing this trip with us.

  3. Marilyn F.

    I keep thinking about the person or persons who are selling patterns on Ravelry. I would think the museum, the arts guild, and others could complain to Ravelry and get the site or sites shut down.

      • Marilyn F.

        Oh, I’m sure it must be hard to enforce and control efforts to keep the patterns on their home turf. We can only hope they will succeed in the future.

  4. Swedishingrid in Australia

    So wonderful, and we were so happy back when in 2007, almost ten years ago now! Thinking very hard about 2017…. it is marvellous to be in a sunburnt country but the connection one feels to these places, well, it does pull on your heart strings. And we feel we are so far away…..

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