The second volume of the Shetland Wool Adventures Journal has landed with me today (I've been scanning the post for this for the last week partly because I have 2 pieces in it and am really excited to see one of them in particular in print). I haven't had time to read it properly yet, but I've had a good look through - and honestly, if you knit or like Shetland, you want this.
The first volume was good but I feel like there's even more in this one - even though it's the same length, maybe I'm just over-excited. The 6 knitting patterns are attractive - 3 slipovers, a Gansy, and 2 sets of mitts of which there's a pair of mitts (Ella Gordon's Hesti mitts) a slipover - the lace-edged Atlantic Waves by Ann Eunson, and Rachel Hunter's Up-Helly-Aa Gansy that I'm putting on my project list.
There are quite a lot of suggested walks in here with plenty of photographs to show what you'll be enjoying if you plan on taking them. I like this - the Shetland countryside is fairly accessible so when the weather suits your clothing it's good to have a list of possible walks to suit the time available, your level of fitness, and where you find yourself. Even if you live there or have visited a lot, there will be new places to see.
There's a lot of history in this volume too, plus recipes, a couple of interviews with local artists and craftspeople, one with Kate Davies about starting up her business, a preview of a book that Misa's 60 North Publishing is bringing out later this year, and also my bits.
These are a set of 6 book reviews that I spent an absolute age trying to put together so that they would offer a good cross-section of history, inspiration for places to visit, a good overall sense of Shetland, pleasant armchair travel, enjoyable holiday reading, and hopefully offer something for everybody. Coming up with reading lists rather than reviewing whatever is current is definitely more fun, but not nearly as easy - so I hope people like the suggestions.
There's also a bit I wrote about the history of the Lera Voe phone box, early versions of which first appeared on this blog back in February last year. This is the one I was excited to see in print, mostly because I really wanted to see what images would be chosen to go with my words (there's a novelty in this for me). Looking at the finished article I'm really pleased with the combination.
I started researching the phone box about a month before the first UK lockdown, since then dad has acquired another one and handed it over to its immediately local community to work on. A box not far from the Sandness woolen mill (Jamieson's) has been taken on, and there are attempts to buy the one outside the shop at Bixter underway. They feel like a symbol of the more positive parts of the last year to me; something that's still holding communities together albeit in a different way to that first intended.
The Journals can be ordered HERE, and represent really good value for the knitting patterns alone.