Thursday, November 30, 2023

Foula, Island West of the Sun and Shetland Wool Adventures

It's been quite a month and one that I won't be sorry to see the back of. I'm still distinctly anemic, my dad broke his hand, mum's second cataract operation didn't work very well... the list goes on. But here's to looking forward. I've got my Christmas tree, an advent calendar ready to go, and a treatment plan with the gynecology department at my local hospital, and there's always a slim chance that at least one of my parents will accept they might need to slow down for a little bit and be sensible. 

There's a new Shetland Wool Adventures Journal in the offing in time for Christmas too - I write for this and love it, it's a great journal with patterns, recipes, and all sorts of insights into life and creativity in Shetland. Any volume would make an excellent present for the knitter, cook, or Shetland fan in your life. My Christmas knitting is about done and I'm very much looking forward to planning my next projects - which will mostly be for me. A new jumper is likely, but I've also really got the beret/tam knitting bug and I see something tempting in the preview HERE. Misa's Cookbook is also brilliant - consider buying that too.

A different sort of Shetland adventure is the Northus reprint of Sheila Gear's Foula, Island West of the Sun - I genuinely think this is a lost classic of nature writing as well as a deeply personal biography of an extraordinary woman. It's come back to mind because in it Sheila writes about preparing a traditional yule bread. I've struggled for a while to find any sort of recipe for this, but I've been speaking to the Foula Heritage group and they've given me a bit more information so I'm going to have a go at making it. It would have been baked on a griddle pan over an open fire which might be a challenge to replicate, but I have some reading to do and things to try - the crucial thing is that I have the flavourings and a few books with references to play with. 

Buy Foula Island West of the Sun here and support a really lovely independent publisher.


  1. Well put about your parents - "there's always a slim chance". I'm glad to hear there is a plan for your problem.

  2. thanks Hayley for your continuing support for Gear's book. Hope the yule bread experiment is a success!