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Shetland Wool Week Celebrates its 10th Anniversary

The 10th annual Shetland Wool Week celebrates the isles’ wool textile heritage. The world-renowned celebration of Britain’s most northerly native sheep, the Shetland textile industry, wool crafts and the rural farming community on the islands. What began with just a handful of events in 2010, aligned to the Campaign for Wool initiative of HRH the Prince of Wales to help promote sheep farming and wool, has grown to now include over 340 events over the week. The events and workshops take place from morning until night and visitors can learn new skills and crafts, including weaving and spinning, with a series of croft, and the Makers’ Market, with 30+ stalls provides the opportunity to meet local, and visiting makers, and purchase some beautiful Shetland wool pieces. See here for full list of events: HERE

To celebrate the anniversary HRH The Prince of Wales made a special video to commemorate the event, and the Chairman of the Campaign for Wool, Nicholas Coleridge has also been in attendance to support the Real Shetland wool industry and community.

This year’s Patron for Shetland Wool Week 2019 is Oliver Henry, a true Shetland ‘Man of Wool’.

Oliver has lived in Shetland all his life and has worked with Shetland wool for 52 years and was one of the original founders of Shetland Wool Week. He has judged, graded, sorted, worn, promoted, researched and been inspired by Shetland wool in his work at Jamieson and Smith, also known as ‘The Shetland Woolbrokers’.

As part of the Patronage for 2019 Oliver designed this year’s hat – the beanie ‘Roadside Beanie’ which features two common roadside sights in Shetland: Shetland sheep and fishing boats. Both of them have loomed large in Oliver’s life as a Shetlander. The hat pattern was designed by @smanson123, based on Oliver’s illustrations and sketches.

Oliver said: “I’ve worked with sheep and wool for over fifty years, so it was clear they would be part of my design story. Fishing, too, has always been part of my life, especially growing up on the family croft at ‘Roadside’, in the busy fishing community of Hamnavoe on Burra Isle. My father and brothers had their own fishing boat and fishing was their livelihood. Unfortunately I suffered from seasickness and could not carry on the family tradition of fisherman crofter, so I turned to Shetland wool for my work and inspiration. I chose the beanie shape for practical reasons: it keeps my ears warm while walking my dog here in Shetland! The world of knitwear design is a bit of a departure from my usual field of expertise, but it’s been fun working on the idea and seeing it developed through to a final pattern.”

Follow Oliver on Instagram as @ooieollie, and @shetlandwoolweek on Instagram and facebook, and on twitter @ShetlandWoolWk

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