clipping in bressay

Last Saturday my dad asked me if, after I’d finished work at lunchtime, I wanted to come over to Bressay and help (errr.. take photos) of clipping his pal Campbell’s sheep. So after misreading the ferry timetable (spot the toonie) I scurried from work and just made it.


Bressay is a 7-minute ferry ride from Lerwick and even so, I go there ridiculously un-often and never since passing my test. So I slowly headed over to where the clipping was happening over at the other end of the Island. At points, Bressay and Lerwick are very close to each other, and the fact Bressay is there is why Lerwick is a port at all, its protects us (somewhat) from the strong north sea!



Anyway, I got there and Dad, Campbell and Ewan (the clipper) were about halfway through the small flock Campbell keeps on his familys land. There is a nice peerie Crofthoose there (my favourite thing you know by this point…) and since it was a nice day we had a great afternoon! I can’t say I was much/any help but I just enjoyed being there and took loads of photos which I thought I’d share here:







3 IMG_9384



5 IMG_9393




The weather has been pretty poor in Shetland this summer (what’s new) but the past few weeks have had some nice days so we were lucky to catch the day we did. The fleeces they clipped and packed will go to my work, be sorted, graded then shipped away to be processed before coming back to Shetland as yarn – which is nice! They have a mixture of white and coloured Sheep which all can be used in yarn and products so nothing will go to waste.


In case you wonder, the red marks you can see on the clipped sheep above is a paint they mark on their back to know they’ve been given their medicine for the year!

We are slowly getting closer and closer to Shetland Wool Week (aaargh!) so I can’t promise I’ll be back before then.. but I have some stuff I’m hoping to get done before then so you might see a few more posts from me.. (and maybe a new pattern!) there is still one spot on my Tuesday class at Wool Week but my talk and other class are now sold out.

Speak soon! xx

18 thoughts on “clipping in bressay

  1. Brings back memories of growing up on sheep farm in SW Scotland. Individually we kids were popped into the huge sack in which the fleeces were packed, and we had to pack them down by jumping on them. By day’s end I was black with lanolin and whacked out but such happy times.

  2. Thanks for taking us along to the clipping, Ella. More than the fleeces, though, I want that wonderful crofthoose in the second picture.

  3. I really enjoyed this post with your lovely photos. I am a long way from Shetland Wool Week, in Canada, but this makes me feel like I am there. Thanks Anita

    Sent from my iPad


  4. Ella , Your photos are wonderful and a pleasure to see the clipping of the sheep. Wonderful colours in the fleece and the stones in the walls. Have a great time at “wool week” and I am looking forward to receiving my copy of The 2nd wool week Annual as last years was great.

  5. I am happy if you pretend that the weather in Shetland is always like this. Love the dog’s nose poking out of the truck.

  6. Hi Ella great that you sent the pictures of the shearing , the island and the craft house..would loved to have tucked one of those fleeces in my bag LOL,….would love to have been at wool week…people will love your classes , have fun…best pat j

  7. Love the big sky photos and those sacks of wool against the stone wall! You have a great eye for composition. I would so love to get to Shetland some day although unfortunately quite unlikely, so your photos may be as close as I get.
    Many thanks.
    Ruth in Canada.

  8. I always enjoy seeing the pictures from where you live, your photos are so evocative …..that big pile of fleece looks so inviting and wish I could smell that gorgeous sheepy aroma….I loved the picture of your dad with his sheepy moustache….

  9. This post makes me hugely nostalgic. Wir old croft is at Heogan and the house in your second photo belonged to my great aunty and uncle. Lots of memories there. Lovely post!

  10. Beautiful photos ~ and fleeces! I really enjoy the scenery of Shetland! Do have a wonderful time at Wool Week! One day I’d love to make it and take your class ~
    From a forest 6991 km SW of you…

  11. My Grandmothers maiden name was Gordon and the family came from Bressay I wonder if we are related?
    Magnus Gordon b.1786 James Gordon b 1820 Alexander Gordon b. 1851 his daughter Elizabeth Gordon b1885 is my Grandmother. That one picture of a house looks a lot like the Gordon house on Bressay?

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