recent purchases

hello everyone! sorry its been a quiet few weeks since my last post, (thanks as always for the nice feedback!) work has been busy, the days are getting shorter (today it was nearly dark at ten to three PM..yuk!) but I have a few things to share which I have recently bought – some new and some vintage – all with a distinctly wintery theme..


A couple of weekends ago was the annual Shetland art and craft fair, I sadly didn’t have a stall this year – what with wool week and everything it was just too much work – hopefully next year ill be back!! but instead, I spent the weekend helping out my dad who is a cartoonist at his stall. This meant, of course I did a bit of buying to try and get over my regret at not selling my wares..

First I got some more naturally dyed wool from Spindrift Crafts, I bought some of her yarn last year and used it in the 4th colourway for my Crofthoose Hat pattern and I really love the soft colours.


We have Sheepskins from the Shetland Tannery at J&S and they are truly beautiful, I really admire Natalie (even more so after reading her interview on Kates blog) and like to support other women in Shetland doing their thing.. so I bought a pair of Sheepskin mittens from her. They are so so cosy..


The last thing I bought was a neck warmer from Mati Ventrillon, a designer based in Fair Isle, I love the way she puts colours and patterns together, although they are quite traditional she manages to make them look modern


Around the same time I got a few nice new (to me) knitwear bits from charity shops and ebay, first are these lovely gloves..


I love these kinds of Shetland gloves with a turned up cuff and all over Fair Isle, I would be pretty unlikely to knit myself a pair (although I would like to) but they are definitely very cosy and as usual although not colours I would pick I love them together.


I also picked up this lace scarf from a charity shop for £2! It’s knit in natural colours and again is one of those things I’d love to make – this is in 2ply Lace (J&S shades L1, L4, L5 and L78 if you were wondering!) but I’d like to make one in thicker yarn – even some of my precious speckled hand dyed yarns!

Any respectable haul by me is not complete without a couple of garments, the first is a machine knit lacy jumper which I got from ebay

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If you know me you know I love grey so this is right up my street, it is Shetland Made going by the label and the seller wrote me a lovely note to say she was pleased it was coming back to Shetland as she had bought it either here or in Orkney in the 70’s or 80’s.

The last thing I’m going to share is another Cowichan cardigan featuring Buffalos and Canadian leafs which also came from ebay, it is hand knitted and so very warm

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I am still interested in Cowichan garments and am currently working on another vest inspired by one so its always good to look at how one is put together, this one has great pockets on the front and a lovely big shawl collar.


SO i will definitely be keeping warm in Shetland this winter! rather aptly for the end of this post today the newest 60 north magazine was announced featuring a photo of myself and some (pah) of my collection on the cover.. If you missed out on my talk at wool week I have written a piece about it – it will be out soon. The photo was taken by Tom Barr for him and Kates new book Shetland Oo which is also coming out very soon!


Until later.. speak soon! xx


13 thoughts on “recent purchases

  1. WHAT a HAUL!!! You are the luckiest woolen hunter………….Esp love the gloves, the shawl and the jumper and how wonderful…it is back hame!

  2. You are one busy woman! I’m eagerly awaiting the magazine ordering time. Query: have you thought about releasing your Crofthoose Cushion pattern? I’ve been wanting one for ages, especially since you shared the cushion someone embellished with embroidery.

  3. I love scouring charity shops when I’m over in Scotland. I continue to be amazed at the lovely vintage hand knits that people donate rather than wear. I’m so jealous of your lovely collection. Well done, wee treasure hunter!

  4. So happy your brilliant year continues as well and in print again, no less….woohoo you….and congrats on such a fabulous haul. It is wonderful to continue watching it grow!

  5. Your skill at acquiring knitted garments is very impressive, Ella. And I can’t believe you’ve found another Cowichan sweater! I remember feeling quite envious of your last find in the charity shop in Lerwick. I live in the southwest corner of British Columbia, very near the place these sweaters originated, and I have yet to find one in a charity shop or online. Perhaps I would have better luck if I moved to Shetland. :-)

    Congratulations on making the cover of 60 North. I look forward to reading your article once my copy makes it way here.

  6. Thanks for sharing all of your lovely new things with us. I think my favorite is the neck warmer by Mati Ventrillon and I also like the sheepskin mittens. I love it that you can get such wonderful deals at the charity shops. I’ve heard that Shetland has some good ones. I remember knitting the big Cowichan sweaters back in the 1980’s. They are very warm.

  7. Lovely finds! You’re probably aware of the appropriation issues around true Coast Salish Cowichan sweaters, versus “Cowichan style”…

  8. Yet more beautiful additions to your vintage collection. You are so lucky to have such great shops in Shetland to find these beautiful pieces and give them new homes. I just spent a few minutes on Ebay looking for “Fair Isle” as well as “Cowichan” items, but all I found were terrible-looking knock-offs, machine-made and mass-produced junk that I wouldn’t buy for my cats to sleep on.

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