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A Legacy of Shetland Lace

A Legacy of Shetland Lace is a new book released by the Shetland Guild of Spinners, Knitters, Weavers and Dyers.

A collection of 21 stunning projects designed by members of the Shetland Guild of Spinners, Knitters, Weavers and Dyers. The book contains everything from scarves and stoles, to wraps and lace tops.

As well as the patterns the book has wonderful pictures and explanations of abbreviations, Shetland words to do with knitting, grafting and finishing. Each pattern is supported by a biography of the designer which charts their story with lace and knitting. There are patterns in this book from some of the best lace knitters in Shetland. Hazel Tindall, Mary Kay, Ina Irvine and Kathleen Anderson to name but a few..

The Legacy of Shetland Lace is a modern and contemporary book that encapsulates our lace knitting history in a group of well designed patterns.

photo courtesy of the Shetland Museum and Archives

Shetland ladies were (and still are) renowned world- wide for their superb knitting skills and their ability to produce designs from their environment and surroundings. Not only did they carry out most of the croft work they also were accomplished hand spinners and would spin a gossamer fine lace yarn which would be knitted into shawls or scarves. These works of art would be sold to the local merchant or knitwear shop and provide much needed income.

All the patterns in the book can be knitted with our Shetland Supreme 1 and 2 ply worsted yarns which come in a range of five natural colours, any patterns calling for 2ply can also use our 2ply Lace Weight Yarn which comes in twenty five shades. There is a lovely pattern by Hazel Tindall which calls for Chunky Shetland wool, in which our Shetland Aran BSS16 would be a perfect match!

We at J & S are proud to say that we have reproduced such a fine yarn as used to produce these unique garments all these years ago. In conjunction with our local museum we attempted to revive the art of Lace knitting which was becoming a thing of the past. Part of our inspiration was taken from reading in the local archives that Queen Victoria had stockings made in Shetland from Shetland wool. The yarn used was a combed worsted yarn and not a carded woollen spun yarn, the worsted spinning produces a smoother finer stronger thread which captures the unique characteristics of Shetland wool, especially the soft handle required to wear next to the skin.

We congratulate the Shetland Guild of Spinners, Knitters,Weavers and Dyers on their superb publication A Legacy of Shetland Lace. Their efforts and skill carries on the distinct culture and heritage of some of the finest knitters in the world.

The book is available here for £23.99

17 Comments Post a comment
  1. That looks like a fantastic book and the lace yarn is gorgeous!

    November 22, 2012
  2. Maryjo #

    oh, it looks SO lovely! Any chance it will become available as a digital edition or thru a US distributor? Thanks!

    November 22, 2012
  3. It is a beautiful book and the patterns work so well with our Shetland Supreme Lace. It makes all the time and effort put into reviving these traditional yarns worthwhile!
    Unfortunately it is out of our hands as to whether it will become available digitally or through a US distributor as it is The Shetland Guild of Spinners, Knitters, Weavers and Dyers book and is published by The Shetland Times. We just sell it through our online shop but could pass these ideas on to them!

    November 23, 2012
  4. Hazel Tindall #

    We hope this will become an e-book. Hazel Tindall, Chairman, Shetland Guild of Spinners, Knitters, Weavers and Dyers

    December 4, 2012
  5. The Shetland Times sells it online and ships to the US. I’ve bought books from them before. Here is the listing:

    December 29, 2012
  6. Marge #

    My mum and I are planning a knitting pilgrimage to the Shetlands and Lerwick. Do you sell the book in your shop?

    April 7, 2013
  7. Yes we have it here in our shop in the Old North Road. Pop in for a visit when you’re here!

    April 8, 2013
  8. Nora Jane Adams #

    .I am looking for apattern for a lace sweater, [jumper}, preferablely a cardigan. Anything available ?

    June 4, 2013
  9. Sally Barrow #

    Having done some lace projects and developed an inclination to do my own design work for the overall pieces, but in specific traditional styles, what I find most helpful are stich and/or border dictionaries. Two examples are in Gossamer Webs by Galina Khmeleva & Carol R. Noble, and Knitted Lace of Estonia by Nancy Bush. Does A Legacy of Shetland Lace contain such a section or does any other book of which you are aware have one?

    June 12, 2013
  10. We have a couple of patterns for lace jumpers, firstly the Petal Stitch by Sally McCollin and secondly the Laebrack by Margaret Stuart. Clicking on these links will take you straight to these kits on our website where you can find more information about them. We’re also working on a lace jumper pattern, in a couple of variations, due out at the end of the year. We don’t have any lace cardigan patterns as of yet but those I have listed should be able to be adapted into cardigans through changing the pattern to suit, this usually uses a bit more yarn than that which comes with the kit though.

    June 14, 2013
  11. Hi Sally,
    A Legacy of Shetland Lace is made up of 21 patterns made in a variety of styles and contains charts for the different parts of the shawls and scarves which I’m sure could be adapted into different designs, but it doesn’t have a stitch/border dictionary as such. From looking at the lace books which we stock Lace Style by Pam Allen & Ann Budd contains a Design Notebook giving some charts and swatches of various lace patterns and Heirloom Knitting by Sharon Miller has a Pattern section giving many different patterns with charts and photos of the finished work as well as a section on Design and How to Adapt a Pattern. Many of our other lace books have charts and a variety of patterns but no stitch/border dictionary as such.
    I hope that is of some use to you, but if you have any other questions just get back to us.

    June 14, 2013
  12. Sally Barrow #

    Appreciate the answer Jamieson&Smith. One is left to make up such a resource from what is available. Your references look good for such a try.


    June 16, 2013
  13. Marion #

    On an earlier post there was a photo of a design for a lace shawl by Gladys Amedro which I would like to buy. It is similar to the Woman’s Weekly pattern for 2ply cobweb (which I have used many times in past years for christening shawls, but the corners looked better in design to me. Can you supply this pattern either alone or as a kit? I have not seen it for sale on your website. I have The G. Amedro book on Shetland Lace.

    July 8, 2015
  14. HI Marion,

    Can you email us: thanks!

    July 10, 2015

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