Fire Festival KAL inspiration

up-helly-aa-lerwick-scotland

Sometimes choosing colours for a Knit-a-Long can be quite daunting, but after quite a number of years of choosing shades for the Colourbox Challenges with the Country Shows in Shetland and a couple for our online KAL’s we are always pleased and surprised with the colour and pattern combinations people come up with. The Fire Festival KAL, inspired by Shetland’s Up Helly Aa festivals has been running for a little while now and more projects are beginning to emerge so I thought it was time to take a look at some of the knitting..

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clockwise from top right: one, two, three
2-coll
clockwise from top left: one, two, three, four

I always find it very inspiring to see how people have put colours together, and how to colours change when put next to others – it’s my favourite part of the KAL! it runs until the 20th of March so there is still plenty of time to get involved and knit yourself (or someone else a firey inspired garment or accessory) We have already had the first of Shetlands Up Helly Aa’s for 2017 with the Scalloway Fire Festival on the 13th of January, you can see some great pictures here. Lerwick Up Helly Aa is on Tuesday 31st of January and it is a public Holiday in the town on the day after (some of us need time to recover..) so we will be closed Wednesday 1st of February opening as normal on Thursday. If you would like to watch any of the live broadcast of Lerwick UHA on Tuesday you can do so here.

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I hope this has inspired you if you were thinking to join the KAL, you can find the shades here on the website, there has been some confusion about adding in other colours but to be entered in the KAL you can only use the 8 shades chosen and you must use at least 5 of them. Your project must also include some Fair Isle/stranded colourwork, don’t forget to share your projects in our Ravelry group and on Instagram with #firefestivalkal

Happy Knitting!

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Up Helly Aa 2015

torch cloos
My yarn ‘torches’

One day to go til Lerwick Up Helly Aa! I cant believe it was one year ago when head wool man at J&S, also known as Oliver was in the 2014 Jarl Squad (see here and here for more details)

viking helmet

some details of Olivers 2014 suit from my Up Helly Aa window
some details of Olivers 2014 suit from my Up Helly Aa window

But now its another squads turn to be the Jarl Squad! For those who dont know, Up Helly Aa is a fire festival held all over Shetland, tomorrows Up Helly Aa, the biggest of the lot, is in Lerwick and the whole day is given over to Vikings.. the night-time torchlight procession (live feed can be watched here!) contains over 800 men and results in the burning of a Viking Galley.

a photo from last years procession
a photo from last years procession

After the procession, local halls are open and there is a big night of dancing! Each of the squads involved (usually about 40-50!) are dressed up and come up with an ‘act’ for the people in the halls. understandably Wednesday is a public holiday in Shetland so we wont be open, but we’ll be back at work on Thursday.

Til then, happy knitting and Happy Up Helly Aa!!

Up Helly Aa

It’s Lerwick Up Helly Aa today. Love it, or think it’s pure madness, it’s just not possible to ignore the excitement in the town today!

It started when we couldn’t get to work behind the Jarl Squad pulling the galley around the town this morning (or get to the bar last night when all the guizers finished having their photos taken).

The galley this morning.

It’s impossible not to get the jitters. It’s only about 8 hours until the street lights go out, the blast sounds, the sky turns red and the air is thick with the smell of burning. Then no more galley, poor thing.

Burning

Oliver’s taken the whole week off to get ready (he’s in a squad), and then probably recover! If you’re not here, join the party with the webcam after 4pm tonight.

Fiery 2ply Jumper Weight. From top left: 9097, FC38, 1403, 122, 9103. 91, 23, 125, 93, 42, 1A, 77.

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