Skip to comments.Shetland Jumper Firms Running Short Of Knitters
Posted on 02/13/2006 5:40:20 PM PST by blam
Shetland jumper firms running short of knitters
By Auslan Cramb
Knitwear companies in Shetland are having trouble fulfilling orders for their distinctive sweaters because their knitters are "a dying breed".
Garments from Britain's most northerly islands are highly prized in Japan. But Doreen Brown, of Shetland Collection, the largest hand knitting company in the islands, said her firm had struggled to meet a large order for Japan.
"We have two dozen knitters but they are a dying breed," she said. "Our oldest is 94 and the youngest is 60 and we can't get any more."
Turnover in the sector, which has 150 full-time staff and hundreds of knitters working from home, dropped from £4 million in 1996 to £2.5 million in 2003.
Higher wages offered by the oil industry are blamed.
I have several Shetland lamb's wool sweaters. Very warm, soft and durable.
The Shetland branded sweaters (jumpers) are still hand made, mostly at home, as the article says.
Knitting stuff ping...
They should contact the Natives in the Cowichan Valley.
The Cowichan band were taught knitting by Scotish missonaries and the Cowichan Indian sweater is a world wide brand.
Here's a link
If you want a custom made wool sweater the Cowichan is the ticket. I paid $100 for one in 1978 and it was a bargain.
They spin their wool from Scottish sheep and it's nondied natural wool. Their sweaters are collectors items. Even Prince Charles has one.
So if I learn to knit, can I move to one of these northern British islands and make a great life for myself?
Forget it- the article says the knitters are a dying breed.
looks like a nice place to live -
Wasn't this the subject of a movie made about 20 years ago where machines replaced the hand-workers and the accountants still used quill pens?
The scion, heir to the family business but totally unfamiliar with its operation, or even its existence, attempted to do the "right" thing and kept all the unproductive workers on out of the goodness of his heart, or something like that.
I can't knit or crochet for squat. I can needlepoint, cross-stitch, embroider - just can't knit. Would love to learn!
I have several books on Shetland/Fair Isle knitting...I can believe that if there is a better way to make a living, though, people are going to it. Having done some production knitting myself, I can tell you, there are better ways to make your money.
It is true that a lot of the Shetland patterns were done on varying shades of local sheep, instead of dyed wool, which looks nice. Fair Isle, though, does similar patterns with some dyed wool. The stranded effects are usually done in a combination of three shades, which may vary the length of the sweater.
But I particularly like the lacework, being crazed.
LOL! Brought back a happy memory...#3 son was small when we had our Shetland Sheepdog. He had just come home from the carnival where he'd had a ride on a Shetland pony. He was very thoughtful, then said, "I think I'd like to go to the Shetland Islands." (He knew about them because I am a handspinner and knitter)
When we asked him why, he said, "I'd just like to get a look at the people..."
Thread on Shetland knitting!
19 hours of midsummer daylight
138 sandy beaches
567 square miles of islands
639 miles of good roads
900 amazing miles of coastline
6,080 archaeological sites
7,000 years of history
Come up and see us all - sometime soon
my gosh, my back aches just looking at the pic!
How did you learn? My mother tried to teach me (she's one of those who can knit without looking at her hands), and pronounced me untrainable after two solid weekend days of her best attempts.
Someone should get that woman a circular knitting needle (I use them for everything.)
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