Shetland Teas in the South this Sunday…

One of the highlights of Shetland Wool Week is the Sunday Teas with the Shetland Guild of Spinners, Knitters, Weavers and Dyers.

Shetland Teas!
Shetland Teas!

Sunday Teas are something of an institution in Shetland and are held all through the summer months on Sundays in community halls throughout the isles, often to raise money for the hall or for charity. These teas can be attended by anyone and there is always an amazing spread of home-baked treats including cakes, breads, scones, biscuits, sandwiches and other tasty fare… plus lots of tea and coffee. There are nice big tables at which you can sit and chat, and opportunities to see local crafts and produce.

I always come away with a full heart and tummy, feeling massively inspired. You can see some of the best knitting you will ever see in your life at the Sunday Teas, but it’s relaxed and friendly and everyone is smiling and asking each other “are you having a good Wool Week?”

Kathleen Anderson explains lace
Kathleen Anderson explains lace

I am always blown away by Kathleen Anderson’s Lace…

Kathleen Anderson's amazing lace
Kathleen Anderson’s amazing lace

…and the Fair Isle Knitting is a feast for the eyes.

Fair Isle Knitting worked by members of The Shetland Guild
Fair Isle Knitting worked by members of The Shetland Guild
Outi Kater's Glorious Fair Isle Knitting
Outi Kater’s Glorious Fair Isle Knitting
Hazel Tindall's Magnificent Fair Isle
Hazel Tindall’s Magnificent Fair Isle

Each year at the teas, I especially enjoy seeing how members of the Guild have risen to Jamieson & Smith‘s Colourbox Challenge. In this contest J&S select 8 yarn shades of which knitters must use a minimum of 4, in any combination at all, in a knitted project. The entrants are judged at the different regional shows throughout Shetland but if you weren’t in Shetland to see them all there, the Sunday Teas are a good place to see some examples. (I am sorry but I forgot to note down the name of that beautiful tam’s creator…)

J&S Colourbox Competition Colours, 2014
J&S Colourbox Competition Colours, 2014
Colourbox Challenge Hat
Colourbox Challenge Hat
Linda Shearer's Colourbox Challenge Yoke Sweater
Linda Shearer’s Colourbox Challenge Yoke Sweater
Hazel Tindall's Colourbox Challenge Allover
Hazel Tindall’s Colourbox Challenge Allover

I love seeing the variety of ways in which knitters put the yarn shades to us!

Last year at the end of Shetland Wool Week, feeling sad about having to head home, I vowed to try and bring some of the magic of Shetland home with me. I live 800 miles South of Shetland, in Reading, so it’s a bit of a stretch, but I always try to bring back the inspiration I’ve found in Shetland when I return home after Wool Week.

Purlescence is much nearer, and they are my closest outpost of wondrous Shetland yarns; they are not far from me, and so I asked my friends Sarah and Jonathan whether they might consider hosting a tea this Sunday, inspired by the amazing Shetland Teas.

Sarah and Jonathan went to Shetland earlier this year and I think they found they love it there as much as I do. They are also stockists of Jamieson & Smith yarn along with many other glorious and tempting yarns, and they have a beautiful space which Sarah has filled with gorgeous samples made from the patterns and yarns they carry.

Purlescence - the palace of dreams
Purlescence – the palace of dreams

When I’ve taught at Purlescence I’ve always appreciated the warm and friendly atmosphere, and the standard of the cakes which are, I think, often baked by Sarah and by Jonathan’s mother.


We thought that to end my Shetland Wool Week in the South celebrations, it might be nice to bring together some of the elements of the Shetland Teas – appreciation for other people’s work; tasty home-baking; a relaxed and friendly gathering of comrades bonding over teas; and a love for Shetland knitwear. I am going to try my hand at baking bannocks, because I have never forgotten the delicious ones given to me by Donna when I visited her just after last year’s Shetland Wool Week.


You are very warmly invited to come and we hope to see you there! You’re welcome to join in with the bakefest and the knitting and crochet display if you so wish; The Sunday Tea is a great opportunity for anyone working on the #knitsonikmittsalong to compare progress and we are setting up a temporary display of knitting so that everyone can see and appreciate and admire each others’ work. Knitters make such beautiful things, and the Shetland Guild Sunday Teas have really impressed upon me how wonderful it is to put it on show so that everyone can see and admire it. All the info is below; please leave a comment if you are planning to come and join us in the KNITSONIK and Glamorous Knitting Groups on Ravelry if you’d like to co-ordinate on baking efforts!

See you there?

Shetland-themed Sunday Tea
Sunday 2nd Oct 13:00–16:00

Unit 4 Firs Farm
RG20 8RD

Knitting and Crochet Display
If you’d like to contribute to the display, please bring your Shetland-inspired knitting, your Shetland wool projects or things you knit or made in or about Shetland, or with Shetland wool…

The Spread
If you’d like to try your hand at baking something Shetland inspired, you are most welcome! Let us know, so we can make sure there’s a nice even spread of sweet and savoury 🙂 bakes don’t have to be Shetland themed, but I am using this as an opportunity to make bannocks…

Tell your friends
The idea is for us to have a lovely time hanging out with friends, sharing tales of Shetland, drinking tea, knitting, and being surrounded by glorious, inspiring work and beautiful yarn… please bring your friends if you think they will enjoy this…

1 thought on “Shetland Teas in the South this Sunday…

  1. A Shetland tea sounds lovely, sadly you’re a bit far away for me to turn up but hope you all have a wonderful time at Purlescence…. if we lived closer then I’d have brought along a Suffolk Harvest Cake, it’s a bit like a fruit cake but made with lighter sugars and tends to have more citrus flavour, I use the same recipe my mum learnt as a young girl…..the other cake I like to make is a Sunday Apple cake…my boyfriend asures me the best version after tinkering was the recipe I’ve linked to below….

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