A month ago we shared with you some pictures of Gracie Arthur and Cathie Simpson’s hand knitted Harriet’s Hats, kindly modelled by Allan Tulloch at Fernlea in Whalsay. They were so keen to carry on knitting for us that we sent up a batch of yarn along with Harriet’s Headband patterns which had only just been published.
We were so grateful for their support that we said we’d go and visit them some day to say thank you, and today we did just that. It was arranged at short notice because sadly Donna Polson, who originally contacted us to set it all up, has left her post to take up a new one. We were keen to see her with them before she moves on. Good news though, the Fernlea Maakers (as we’re affectionately calling them), have asked for more yarn having run out of what we sent. So while Donna might be sharing her compassion more widely around the isles, the now expanded team at Fernlea will still be helping us out.
As you can see, Gracie Fowler and Alice Pottinger joined Cathie and Gracie, between them using up the yarn we sent, and have since been using up their own stash. It trully is quite a stash and we’re thrilled that it’s brought them such enjoyment. Allan has decided that while his role as model is an important one, he would like to help out a little more so he’s going to be making them up their name labels in future!
We had a lovely light-some afternoon with them, hearing all their stories, while they asked with interest how the MRI Maakers fundraising was going and about the Shetland MRI Scanner appeal more broadly. They’d even had their lunch a little earlier than usual to accommodate us coming!
There’s no substitute for experience, and with Harriet working on a pattern for gloves, she listened intently to how the finger stitches on these gloves Cathie made had been divided up. We’ll be adding them to the online store along with the rest of their finished knitwear over the weekend. You’ll have to be quick if you want them though, we don’t expect them to last long. The last pair of fair isle gloves we added sold in under 15 minutes!
We hope they all enjoyed their afternoon with us as much as we did musing with them over tea and biscuits. For us it captured perfectly the coming together of everyone from all earths, all working toward a common cause.
After leaving Fernlea we went to the Shoard charity shop and bought some dish clothes. Cathie has been collecting them for over 40 years, but she’s donated them to the shop to sell with the funds going to the MRI Scanner appeal. As Allan says, everyone can do something to help towards something that will benefit us all.
We’ve been busy since we got back to Lerwick making another package ready to send up to them in the morning. So grateful that they’re keen to carry on, and to everyone at Fernlea making it possible for them to help us. Hopefully we can pop across on the ferry again some day if they’ll have us, but until then, thank you Fernlea Maakers. You’re an inspiration to many near and far.