£500,000 Raised In Total, Norway Event Tomorrow, Morehouse KAL Continues

Having looked at the overall Shetland MRI Scanner Appeal totaliser, we knew once the weekends funds had been added it would break through the half a million pound mark. We also knew there was much more than what we’d raised at the craft fair ourselves being put into the pot too. The most recent surge in fundraising means it didn’t just tiptoe over the line but went over by several thousand pounds.

It’s no one big donation by a wealthy philanthropist, it’s a great many people all putting in what they can. What this means is, not only has the appeal raised well over £500,000, but the community as a whole has conclusively demonstrated just how much it wants and needs a scanner here in Shetland.

No one now is sitting back thinking they can pass the baton on to someone else. The MRI Maakers meet again this Thursday as normal, plans to attend various other craft fairs are being made, and stock will be added once again to this site’s online store. The Fernlea Maakers have been in touch, they’ve yet another box of finished items to send down and need more yarn. They’ll make fantastic Christmas presents. Talking of Christmas presents, we hear that a great many have been sending knitted baubles to Jamieson’s of Shetland rallying to their call, so we’ll have those to sell in due course when they’re finished with them. And those are just the efforts being made/organised locally in connection with the MRI Maakers. Billy O’ Middle Toon will continue to share news of any MRI Scanner Appeal fundraising he comes across, he’s no where near tired yet. He’ll also share the link to our GoFundMe page periodically too.

Tomorrow night in Oppdal, Norway, the knitting event organised by Margaret Langø will get underway at 7pm. At the same time the Harriet’s Cowl pattern will be released in Norwegian, which she’s kindly translated for us as she has several other patterns. The Norwegian translations have already raised hundreds of pounds for us and we really hope their event is as much of a success given how much work they’ve all been doing to organise it.

Meanwhile, across the water in the complete opposite direction the Morehouse Farm knit along, featuring the opportunity to knit any of the 6 patterns continues. The focus this time is on the gloves, mittens and cowl, but everyone is welcome to knit along with the hat or headband if they haven’t yet. The Unit hints, tips and tutorials remain available on the facebook group regardless how long it takes you. Only this morning Erin Pirro posted a video clip highlighting why we need the MRI Scanner here as she took a ferry home herself, from Washington State!

This isn’t an exhaustive list of MRI Maaker related things happening either, and nor does it include the many, many, other things, being done by the many other people who all desperately want to see the target reached as soon as possible.

Today is a big day, and marks a big milestone, but tomorrow we carry on. As always, ever grateful for the help and support we’re getting from everyone wherever in the world you may be. Thank you.

Shetland Craft Fair Nudges Total Raised Over £66000

Back in May when the MRI Maakers first started meeting and the Harriet’s Hat pattern had just been launched, just 6 months ago, we thought gathering enough finished items together in time for the Shetland Craft Fair was just about doable. It was ultimately our initial goal.

Since then, we’ve been overwhelmed with support both in terms of the regular MRI Maaker volunteers knitting and one of donations of things for us to sell. All hand made by people keen to support our cause and for there to be an MRI Scanner here in Shetland. So much so, we’ve managed to sell online worldwide, survive Shetland Wool Week, manage a smaller scale display at Loch Ness Knit Fest and still have more than enough for the Craft Fair we set out to attend in the first place.

The weekend got off to a great start on Friday night after setting up during the afternoon and early evening. We didn’t expect too much of the opening, being just two hours, but were kept pretty busy. We also got the chance to check out the stalls around about us a bit. Immediately behind the display pictured here was WidWark, who were raffling a yarn bowl, donating the money to the Scanner Appeal too. They’d invited one of us to draw the raffle later so we signed up Billy O’ Middle Toon for that.

On Saturday, which was even busier, Gemma Graham, who was just across from us with her incredibly detailed artwork came over. She’d made lovely Christmas Cards with intricate gold designs on white card and seeing what we were raising money for generously decided to donate the full price of each one sold to us.

Gemma’s cards weren’t the only cards raising funds for the Scanner Appeal either. Throughout the weekend we were joined by various people from the volunteers group who were selling packs of cards which were being sold from our table too. That’s a separate fundraising venture for the overall scanner appeal but it was great to see them doing so well too.

Meanwhile, up in the Bowls Hall, Sophie Whitehead from Shetland Jewellery, was there selling amongst their entire range, the Fara Pendant in the MRI Colours launched during Shetland Wool Week. They donate 20% of each on sold to the appeal too.

With all of that going on, we’re sure the Shetland Craft Fair has given the scanner appeal a great boost over the weekend. Our stall certainly did well and we’re glad so many of our MRI Maakers were able to share out stints at manning it so everyone could get a break now and then. I’m sure it’s also good for them to see their efforts over several months coming to fruition and see first hand how much interest and support they have first hand. Without them there would be nothing to sell at these events and while sometimes it’s easy to see how much the patterns have raised, the knitted items account for a considerable portion of what the MRI Maakers have contributed to the overall fund so far.

Sunday was a little quieter, and more relaxed overall with a busy period here and there but still very much worthwhile. Billy O’ Middle Toon drew the raffle for WidWark, having been quite mischievous over the rest of the weekend. He’s attracting a bit of a following it seems and has revelled in the photo requests. There’s definitely more to come from him but for now he’s having a well earned rest.

Ontop of the full range of patterns we were selling there was an abundance of knitwear being sold, so much so that despite how well we’ve done it hardly seems like we’ve put a dent in it carting the boxes back into the house. We’ll be adding the remaining stock to the website over the next couple of weeks for all those who have been asking. They’ll make great Christmas presents wherever in the world you are so we’re keen to make it available in plenty of time to allow for shipping. There are Harriet’s Hats, Harriet’s Headbands and a scarf available now, with the rest to follow shortly.

We also had a small raffle of our own going on throughout the event, and along with that, the patterns and finished items we raised £2552 which is absolutely incredible. That includes the £70 raised by Gemma’s cards but not the WidWark Raffle or the MRI Scanner Appeal Christmas Card packs which are both separate.

Over the course of the weekend, we also had a lot of support from the Sheltie Knitters who were on another neighbouring stall. They donated a couple of garments for us to sell, along with one for a raffle prize and bought half of the hats which weren’t nailed down. So we invited them, along with Gemma and Kathleen Carolan (Director of Nursing and Acute Services NHS Shetland) to help draw the raffle. The pictures I’m afraid didn’t come too great being done quite hurriedly before tidying up, but we’ve added them here in a gallery below for prosperity anyway. We’ll be contacting the lucky winners through the week to arrange delivery of their prizes.

Those who visited the stall to support us raising over £2500 now puts the total raised by the MRI Maakers for the appeal at £66230. Once again we can’t thank everyone enough for their support. Whether they’re a knitter, one of the many who buy from us, a supporting store/vendor or play any part at all in making what we’ve achieved so far possible, it truly is appreciated. Thank you all.

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People Tell MRI Maakers Why They Support Us

You know, no matter where we go, no matter what the event, we’re always hearing yet more, often emotional, reasons why people support us. Whether it’s people from all over the world at Shetland Wool Week/Loch Ness Knit Fest, mostly local people at local craft fairs like Shetland Craft Fair 2019 – Shetland Arts & Crafts or even people regular or visiting coming to our regular MRI Maakers nights, there’s never a shortage of people with a personal connection.

Everyone either has themselves, or knows someone close who has needed to, have MRI scans. For those living elsewhere, where MRI scanners are readily accessible they can’t imagine having to travel as we do for something so vital and routinely used. For those living here, they know all too well what it’s like.

Only the other day we heard of a young girl/ lady who is of an age she should be out and about exploring what the world has to offer. Her only experience of people deprived of every day medical equipment should be on the news as she watches in sympathy a story about a country less developed than our own. Yet instead, she lives here in Shetland.

She has lots of support certainly, Shetlanders are good at that. And on ‘good’ days she might feel able to travel a couple of miles by car and see friends/family but that’s far from often. Because of ongoing treatment she is often so drained and so low she can’t even muster the energy to see what’s going on in the world on Facebook. And also because of her ongoing treatment she needs to make regular trips for MRI scans, including on the days she wouldn’t feel able to take a 2 minute car trip.

For scan trips, she must drag herself out of bed and get washed and ready, having likely spent the day before packing whether it was one of the better days or not. On days where she can’t face the world from behind a screen she must check in for the plane or ferry amongst other passengers. All before enduring the 200 mile trip on a day she doesn’t feel able to make it to the front door. And of course she has to make it back too, whether it’s one of the better days or not. Family take time off work to travel with her because she’s just not up to it on her own, at their own expense. Her scan most likely takes less than an hour. On a good day, she might feel able for that, but not the rest.

It doesn’t have to be like that, we could have a scanner here. We will have a scanner here!

That’s why so many people, from all over the world have got behind us and the many other people raising money for the Shetland MRI Scanner Appeal. People on the other side of the world, some with 15 scanners less than 5 miles away understand why 200 mile plane and ferry trips is too much, they struggle travelling the short distances by road themselves already. And people here know first hand.

We’ll get a scanner here someday, hopefully soon. But for the patients here today, it won’t come soon enough.

Thanks as always for everyone’s support, the volunteer knitters, and everyone who helps in any way at all. You’re all stars.

All Aboard As Shetland Bus Descendant Gears Up For Knitting Event


It’s been a while since I’ve had the luxury of having enough time to post I’m afraid, yet there’s been and still is much going on. I would have preferred to say more about this sooner, but it simply hasn’t been possible until now. That said, with things in full swing, it’s perhaps now easier to give a better picture of what’s coming up in just over a week.

Most of you will remember our much earlier posts about Margaret Langø from Norway, her connection through the Shetland Bus, and how she’s been translating Harriet’s patterns into Norwegian. She also committed early on to organising a knitting event in support of our efforts to raise funds for the Shetland MRI Scanner Appeal. In the meantime, we’ve had plenty going on ourselves as you know. However Margaret along with some very supportive friends have been beavering away in the background too. Last week Margaret asked if she could get a picture of Harriet and Billy, or maybe perhaps Billy O’ Middle Toon, to promote the event. So we went one better and took one of all three, alongside the Shetland Bus Memorial in Scalloway to reflect the ties which bind us so strongly together.

Before I try to explain what’s being arranged, I’d like to share this link to the event page on facebook – Strikkekafe med moteoppvisning. It gives the times and dates for anyone in Norway who might want to attend but also can be used to ask any questions you might have. Whether you’re able to go or live too far away for that to be possible, if you’re on facebook it would be good if you could follow it and support what they’re doing. They really are putting in a huge amount of effort on our behalf, so please do leave a comment of appreciation if you can. You’ll understand why later I’m sure.

Some of you will maybe remember seeing a short clip of Billy weighing up quantities of yarn, just enough for a hat or headband, as kits were made up ready to be made into finished items. Margaret and her friends have been doing exactly that ahead of the event, making up kits from wool donated by a local yarn store, Husfliden Oppdal. The kit contains a printed copy of the patterns in Norwegian, along with enough yarn (in a variety of colourways) to make it and details of why we need to raise the money.

But this event, hosted by the Oppdal Revmatikerforening, is more than simply an opportunity for knitters to buy a kit. Their members have become very enthusiastic about supporting us and have been knitting finished items ahead of time to feature in a fashion show. Oppdal Revmatikerforening has a motto – sammer er vi sterke – which means Together we are stronger. Certainly a philosophy they remain true to as they extend their support of a good cause, as in history, across the North Sea.

They all seem to be enjoying what they’re doing, and have fallen in love with the patterns. So much so in fact that they’ve asked Margaret if she thinks it’s at all possible to translate the new Harriet’s Cowl pattern into Norwegian in time to launch it at the event! I can tell you she’s been working hard on that, and we’re confident it’ll be ready by the 13th both online, and in print outs on the day.

Ester Hektoen is travelling to Oppdal to support the event, and will be showcasing fashions and offering a discount to event guests which can be used at the Hektoen Womens clothing shop at Tynset later.

Teas, coffees and home bakes will be served throughout the event and anyone who attends also an opportunity to take a bus trip to Ester Hektoen’s shop on Tynset, for everyone who participates in the knitting cafe. There, you can even visit Santa’s house!

It really sounds like an incredible event and we can’t thank Margaret along with everyone else involved enough for setting it all up. Can’t wait to see the pictures, especially of the fashion show. The Harriet’s Collection is getting around this month – more on that later 😉




Loch Ness Knit Fest Success Helps Raise Total To £62,000

As the dust from Shetland Wool Week began to settle, when we found ourselves frantically getting ready for the Loch Ness Knit Fest. The organisers had very kindly covered the cost of Billy going there and provided a stall for Friday and Saturday. Their price? A half hour Q&A session on the main stage at 3:30 on Saturday.

Hazel Tindal and Elizabeth Johnston, who were tutors at the event, weren’t so lucky. Billly arrived there only a little later than planned with Billy O’ Middle Toon in tow. They however had their Wednesday flight cancelled due to weather, had to take the overnight ferry instead and get a taxi to Inverness from Aberdeen in order to make it there in time. It was this massively expensive for them. However, it was a poignant reminder that in the case of an MRI patient, their scan appointment would often be set back several weeks in similar situations.

Loch Ness Knit Fest had everything ready for us, including our delivery of the new Harriet’s Cowl patterns. We’d arranged for the printers to deliver to them directly since it was still being finished during Shetland Wool Week leaving only a few days to ready the pattern itself. Really they couldn’t have been more helpful, and their support both prior to and during is trully appreciated.

The benefits the event brought began before their market place even opened. We’d proposed releasing the Harriet’s Cowl pattern at their event, in part as a thank you for all they’d done. So when on Thursday we shipped 2 stockists bundles of them to the Morehouse Farm in America, it’s fair to say they wouldn’t have been anywhere near ready without a hard to meet deadline. We’d had another pre order of a mixed bundle for Travelling Yarns including the Cowl pattern too. It also meant that on Friday morning as we set up our stall, the online download became available, and the first sales came within minutes of automatically publishing at 8am.

Nancy Hunter had kindly taken some of the MRI Maakers’ finished items, (actually quite a lot) with her earlier, Billy had maxed out his luggage on his flight, so on Friday there was plenty on sale. Here it is all set up and ready to go, thanks to Anne Frost for helping lay it all out before her classes started. With the exception of a much appreciated break Nancy provided between classes, and the half hour slot on the main stage where someone from the Loch Ness Knit fest team covered the stall, this is where Billy spent his 2 days being kept busy. In all, £1220 was raised at the table alone.

I don’t think the half hour Q&A on the main stage went terribly, at the very least people seemed interested and it was a great opportunity to share with new people why we’re doing what we do. It seemed to create a final boost in sales at least, with some who had already bought coming back for more.

John Glen (BeardyChiel Designs) was there too, we’d met him at Shetland Wool Week in the Hub and before the end of the two market days he came over. He wanted to donate some of his yarn to the MRI Maakers, so obviously we had to get a pic. It’s a lovely soft yarn, 50:50 Alpaca:Shetland wool.

Loch Ness Knit Fest lay on a feast on the Friday night, and a concert on the Saturday night when it’s all over bar the singing. It really was a great event, not only for the fundraising opportunity, but the experience as a whole. As with Shetland Wool Week I met people who have been supportive already but in person instead of online, and new people hearing of the scanner appeal for the first time. Like a Nancy from Orkney Tweeds, we’d never met before but she’s been doing a lot for us already.

All in all, when Billy left Shetland the MRI Maakers fundraising total was at a little over £59,000, but now sits at just over £62,000 including the sales at Inverness and the Cowl pattern sales which wouldn’t be happening without it. We’re very pleased and grateful for the benefits Loch Ness Knit Fest has brought, along with the experience the organisers provided. Thank you.

Oh, and Billy O’ Middle Toon found Nessie on day 1, they seemed to get on 🙂

Jamieson’s Of Shetland Bauble Appeal Gathers Pace

I was hoping to get something posted about this while I was at the Loch Ness Knit Fest(more on that later), however I simply never had chance and internet at the same time.

Many of you will have heard through Jamieson’s of Shetland social media accounts that they’re appealing for knitted baubles for their seasonal window display, they always come up with something eyecatching for their shop front. This one promises to be just as special, and one you can all be a part of. They’re appealing for knitters of the world to send knitted baubles which they’ll craft their masterpiece with, and in January they’ll hand them over to us to sell in aid of the Scanner appeal. We think it’s an idea that truly captures the spirit of Christmas and if the likes and shares are anything to go by, so do many others.

Likes and shares however do not a window make, so it’s important these lovely baubles get made and sent too. Who makes just one bauble anyway? They’re perfect for using up all your spare yarns that aren’t much use for anything else 😉.

I’m including a copy of their Facebook post below because it includes a free pattern you can use for shaping. Please do send in as many as you can. Who knows, if they get too many for their window we might even be able to start selling any duplicates before January for anyone who wants to add a little MRI Christmas to their tree this year!

EDIT: free patterns on https://www.maryannstephens.com/free-patterns
🎄🎄Would you like to knit or crochet us a Christmas Bauble?? Would you like to be part of our Christmas Window while helping the @mrimaakers appeal? We are looking for kind donations of knitted Christmas baubles to put in our festive windows over November & December. In January we will hand them over to the @mrimaakers to sell online. We are looking for as many different designs and creations of baubles from as many different places as possible. We’d love to receive baubles by mid November so there isn’t much time!! All baubles to be sent to our shop; Jamieson’s of Shetland, Commercial St, Lerwick. Please repost, share and tweet. Thank you! 🎄🎄#jamiesonsofshetland

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Harriet’s Cowl Chart Correction

It’s been an intense and busy few weeks for the MRI Maakers, with Shetland Wool Week, along with the build up to it, and then of course Loch Ness Knit Fest right on the back of it. For SWW we launched the Harriet’s Mitten Pattern, and despite the Cowl still being finished during it, we managed, somehow, to get hard copies of the Harriet’s Cowl Pattern printed and sent directly to Loch Ness Knit Fest just in time.

Chart B Correction

While checking over the pattern file before sending it to print, it was noticed that the diamonds created with Chart B wouldn’t line up with elements of Charts C and D as intended. So we had to quickly shift all the columns across by one. Unfortunately, the dot you see in the middle of each diamond in the finished cowl didn’t copy across properly. Column 1 of Row 6 should be Yarn B as shown in this corrected chart.

We have been correcting hard copies as they’re sold by hand since the mistake was noticed, and have updated the pdf file for all future downloads. Anyone who has bought the pattern as a download, should in theory be able to use the link provided in the confirmation email to download an updated copy. However, anyone who purchased a hard copy before the correction was made should correct their Chart B as shown above. You could always miss the Yarn B dot in the diamond’s centre if you wish, but this would leave a 7 stitch float with isn’t ideal.

Obviously we’re sorry for the inconvenience but hope this update finds you before you reach that point in your knit.

Thanks as always for your continued support, we’re delighted there’s so much interest in this pattern despite this slight initial error.

Billy O’ Middle Toon Winner Donates Bear To Raise More

Shetland Wool Week was incredibly successful for the MRI Maakers, not least because our main raffle drew in almost £3000. There were many very generously donated prizes, and while many had several they’d have loved to win, due to his particularly unique nature, Billy O’ Middle Toon encouraged significant ticket sales. The bear crafted by Wendy Inkster of Burra Bears was made entirely out of Harriet’s Hats from all around Shetland, and his name had been picked previously in an online vote.

Linda Jackson, from Canada, was the name on the lucky winning ticket drawn during our event held in the Lerwick Town Hall on Thursday 3rd October. Unfortunately she wasn’t at the event to collect him so we arranged to meet up, along with his maker Wendy, after the Makers Market on Saturday at the Anderson High School.

However, while we were waiting for Wendy to arrive, Linda explained that she thought Billy O’ Middle Toon still has much work left to do here. That he can raise more for the MRI Scanner appeal, and perhaps other local causes in future, if he stayed with us. We think it’s a very generous thing to do, something not many would be able to.

Here is Linda, standing next to Wendy, along with Harriet, Victoria Tait of Shetland Wool Week, Billy, and of course Billy O’ Middle Toon Himself.

We’re incredibly grateful to Linda for giving us the opportunity to do even more with this one of a kind Burra Bear and discussed how we’ll put him to work at last night’s MRI Maakers night.

There is much in store for Billy O’ Middle Toon, who will begin highlighting the many efforts to raise funds for Shetland’s very own MRI Scanner in the coming days and weeks. You’ll be able to follow his adventures on his own facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/BillyOMiddleToon/ and he’s even set up his very own twitter account too here – https://twitter.com/middle_toon?s=09

As you can see he hasn’t wasted any time and is working hard already to highlight everything going on to raise funds for the Shetland MRI Scanner Appeal, and more besides. He has a busy few weeks ahead of him already, so please do follow his pages and stay tuned for his forthcoming adventures. He’s a lovable sole with a sense of humour so you never know what he might get up to.

Thanks again to Wendy for making such an adorable Burra Bear for us, Linda for letting us put him to work in a more public way, and to everyone who bought raffle tickets trying to give him a home. But for now at least, he has much to do.

Shetland Wool Week Adds over £15,000 to MRI Maakers Total

Shetland Wool Week has grown considerably from it’s beginnings 10 years ago as Oliver Henry, this year’s SWW patron explained at the opening ceremony last week. At a ticketed opening capped at 500 guest, he recalled speaking to just 30 guests at the first ever ceremony.

One week ago today, we were already benefiting from many of the generous Shetland Wool Weekers who have blessed our shores this year, as Shetland Wool Week organisers gave us a table at the opening. We raised over £1000 for the Shetland MRI Scanner Appeal on that night alone, but the impact of Shetland Wool Week on our fundraising started many weeks earlier.

We sold 150 tickets to our MRI Maakers Event, the majority online long before guests from as far afield as Australia and America even arrived here. Our raffle tickets arrived in time for thousands to sell before Wool Week had even officially begun, with so many eager to win Billy O’ Middle Toon – the Burra Bear made out of Harriet’s Hats from all over Shetland. With so many visitors downloading Harriet’s Hat patterns to knit before they got here, it’s difficult to tell exactly how much impact Wool Week had on our fundraising before it officially got underway, but it’s certainly well over £3000.

During the week, we were given space at the Hub in the Shetland Museum & Archives, both before and after our own special event on Thursday. If you include advance ticket and raffle sales we raised in excess of £5700 from that night alone with £1250 of that collected at the event itself.

One of the highlights of many of our guests was this year’s Guizzer Jarl greeting them at the door and later mingling with them for photos. We’re extremely grateful to John Nicolson and his squad for coming and sharing another unique part of Shetland culture with Wool Weekers from around the globe. For us, it provided a rare opportunity to get this lovely photo of three of this year’s prominent local figures. What other time could you get the founder of MRI Maakers, the Guizer Jarl, and the patron of Shetland Wool Week in one shot?

A particularly special night for the many guests from around 10 different countries, who now have a new found love of Reestit Mutton soup and Bannocks. All this and more in the particularly eye catching venue of the Lerwick Town Hall’s main hall.

After such a busy night, the more relaxed day in the wool week hub was a welcome change in pace for the MRI Maakers who helped out, but not entirely sedate. Both of the yarn suppliers featured on our patterns needed more pattern bundles through the day having already been resupplied earlier in the week. There was also a few last minute preparations for the Makers Market, yet more support and donations from Shetland Wool Weekers, and we even recruited another MRI Maaker who had moved to Shetland just days before.

The MRI Maakers have been gearing up to Shetland Wool Week, essentially from it’s very first night, by making a wide variety of items all crafted using Shetland Wool. So while we had already raised more than we’d anticipated, Saturday’s Maker’s Market was expected to give a substantial boost. It certainly didn’t disappoint!

We had learned in the previous days through hearing it over again from many of wool week’s visitors that many, often return visitors, appreciate our local hospitality immensely and welcome the opportunity to give something back by supporting a local cause. Nevertheless, we didn’t expect anything what we experienced on when the Anderson High School opened it’s doors at 11am. Within mere minutes we’d raised over £1000 with the sale of a beautiful lace shawl someone insisted on paying £400 for, and a single donation of £700 from someone who understandably wishes to remain anonymous. The remainder of the staggering £4463.40 taken in total coming from the sale of patterns and items knitted by our 62 volunteer knitters. We had deliberately not posted the many items made by our Fernlea Maakers on the website so we had them to sell, and it’s a good thing we did! Virtually everything made by them and others of the same generation is now gone, accounting for several hundred pounds of the total raised that day.

Once the initial surge died away a little, which took a couple of hours, we had time to chat more with people at our stall. Many asked if there was a way they could donate directly to us later, so I said I would share a link to our GoFundMe page.

We entered Shetland Wool Week having already raised just over £42k, and now just 1 week later our new total is a breathtaking £58,657! While we did receive in total the incredible amount of £3551 from Marie Wallin from her Meadow Book sales, we’re confident that at least a similar amount had been raised in connection with wool week before it began. There was however another surge in pattern downloads totalling around £1000 so far following the release of an interview of Anne Frost by Kristy Glass. Taking everything into account, we can say we have raised at least £15,500 in connection with Shetland Wool Week which is way beyond anything we could have hoped for.

Wool Week has given us much more than that though. We’ve had the opportunity to meet a great many people in person who have been supporting us from afar, including the first person to cast on her Harriet’s Hat in the knit along organised by the Minnesota Knitters Guild. It truly has been an incredible week, tiring, but incredible.

We would like to thank Victoria Tait and the many people at Shetland Wool Week for supporting us and giving us the opportunity to achieve as much as we have this week. Thanks also to the many, many, people who helped in any way to arrange and host such a successful MRI Maakers event. A special mention must to the makers of the soup and home bakes, and the Voe Bakery for supplying the bannocks, we know people have sought out the recipe so they can make them when they get home. Thanks to John Nicolson and the others of his squad and everyone at the Lerwick Town Hall, in particular Billy. Lastly, but most importantly, we must thank the many extremely generous Shetland Wool Weekers of 2019 for supporting us in such an amazing way. Thank you all, so much!

Here’s a gallery of our Shetland Wool Week, hope you’ve all enjoyed it as much as we have.

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Marie Wallin Cheque For £3200 Brings Maakers Near £50k Total

Tonight, Jamieson’s of Shetland opened late to host a book launch of a book of designs made from their Spindrift range called Meadow by Marie Wallin. The launch which was timed to coincide with Shetland Wool Week also brings with it a very welcome boost for the Shetland MRI Scanner Appeal.

Marie Wallin made contact with the Billy Middleton quite early on in their fundraising efforts pledging to donate £1 from every copy sold. Since then, she has arranged to include a special feature on the appeal, along with what the MRI Maakers have been doing to raise funds for it.

Unfortunately, Marie wasn’t able to be in Shetland for its debut here herself. However, aside from her designs being made from Jamieson’s of Shetland yarn, she has a close relationship with the Jamieson family, in particular Elaine Jamieson. These ties have existed since before the release of one of Marie’s earlier highly successful books – Shetland.

Elaine and Garry Jamieson give cheque to Harriet and Billy Middleton on behalf of Marie Wallin – Photo by Gordon Siegel

In readiness for the book being available, the Jamieson’s had pre-ordered copies, including those to be shipped to their distributor in the USA. These totalled 3200 copies, and the donation by Marie has already been sent to the Scanner Appeal.

Since Marie couldn’t be here herself, and given the close ties, she asked Elaine and Garry Jamieson to hand over the cheque on her behalf. Harriet Middleton and her son Billy received it at their shop on Commercial Street moments before the doors opened to a long queue of eagerly waiting shoppers.

The cheque for £3200 brings the total raised for the Shetland MRI Scanner Appeal through the MRI Maakers close to £50,000. A milestone which is sure to be surpassed in the coming days with Shetland Wool Week in full swing.

Harriet is overwhelmed by the support she and the MRI Maakers have received, from all over the world saying “Not bad for something that began with a peerie toorie.”

Shetland Wool Week have been very supportive of the project, giving them access to the opening night and a space at the Hub in the Shetland Museum and Archives in Da Gaddery. Through it they have brought together people who have been supporting them from afar. Speaking of the atmosphere, Harriet says, “It’s heart warming to see so many people caring for a cause that will make such a big difference to us here in Shetland. They’ve been genuinely interested and keen to support us and it’s so nice to see some in person who have been following what we’re doing on the internet.”

Billy, who has been behind much of the online presence, feels the same. “It’s quite surreal how much support we’ve had, with so many from so far away. Any time we’ve needed help with anything locally, the community have stepped up and helped. So many people here have a personal reason for being behind the fundraising effort. But what sometimes touches you more is how much help is offered by so many with no particular personal reason to, other than simply being nice people and caring. This initial donation from Marie Wallin is a perfect example and we’re extremely grateful to her for everything she’s done.”