Updated: Jun 28, 2022
It's turning out to be a beautiful Summer here in Stonehaven. You can imagine crafty folks working away on light cotton tops or dreamy lace weight shawls... But, right now, all around the world, knitters of all gender, age and ability are furiously knitting the newly released Bonnie Isles Hat!
Linda Shearer, the 2022 Shetland Wool Week Patron and designer of The Bonnie Isle Hat has lived her whole life on Whalsay which is known in Shetland as the Bonnie Isle. The following quote beautiful explains the significance of each of the design elements used within the pattern.
“Living on an island means the sea is ever present in our lives. All the men in my family have worked on or near the sea. But although the ‘Bonnie Isle’ hat has a nautical theme, the patterns mean much more. The chain in the rib represents the link between us all during Shetland Wool Week; and the anchor, a common motif in Fair Isle knitting, symbolises a sense of keeping grounded, connected to what matters most, and able to cope with life’s challenges. The crown, a circle, is to me a spinning wheel and a tribute to my mother Ina Irvine. A prolific spinner and knitter, she was my inspiration.”
- words by Linda Shearer
Linda's words can be found alongside the full blog post on the official Shetland Wool Week website, a short and lovely read.
A Gallery of Shetland Wool Week Hats, 2014-2022
In total, there are now nine SWW hats. Each new hat pattern is available as a free download for the first year of publication, after which time the patterns can be purchased via Ravelry. [Images 1-8 are linked directly to their Ravelry pattern entry.}
You can download The Bonnie Isle Hat right now but please remember any donation made before downloading will be put to very good use and help to keep the event going for years to come. Paper copies and other goodies are also available via the SWW shop here.
Since the 2022 pattern release, I have been busy making Bonnie Isle Hat Kits. In the process, the shop has often resembled a Spindrift colour explosion! Our first collection of kits were 'inspired' by the original colours used in the the official pattern but we decided to name our colourways after North East harbour towns. They have been very popular!
In collaboration with my daughter, Jenny, our second kit collection takes inspiration from her Scottish landscape photography. I love collaborating with Jenny and choosing colours inspired by her work. This may well turn out to be my favourite task of the year!
Unlike previous years, we intend to keep a selection of Bonnie Isle Hat kits available, all year round, in the shop and on the website. And, we shall keep things fresh by updating the existing colourways as new stock arrives.
If you are inspired to cast on and interested in joining a Bonnie Isles Hat Knit-a-Long?
You will find an official Facebook group actively knitting as we speak!
Would you like to learn more about Shetland Wool Week and how it all began back in 2010?
For an inspiring read, check out this excellent blog post from Shetland Wool Adventures -
Well, that wraps things up for another day folks. But I do like to leave you with a smile!