Monday, 19 November 2012


Wovember isn't recognised as a word by spell checker but perhaps in the future it might be. It is in its second year and celebrates all things wool related. 

Last year the focus was on the labelling of clothes that were made of wool blended with other fibres or in some cases garments that contained no wool at all but were described as wool or woollen. I don't know whether it is my imagination or perhaps wishful thinking but it seems that this is happening less now. I have noticed more garments labelled wool-blend or contains wool.

This year the focus is on the process of growing the wool from looking after lambs and sheep, through shearing and then processing the fleece into wool for knitting, weaving etc.

There are lots of articles on the Wovember blog. I particularly like the post about the Newbury Coat. Newbury is near here and last year I watched the sheep being shorn and saw all the spinners working away in the Corn Exchange. So many different skills and processes making the coat in just over 14 hours from the start of sheep shearing.

Wool is often considered to be expensive compared to artificial fibres but considering all the stages it goes through, it is very good value for money. In addition, when it is looked after carefully wool lasts for a very long time, a well loved hand-knitted jumper can be worn for years and years - or is that just me! I easily feel cold in the winter so I am a big fan of all things woollen. The Wovember badge in the side bar links to the Wovember blog.

The photographs in this post were taken on my recent trip to Shetland. I did try take some pictures of the  different coloured sheep that produce fleece and wool of wonderful soft natural colours but these sheep were camera shy, not their best view.

The ones in the photograph below were happy to pose for the camera. 

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Autumn trees

I'm back at home from our holiday in Shetland. After spending a week in the relatively tree-free islands, the colours of the foliage in the local woods seems all the more striking.

Some of the trees have lost leaves but there were still plenty to photograph on an early evening walk. This season the beech trees are my favourite, the yellows and golds seemed to glow even as the light began to fade on a still autumn evening.

It has been a gentle weekend as we edge back into our normal routines.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Shetland photographs - beaches

As I have mentioned before I love spending time at the coast and in Shetland there are so many beautiful beaches.

These are photographs from the past few days. The weather has been calm and sunny, it certainly doesn't look and feel like November.

Just one day of our holiday left, as always it will be hard to leave.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Shetland photographs - Lerwick

We arrived for our holiday in Shetland yesterday and I was very happy to wander around with my camera. We are staying in Lerwick, the main town. The population of all the Shetland Islands is 22,500 with about one third living in Lerwick.

There have been a few changes since we were last here three years ago. The new building below is the cinema complex, a stunning building.

At home we are well over an hour away from the nearest beach so I really like the fact that in Shetland you are never further than three miles away from the sea. The museum in the photograph below has a cafe with a great view of the harbour.

More boats in the small boat harbour

and even a tiny beach right in the centre of town.

I think I would like to live this close to the sea.