Shetland Days 5/6

by Stuart And Barbara Robertson May. 04, 2017 540 views

Yesterday we went to Sandness, a small community near where we are staying. They have the last large woolen mill on the islands making commercial wool from local sheep. This large carder is cleaning the fiber before it is spun

Large cones of spun wool, single colours

Large machine for processing the wool

This lady is preparing smaller cones of wool on this mechanical swift. The loop of yarn is called a skein

This machine was making 12 ply yarn of a mix of colours, coming from the cones along the bottom row. From one blue cone to the next is all the wool going into one strand of yarn.

The left field has heather and the right field has been trested with lye to kill the heather. Then the field is plowed and sewen with grass. This system is now out of favour as so much natural vegetation was lost.

Peat is still being cut and used for fuel for fires in the long winters here

It is stacked atop the space from where it was cut

And piled up for the summer to dry completetly. My uncle remembered cutting peat on his school holidays when he went to visit his great grandfather up the glen (valley) near Aberdeen

Driving on the back roads here can be a challenge. They are usually single lane with passing places, but often sheep are a driving hazard, although they are used to cars and do get off the road eventually.  Ponies also are on the roads at times, especially in the northern islands.  And don't forget the wonderful scenery.

Went riding yesterday near Scalloway on the west side of the main island. These are Icelandic horses, small but sturdy. We have not seen many riding horses at all on the islands

These small horse are sturdy and can support even my weight

We rode up onto a high hill on the west side of the island. A fishing boat below

Looking west towards the North Atlantic

The far hills are on the east side of the islands. You get almost a 360 degree view of the main island from this point

And heading south. The tall hill in the distance is Sumburgh Head where we were a few days ago and saw puffins  This  is the southernmost point of the island.

The horse is in training and so is the rider!

Half way back to the stable, at the house below. You get some idea of how high we climbed

Shetland ponies are so cute

Many stone ruins about the islands

Scalloway, a fishing centre. This was the harbour of the famous Shetland Bus, the espionage sea route to Norway during WW2.  Supplies, arms and spies out, refugees back

Fishing and sail boats on the loch

Colourful houses along the sea front. Scalloway is an interesting town

Lone abandoned houses down by the shore. Rather desolate

Small collection of well maintained homes on our route back to our croft

The view from the front door of our croft. Tomorrow we leave here and fly back to Edinburgh, then spend a few days in the Borders area (also called the Lowlands) south of the city

Sun breaking through the clouds in early morning light. Sad to leave but on the our next adventure

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There are 4 comments , add yours!
Stephanie 3 years, 8 months ago

Love the colours of the scenery and the wools!

3 years, 8 months ago Edited
Stuart And Barbara Robertson Replied to Stephanie 3 years, 8 months ago

Yes, that was one of the main attractions. My wife is a spinner, so we went seeking fleece. But certainly got to enjoy the scenery too. Thanks

3 years, 8 months ago Edited
Elisabeth Kaufmann 3 years, 8 months ago

Did you see my eyes lighten up? Love those views (and of course the mill!).

3 years, 8 months ago Edited
Stuart And Barbara Robertson Replied to Elisabeth Kaufmann 3 years, 8 months ago

Saw the sparkle from here! Barbara was in heaven. Going to another mill tomorrow we hope

3 years, 8 months ago Edited