The Spirit of Shetland Knitting Holiday

Prices from £1,549


7 Sep 2017 - 12 Sep 2017
Duration: 5 nights
Ref: 17062
With: Hazel Tindall, Kathleen Anderson


Prices from £1,549
Single Supplement: £199
Deposit: £250

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Join us on a fabulous textile infused journey of discovery on this 6 day knitting holiday to the breath-taking Shetland Islands whose past is interwoven with a rich history of wool, textiles and inimitable Fair Isle technique. Draw knitting inspiration from the powerful landscapes and coastlines and their diverse colour pallet, which provides the perfect natural backdrop to your creative pastime. Learn how the world-famous Shetland wool is woven into yarn and transformed into beautiful hand-crafted items by the local crafts people.

This is a wonderful opportunity to explore and learn about this beautiful part of Scotland under the professional guidance of the 'World's Fastest Knitter' Hazel Tindall and the ever-talented Kathleen Anderson and enjoy workshops, with like-minded knitters who share your passion for knitting. During your trip you will enjoy 4 workshops, learning traditional Shetland Fair Isle and lace knitting techniques with Hazel and Kathleen, and where better to learn about this trademark style then in the very place of their origin.

We have carefully selected the cosy atmosphere of the Lerwick Hotel especially for your comfort and enjoyment. It is here that Hazel and Kathleen will host inspirational workshops on traditional Fair Isle techniques and lace-knitting that are sure to help create wonderful memories of your time on the Shetland Islands!


Scattered between the Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea lay the Shetland Islands, a place of rugged splendour and a fascinating fusion of Scottish and Norse culture. This blend of powerful natural landscapes and inimitable crafting techniques give the Shetland Islands a strong identity and heritage, which you are sure to sense from your time spent here. Large rolling fields and vast beaches provide an abundance of open space for your creativity to flourish, alongside the convenience of being located on the ‘mainland’ for ease of amenities and community spirit!

The time-old tradition of textiles in the Shetland Islands can be traced back as far as 800BC, meaning that it is interwoven to the fabric of everyday life on the island and the people who inhabit it. This trade and skill have influenced the culture and economy of the island enormously, and you will surely find it fascinating to visit a place so impacted by this wonderful craft. Due to the inspiring visits planned for you, such as trips to an authentic wool merchant’s, historic textile collections and meetings with current Shetland craftsmen and women - you and your fellow knitters will get a true sense of all that this beautiful corner of the world has to offer.


After independent travel to Edinburgh Airport, you will meet your Tour Manager for the afternoon Logan Air flight to Sumburgh Airport (Shetland Islands). If you would like us to arrange flights from your local airport to Edinburgh please call us on 01473 660800 for a quote.

On arrival you will board the coach for a visit to Sumburgh Head RSPB Reserve, to see if you can catch a glimpse of the puffins before heading to the islands’ capital of Lerwick. Check-in to The Lerwick Hotel with free time to settle in before dinner in the hotel meet your tutors Hazel Tindall and Kathleen Anderson and talk about the days ahead!


Breakfast will be served daily in the hotel. This morning visit The Shetland Museum & Archives in Lerwick where you will have a guided tour of the Textile Gallery at the Museum. This is followed by a short drive to the Shetland Textile Museum before returning to the hotel. After free time for lunch enjoy your first Knitting workshop in the hotel with local tutor, Hazel Tindall. Hazel has been knitting for over 50 years and is passionate about continuing the long tradition of knitting on The Shetland Islands. She is even currently involved with local project, ShetlandPeerieMakkers, helping to sustain Shetland's knitting culture for future generations. Hazel will be designing a project for you based on her extensive knowledge and experience in Fair Isle knitting. This evening you will have dinner in the hotel.


After breakfast Hazel Tindall will hold her second workshop at the hotel. This afternoon we will drive to ‘Shetland Designer’ to see the unique knitwear designs of Wilma Malcolmson - one of Shetland’s foremost knitwear designers and manufacturers. Continue then to Hoswick to visit the Visitor Centre to view the textile machinery exhibits and a chance to visit local designer Niela Kalra’s shop; Nielanell. Her knitwear designs are vibrant and contemporary and you will have time to browse through the yarn and stylish collections. Return to Lerwick in the late afternoon and dinner this evening will be served in the hotel.


Following breakfast this morning join Kathleen Anderson for her first workshop. Kathleen is from a family of experienced shawl knitters and during her workshops you will investigate the elements of shawl construction - lace edges, picking up, knitting on, finishing and grafting. Kathleen will create a project for you to enjoy!

This afternoon we head off to visit Uradale Farm which rears organic Native Shetland Sheep. We include a light lunch of soup and ‘bannocks’ before the chance to look through fleeces in a wide range of wonderful natural colours, and enjoy a talk about what farming and crofting life in the Shetland Islands is really like. Travel then to Sandness Mill, Shetland's only spinning mill, where you will enjoy a guided tour of Jamieson's of Shetland. You will see the full process – grading, scouring, dyeing, carding, spinning, weaving, twisting, balling, knitting and linking. From fleece to garment all under one roof. You will return to the hotel in time for dinner.


Breakfast will be served in the hotel after which Kathleen Anderson will join us again for her second workshop in the hotel. We have left some free time on your last afternoon to explore Lerwick under your own steam and the chance to buy some local yarns and gifts. Return to the hotel in time for your farewell dinner in the hotel.


After breakfast this morning you will board the coach for the return transfer to Sumburgh Airport to check-in for the late morning Logan Air flight to Edinburgh Airport.


  • Return flights Edinburgh – Sumburgh (Shetland Islands)
  • 5 nights at the Hotel Lerwick on a half-board basis
  • 2 x workshops with Hazel Tindall
  • 2 x workshops with Kathleen Anderson
  • Yarn Kit
  • All visits as detailed in the Itinerary
  • Coach transfers throughout
  • The services of an experienced Arena Travel Tour Manager

Not Included

Travel to/from Edinburgh; drinks, meals other than those specified; travel insurance; and any personal expenses e.g. phone calls, laundry etc.


If you would like us to arrange a domestic flight from your local airport to Edinburgh, please call our friendly reservations team on 01473 660800 - they will be pleased to provide you with a quote.


Why not bring a non-crafting partner with you?
If a non-crafting family member or friend wishes to accompany you on any of our holidays, and is sharing a room with you, then the following reductions will apply to the price the non-crafter pays:
Europe - £50


Stitchtopia Holidays are designed with all crafters in mind, wherever you live in the world! If you would like to make your own flight arrangements and meet us at our first hotel, please let us know - we would love to tell you more about our “meet us there” holiday discounts.


For single travellers who are interested in our trips, but don’t have a friend able to come with them why not join our "Stitch Together" programme to help with the costs of a single occupancy room? We have designed a way for you to find someone to share a room with on any of our Stitchtopia Holidays.

Find out more about our "Stitch Together"programme >>

The Lerwick Hotel

Nestled comfortably beside the stunning Shetland shoreline, the Lerwick Hotel is the perfect location to enjoy the bounties of the island's natural habitat yet also the charming amenities of the local town. A glance out of your hotel's sea facing windows will greet you with awe-inspiring views of the Berwick Bay, yet in no more than 10 minutes you will find yourself in the bustling town centre with its charming selection of local shops.


All rooms are en-suite and are well-appointed with modern furnishings. Some enjoy spectacular views over Berwick Bay and all rooms offer the following:

  • Flat-screen TV with satellite channels
  • DVD player
  • Direct dial telephone
  • Wi-Fi available. Charges may apply
  • Tea and coffee making facilities
  • Hairdryer
  • 24-hour room service.


Guests' comfort is of the utmost importance at the Lerwick Hotel, which operates a 24-hour reception desk and bar service, and also 24-hour room service. Testament to the hotels' standing is the local appreciation for the Hotel - as it proves to be a popular spot for guests old and new!

The comfortable Club Lounge is a great place to grab a relaxing coffee or chat amongst other members of the group. There is also great cuisine on offer at the Bay Brasserie infused with local ingredients and of course catches fresh from the bay itself.

*Please note that facilities and details are correct when published 10/01/2017