The Spirit of Shetland Knitting Holiday

Prices from £1,595


3 Jun 2020 - 29 Jun 2020
Duration: 5 nights departing 3rd or 24th June 2020
Ref: 20005
With: Hazel Tindall, Kathleen Anderson


Prices from £1,595
Single Supplement: £239
Deposit: £250

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24th June Departure: ALL ROOMS NOW SOLD OUT!
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CALL TO BOOK: 01473 660800

Discover the breathtaking Shetland Islands, whose past is interwoven with a rich history of wool, textiles and inimitable Fair Isle technique. On this 6-day holiday draw knitting inspiration from the coastlines and powerful landscapes, whose diverse colour pallet provides the perfect backdrop to your creative pastime. Learn how the world-famous Shetland wool is farmed, woven into yarn and then transformed by the locals into beautiful hand-crafted items. In the company of like-minded knitters, who share your passion for knitting, enjoy four half-day workshops. Under the professional guidance of the 'World's Fastest Knitter' Hazel Tindall, and the ever-talented Kathleen Anderson, you'll learn traditional Shetland Fair Isle and lace knitting techniques.


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.


"First time visitors are usually impressed by the scenery as they are driven from the airport to Lerwick. Coastline walks from the hotel are a great way to see seals, birds and possibly otters, especially if you are up very early. The yarn shops are also special places for knitters to visit. During the workshops I give a choice of 2 things to knit, giving opportunity to experiment with colour as well as knitting in the round with 2 colours. One project involves cutting the knitting to give a flat piece. It is possible for the very able knitters to finish both projects."


Meet your Arena Travel Tour Manager at Edinburgh Airport for your flight to Sumburgh Airport. On arrival board the coach for a visit to Sumburgh Head RSPB Reserve to see if you can catch a glimpse of the puffins! Continue to the Lerwick Hotel, our based for the next 5 nights.


This morning we’ll visit Jamieson's Mill in Sandness. Jamieson’s is Shetland's only commercial mill that completes all the processes of yarn production under one roof.

This afternoon we’ll enjoy our first Fair isle knitting workshop 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. Hazel will be designing a project for us based on her extensive knowledge and experience in Fair Isle knitting.


This morning we’ll have another chance to get creative with Hazel Tindall, who will hold the second of her Fair Isle workshops in the hotel. This afternoon we'll visit the Shetland Museum & Archive, Shetland Textile Museum and enjoy a spot of retail therapy at Jamieson & Smith wool shop in Lerwick.


This morning’s workshop with Kathleen Anderson is a great chance for us to learn and hone our skills in lace knitting. Kathleen is from a family of experienced shawl knitters and during her workshops we’ll investigate the elements of shawl construction - lace edges, picking up, knitting on, finishing and grafting. Kathleen will create a project for us to enjoy!

This afternoon we’ll enjoy the scenery on today's excursion which takes us to Shetland Designer to see the unique knitwear designs of Wilma Malcolmson - one of Shetland's foremost designers. We'll continue to Hoswick with its popular Visitor Centre and shop selling alternative Shetland knitwear. The inventive, contemporary designs are those of local designer Niela Kalra, 'Nielanell'. Her knitwear designs are vibrant and contemporary, and we’ll have time to browse through the yarn and stylish collections.


This morning we join Kathleen Anderson for our final lace knitting workshop before today's visit to Uradale Farm. After a light lunch in the family home, learn what farming and crofting life in Shetland is really like. We’ll also have the chance to look through the farm's fleeces in a wonderful range of natural colours.


After breakfast transfer to Sumburgh Airport for your return flight to Edinburgh.


Twin room: £1595 per person
Single supplement: £239

Deposit: £250 per person


  • Return flights Edinburgh – Sumburgh with Logan Air
  • 5 nights at the Lerwick Hotel on a half-board basis, including full cooked Scottish breakfast and 3-course dinner with coffee
  • 2 x half day workshops on Shetland Lace with Kathleen Anderson
  • 2 x half day workshops on Shetland Fair Isle with Hazel Tindall
  • Guided visit of Jamison’s Sandness Mill
  • Visit to the organic Uradale Farm
  • Visit to the Shetland Museum & Archives with Textile Treasures guided tour
  • Visit to the Shetland Textiles Museum
  • Visits to local yarn stores and Shetland knitting & textile designers
  • Yarn Kit
  • 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 friend of partner wishes to accompany you on the holiday and is sharing a room with you we will give them a £50 discount.


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 on the shoreline, the comfortable Lerwick Hotel enjoys a fabulous location with stunning views over beautiful Brewick Bay and the island of Bressay. During your stay there’s every chance of seeing seals basking on the rocks just a stone’s throw from the hotel. There’s no better view than from the hotel’s restaurant where you’ll enjoy hearty breakfasts and delicious 3-course dinners bursting with the freshest Shetland flavours. Just a 10-minute walk from the hotel is the bustling town centre and harbor of the Shetland Islands capital.


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 04/04/2018