It's starting to get rather cold. Today I pulled out a few of my heavier-duty wool things with a view to doing some washing and mending but I got a bit carried away with just looking. I started thinking about all the memories and stories attached to each piece and, seeing is it's WOVEMBER, I thought I'd share.
I grew up cocooned in Shetland knitwear, but I must have been about 17 when I bought my first wool jumper. I remember rummaging around the Lerwick branch of Oxfam looking for patterned cotton scarves to knot into a makeshift mini-skirt to wear out that night (the teenage me was full of brilliant but unworkable ideas, mostly involving knotting things) when I found an oversized lilac lace number. I took it home and shrunk it, then wore it for years until it fell apart.
I've been gathering woolly things ever since, joining up new finds with bits and pieces from my childhood and family hand-me-downs. My 'collection' is really more of a bulky wardrobe that has gotten a little bit out of control. Some of the pieces I wear most include a turquoise jumper originally destined for Japan given to me by Laurence Odie (a knitwear factory owner) as a really sweet gift, the 1960s black lace jumper that my Granny wore as a young woman (she still tries to steal it back from me now and again), and a cable cardigan that Sandra Manson (of Jamieson & Smith fame) knitted for me a couple of winters ago.
My latest acquisition (pictured in the final image of this post) is full of memories. I found it tucked away in my mum's cupboard when I was in Shetland last month for the launch of Shetland Textiles: 800 BC to the Present, and quickly hid it in my suitcase. I remember being mesmerised by all the colours and textures when I was a little girl. It looks like a wintry sea. My new find is going to be this winter's go-to piece of cosiness, I can just tell.