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Fine lace Shetland shawl
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Fine lace Shetland shawl

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Fine lace Shetland shawl
Fine lace Shetland shawl
This Shetland lace shawl dates from the mid 19th century. The patterns are very elaborate, and the wool used to knit it is very fine.
Elaborate pattern, including (from outer edge) Crown, Fern, Da Wife. In centre, Madiera, Fancy Net, Waves, etc. Some repairs - very skilfully done. It was knitted on Unst.

Unst was the home of the very best lace knitting, as this was where the very best Shetland wool was grown. Unst knitters attained a reputation for excellence in lace knitting, and Unst spinners were famed throughout Shetland for their superior skills.

One of the most amazing things about these shawls was that the knitters developed their ideas in their own heads - nothing was written down on paper. Different patterns were combined and developed, with incredible arithmetical accuracy.
  • Shetland Museum