Unst peerie knitters

The Peerie Knitters group at the Baltasound School in Unst is an after school club that has been meeting for the past 15 years or so.

Peerie Knitters Group

Unst Peerie Knitters at work. Running for the past 15 years.

Unst’s knitting history

Knitting in Unst in the past was an economic necessity. Many women were living on a croft, which was seldom large enough to provide a living for a family. Out of necessity too, most of the men were crofter/fishermen, leaving the womenfolk to tend the croft and knit in every spare moment to support the family, for the fishing too could be very uncertain, especially with the Truck system in operation.

Mothers and Grannies have always taught their bairns to knit, as they too could contribute to the family as well as helping with croft work.

Until recently there were knitting teachers in Shetland Schools, till the Education Authority in their wisdom decided to cut this vital service.

Peerie Knitters Out and About

Over the years the Peerie Knitters has taken part in a variety of activities.

One year a group was invited to the Royal Highland Show and demonstrated knitting to other young folk.

Peerie Knitters stand at Royal Highland Show

Our stand at the Royal Highland Show.

Peerie Knitters Demonstrating

Showing others how to knit.

Peerie Knitters with Edinburgh Castle in the background

Enjoying the visit to Edinburgh.

Unst Heritage Centre fashion show and book launch

A Stitch In Time Book Cover

“A Stitch in Time”, a book about Unst Lace knitting created by the Unst Heritage Centre, was published and launched at the Fashion Show event.

The children made jumpers and took part in the knitwear fashion show “One hundred years of Unst knitting”.

Unst Knitware on the Catwalk

On the catwalk.

Fine Lace Bridal Shawl

Fine lace shawl for a bride.

It is interesting to see that, when the local Care Centre has a Knit and Chat evening, the range of ages of knitters attending ranges from a lady of over 100 years to a child of 7 years of age!

Maima Jean

Maima Jean, a lovely lady of over 100 years of age.

It is to be hoped that the special knitting skills for Unst’s fine lace live on in the next generation now learning to knit.

4 thoughts on “Unst peerie knitters

  1. It is so sweet to see such young children taking up the art. It is very good for children to learn traditions and creative expression in this fashion. I’m very in favor of activities that show them other ways to express themselves without depending on electronic devices.

    • Yes ,good to see them doing something creative. Over the years we have had children in the group and although some don’t continue to knit we hope they will go back to it later in life.

  2. Mima is a wonderful lady. Saw her last June, just a day before turning 101! So sorry I didn’t have this opportunity many years ago–my father would have loved a trip to Unst……

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