Shetland Wool Week 2020 Patron & Hat Pattern Launched

Press Release from Shetland Amenity Trust


The Shetland Wool Week patron for 2020 has been named today as Shetland knitwear designer, Wilma Malcolmson, who is internationally renowned for her skilfully blended Fair Isle knitwear.

The much-anticipated annual hat pattern, which is now synonymous with the launch of the patron has also been released. This year’s official hat, designed by Wilma, is called ‘Katie’s Kep’.

Shetland Wool Week is delighted to have Wilma as this year’s patron. She is a key player in the local knitting community, a Wool Week and Shetland Peerie Makker tutor, and is also one of Shetland’s most influential and innovative designers. Wilma has lived in Shetland all her life and, like many others who grew up on the islands, has knitted from childhood. She established her business, Shetland Designer, in 1982 and during that time she has seen her creations reach all four corners of the world.

Wilma said: “I am touched and honoured to be this year’s patron. Wool Week is a wonderful event that helps to bring people, not just knitters, from all around the world together. To me, the festival represents a time of friendship, of learning from each other and an appreciation of our islands and way of life as it celebrates old and new by putting traditional patterns and techniques on equal terms with new, innovative ones. The hat is the common bond for us all and I am delighted to have been asked to design it and become part of the Wool Week story.

“My hat ‘Katie’s Kep’ is named after my mother Katie. It includes the patterns that she taught me when I was a peerie lass because they were her favourites. She belonged to that large group of professional knitters, without whom our Shetland colour work and lace heritage might not have been as alive and vibrant as it is today. This is my tribute to all the known and unknown designer artists of Shetland throughout the centuries.”

Speaking of her love of knitting, Wilma added: “My mother instilled in me an interest in patterns and colours, from her I learned the importance of contrast and ‘blending’. Colour inspiration is all around us in Shetland - you only need to look at the rugged landscape, seashores the ever-changing skies to find shades that work together.”

Wilma has created four very different colourways for the hat using yarn from Jamieson’s of Shetland, Jamieson and Smith, Uradale Yarns and Shetland Handspun. Each company has prepared yarn kits and are available to take back orders online, but are currently unable to guarantee specific delivery dates. Customers are urged to keep an eye on the respective websites for updates.

The organisers of Shetland Wool Week said: “We are always thrilled to announce the new patron and hat, and perhaps even more so this year. Throughout this ongoing global crisis we have received many requests urging us to release the hat pattern and we are pleased to be able to make it available, as always, as a free download from our Shetland Wool Week website. We hope it will bring some welcome light relief and focus as well as a sense of connection for all our supporters.”

An extensive Question and Answer interview with Wilma is available to read via the SWW newsletter and the website. A special facebook SWWKAL (Knit-A-Long) has also been launched for Katie’s Kep and the SWW organisers are encouraging everyone to join in and share their hat works in progress, questions and photos.

The eleventh Shetland Wool Week is due to take place from 26 September and already a huge amount of effort has gone into preparing for the event. However, in light of the coronavirus pandemic, the event remains under review. The organisers will continue to monitor the situation and hope to make an announcement in June on the future of this year’s festival.

Wilma Designer

Jamieson and Smith

Jamieson's of Shetland

Uradale Yarns

Shetland HAndspun

Link to the hat pattern download

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