Wonderful woolly evening at the Shetland Museum

What a fantastic evening at the Shetland Museum celebrating the announcement of the new Shetland Wool Week Patrons, the Doull Family, and their beautiful Islesburgh Toorie.

Obligatory group photo with everyone wearing their SWW hats from previous years.

In a break from tradition, this year’s patron accolade has been presented to Addie and Margaret Doull from Islesburgh Farm in Northmavine, and their family, in recognition of their dedication to the Shetland Flock Book and commitment to preserving and championing the highest-quality Shetland wool.

The Doull Family - Back, Addie Doull (4th from left), Front - Margaret and daughter Anne.

The launch event took place the Shetland Museum & Archives on Friday evening (26th April). Following the official annoucement in the auditorium, we hosted an informal drinks reception in the foyer it was great to see so many familiar faces and admire all the beautiful knitwear.

Alison Rendall shared some of her highlights as 2023 patron and showed a short film which summed up her year. The Doull family were then announced as our 2024 patrons and received a warm welcome from the audience.

Family photo. Anne Doull is picture here with her brothers, Ewan (left) and Alan.

A lovely evening to yarn, chat up with friends and of course get a copy of the new Islesburgh Toorie pattern.

Download the Islesburgh Toorie here.

The Islesburgh Toorie is available in three different colourways using Shetland yarn from Jamieson’s of Shetland; Jamieson & Smith; and Uradale Yarns.

This year’s hat has been designed by Addie and Margaret’s daughter, Anne, and takes inspiration from the family’s Flock Book roots and the location of their farm and is called the ‘Islesburgh Toorie’.

Shetland Wool Week is delighted to shine a spotlight on the Doull family and to celebrate Shetland oo, the product on which Shetland Wool Week is built. The Doulls are frequently invited to judge shows across the UK, drawing on their expertise in sheep and wool evaluation. As avid knitters, Margaret, and more recently, Anne, produce exceptional garments of the highest quality too, winning prizes both locally and nationally. Margaret, in particular, is renowned for her hand-knitted Shetland lace.

On hearing the news, Anne said: “It’s an honour for the family to be asked to be patrons of this year’s Shetland Wool Week. I’m extremely proud for mam and dad to be recognised for their work with the Shetland Flock Book, which works to preserve and promote the native breed, and it’s something that all the family is committed to. We have been farming at Islesburgh, Northmavine, since 1970. The whole family, and Addie’s brother Kenny are involved with the farm and crofts, all helping each other to get the work done.”

The Islesburgh toorie, which is named after the family farm, features a distinctive Shetland Ram motif, a tribute to the family involvement with the Shetland Flock Book. The inclusion of the print of the wave lace pattern celebrates Margaret’s skilful knitted lace. The colourways are inspired by the many natural shades of their Shetland flock and the heather filled hills and sunset views from the farm.

Hazel Sutherland, CEO of Shetland Amenity Trust, which manages the event, said: “We are absolutely thrilled that the Doulls have agreed to take on the mantle of Wool Week patron. Our outgoing patron, Alison Rendall, has done a sterling job for us and I would like to sincerely thank her for the commitment she gave to the role. Her beautiful Buggiflooer Beanie was a fantastic celebration of Shetland’s natural world, and it inspired many folk to attempt fair isle knitting for the first time and experiment with colour. We’re looking forward to sharing more of the Doull family story and we wish them all the very best for what I’m sure will be a very busy year ahead.”

The hat pattern is available to download from the Shetland Wool Week website for £1 and is also available as a printed version for £2 from the Shetland Museum and local wool shops.

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