You’re on the lookout for the insights that weave new texture into someplace far away. And you find that learning from other human beings is the most illuminating way.
So you’re craving more points of view, more perspectives that you can stitch together. And so your experience of the place becomes much richer (even if home lies on the other side of the world).
Feel yourself transported to Shetland. To discover a magical destination steeped in history. And learn from the experts of today’s textiles industry. Let us pass on the old ways to you, to keep these traditions alive.
Scotland based publisher & knitwear designer
“Substantial in every sense of the word, this publication is a truly beautiful thing – a purposeful and joyous celebration of so many of the things there are to love about Shetland.”
In a matter of paragraphs, you’ll find a slower pace of life, as you escape to a wilder land.
Having experienced Shetland for the first time on a school exchange trip, I fell in love with the place immediately. After visiting for several summers and working the busy-season in a local hotel, in 2004 I moved here for good.
What fuels me every single day is my passion for Shetland, the people, the wool, the landscape.
And I wanted others to feel as inspired by Shetland as I am.
When COVID hit, the hopes for our 2020 tours unravelled in a matter of days. Not just here in Shetland, but all around the world, connections were suddenly cut. Communities were tested. So I wanted to continue to share the beauty of these isolated islands with others who couldn’t get here quite yet.
The Journal was created so you could still get an authentic sense of place, without the ferry journey.
Journal reader from Alberta, Canada
“During the pandemic, it's been a welcome escape as travel continues to be challenging and frankly, unappealing.
I love the patterns, but aside from that I like the variety of information and the magazine format - physically it's like a book, so it will store nicely on the shelf and stand up to reading and time better than a magazine.”
The feeling of family is what connects us, amongst knitting circles and local communities. Reading these pages, you’ll feel akin to the makers and the storytellers, the like-minded knitters and spinners, from this place I now call home.
Unravel a patchwork of tales to better understand why and how Shetland’s inhabitants are each committed to their own craft and to the place itself.
At the first glimpse it might look like there is nothing — that these exposed islands are just cliffs and hills. But when you look closer, you will unearth the boundaries of prehistoric settlements, the centuries-old stone walls, abandoned crofthouses dotted along the coastline. And the hidden treasures that still lie within the landscape.
Walk with us. And feel the small thrill of the hunt that leads you to unexpected finds. These are pages to dog-ear for your next (or first) visit up North.
There is such an intrinsic connection between the landscape here and the people who’ve walked on these remote islands.
Hear tales of lighthouse keepers, sheep farmers and fishermen, abandoned dwellings and hidden archaeological sites — both the everyday moments, and the exceptional ones too.
Calm your busy brain and create beautiful new garments. Each volume includes a selection of modern designs, steeped in heritage. Past designers include Donna Smith, Ella Gordon, Wilma Malcolmson, Linda Shearer, Alison Rendall or Anne Eunson.
They make a thoughtful gift for friends and family. Or an extra layer for a brisk winter’s walk.
Each recipe celebrates everyday ingredients that we can cultivate or gather here in Shetland. There’s plenty of fresh seafood, local dairy, Shetland lamb, vegetables from the garden and (my favourite) rhubarb.
Keep grounded in the natural world and nourish yourself with what nature provides. These are simple recipes (which leaves you with more time to knit, as well).
Half way between mainland Scotland and Norway, Shetland has raised some wonderfully creative writers. Read snippets from literature inspired by and written here. Discover some valuable additions to your bookshelf, both fact and fiction.
The most authentic way to connect you with the Shetland people, even when you’re not here. Or if you want to keep your personal memories from a past trip alive.
Journal reader from Devon, England
"It's not just about place, it's about history. It's about tradition, it's about immersing oneself in something, a place that feels quite fantastical and dream-like.
It's kind of better than Disney for me really.
Having read and read the journal so many times, I feel that if I went tomorrow, I could turf up one of the Crofts and say 'Hi, I've read about you in the journal', and it feels like I might already be welcomed in. It feels like you're amongst friends. So with that escape also comes an invitation.”
In volume four we travel to Fair Isle, home of Fair Isle Knitting, and meet some of the talented knitters and entrepreneurs and there's also a brilliant interview with Oliver Henry of Jamieson & Smith. But we'll also learn about the hard reality of Shetland's historic knitting industry in a brilliant and thought provoking piece by Laurie Goodlad.
As always you can look forward to beautiful photography, six knitting patterns by local designers, features, interviews, walks, book reviews, recipes, and much more.
Support the continuing creative legacy on these islands. Keep the stories alive that we don’t want to let disappear, where the North Sea meets the Atlantic.
All of the Journals contributors are from Shetland. Or at least have an intimate connection, having left their heart here. The Journal is lovingly printed and bound in the UK.
For UK readers, your first (or next) volume will be dropping onto your doormat in 10 working days.
Or if we’ve got a new volume in the works and available to pre-order, you’ll get your copy popped into the post to you, as soon as it’s back from the printers.
Purchase a paper volume through our website and you’ll also get the a digital version of the patterns emailed to you for free.
No need to bruise your copy — print your knitting patterns for greater manoeuvrability, you can make sure your paper copy stays looking smart on your bookshelf.
You can revive the colours of Shetland, even through the wind and rain.
A celebration of all things Shetland, through the eyes of a Shetlander. Plus…
Sign up for a subscription and receive the link to Shetland Wool Adventures' Ravelry page, so you can exchange Fair Isle tips with our other readers.
You’ll swiftly get this link sent to your email address, so you have the opportunity to ask any knitting-related queries. And learn from other Wool Adventurers.
Journal reader from Northamptonshire, England
“Anything to do with the history of yarn is my passion. I learnt from every woman around me, they were always trying new patterns. I believe physically trying things to be better than virtual learning.
I was thinking that my buying it was helping talented people survive on a remote island to keep traditions going. We must pass on the ways.
I always look forward to getting the Journal. I see the cost as my luxury treat and it is one you can enjoy time again unlike wine, chocolates or cake. At my age, it's experiences that can be remembered, like teaching my granddaughter to spin.”
Made to last using FSC-certified grade paper. Share these stories further and wider, with your nearest and dearest (well, as long as they promise to give your copy back, eventually!).
Learn more about our shipping rates here
Bundle up your copies and get discounts off the cover price. Just think of all those extra hours of knitting you can do with all those extra knitting patterns.
Journal reader from Michigan, USA
"I love everything about the SWA Journal. I like supporting Misa in her small business. The pictures are beautiful and remind me of the very happy week we spent visiting the Shetland islands. I love the articles where I learn more about the history of the islands and the lives of the people who live there. I love the knitting patterns.
As a matter of fact, my husband, who has never been to Shetland and who does not knit, also loves the Journal! They are a lovely resource for anyone who has an interest in the islands."
Journal reader from Exeter, England
“Would it be everything that I wanted it to be? Would it be worth the money?
It was worth every penny. Gorgeous photography, interesting cultural and historical articles, walking guide, recipes, great knitting patterns, great specialist interviews with makers — everything I want in a publication!
It sustains my soul over and over again.”
If you just want to dip your toes in the North Sea, rather than diving in headfirst, get yourself the digital Journal.
Perfect if your travel library is generously spilling over already.
You don’t need to wait for the Postie – you can dive into each volume for just £20.