Tuesday, August 16, 2011

a crofters life


The National Library of Scotland and the Scottish Screen Archives have a wonderful collection of films about the Shetland Isles. Back in the 1930s, Jenny Brown made several films about the Crofters. One of which is called "In Sheep's Clothing".

This film depicts (silent) scenes of the men and women herding the Shetland Sheep, they can be seen gathering and then "rooing" sheep. There are also shots of the carding and spinning of wool and the women knitting to make jumpers and shawls.

You will have to go directly to the website to view the films, here is a link for you to get there:


Related films can be easily searched. I watched several. There is one that shows the washing and blocking of the finished shawls. I was amazed to see how vigorously the delicate shawls were washed and wrung before placing sticks in the ground on the open field for the blocking of the shawl. Very different from today with our blocking wires and mats and pins!


elizabeth said...

I wonder if they were more aggressive in blocking because they had processed the fiber and spun the yarn, and knew it was strong enough to take it, or because that's what made sense at the time? Too bad we can't ask!

thecrazysheeplady said...

Excellent! Can you post the link for the lace blocking?

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Their rough treatment of the shawls etc maybe made sure that they were fit to wear for a long time. I can remember people placing white sheets on the ground to bleach/dry them. We wouldn't think of such a thing now. ha.

Vlaďka said...

Hallo Cyndy,thanks for the link. The film was very interesting for me. I recently read a book about knitting shetland gloves. Now I could see it in reality.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin