Hand-knitting has been a part of Shetland tradtion for centuries. Women knitted as they walked to work on the croft and their meagre income from producing high-quality knitwear, supplemented the little they earned from crofting.
Today, few women knit the beautiful, tradtional patterns by hand. Mostly knitwear is produced on domestic knitting machines or in factories. It is a dying craft as fewer and fewer women are prepared to spend the one hundred hours needed to produce just one sweater.
Louise Irvine`s Traditional Hand-Made Shetland Knitwear is just a small collection of the many hundreds of patterns which exist in Shetland. Like all living tradtions, knitters are contantly changing and re-inventing patterns, but our selection is based on patterns which have some history and yet remain able to stand up with any contemprary design.
Louise Irvine`s collection comes to you direct from the knitters who are able to incorporate your own particular size and style specifications. If you really want that special, exclusive sweater, then please just ask!
In addition to the range of hand-knitted items, we are also pleased to offer a small range of hand-framed knitwear. These garmetns are knitted on domestic knitting machines by local people in their own homes and are finished by hand in the tradtional manner.
As most of the styles are plain colours, we are able to offer you, not only the colours shown, but also any colour you would like. If you are looking for a sweater or cardigan to match an outfit, please send us a small piece of the material and we will send you samples of wool from which you can choose the best match.