Community / Wilma announced as Wool Week patron

Wilma Malcolmson wearing her Katie's Kep.

FAIR Isle knitwear designer Wilma Malcolmson has been announced as this year’s Shetland Wool Week patron.

Wilma is described as a “key player in the local knitting community” whose work is known across the globe.

She launched her business Shetland Designer in 1982 and more recently has been tutoring for Wool Week and Shetland Peerie Makkers.


Wilma has designed this year’s Wool Week hat, which is called ‘Katie’s Kep’.

“I am touched and honoured to be this year’s patron,” she said.

“Wool Week is a wonderful event that helps to bring people, not just knitters, from all around the world together.

Katie’s Kep.

“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.”


Wilma has created four 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 they are currently unable to guarantee specific delivery dates at this moment in time.

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.”

This year’s Shetland Wool Week, the 11th to date, is due to take place from 26 September.

However, in light of the coronavirus pandemic, the event remains under review.

Organisers Shetland Amenity Trust said it will continue to monitor the situation and hope to make an announcement in June on the future of this year’s festival.

The Katie’s Kep pattern, meanwhile, can be downloaded for free online.