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Community / The Doull family to be Shetland Wool Week 2024 patrons with ‘Islesburgh Toorie’ pattern

The Islesburgh Toorie. Photo: Alexa Fitzgibbon

THE Doull family, composed of Margaret and Addie Doull alongside their daughter Anne, has been nominated patrons of Shetland Wool Week 2024, writes Erin Rizzato Devlin.

For the first time and in a break with tradition, an entire family has been nominated as patrons for Shetland Wool Week 2024.  The new patrons were announced last night (Friday) during a launch event held at the Shetland Museum and Archives.

Hailing from Islesburgh, Northmavine, the Doull family was chosen for their dedication to preserving and championing the highest-quality Shetland wool.

Margaret, Addie and their children are renowned for their prize-winning Shetland sheep, fleeces and knitwear, as well as their commitment to the Shetland Flock Book Society.

The Doulls are often invited to judge shows throughout the UK, while Margaret and Anne are also avid knitters producing exceptional garments which have won prizes both locally and nationally.

The keenly awaited hat pattern was also announced during the launch. This has been designed by Margaret and Addie’s daughter Anne as a “celebration of the Shetland ewe and textiles”.

Taking inspiration from the family’s flock book roots and their farm’s location, this is called the ‘Islesburgh Toorie’. The pattern features a distinctive Shetland ram motif, symbolising the family’s farming, as well as a wave lace pattern to celebrate Margaret’s skilful knitted lace.

Addie, Margaret and Anne Doull. Photo: Alexa Fitzgibbon

The colours chosen by Anne are inspired by natural shades surrounding the farm, including tones from their native Shetland flock, heather hills and sunset views from Mavis Grind.

When hearing about their nomination as patrons, 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.”

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Shetland Amenity Trust cultural heritage manager Jacqui Birnie announced the new patrons during what many present would define “the most exciting night of the year”.

She emphasised: “Shetland Wool Week stands as an authentic celebration of many things in our heritage: it’s about the landscape, the crofting wildlife, the skills and traditions, the language and the strength of the community, which I think Shetland Wool Week really highlights.”

The former patron and designer of the ‘Buggiflooer Beanie’, Alison Rendall, also said a few words and showed a short film on her experiences throughout the last year.

A traditional group photo of all attendants wearing their knitted hats was taken after the announcement.

Photo: Erin Rizzato Devlin.

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