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Education / Knitting tuition project to re-launch as new charity

A person wearing a light grey sweater is knitting a purple and white patterned item while sitting next to a window, with empty chairs visible beside them.

A PROJECT which aims to provide hand-knitting tuition to bairns in all Shetland communities is being re-launched as a new charity in what is its tenth year.

ShetlandPeerieMakkers was originally developed by the trust established to restore Brough Lodge, the 19th century mansion in Fetlar.

However, with the sale of the lodge to the European Heritage Project, the Brough Lodge Trust is being wound up and its assets are being transferred to a new ShetlandPeerieMakkers trust.

A new board of trustees has been appointed to run ShetlandPeerieMakkers, chaired by Louise Grains. A launch event will be held later this year.

Grains said: “All of us who cherish the Shetland hand-knitting heritage have supported ShetlandPeerieMakkers over the years.

“Hundreds of bairns have had the chance to learn knitting skills and that has laid a foundation for the survival of a very special part of Shetland culture.

“I’m delighted that ShetlandPeerieMakkers is now a charity in its own right and that we’ll be able to continue and expand its efforts in the years ahead.”

Pierre Cambillard, the retiring Chair of Brough Lodge Trust, also welcomed the new arrangements.

“Ten years ago, we knew that we had to act if the hand-knitting for which Shetland is known around the world was to survive,” he said.

“We’ve been delighted with the level of support the project has achieved and we’re grateful to local sponsors, public agencies and donors around the world who have made it a reality. I hope that support will endure far into the future.”

The trust said the principles behind the project will not change.

Skilled volunteers will continue to tutor the bairns, and a consultant co-ordinator is in place to undertake the necessary administration of the scheme.

The approach to tuition, known as ‘the Sockbox’, has been very successful, attracting interest from arts institutions and policy makers elsewhere.

Donations and offers of sponsorship from local people and businesses have made a vital contribution over the years.

Anyone wishing to offer support is encouraged to contact co-ordinator Amanda McCartney via email on Alternatively people can visit the ShetlandPeerieMakkers website for more information.

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