Makkin Our Way Through Shetland

Spring and Summer 2023

Shetland is highly regarded as the home of two forms of heritage knitting: Fair Isle and Shetland Lace. A thriving community of knitters in Shetland still welcomes knitters from across the world to learn the techniques and insight passed to them from those who came before. With this in mind, I have paired up with the tour company Island Vista to design two knitting tours that focus on either Fair Isle or Shetland lace techniques.

What many don’t realize until they visit Shetland for themselves is that it is also home to a wide variety of modern craftspeople and makers. A new tour will debut in 2023 to highlight the work of these modern makers: Makkin Our Way Through Shetland: Contemporary Crafts.

It is with a sense of eager excitement that I invite you to join me, my tour partners at Island Vista, and your fellow travelers as we explore the heritage knitting and contemporary crafts of Shetland!

This area of the world is known for its knitting, natural beauty, and history, and each tour is designed to expose you to the best of it all. Our Shetland-born and -raised guides will provide us with the special insights and care that only a local can!

Makkin Our Way Through Shetland: Fair Isle will focus on Fair Isle knitting history and methods. It will run four times in 2023:
FI1: April 16 – 23
FI2: April 30 – May 7
FI3: August 27 – September 3
FI4: September 10 – 17
Price: £2,550

Makkin Our Way Through Shetland: Lace will focus on Shetland lace knitting. It will run twice in 2023:
L1: April 23 – 30
L2: September 3 – 10
Price: £2,550

NEW! Makkin Our Way Through Shetland: Contemporary Crafts will focus on the modern makers of Shetland. It will run twice in 2023:
CC1: May 7 – 14
CC2: August 20 – 27
Price: £2,950

Registration will open on July 21, 2022. A non-refundable deposit of £100 is payable at the time of booking. The remaining balance is payable 90 days before the beginning of each block of tours.

Each tour will include instruction with Shetland-based teachers and makers, explorations of historical and modern sites of interest, and time to enjoy the natural beauty of Shetland.

To increase your comfort on the trip and maximize access to your teachers during classes, each week of the knitting tours are limited to an absolute maximum of 12 people, and Contemporary Crafts is limited to 8 people. Knitters should have at least advanced beginner knitting skills to participate in the knitting workshops. Classes in the Contemporary Crafts tours are geared toward absolute beginners.

Shetland Museum and Archives features displays about the human and natural history of Shetland, including informative displays about the history of Fair Isle and Lace.

Knitting-positive companions who don’t knit are welcome to join the knitting tours. They can plan to explore Shetland on their own during knitting classes or make arrangements with Island Vista in advance for alternative activities for an additional fee. The classes on the Contemporary Crafts tour are suitable for all travelers.

Because there is very little overlap between the tours, and they are designed to run back to back, you are welcome to join us for multiple tours and enjoy a fresh experience each time! Each traveller who books multiple tours in 2023 will receive a discount of £100 off each tour.

What's Included

  • Transfers within Shetland on arrival and departure 
  • All tours listed on the itinerary with a fully qualified tourist guide and experienced driver
  • Seven nights accommodation at a Lerwick guesthouse
  • Breakfast daily
  • Five to six lunches at a variety of venues, depending on the tour 
  • Six dinners in some of Shetland’s finest food establishments
  • Multiple classes and experiences with the required supplies. 
  • All admission fees to museums, historical sites, and attractions

What's Not Included

One dinner and one to two lunches (assistance will be offered to obtain these meals), transport to and from Shetland, notions and knitting needles required for knitting classes, spending money, travelers insurance. Any additional travel arrangements made with Island Vista.


Fair Isle week will include a class with Janette Budge about Fair Isle yokes, a steeking workshop with Terri Laura, a Fair Isle project and Shetland dialect talk with Viveka Velupillai, and talks about the history of production knitting by Hazel Tindall and color blending with Wilma Malcolmson.*

Lace week will include a day-long workshop with renown lace knitting experts Anne Eunson and Kathleen Anderson, a lace lesson with 2022 Shetland Wool Week Patron Linda Shearer, a lace project and Shetland dialect talk with Viveka Velupillai, and the opportunity to whittle your own shawl pin with Cecil Tait of Paparwark Furniture.*

Contemporary Crafts week includes a talk with Linda Shearer, as well as a class to craft silver stacking rings with Shetland Jewellery, a fused glass workshop with Glansin Glass, a spoon whittling class with Paparwark Furniture, modern wool felting with Peerie Ooricks, an introduction to using a knitting machine with R.A.M. Knitwear, and a lampshade workshop with Julie Williamson.*

*Classes and presentations are subject to change due to health or acts of nature. We shall always endeavor to arrange a suitable, comparable replacement.

I hope you’ll join me in 2023 and learn why I have such a great love for this part of the world. Hospitality, history, and creativity are all waiting for us!