We've loved this pattern since it first came out and have put together kits for it in our little shop when people have asked and now it is finally available from us online! Such a fun hat to look at and to knit, it was the Shetland Wool Week pattern in 2019 but is still a cracker!
The inspiration for the hat came from elements of Oliver’s life, from which he drew sketches and illustrations. These were then interpreted into a design a pattern by his colleague Sandra Manson.
Oliver has worked with Shetland wool for 52 years: he has judged, graded, sorted, worn, promoted, researched and been inspired by Shetland wool in his work at Jamieson and Smith, also known as ‘The Shetland Wool Brokers’.
Oliver explained the inspiration behind the hat design: “My Roadside beanie features two common roadside sights in Shetland: Shetland sheep and fishing boats. Both of them have loomed large in my life as a Shetlander.”
Oliver has worked with sheep and wool for over fifty years, so it was clear to him that they would be part of his design story. Fishing has also played a big role in his life, especially growing up on the family croft at ‘Roadside’, in the busy fishing community of Hamnavoe on Burra Isle. Oliver’s father and brothers had their own fishing boat and fishing was their livelihood. Unfortunately, Oliver suffered from seasickness and could not carry on the family tradition of fisherman crofter, so turned to Shetland wool for his work and inspiration.
Oliver said, “I chose the beanie shape for practical reasons: it keeps my ears warm while walking my dog here in Shetland! The world of knitwear design is a bit of a departure from my usual field of expertise, but it’s been fun working on the idea and seeing it developed through to a final pattern by Sandra Manson.