Launch of 5 pilot projects in which experienced volunteers will teach hand-knitting to Shetland youngsters.

We did it!

On 11th Dec 2015 we successfully raised £7,194 of £4,500 target with 203 supporters in 60 days

New stretch target

How you can help ... 

Thanks to the incredible generosity of people from all over the world, in Shetland, Scotland, England, Wales, Northern Ireland, the United States, Canada, Japan, France, Norway and more, our ShetlandPeerieMakkers knitting appeal overachieved the target. We can now guarantee funding for a one-year pilot project, enabling our volunteer tutors to provide free lessons in Shetland knitting to Shetland youngsters.

Now we wish to continue raising money as to be able to fund a second session of lessons, from October 2016 to June 2017. By then, we’ll be able to use our new Shetland Knitting Tuition Blueprint, which we’ll develop by applying what we learn from the 2015/16 pilot year.

Our vision is to develop and roll out a sustainable programme of free hand knitting classes to youngsters all over Shetland, with the help of a number of those highly skilled, volunteer knitting tutors. All the funds that you generously donate will enable us to apply that carefully-designed blueprint, which could become a model for skills exchange in other communities around the world.

It’s very easy to join all those who’ve already supported ShetlandPeerieMakkers on Crowd Funder till it closed on Dec 11 2015.

If you’d like to support ShetlandPeerieMakkers, just follow the link on top of our website page to our secured Just Giving donation account and give whatever you can afford. We’ll be really grateful for any contribution you can make.

UK tax payers will be eligible to a tax receipt, and your donation may also be subject to Gift Aid.

If you just wish to contact us, please drop us an email - the address is: . Please be sure to give your contact details so that we know who you are.

Shetland knitting means so much to people in Shetland and around the world. It’s very much part of our islands’ culture. In the long term, we hope that money to support hand-knitting - and other aspects of Shetland’s heritage, such as music - will come from the income raised by Brough Lodge once the building has been restored; and there’s much more about our plans elsewhere on this website.

But we feel that the risk of losing the hand-knitting culture is too great for us to delay the pilot projects. That’s why we’re pursuing them quite separately from the restoration and we guarantee that all the money you donate will go directly into securing Shetland’s hand-knitting future.

You can also follow the Peerie Makkers project on both Facebook and Twitter.


Helping to sustain Shetland's knitting culture

Shetland's wonderful culture of hand-knitting needs nurturing if it is to remain vibrant for future generations. The Brough Lodge Trust has decided to contribute by taking action and this page explains what you can do to help.

ShetlandPeerieMakkers was set up with Brough Lodge Trust, which was originally established to restore the historic Brough Lodge on the island of Fetlar. The Trust’s longterm intention is to offer courses in Shetland’s heritage skills, including textiles. Trustees realised that the restoration was some years away and in the meantime, supporting the current knitting tradition should become a priority.

With the help of experienced volunteer knitters, we want to launch 5 pilot projects to teach hand knitting to Shetland youngsters.


The story so far…

Hand knitting was taught in Shetland’s primary schools but this ended in 2010. Some parents, grandparents and others could pass on their skills; but there is a risk that insufficient numbers of children will learn to knit, and the knowledge and techniques of Shetland knitting will be lost.

In August 2014, we held a public consultation to discuss how this support might be most effective. A "world café" meeting was held in Fetlar. It involved a number of people working in Shetland knitting. Everyone agreed that the need to support Shetland’s hand-knitting tradition is urgent.

A way forward…

A group of local experts was formed to steer the project and ShetlandPeerieMakkers is the result of more than a year’s work. We plan to offer free tuition in Shetland knitting to Shetland youngsters. ‘PeerieMakkers’ means ‘small knitters’ in Shetland dialect.

ShetlandPeerieMakkers is currently a one year pilot project, to provide free lessons to youngsters, initially in five communities. Skilled volunteers want to provide the tuition and that reflects another Shetland tradition: our communities have always shared skills, whether in inshore fishing, spinning or peat cutting. These voluntarily shared skills are evident in community marinas, sailing competitions, and at sociable events.

The five pilots will run for a year, and we’ll apply the lessons we learn to establish a sustainable model for tuition in the longer term. 

Although all our expert volunteers’ time is offered freely, and yarns are sponsored, we’ll need funding for basic costs.  Whilst we hope to receive donations of materials, and spaces to hold knitting groups, we’ll need to buy knitting belts and needles; and, for tutors, there will be travelling expenses within Shetland.

How you can help…

Because Shetland knitting means so much to people in Shetland and around the world, we believe that we should launch an appeal.  We’ll be really grateful for any contribution you can make and, accordingly, we want to thank you with a gift.

In the long term, we hope that money to support hand-knitting – and other aspects of Shetland’s heritage, such as music – will come from commercial classes for adult participants and held in the restored Brough Lodge building; there’s more about our plans on our main website 

But we feel that the risk of losing hand-knitting is too great for us to delay the pilot projects. That’s why we’re pursuing them quite separately from the restoration, and we guarantee that all the money you donate will go directly into ShetlandPeerieMakkers.

 The rewards we offer to thank you for your generosity

Our rewards are a thank-you for your donation. Naturally, to raise money for the 5 pilot projects, the value of the reward may be less than the value of your donation. That's because, although some rewards have been donated, we need to pay for others at cost, and to cover crowdfunding and credit card expenses before we benefit from your generosity. Rewards from artists include our Patrons Kaffe Fassett, well known to knitters world-wide; and Aly Bain, the equally well-known Shetland fiddle player.

Below, you will find the list of all rewards, with weblinks.

We will dispatch all awards in mid-December, unless otherwise indicated. Please also note that we have limited quantities of some awards. 

If you do not wish to receive a reward please tell us by sending an email to 

 Pledge amount 10 GBP:

A knitting pattern from the world's fastest knitter since 2004, Shetlander Hazel Tindall, knitting specialist and instructor, based in Shetland. 

 Pledge amount 20 GBP:

 A CD by Shetland Fiddler Aly Bain and Phil Cunningham, signed by Aly. Limited to 25 

Pledge amount 30 GBP:

A hand knitted Shetland Wool Fair Isle headband. One size fits all. Dispatch January 2016. Limited to 20

Pledge amount 50 GBP:

A package of 2 signed DVDs by Hazel Tindall. The Fine Art of Fair Isle Knitting with Shetland’s Hazel Tindall, based in Shetland.

Pledge amount 75 GBP:

A book "Vintage Shetland project " signed by textile artist Susan Crawford: . Dispatch January 2016. limited to 1

Pledge amount 100 GBP:

A book signed by World-renowned textile designer and project Patron Kaffe Fassett: "knitting with the color guys" by Kaffe Fassett and Brandon Mably

Pledge amount 100 GBP:

A handknitted Tirrick/Artic tern, from fine artist Deirdre Nelson, from “Birdyarns" her climate change project. They are knitted in communities in UK, in wool from Mull, with beaks and feet in recycled materials. One bird travelled to the arctic and back.

Pledge amount 150 GBP:

A hand woven / felted Shetland pony, size 30cm by 16 cm, by Joanne Bell of Fetlar, Shetland. Dispatch January 2016. Limited to 5

Pledge amount 200 GBP:

A weekend (2 nights) for 2 persons with breakfast at Brentham House, Lerwick, Shetland, during2016. Travel to and from Shetland not included Limited to 4.  

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