With Christmas just around the corner, I wanted to share a selection of fantastic Shetland gift ideas with you. I always try to support local businesses as much as possible and try to buy unique, one of a kind gifts.
Last year I commissioned artist Gilly B to make an artwork of my dad’s boat – I think you’ll agree that it’s fantastic!
I also commissioned Alexa Fitzgibbon @lex_in_the_north_sea to make a unique Kokeshi doll for my mam.
So, in no particular order – and thanks to the local businesses who got in touch to share their amazing products – here are some fantastic gift ideas for 2021.
Whalsay Made is based on the island of Whalsay, with all products made in small batches with a particular focus on good quality, locally-sourced ingredients and sustainability. Whalsay Made key products are Whalsay Sweet Chilli Sauce, Gin and Lime Marmalade and Carrot Marmalade – but there are many more flavours of organic, homemade preserves, chutneys and sauce.
Here are a few Christmas ideas:
Items can be collected in Whalsay or Lerwick and orders can be placed via whalsaymade.com, Facebook or on WhatsApp: 07825288304.
Anderson’s Knitwear has a fantastic selection of knitwear including their Shetland Wool Socks and Fair Isle Headbands – both are amongst their bestsellers. They also have a fantastic selection of jumpers and cardigans. Anderson & Co was established in 1873 and has been selling knitwear worldwide since it was founded by Thomas Anderson.
Products can be ordered via their website at www.shetlandknitwear.com and shipped worldwide – however, please note that at present they are unable to ship to the EU.
Soapery 21 is a new business to Shetland. All products are handmade in small batches. Products are vegan-friendly, palm oil-free and contain no parabens or SLS (sodium lauryl sulphate). My favourite thing about this company is that they are committed to reducing the use of plastics and all their packaging is plastic-free, recycled and re-usable or recyclable.
Soapery 21 has just launched a new website where you can explore the products on offer.
Shetland Jewellery has launched a new robin collection – perfect for Christmas. These are available online at www.shetlandjewellery.co.uk or in-store at J.G.Rae or at their shop and workshop at Soundside, Weisdale.
The Shetland Fairy
The Shetland Fairy has landed with bespoke fairies and other magical items – all lovingly handmade for the perfect gift.
The photo here is one of the Worry Munchers, and the Shetland Fairy has very kindly shared a discount code to use at checkout which will get you 20% off anything at www.theshetlandfairy.com – simply use the code 2021MAGIC at the checkout.
Nielanell is a contemporary knitwear designer based in Hoswick selling all sorts of innovative and exciting designs. The gauntlet gloves are part of the Conversation Pieces range. These are neat little wrist warmers knitted in 100% extra-fine merino – meaning no itch! Each mitt shows a different Conversation Pieces motif.
The design for the Conversation Pieces knitwear collection came from Niela thinking about her discussions with friends, how our opinions can overlap—or stay separate! In the design, this is linked to the way that designer and artist Anni Albers worked with colour, using a restricted palette of yarn to create new colours in the overlaps. Three colours of yarn make six colours in the design.
To see the full range of designs, please visit nielanell.com.
Catch of the Day Fish Boxes
Thule Ventus’ Catch of the Day fish subscription boxes are perfect for fish lovers or those looking to introduce more fish into their diet.
Sourced from Blyd O’ It, all the fish is caught by local, family-owned boats off the coast of Shetland. It is delivered in recyclable and well-insulated packaging, using wool sheets which are excellent natural insulators.
Choose from one-off, subscription or gift vouchers.
In addition to the Catch of the Day fish boxes, Thule Ventus also sell a wide range of salt cod products, made using traditional methods. The off-cuts are even used for healthy, 100% cod dog treats!
Lerwick Brewery brews a range of award-winning craft beers. From lagers to IPAs to oatmeal stouts, they have something for everyone! In addition to their bottles, they also have a range of gift options including 5l mini-kegs allowing you to pour a pint from the comfort of your own home, as well as gift packs, gift vouchers, tours and merchandise.
Use code SHETLAND20 for free delivery to the Shetland mainland.
To shop, please visit the website.
Peerie Shop produces lots of Shetland themed gifts which are designed in-house and produced by small makers around Britain. Here are a few favourites:
Babywear range including, Peerie Man, Peerie Viking and Peerie Wife are designed by Emma Gibson and hand-printed in Edinburgh. The range includes t-shirts, vests, bibs and hats.
Victoria Gibson knitwear is hand knitted in Shetland using Shetland wool. The website includes loop scarves, gloves and hats.
Bird tea towels and bags are a letterpress design created by Emma Gibson of different Shetland bird names. The tea towels are organic cotton and the bags are fair trade. Both are printed in the UK.
Lace tea towels are printed from the scanned image of a piece of knitting Emma commissioned from Kathleen Anderson. Again, these are organic cotton printed in the UK.
Gilly B’s Lerwick Waterfront mug, bag and prints are always a best seller. These were commissioned by the Peerie Shop who wanted to produce a papercut of Lerwick’s beautiful waterfront which could be used for products. At present they have mugs, prints and bags. All of these are made in the UK.
Peerie jumper decorations were designed by Emma and laser cut in Scotland. Peerie Shop then ties them with real Shetland wool.
Coming soon!!! Fair Isle bunting!!
Emma Gibson has been working with a Scottish designer to produce a washing line full of Fair Isle jumpers as bunting. These should be here in the next couple of weeks so follow @peerieshop on Instagram to stay informed.
These are looking amazing and are based on knitwear in the Shetland Museum. The following is a photo of the sample but more photos will be available when the products arrive in Shetland.
All the above items are on their website and they ship worldwide.
Crafts at Nordara
Andrea Abernethy from Aith creates beautiful, bespoke hand embroidered hoop decorations. Her work consists of hoop embroidery for all occasions including Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, new home or house name, family trees, baby announcements – the possibilities are endless!
Hoops vary in size from 3"-12" and vary between £20-£60. Turn around is usually 2-3 weeks so if you're after something for Christmas get your orders in as soon as possible via Instagram or Facebook.
Julie Williamson Designs
Based on the island of Whalsay, Julie Williamson Designs creates nostalgic print designs on a range of homeware products – each one with a unique story, inspired by Shetland’s cultural heritage.
Julie offers free uk postage for orders over £30 and free worldwide for orders over £100
To view the full collection, visit her website.
Drummie-Bee is a Shetland-based contemporary textile designer. Drummie-Bee products are designed and machine knitted in the home studio in Lerwick. The pieces are is largely inspired by the landscape, nature and the fishing industry in Shetland
The picture above features a Bold Stripe Shore Snood (£40.00) and matching Shore Headband (£25.00) both knitted using 100% lambswool.
The above photo is the Fleet Baby Hat (prices start at £29.00), knitted in merino wool and finished with a handmade faux fur pom pom.
Products can be purchased from my website: www.drummiebee.com.
C Kirkwood Photography
Where can I buy a Shetland calendar? This is something I'm asked about every year! You can buy your calendar from Catriona Kirkwood's Etsy Shop.
Catriona also sells a range of mounted prints, postcards and greetings cards – including some familiar Shetland TV series locations and our native Shetland sheep. You can buy these from the Etsy Shop too.
Shetland Times Bookshop
The Shetland Times Bookshop is a long-established, family-owned bookshop in Lerwick. The shop is a welcoming and interesting place to browse and explore, offering fantastic service and an array of books and unique, bespoke gifts.
They have a knowledgeable team and offer every local interest book currently in print, including their own extensive list of locally related publications.
Two of my favourite books that make great gifts are pocket guides Shetland Summer Birds and Shetland Summer Flowers (above).
Also out this year, and one that I’ve just finished reading, is A Family at War 1914-1918.
If you cannot find what you are looking for, would like a recommendation or require any assistance, please call or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All their books can be ordered online via their website.
Shetland Aurora Hunter by Richard Ashbee
For those who are interested in the Aurora Borealis – or the northern lights (known locally as the mirrie dancers), Richard Ashbee’s new book is for you.
The book is 164 pages, with 85 stunning photos, 16 diagrams and three graphs.
The publication covers seeing the aurora in Shetland, understanding the aurora and – importantly – how to capture that perfect photograph when you’re lucky enough to see them.
If you would like a copy, it can be bought through Richard Ashbee’s website.
Last, but not least ... you can still buy postcards in my online shop or treat yourself to a Patreon subscription and receive monthly videos, podcasts or essays exclusive to patrons.
Hello from Laurie
Hello, and welcome to my blog. I hope that you find what you're looking for - whether you're planning that perfect holiday or maybe you're from Shetland and looking for some 'home' inspiration. Hopefully, there is something here for everyone.