Local knitter visits Scotland and Shetland Islands

North Oaks resident, Suzanne Hanifl, traveled to Scotland and to the Shetland Islands on the first ever knitting tour there organized by the Irish Knitting Tours. Here is Suzanne (seated, far right) and her friend, Harriet Middleton (seated, far left), holding checks representing money raised to purchase an MRI machine for the hospital in Lerwick in the Shetland Islands of Scotland.

Suzanne Hanifl embarked on a tour of Scotland and the Shetland Islands, leaving the Minneapolis–St.Paul Airport on Aug. 29 for a tour that would include a visit to a wool mill, a kilt-making demonstration, three knitting workshops (Fair Isle, lace, and using a knitting belt), a trip to a sheep farm, as well as textile and heritage museums and other interesting sights, and a morning at the Perth Festival of Yarn. 

There were 24 women on this tour, with 8 from Canada and 16 from the United States. The tour included an overnight (12-hour) ferry from Aberdeen, Scotland, to Lerwick, Shetlands, and back the same way. The weather and the North Sea were unexpectedly sunny and calm. 

Harriet Middleton of the MRI Maakers (mrimaakers.com) created a Fair Isle hat design to raise funds to purchase an MRI machine for the hospital in Lerwick—otherwise patients have to go to the mainland for an MRI, which means a 12-hour trip by ferry or travel by airline, both of which can be arduous and dependent on the weather as well. (“Maakers” means knitters or doers in Scotland. They say they are “maaking and yaaking” just as we are “knitting and chatting.”) While in Lerwick, Suzanne presented the MRI Maakers with a check for $673 from her Facebook knitting group, the “Morehouse Merino Flock,” based in New York on a Merino Sheep farm. 

If you are an adventurous knitter who’d like to follow in the footsteps of Suzanne, visit knittingtours.com to learn about the tour she took and other tours available.


—Suzanne Hanifl, 

44 Osprey Court

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