Roadside Beanie by Oliver Henry and Sandra Manson

Roadside Beanie

Knitting
March 2019
Fingering (14 wpi) ?
32 stitches and 28 rows = 4 inches
US 1½ - 2.5 mm
US 2½ - 3.0 mm
58.5cm / 23in circ | 23cm / 9in length
This pattern is available for free.

We are delighted to announce that ‘Man of Wool’, Oliver Henry is this year’ Shetland Wool Week Patron, and his hat design is called ‘The Roadside Beanie’.

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. We’ve chosen four different colourways this year using yarn from Jamieson and Smith; Jamieson’s of Shetland; Uradale Farm and Foula Wool.”

Shetland Wool Week is honoured to have Oliver as this year’s patron. His passion and expertise for Shetland wool is infectious and he is a massive ambassador for Shetland wool and its people. He was also one of the original founders of Shetland Wool Week, which has now grown and established itself as one of Shetland’s most successful events. As we’ll be celebrating our tenth Shetland Wool Week it made sense for us to bring it back to its original roots and this has been reflected in the choice of patron.