As a starting point for the Shetland workshops, and to illustrate the Shetland Islands’ distinctive design heritage, V&A Dundee selected an iconic piece of Shetland design from the collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum, London: a Fair Isle jumper knitted in the 1920s for General Sir Walter Kirke, a Commander-in-Chief of the British Home Forces.
Having thought deeply about their own community, and also about the importance of design and making in Shetland, the group began to formulate ideas. Other routes were considered, but the young people settled on expressing their thoughts about community via knitwear, which is itself vital to Shetland’s culture, commerce and viability as an island community.
production of a collection
Under the supervision of the Relay participants, a prototype collection of knitted accessories was made at Shetland College UHI’s state-of-the-art Textile Facilitation Unit. And, as a result of the project, the group has founded a design collective—NOAK (Nine Of A Kind), to design and develop their own products.