Yesterday. Susan Crawford visited the Knitting & Crochet Guild collection with her husband Gavin to do some final research for The Vintage Shetland Project. (I pre-ordered a copy of the book before Christmas, and she tells me that I should get it in April.) She hadn't visited the collection before - it was wonderful to show it to someone so enthusiastic and knowledgeable about knitting history. We showed her some of the Shetland lace, and I got out some lace patterns from the 1940s and 1950s - here are a few of them.
These two Bestway patterns date from the early 1950s. We looked at two Copley's patterns from the 1940s that use Shetland lace stitches, or very similar ones. Lacy knitwear was popular in the 1940s when clothes rationing meant that women wanted to knit jumpers using a minimal amount of yarn. Copley's 1440 uses only 3 ounces of wool (although it is so see-through that you would definitely need to wear a vest under it, I think).
Although it doesn't mention any Shetland inspiration for the design, at least Copley's 1440 uses Shetland wool. The jumpers in Copley's 1271 are knitted in cotton bouclé (4 ounces, or approx. 100g., for each), so quite remote from any Shetland original.
So we had a great afternoon with Susan and Gavin showing them things from the collection. And talking a lot. I'm sure Susan would have been quite happy for us to leave her locked in with the collection overnight, but eventually she had to go home. They have a farm to run and animals to feed. And she has a book to finish! (I am so looking forward to getting my copy in April.)