Good Wishes for the New Year

It is just over a week now since I finished my latest knitted hat design which is entirely inspired by Susan Halcrow.  If you have been following this blog, you will know that Susan lived in this house from around 1880 to 1960.  The pattern that I designed is with her in mind and hopefully honours the woman that lived here.  When photographs were brought to me, I saw how strong this woman looked but also serene and calm.   I’ve put all of the photographs of her on my wall, by my desk so that if things get a bit tough, I can look at her and think, she lived here alone and didn’t have a car, internet, TV or phone or any of the comforts that I do and she lived to be 83 years old.  I’ve already shared the photograph of Susan in front of the magnificent peat stack, which she will have undoubtedly help cut and if not, definitely helped dry, carry and stack this magnificent pile. Since moving in to this house, one of my favourite things is to step out in the mornings and smell the heady scent of peat smoke still in the air from the previous night’s fires in the village.

I purposely chose peat as part of the range of colours of the new design because Peat featured heavily in people’s lives then, and can still do today.  I burn peats on my fire (because they were kindly left by the previous owner) and I hope to get a peat bank and cut peats next April to dry and save for the Winter fires.  The best peat smell is from my neighbour’s fire smoke – somehow, their fire smells really good.

Susan Halcrow and her Peat Stack

I called the pattern, ‘Good Wishes for the New Year’.  This is the lovely message that Susan wrote at the bottom of her Christmas card one year.   The photograph was taken in a professional photography studio in Lerwick and was the only one she ever sat for.  She looks calm, serene and beautiful. 

Anyway, here is the hat – If you’d like to take a look at the pattern, it is here

Ravelry: Good Wishes for the New Year pattern by Tracey Doxey

If you would like to read further research – I write my research findings both on Susan, the family and this house, in a monthly newsletter on Patreon and the link for that research is below.

https://www.patreon.com/TraceyDoxey

Thanks for following and, if I don’t get chance to write again before Christmas, Good Wishes for the New Year, we could all kinda do with it.   Much love.  Tracey

A home Susan lived in and now I do.

Ravelry: Designs by Tracey Doxey

Author: traceydoxeydesigns

Site specific Artist using own created textiles, laser cuts and hand block printed wallpaper to engage with narratives of landscapes, social history and place.

4 thoughts on “Good Wishes for the New Year”

  1. Thank you for sharing this Tracey, it’s such a lovely story. I don’t know what a peat fire would smell like but love the wood smoke smell from a wood burner so I imagine something just as nice.
    The generation that Susan was from were so strong, and there are a few just as brave today, taking on challenges & new lives.
    Best wishes
    Yve

    Sent from my iPhone

    Like

  2. Hi Tracey – I love following you here and on Instagram. I’m an author, knitter and historian working on knitting history whenever I can – I’d really love to visit Shetland with its long history of wool and knitting. Stay healthy! Love from Berlin!

    Like

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