Far out in the radiant ocean glinting like quicksilver, there lies a solitary little lead-coloured land. The tiny rocky shore is to the vast ocean just about the same as a grain of sand to the floor of a dance hall.
In this microcosmic setting author William Heinesen sets the tone of his remote North Atlantic homeland Føroyar, The Faroe Islands. The name is thought to mean ‘sheep islands’, as it is said that this resilient survivor were already on the islands when the first Viking settlers arrived in the 9th Century AC.
The sheep in all its virtues in woven into all parts of Faroese culture and shapes a unity between landscape, man and animal. The most poignant example is the knitted woollen shawl in the traditional costume. The finest sheep wool created with the unique lace knitting technique of human hands to work for the ever-changing and often dramatic weather.
Rather than the geometrical shapes of its many siblings, the Faroese shawl is shaped like a butterfly. Wearing it draped gently over the back, the wings give you a soothening embrace and tranquility. Just as important as the functionality of this shape is the scope for showing off those fine knitting moves in the composition of lace, colourful panels and stripes skillfully combined with the more everyday-feel of browns greys and creamy whites of the old Nordic breeds.