Shetland Otter Beret

After the severe storm here in Shetland on Saturday, I walked to the beach on Sunday afternoon with my latest Fair Isle hat along with my camera to get some shots of it outdoors in what was left of the day light. I photographed more than I expected as I happened to amazingly stumble upon a young otter on the shoreline. I don’t know who was the most surprised as we both stood still gazing at each other silently. I fumbled with my camera and only managed to get a couple of decent shots. I wish I was more competent with it.  I think they were scanning around looking for their mother as they momentarily waited till they then decided to go into the sea, when she did not show.


I found a buoy amongst the flotsam and jetsam and as no one was available to model my design I thought it made a good substitute of a head. After all, it did not mind how many pictures I took, till I was sure I had enough images I could use!


The Shetland sheep were thankful of the calmer conditions as they grazed on the seaweed. Often we watch them on the beach at low tide eating up the mineral rich food source during the winter as although there is grass, the seaweed is surely a good change of menu. I also found where one of the Artic Tern’s nests on the shingle. In Shetland dialect they are called Tirrick.




I have plans to write up this pattern, having taken notes as I knitted. I don’t normally do this, and somehow it is a little restricting doing so, Though I am learning a new habit! I hope you like the design. The wool is Shetland jumper weight – 4 ply all bought locally.


16 thoughts on “Shetland Otter Beret

    • Many thanks for your comments, it is a hat I have become quite fond of. The otter and their mother have been around all winter here, and seem to be slightly less shy than normal. We hear the young one calling for their mother and look out our windows and can see them also sometimes too.

  1. Received my Otter beret at the weekend. I love it, colours are gorgeous. Wore it today as I walked out round Scapa and back into town – iIt doesn’t slip off, very comfy to wear. Thanks Emily!!

    • Hello Debbie, I do sell two patterns on Ravelry under the name Emily Poleson Designs. My user name on their for a lot of my knitting is Heylor. I have not yet written up the whole of the pattern for the Shetland Otter Beret but I was hoping to get it completed, possibly over Easter time if I can get some time off work. I find it much easier to knit than write my patterns, to be truthful! Many thanks for your interest in my work, Emily

    • I am so glad you also have seen an otter here as quite a few folk come here and tell me they haven’t been successful in seeing any. I always come across them as I walk along the road along Ronas Voe, but not regularly. So when I do see them it is very special for me and this is the one time I have had a camera with me. Many thanks for your comments on the beret.

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