What better way to sort out your thoughts than to knit.
I based the pattern on one by General Hogbuffer, you can download it here for free. My first thoughts was to create a bauble with a Shetland theme rather than the traditional red and white stars you would traditionally see, the most obvious thing was sheep!
I used Shetland jumper weight yarn (fingering) I had in my stash so I don't know the colour details, I just chose ones that sat nicely next to each other. I cast on eight stitches with the green for the bottom half of the bauble, then basically 8 stitches are increased evenly every second row until you get 64 stitches!
That is followed by a straight section where you insert the pattern. I have designed the sheep to be 8 stitches wide so this motif is repeated 8 times.
Finish the rest of the bauble in blue, following the pattern again at row 14, basically decreasing by 8 stitches every second row until you are left with 8 stitches!
The only thing I did differently to the pattern was I knitted them all the way up on 5 size 2.5mm short double pointed needles, when it came to the part where you insert the ball, I couldn't get the opening to be wide enough without the stitches coming off the ends of the needles, so I transferred the stitches onto a small circular needle, placed the ball inside and then transferred the stitches back to the DPNs.
The pattern gives nice instructions for creating a hanging loop on top using I-cord. I made 12 rows but you could repeat it as many times as you wanted to have any length of loop you wanted.
Here is a teapot version - not as successful I think, I made the motif 32 stitches so it only repeats once. The spout and handle curve around the ball making it difficult to photograph - it actually looks better in real life as you move your head generally when looking at things!
Motifs of 16 stitches would look good, there would be 4 motifs placed around the bauble.
You can collect a polystyrene ball from the Shetland Wool Week offices at the museum in Lerwick, as the tree is very big, it needs big baubles, these are 20cm high! Or, you can make any size of bauble you want.
I plan to get some thicker yarn and large needles so it will knit up fairly quickly. The baubles have to be sent to (or handed into the offices by Wednesday 26th November), they will be entered into a competition, the bauble will be photographed and placed on their Facebook page. The bauble with the most likes will win a copy of the book "Shetland Textiles: 800 BC to the Present'
There's not much time left but it would be great to see you (or your bairns) being creative with wool, you can knit or crochet a cover, stick wool on, felt over them, really anything woolly. I am going to try to get my 3 year old to stick on felt shapes, he will probably love that as he is very "handy" with a stick of Prit stick. It would fantastic to see the tree in Lerwick covered with woolly decorations, so it would be great if you would give it a go!
You can read more details on the Shetland Wool Week blog here.