Greetings from Orkney!

Greetings from Orkney!

By Maggie Nichols

Hello,  I want to say a big thank you for giving me such a warm welcome.  I have loved reading your comments here on the blog and chatting to you on Instagram.  Many of you have visited Orkney in the past while so many of you have ancestors here.  Some of you have asked questions about life here and I hope to cover as many of these as I can as we go along in the future. 

One of the things I had  really wanted to show you was all the lovely daffodils that appear at this time of year.  Even the verges of the small narrow roads are awash with the bright cheery yellow of this spring flowering plant.  Sadly though, before I had chance to take some photographs, we had a week of gales, freezing temperatures and winterly showers.  They just didn’t stand a chance especially with the high amount of salt the gales had whipped up into the air.   Those that were in bloom or just about to flower are now looking very sorry for themselves and are brown and wilting.  

Daffodils on the isle of Orkney


Wilted daffodils in the snow

However, I noticed today, while enjoying a cup of tea up in Tam the Van (at a beautiful beach in the West Mainland) that those plants that were later flowering and so we're nicely tucked up and protected when the wintery storms hit are now bursting into flower.  I hope that means some of those along the verges will have survived too.  In Orkney the appearance of daffodils signify the end of the long dark days of winter, the prospect of summer and the many hours of day light that brings. 

In crafty news a lot has been happening.  I finished a jumper and have started to learn a few embroidery stitches however it’s very early days on the embroidery front. If you follow me on Instagram you will have seen my happy jumper Finished Object (FO) photos!  I have posted all the information on my FO post but the design is Vinterskov by Karie Westermann.  Even in the summer it can be cool here so I know it will get lots of wear over the coming months.  I am off now to start my homework ready the 2nd half of my online embroidery workshop, wish me luck! 

Isla in her new sweater sitting happily on the rocks in Orkney.

Until next time take care


If you would like to see more of Orkney and what I am up to you can find me on Instagram as @islap1k1.  


If you missed Isla's first blog post here at The Woolly Thistle, you can find it here. 


  • Daffodils! Somehow I hadn’t thought about them growing in Orkney. Ours are long gone, but the primroses are blooming. Your jumper is so perfect. Really want to make one now! Thank you for giving us a peek at your spring days there.

    REBECCA Bandy
  • Such a delight to drop in for a brief visit to your spot in the world. While the daffodils had just a brief moment to glorify the landscape even in their short days of perfection and their bedraggled aftermath they shout spring is here, the earth is reborn – joy! Thank you for sharing. Greetings from NYC.

  • I so enjoyed my brief visit to the beautiful Orkney Islands several years ago and would love to return. Love your blog and knitwear!

  • I don’t use IG, so will tell you here that I LOVE your Vinterskov jumper – and thanks for sharing the beauty that is Orkney (despite the flower-smooshing storms).

    Donna Nesbitt
  • I am so excited to read your blog etc… would love to chat with you aside from the blog if possible —
    I raise Icelandic, Blueface Leicester, Teeswater – pet sheep now for their fleeces and what joy it brings!!

    Looking forward to hearing more - Sandy

    Sandra Redlands
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