21 September 2019 – Harriet's Hat Breakfast and Knit-in

21 September 2019 – Harriet's Hat Breakfast and Knit-in


9.00am – 1.00pm

Come and join us for a morning making Harriet’s Hat and help raise much needed funds for Shetland’s MRI scanner appeal.

We will start with a hearty breakfast at The Running Fox (please note the cost of breakfast is not included in the price) then move on up to Fine Fettle Fibres to choose our yarn and get started on our hat.

The price includes:

  • 6 balls of J & S 2ply jumper weight yarn to complete the hat in the colours of your choice

  • printed pattern (all of the £4 of the pattern cost goes to the scanner appeal)

  • help getting started with your hat

  • light refreshments at Fine Fettle Fibres

Please bring your needles with you. The hat uses 3mm and 3.25mm needles - either DPNs or a 40cm circular for the body of the hat plus either DPNs or a long (80cm) circular for the crown of the hat.

We will need to choose our breakfast in advance so nearer the time, I will email you the menu. Please let me have your food choices so that I can notify The Running Fox. We will each pay for our own breakfast on the day.

For more information about the scanner appeal please scroll down.

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Harriet Middleton, like all Shetland women, learned to knit at her mother’s knee. By the time she was six her hands could follow the Fair Isle pattern, considered a major part of Shetland’s heritage. The patterns Harriet knits are not written down but something she does instinctually. To capture this one, her son, Billy, sat beside her to write down what she was doing. The crown of the hat Harriet designed to resemble an MRI Scanner – in itself an historic reference to a time in Shetland when money was being raised for desperately needed medical equipment. 

Billy Middleton appreciates knitting is part of his heritage. As an employee of NHS Shetland he embraced the fundraising effort for an MRI Scanner but it was through his mother that he realised that knitting was a way to raise money. Over several days he painstakingly documented every stitch she made and transcribed it to form this pattern – a unique gift to Shetland in the community’s bid for an MRI Scanner. 


Over 600 patients from Shetland must travel south to have an MRI scan each year. MRI diagnostics are used to diagnose and monitor a wide variety of conditions and the number of patients who need them is steadily increasing. 

There can be delays in getting an MRI scan due to bad weather, transport delays and logistical problems in getting short notice appointments or one stop clinics. There is also the challenge of making the journey itself, which can involve time off work, and impact on family life and child care at an already difficult time. 

Through a combination of grant funding and a public fundraising campaign, the Shetland Health Board Endowment Fund aims to raise £2 million for an MRI Scanner located at the Gilbert Bain. Shetland could have its own MRI scanner, so that scans could be done here and sent to the same specialists who analyse them now.