Michele at Fiberphilia has fairly recently begun having yarn tastings on the last Thursday of the month. I happened in on the day that in addition to the yarn tasting, she had Joyce Lovely demonstrate how to use a Shetland knitting belt. Joyce lived in the Shetland Isles in the early 1960s when she was a newlywed bride of the local minister assigned there. One of the ladies of her husband's church taught her how to use a knitting belt. Forty years later, Joyce returned, and was able to meet the same woman who'd taught her to use the knitting belt. As you can see in this photo, her hands were flying so quickly that they and her knitting pins were a blur to the camera! The belt is mostly covered by her right arm, but you can see the belt portion of it at her waist. The pins are 16" double point needles. Both of these tools are available through Meg Swansen at Schoolhouse Press .
Joyce shared her "pattern book" with us as well. She said commercial pattern such as we have today were not available, so the women got a graph copy book. Inside the front cover of Joyce's pattern book was her handwritten pattern, and on the pages within, were color patterns she'd kept in the book. Inside the back cover, she had another pattern she'd written there.
I feel very fortunate to live where I do, and have wonderful shop owners around such as Amy of Spunky Eclectic and Michele of Fiberphilia around to stimulate my fiber mind and creative drive, and stimulate the gray matter which drives the fingers and hands.... my humble thanks, ladies, and to the many others out there in our non-Muggle world!