top of page

2017 Winner - Mhairi Abbas

‘Land and Sea’ is my graduate collection of unique textile designs, hand dyed yarn and wearable accessories. My home in the Shetland Islands has had a huge impact on the work I create and it was these stunning islands that were the basis for ‘Land and Sea’.

Intensive research culminated in my dissertation entitled “How Environment and Place Have Influenced the Shetland Knitwear Industry”. I am passionate about textiles and knitting, the history, the process and what the future holds for the industry. Keeping skills and craft alive is of upmost importance therefore being passionate and having good craftsmanship at the heart of my work is of great value. I see myself as someone who can play a part in the future growth of the creative industry in this area.


  • Textile Design BDes First Class Honours – DJCAD - 2017

  • National Certificate in Art and Design - Shetland College - 2013

  • Higher English - Shetland College - 2012

  • Intermediate 1 and 2 in Maths and Computing - Shetland College - 2012

  • Access to Art, Contemporary Art Skills - Shetland College - 2012

At both College and University, I was nominated as a Student Rep. This has developed my communication and organisational skills as well as making me aware of possible barriers to successful learning students may have.


Relevant skills include competence and experience with V bed knitting machines (Dubied, Stoll and Passap), Domestic knitting machines (Brother, Silver Reed), linking and finishing techniques, industrial yarn winding, dye mixing and dye techniques, sowing machines, overlocker and hand stitching, Photography, CAD, Photoshop, laser cutting, screen printing, design development, sketchbook and prototyping.

Work placements

  • Whistlebare - Northumberland's Finest Natural Yarns. Duties: Photography, hand dying, labelling and feeding goats!

  • Buna og Kleloftet – Voss, Norway. Duties: Tailoring, sowing, beading, overlocking and embroidery.

  • Weave Store – Voss, Norway. Duties: Observing traditional Norwegian weaving, weaving and finishing.


  • Shetland Wool Week. Duties: Preparation and set up for exhibition, set up for attendees and assisting visiting artists.

  • NEoN Digital Arts Festival. Duties: Photography, encouraging participation from the public, assisting with workshops, collecting data and managing the mailing list.

  • Roseangle Arts Café. Duties: Assisting people with learning difficulties gain work experience, front of house waitressing and chefs assistant. Volunteer for over a year and was then taken on as a staff member.

Hobbies and interests

I have a small but wonderful allotment in which I spend much of my spare time tending to my vegetables. Any chance to go to the beach or out hill walking is taken whatever the weather! I push myself to run and keep active, achieving 5K and aiming for 10K next.

Favourite colour: It is almost impossible to choose one colour but I am always drawn to turquoise and bluey green tones.


bottom of page