Kishies (baskets for pack saddle)

When I did the blog post about klibbers (the traditional Shetland wooden pack saddle), some readers admired the kishies (the traditional Shetland woven baskets worn by women (eek) and ponies).

The Shetland Klibber

Anywho, I dug my two out as the ones in the photos have mysteriously disappeared.

I have had these two for years and they are original and old.

If you want to learn more I also found this very useful page which tells of the kishie’s history and even how to make one.

Sadly, I cannot find anyone in Shetland, let alone the UK, who will have a stab at making a kishie which is very sad.  I have contacted many weavers in and outwith Shetland with no success.  So if you find someone, please let me know. I would love to see their efforts.

I asked Flossie (youngest daughter), who is always very thorough, to measure ours to give you an idea of the kishies’ dimensions.

Firstly the “Red” one. 

This is the older of the two kishies and belonged to my neighbour.  He kindly gifted it to me and I think all the mending that’s been done over the years adds to its charm.

Then there is this one that is in slightly better condition and also has a separate handle.

Each kishie is slightly different in design and size but not enough to mean they can’t be used together.

They really are beautiful pieces of traditional craftsmanship.  I would love to be able to supply kishies with the klibbers.  Maybe you know someone who could make one.  Let me know.






6 thoughts on “Kishies (baskets for pack saddle)

  1. Dona

    Another wonderful post full of great photos & an interesting topic that brightens up everyones day! Have I said too often that you really should publish a book? Similar in format to Anne Cleeves Shetland tabletop book, but “Walls & My Favorite Areas” topics so interesting and different,with a great writing style! Really Frances!

  2. John 'Dog' Callister

    Hi, a friend emailed me an article on your ‘kishties’ as she knows that I am very interested in that sort of thing! I am an amateur basket maker who uses hedgerow willow to create lots of things including baskets. I tend to let the willow wilt a bit before use as I think that there is too much hassle in drying and then wetting before using it!! I live on the Isle of Man where there is an history of making willow items including lobster pots and ‘creels’ which were used in the once thriving Herring industry.
    I run classes in the winter months and make a number of things out of both willow and rushes (juncus effusus). Some are traditional on the Isle of Man.
    I would love to hear from you!
    Gura mie ayd, Dog


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