A Hat for George!

To make things is to do well                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  *                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         And to do things in harmony, all
trades and images cohering, is                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     to catch time and form in their
flight, until all cry Gloria   

from “Anne Bevan, Sculptor. Hills, Woolcraft, Stone”, The Collected Poems of George Mackay Brown (John Murray, 2005) p. 327

Featured photograph and hat: Sheila Garson

In the centenary year of the birth of George Mackay Brown the GMB Fellowship has joined with Orkney Library and Archive to create a lightsome project inspired by the activities of the Yap and Yarn groups which have, until lockdown, met regularly in the winter months in the libraries in Kirkwall and Stromness. We hope to inspire knitters everywhere to celebrate  #GMB100, linking craft and the words of the writer by knitting A Hat for George.

Hats can be worked in any style, colour or pattern. In tribute to the writer, knitters may like to name their hat design after a novel, story or poem by George Mackay Brown – or perhaps a location, character or line quoted from his work. This is up to individual knitters.


There are plans for two exhibitions. Hats will be photographed in Orkney Library & Archive and posted online with details of where in Orkney – or the rest of the world – they have come from, forming a colourful online exhibition. Then in October, the month of George Mackay Brown’s birth, we hope to display all the hats contributed in an exhibition titled A Hat for George in Orkney Library & Archive.

Following the exhibition, hats will be auctioned and proceeds given to a local charity/charities.

You can see the hats completed so far in the slideshow above and also in the Hat Gallery.

Taking Part

You can drop off your finished hat at Kirkwall or Stromness Library or give it to staff on board the Mobile Library – or else post your work to:

A Hat for George, Orkney Library & Archive
44 Junction Road, Kirkwall, Orkney KW15 1AG

Please include with your hat a note of the following details:

1. Your name (if you are happy to have this displayed with your hat in the exhibition).

2. Your location (where in Orkney – or the world – you are).

3. Optional: a name for your hat design chosen from a novel, story, poem or line of text from the work of George Mackay Brown.

Hats should reach Orkney Library & Archive by MONDAY 30 AUGUST 2021.

Return to GMB Centenary 2021

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