Scotland enlists Shetland Ponies in Cardigans to compel you to visit Scotland

Okay. I surrender to our fuzzy, sweater-bedecked pony overlords. (HT: @katiezez)



  1. Although those are cardigans, they’re better described as Fair Isle cardigans, since the traditional Shetland pattern is what makes them distinctive.  Not really sure why Visit Scotland dropped the haggis on that one.

  2. I’m right behind you. A pony in a cardigan. A pony in a cardigan. My kingdom (if I had one) for a pony in a cardigan.

  3. I’ve never been out of the country. Scotland is where I want to travel to the most! It’s so green.  I was born in in the middle of the low, hot desert in August. It would be nice to visit a place so totally opposite. Plus, you know: Kilts and accents. (Also, I’m totally obsessed with Craig Ferguson, so that might also be why…)

    1. Hey, come right along!

      …Though I’d advise leaving it a couple of months. It’s not green at all right now: it’s brown and grey. Well, that is, it’s brown and grey when there’s enough daylight to see anything at all.

      1. I was in Edinburgh in a cold and overcast November. Definitely not the greenest time to be there, but I still had a great time. In short, it might be nicer looking when the weather is warmer, but I don’t think there’s a bad time to visit Scotland. 

        1. And you know what’s great about Scotland winters?  Perfect justification for sitting down in front of a roaring fire with a single malt of your choosing.  No bad time, indeed.

        2. I want the full Scotland treatment: cold and overcast sounds perfect. (We don’t get a lot of cold, overcast days where I am from; and I LOVE fog!! I never see fog.)

      2. I think I’d have a blast any time of year, actually. Green and pretty:  Awesome!  Cold and foggy: Awesome!  Mostly because both are opposite of what I’m used to. :P And I rather like fog.

  4. Knowing the Scots, they’ve probably have a pony-in-cardigan flavored whisky to sell you too. 

    1. It can’t be much fun for the Scots if would be visitors are so easily cajoled.
      A tour round the Gorbals should be the compulsory antidote to all those highland fantasies.

  5. This has set off a fire-storm in the miniature horse owners community (yes, there is one!).  EVERYONE wants one of those sweaters for their pony!  (Etsy boom business?)

  6. Can’t remember who it was, but I recall a comedian expressing a wish to breed miniature Shetand ponies. Still makes me chortle…

  7. Back in 2004 my family and I visited Scotland and got to see first-hand how these sweaters are made. To our great surprise we learned that the sweaters are knitted in situ – that is, the sweater is made by a team of knitters from the long winter pony coat while the hair is still on the pony. Typically two people stand on each side of the pony, with a fifth roving knitter, and knit the sweater. The knitting team uses vegetable-based inks to create the patters as they work. The whole process takes about an hour if the pony is cooperative. The result is a pony in a sweater made of its own hair, hair that’s still attached to its body. The magic of this whole situation is that as the days go on the ponies shed their winter coat, which then separates and detaches the formerly attached sweater from their bodies. Sadly as the weather turns really warm (at least for Scotland) the sweaters are simply cut off and discarded. Very few survive intact, since removing the sweaters can be traumatic for the critters. I did see a whole pony sweater on the UK version of “Antiques Roadshow” a couple years ago, brought in by a wonderful elderly lady who’d had the sweater in her family for generations. Surprisingly the sweater was only valued at roughly $1000 dollars. I’d have expected such a work of art to fetch a much higher price.

  8. Exxxxceeellent. Lauren Hansen did a funny piece on this earlier this week.

    I’m waiting for the matching sweater for the riders.

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