About Us

Thanks for visiting our online shop, here’s a little bit of info to let you know who we are and what we do.

Joanna first started the business in 1999 from a spare room in my parent's house.  Her ambition was to design and make alternative Shetland knitwear which was soft and easy to wear, and so began Joanna Hunter Knitwear. She initially sold to other shops throughout the UK, Japan, USA and Scandinavia, as well as exhibitions and craft and design markets in the UK. In 2003 She decided that She needed a permanent retail shop in Shetland so She opened Ninian in Lerwick, Shetland's main town. Sourcing design led items from the UK and beyond to compliment our own collections was a passion for her and by 2011, the range of knitwear and gifts had grown so more space was needed, Ninian moved to lovely bigger retail premises just along the street which is still our home today.

We carefully source all of our products, as many from UK designers as possible and select those, which, we think, compliment our knitwear (but mostly things we love for ourselves!)

We design and make all our knitwear in the Shetland Islands, just as it has been done for centuries. Each item is hand finished, creating a luxurious garment, which we hope you'll love wearing as much as we loved making. 

Our Lerwick shop is open Monday to Saturday, from 9am - 5.30pm.  We're always happy to answer any questions you may have about how we make our collections; if you would like to take a peek to see where we design and make our knitwear, just ask and we’d be happy to show you around the studio.

We hope to see you in Shetland soon!

 Our Team

Here at Ninian we're all very creative, with everyone producing their own work outside Ninian. We all love to design and make and love to chat about it.

Joanna Hunter Coe:
Joanna, owner and founder of Ninian and Joanna Hunter Knitwear has a passion for textiles and design which started as a child. When she's not in the studio she can be found paddle boarding around the beautiful Shetland coastline, on the yoga mat or out with her family on adventures. Joanna breeds Shetland sheep and has a habit of naming them all. 

Check out some of our Interviews about Shetland here
Shona Anderson:
Shona joined the Ninian team in 2005 after traveling around Australasia and returning with various sketchbooks full to bursting. She works in many mediums, you can follow her instagram @pinkfishshetland for a glimpse of her talents.

Sophie Manson:
Sophie joined the team Ninian team in 2016 after she finished studying knitted textiles. She works on her own designs too and you can follow her at @drummiebee on Facebook and instagram. 

Nicole Coutts:
Nicole did her work experience at Ninian in 2014, we were so impressed we kept her as a Saturday girl and after studying textiles at college is now a permanent fixture. You can follow her on Instagram @nicoleestelledesigns to see her hand knitted designs.

Claire Robertson:
Claire joined Ninian in 2019 and can turn her hand to anything. She studied woven textiles and creates work in various mediums. You can follow her @laurenclaireart on Facebook and instagram.