Denise: The Shetland Lace Scarf made with our hand-spun Uist Landscapes merino wool is always in demand, and has been even been bought by men as a surprise gift for their partners! It’s also the garment for which we’ve most often been asked – by experienced knitters – for the pattern. Until now we’ve always said that we can’t supply a copy of the pattern – because it is just a pattern in my head! However, after a long session yesterday spent with J downloading and converting to a suitable format for publishing, we are now in a position to supply a knitting kit, consisting of a pattern leaflet and two skeins of the Uist Landscapes merino wool of your choice. Here’s pages 1 and 4 from the leaflet. More information ⇒
Denise: Kits ‘n’ Bits returns to the Hebridean Woolshed website, bringing with it the ever-popular drop-spindle starter kit, and also the first of our new range of knitting and crochet kits. We’re excited about this new direction, and we’ll be busy over the coming months putting together interesting combinations of design, techniques, traditions and materials, and providing also the option to buy the needles, hooks and so on required for the kit you buy.
Denise: I heard the front door open, and went to investigate, and found the door still ajar and a big cardboard box on the floor of the front porch, with 1 of 2 marked on the side in thick felt pen. I didn’t need to wait for Roddy the Post to come back with the second and to take away my signature to know what this was – I’ve been expecting it for some weeks. Our 2015 Hebridean lambswool back from spinning! Excited but nervous (we never know for sure how all that care and effort will work out!), I called Jonathan and we set about unpacking and checking it.
The whole point about selecting out the very best raw wool – the softest and finest and most uniformly gorgeously dark of all that year’s clip – is of course to get the very best finished yarn ; but when sending away to a micro-mill for spinning, we have to put our very best materials in the hands of others to exercise their own skill and judgement. It’s quite wrong to think of yarn spun in a micro-mill as ‘mass-produced’ or machine-spun: it is a work of collaboration between craftspeople each specializing in the different stages of turning raw wool into yarn.
Anyway, back to the wool coming out of those cardboard boxes : absolutely gorgeous indeed. The additional care, effort and money this lambswool (shearling) wool has cost is fully justified ; and certainly our customers think so, because despite the price (necessarily) being 20% higher, it still sells out all too soon!
Here below is the new lambswool on the right. The other two balls are made with equal careful selection for quality, but taken from sheep of all ages, and that’s what accounts for the ‘heathered’ colouring, compared to the purer dark brown-black of the lambswool.