Jonathan and Denise >
A couple of months ago, when summer still lingered on by day, whilst Autumn advanced at night by degrees of cold and wet, we found ourselves in one of our oft-recurring conversations concerning the ever-changing colours of land and loch, sea and sky. We were on a long drive down north*, and as the main road through Uist follows a line between the homely crofting townships on the Atlantic side, and the majestic sweep of hill and glen on the other, without being inconvenienced by either (or, indeed, much in the way of road traffic) there’s always time and distance enough to observe, to reflect, and to talk.
* Here in the Outer Hebrides, South is Up and North is Down!
As so often happens on our long drives, the conversation was sporadic, each of us taking in something from the passing scene, digesting and analysing it, then offering up some observation or a proposal. On this journey, the to-and-fro of conversation concerned the colours – somehow both dreary and glorious – emanating from the higher slopes of the eastern hills, where eagles have their eeries and the red deer graze in peace. There’s the almost-indigo of field scabious ; There’s the pinks and purples of heather, both the bell and the ling ; the jade green of moss, in patches on the near-starved soils of the high and north-facing slopes ; the burnt orange of the carnivorous sundew, and the tall grasses and reeds, yellow gold in the low autumnal light. A haze of colour, bleeding from the mountainsides, smudged in the drifting mist and attenuated by the distance. And were we to put a name to this still-damp canvas … ?
Welcome to our new, limited-edition Uist Landscapes hand-spun merino wool yarn : Mountain Haze
To purchase, visit the Hebridean Woolshed. You can buy skeins of Mountain Haze yarn for your own projects, or if you want the Shetland Lace Scarf shown in progress here, you can buy it as a kit with yarn and pattern, or complete – hand-knitted by Denise.
For delivery by Christmas be sure to order by :
- 7 December – Australia and New Zealand
- 12 December – European Union, USA, Canada
- 19 December – United Kingdom
As Autumn shows its colours and the winds are from the cold north, our thoughts return to indoor work – of wheels and wools.
As the Hebridean Woolshed‘s Spinning Wheel Engineer in Residence, I love to find the time to feel my way around every piece of equipment, cleaning, adjusting, replacing, oiling. Bearings and bushes. Belts and bands. Cranks and connecting rods. Springs and screws. And of course there’s the wood – above all the wood.
Denise kept spinning full speed ahead, making good the empty pigeon-hole for Uist Landscapes – Atlantic, up the garden in the Hebridean Woolshed‘s garden shop. I got a spare wheel ready, and when she stopped for coffee and cake, I swapped wheels, transferring the work-in-progress bobbins, and adjusting the tensions of drive and brake bands to match those on the wheel I’d taken away.
Returning to work, Denise took great delight in detailing the many deficiencies of my tactical manoeuvres!
And now I must get back to work on my own line of ‘self-coloured’ (wool self-coloured by the sheep themselves!), handspun in marls and variegations. There’s customers for whom these colours sum up their life-long love of all things woolly.