Welcome to The Hebridean Woolshed‘s Online Shop!

Shopping baskets and payments are handled by PayPal. You don’t need a PayPal account to shop here. You can pay with most credit and debit cards, or with a PayPal account.

To order more than one of any item, first put the item in to the shopping basket, then adjust the quantity.

Please be sure to order enough wool for your project : we cannot guarantee availability of more wool from the same lot, and a different batch may have a distinctly different look, and this is particularly true for Beinn Sgíathan yarns.

The minimum postage & packaging charge is £4.95, but higher charges may apply, depending on the number and value of items in your shopping basket.  The maximum charge is £12.45.  The exact amount payable is calculated automatically as the contents of your basket are changed.   The automatically calculated prices apply only to delivery addresses within the United Kingdom. For delivery addresses elsewhere, please enquire before ordering : you will be provided with a quotation for any additional charge (that is, in excess of the automatically calculated charge), which if you accept will be confirmed in the form of a PayPal invoice.  All deliveries are by Royal Mail tracked-and-signed-for services.


 


 

Natural Wool Yarns

These pure wools come exclusively from our own sheep or those of our near neighbours, here on the island of South Uist and close-by on the Isle of Eriskay.

We offer two colours of wool yarns : Hebridean – which is naturally black ; and Cheviot – naturally white. Additionally a blend of the two, named Beinn Sgíathan – after the hill on Eriskay which the two breeds can be found sharing the island’s common grazings.

The wools are spun for us – to our own specification – at a specialist spinning mill. The wools are not coloured with dyes, or modified in any way.  The colours are entirely natural – and thus also naturally variable.  A good degree of consistency – not just in colour, but also fineness, softness, resilience, and other attributes – is achieved through considerable care at every step of production : care in breeding, shearing, sorting and grading the raw wool, and – at the mill, training and good process control in preparing the wool for spinning and the spinning itself. These wools are certainly representative of the breed of sheep they come from ; but they also express the combined experience and skill of all those who have contributed to their production. These unique and distinctive wools are artisanal in nature.

Ewe and twin lambs, Bothy Field. The Big Garden Croft, Isle of Eriskay

Ewe and twin lambs, Bothy Field.

Our own small flock of pedigree Hebridean sheep – on The Big Garden Croft, in Eriskay – produce a wool that is naturally dark brown.  When they are sheared for the first time – at about one year old (they’re then known as a shearling, or hog , until they are sheared again a year later), their wool is especially fine, soft, and consistently very rich dark brown – very nearly black : this is referred to as lambswool. In later life, a ewe or ram kept for breeding will grow a fleece which becomes increasingly more varied in colouring – mostly ‘dark chocolate’ but with flecks of tan and grey, an appearance often described as ‘heathered’.  The lambswool is best suited for apparel to be worn close to soft skin – scarves, hats, gloves and such like. The heathered wool is harder-wearing and best suited for waistcoats, cardigans, sweaters, ganseys and such like, worn over a shirt or blouse.  Both lambswool and heathered wool are suitable for knitting, crochet or felting, and for weaving (especially as the weft in weft-faced weaves). The black Hebridean yarns are currently available as : DK Lambswool ; DK heathered wool ; Aran heather-brown wool.

The Cheviot sheep of our neighbours – also on the nearby Isle of Eriskay – are a pure creamy white. We select only the best fleeces from sheep just one or two years old, and then grade and sort for the right quality : softness, consistency of colour (even white can vary from creamy to greyish), crimp, strength and other attributes.  The white Cheviot yarns are currently available in DK and Aran weights.  Both are equally well suited to wearing against the skin or as warm-wear over shirts, blouses and so on, and for knitting, crochet or felting ; and for weaving weft-faced.

The Beinn Sgíathan is a blend of the heather-brown Hebridean with the Cheviot, inspired by the exposed bedrock and tumble of boulders that characterize the common grazings in the northern part of the island of Eriskay, and where both Hebridean and Cheviot sheep graze together through the summer months. Currently, Beinn Sgíathan is available only in Aran weight.

DK-weight yarns have two strands (2-ply / two-fold) – perfect for lighter-weight or lace-type patterns; Aran -weight yarns have three strands (3-ply / three-fold), with a firmer, denser character best suited to country warm-wear, especially with Aran cabled knitwear style.

Prices : £6 per 50g ball, except for Lambswool and Beinn Sgiathan yarns, which are £8 per 50g ball.


Choice of yarns – All 50g balls



 


 

Drop-Spindle Spinning Starter Kit

Drop Spindle Starter Pack, from The Hebridean Woolshed, Isle of South Uist

Drop Spindle Starter Pack, from The Hebridean Woolshed, Isle of South Uist

Until Leonardo da Vinci invented the spinning wheel, five centuries ago, wool and other fibres were spun into yarns using the simple drop-spindle, consisting of a whorl – a flattish disc of stone, pottery, or wood – with a long rounded shaft of wood, bone, or ivory.  The spinning wheel is faster and more efficient than a drop-spindle, but many times more expensive to make or buy, and  less portable : so – even today, the drop-spindle remains in every day use amongst traditional communities in less-developed regions of the world. And in the developed world, many craft spinners will possess at least one drop-spindle – often of fine materials and workmanship ; and they’ll very often be proud to demonstrate their skills in spinning with it.

To learn to spin first with a drop-spindle is the surest path to success with a spinning wheel : a thorough understanding of the fundamentals of the process of spinning ; a firm grasp of the basic techniques ; and – above all else – an intuitive feel for the character of the fibre being spun.  Every raw beginner we’ve taught will remember the drop-spindle as both the beginning and the greater part of their learning ; and even those who professed to have some knowledge of spinning would be required to demonstrate their competence with a drop-spindle.

Our Drop-Spindle Spinning Starter Kit includes, in a clear bag:

  • Drop-Spindle – with wooden shaft and whorl, and a brassed metal hook
    (it may be useful to know that the spindle is of the type known as a top-whorl – a relatively recent innovation)
  • Rovings – 100g of Cheviot wool fibre (chose between soft white and soft grey) prepared for hand-spinning
  • Tuition leaflet – with step-by-step instructions that are simply worded, clear, and easy-to-follow

 

The tuition leaflet uses the same simple, step-by-step instructions given to the many students that we previously taught in person at the Hebridean Woolshed – here in South Uist.  It’s stood the test of time!

Price : £20 each


Drop Spindle Starter Kit – Options and Prices



 


 

Natural Wool Rovings

Hebridean Roving (sample). The Hebridean Woolshed, Isle of South Uist

Hebridean Roving – Sample

Description :

Rovings are wool fibres that have been prepared for spinning at a commercial woolen mill. Our Natural Wool Rovings are taken from the production line for our mill-spun Natural Wool Yarns, immediately prior to the spinning operation.

Rovings are ideal for spinning with a drop-spindle, a spinning wheel, or an electric spinner. Just pull off a 150-200mm length, roll into a rollag, and spin!

Currently we offer Natural Wool Rovings from our own pedigree flock of Hebridean sheep : it’s the same wool that’s used to make the heather-brown Hebridean DK and Aran yarns.

Rovings can also be used for conventional felting and kneedle-felting … and no doubt many other uses, according to your own imagination and ingenuity.

Price : £4.50 per 100g





 

Hebridean Aran Fingerless Mittens KitHebridean Aran Fingerless Mittens, The Hebridean Woolshed, Isle of South Uist

Description :  These snug, warm and hard-wearing fingerless mittens are knitted with the wool of our black Hebridean sheep on the Big Garden Croft. Knitted in stocking stitch and a simple Aran-style cable, these mitts are straightforward to make.

Size : The pattern fits a regular size ladies’ hand

Included : Pattern leaflet ; 1 No 50g ball Hebridean Aran (3-ply) ; Cellophane pack.

You’ll also need :
Pair 4mm [UK 8] straight ; One small cable needle ; Stitch-holder

Difficulty : Intermediate

Price for Kit : £10




Alternatively, this item can be bought ready-made for £28 – Please enquire

 


Hebridean Aran Cabled Hat KitThe Hebridean Woolshed. Hebridean Aran Cabled Hat

Description : This Aran cabled hat is knitted with the wool of our black Hebridean sheep on the Big Garden Croft. Using a stretchy double moss stitch, the length of the hat is easily adjusted to fit most adults. A delightful cabled patern defines the brim.

Size : Fits most adults

Included in cellophane pack :
Pattern leaflet ; 2 No 50g balls Hebridean Aran (3-ply)

You’ll also need :
Pair 4mm [UK 8] straight ; Pair 5mm [UK 6] straight ; One small cable needle

Difficulty : Intermediate

Price for Kit : £16.00




Alternatively, this item can be bought ready-made for £34 – Please enquire

 


 

Cheviot Horseshoe Lace Cowl from The Hebridean Woolshed, Isle of South UistCheviot Horseshoe Lace Cowl

Description : This pretty, snug cowl is knitted in the natural cream coloured wool of our neighbours’ Cheviot sheep. The traditional horseshoe lace pattern of the cowl is edged with a reversed garter stitch – one edge scalloped, the other straight. Knitted in the round, the cowl is seamless and extremely comfortable to wear next to the skin.

Size : 60cm (24”) circumference (unstretched) 20cm (8”) top to bottom

Included in cellophane pack :
Pattern leaflet ; 2 No 50g balls Cheviot DK (2-ply)

You’ll also need : Circular needle 50cm (20”) length 3.75mm [UK 9]  ; Stitch Marker

Difficulty : Intermediate

Price for Kit : £16.00



Alternatively, this item can be bought ready-made for £36.00 – Please enquire

 


 

Felted Uist Purses Kit

Description : These felted purses are made with the natural wool of both black Hebridean sheep and cream Cheviot sheep from the island of South Uist in the Outer Hebrides. Although knitted in a simple garter stitch, the combination of one strand each of Hebridean and Cheviot wool results in an interesting speckled effect. After knitting, the purses are felted in a washing machine and finished with the metal Celtic knotwork buttons supplied.

Size : Wide purse 14cm (5½”) x 10cm (4”) [excl. flap] ; Tall purse: 10cm (4”) x 16cm (6½”) [excl. flap]

Included [In cellophane pack] :
Pattern leaflet ; 1 No 50g ball Hebridean DK (2-ply) ; 1 No 50g ball Cheviot DK (2-ply) ; 4 metal buttons with Celtic-knotwork design

You’ll also need : Pair 5mm [UK 6] straight knitting needles

Difficulty : Easy

Price for Kit : £20



Alternatively, either one or the other of the two purses can be bought ready-made for £22.00 – Please enquire