D > Despite the gloriously sunny and mild late Spring weather, visitors to the island, being not acclimatised to island conditions, come to our wee shop dressed as for the depths of winter! The lambswool twill scarves, that I weave by hand on our Glamårka floor loom, seem to sell themselves, and as I can’t weave more hours in the day, the scarves are in short supply.
Posting to this blog has lost momentum. Until the purchase of our house in Wales is completed, we daren’t allow ourselves much freedom to make plans for our new lives there. Similarly, until both our remaining properties here are sold, we have to work hard and keeping things going here, just in case things don’t work out as well as planned. We really can’t afford to let ourselves get stuck in limbo-land. So, for now, we’re just getting on with the mucking out and making good – whether the benefit of us or those who follow.
1st April we’re re-opening the Hebridean Woolshed’s wee shop here in the walled garden in South Uist.
So, when you’re ready (and permitted) to come, we’ll be ready to welcome you. Until then, let’s just enjoy the stillness and quietude, the wild primroses putting out blooms even amidst the chilly blasts of March.
Here’s some seasonal knitting in my work-bag : a couple of Shetland Lace Scarves. As fast as I’m knitting them, you’re buying them! They’re approximately 120cm long by 22cm wide, and very very light. The yarn is 100% Fine Merino, hand-spun by me with a ‘random’ selection of pre-coloured ‘tops’.
The Hebridean Woolshed : Shetland Lace Scarf
The Hebridean Woolshed : Shetland Lace Scarf
The price is £78.00 for either. Check our Hebridean Woolshed page for p+p charges.
To buy, email me to check availability. I can send an electronic invoice for secure payment by card.
The difference in tone between the Hebridean hat and Hebridean mitten is not a trick of the light/camera : it is real. The hat is a special because it’s made with the very finest Hebridean lambswool spun true worsted. Not apparent from a photo is that it is smoother, softer and more supple than the usual woolen-spun lambswool, and even slightly lustrous.
This yarn comes from one of the very first batches of mill-spun wool from our flock, when we sent to a small mill that specialized in worsted spinning. It was very expensive and we had to wait almost a year to get it back from them, so we’ve not made that choice again! We’re holding this yarn back for special orders…
I’m spinning a 4-ply yarn with just 2-strands. That’s because there is a weight/thickness that, in the UK, is known as 4-ply, and which is somewhat thinner/lighter than Doubleknit (aka DK). I’m spinning one strand with my own selection of pre-coloured Merino tops. The other strand is from a naturally oatmeal-coloured Blue-Faced Leicester.
The Hebridean Woolshed : Merino
Merino (coloured) and Blue-faced Leicester (natural oatmeal)
These two skeins were handspun with equal measures of Flax (in a natural creamy white) and Shetland wool (a natural peaty brown). The Shetland is fine and soft – like the Merino, but has the fine crimp that traps air and makes the yarn and garments made with it ‘springy’ and warm. The Flax, spun in a semi-worsted fashion, is smooth and slippy, and contributes to the finished yarn an easy drape, resilience, and a measure of sheen. It’s a great combination for a scarf.
J & D > We’re Open! And we’ve a new look, too! This year, the stock in our shop is hand-made to an even greater degree than previously. Scarves, for example : they’ve always been hand-woven (by Denise), of course, but now more of them are woven with hand-spun yarn, rather than mill-spun ; and there’s more of such yarns that are hand-coloured with plant-based dyes.
J & D > As of yesterday, the 29th June, in Scotland, non-essential shops accessible directly from the street have been permitted to re-open. However, it’s on the 3rd of July – just three days away! – that restrictions on travel in Scotland will be lifted (including restrictions on the ferries) and completely self-contained self-catering holiday accommodation can re-open.
It could be a garden-related art installation : in which case the mass of plastic pots congesting the garden paths would be nicely symbolic of the massive accumulation of pots of various colours, shapes and sizes in the work-shed, upstairs in the storage loft. But if this is symbolic of anything, it’s of the need to liquidate assets in a time of crisis.
D > J and I have recently been collecting some early Bog Myrtle [aka Sweet Gale] leaves from the Eiseabhal common grazings just up the lane – there are vast areas of it there. I’ve been in the dyeshed making some colour with four types of mordant.