There must be a lot of people making the most of their lockdown leisure by getting their Christmas shopping done – online : the Hebridean Woolshed website seems to be unusually busy, even for this time off year. This year, natural undyed yarns and accessories made with them seem to be the first choice : perhaps there’s a desire to ‘get back to basics’ ? Our fingerless mitts and hats are especially popular. We’ve had a remarkable number of orders from those who have previously bought them, but they want another pair, or want to buy them for a family member or friend. In some ways I wish there wasn’t so much strong demand for these, as I would like to have some lockdown leisure myself – to develop new designs. But with so little money coming in [ J > none, actually] for the holiday lets, we have to be thankful for what business we get.
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 : this one is for Jonathan!