Thursday, May 20, 2010

the shetland connection

Cathy is my Shetland Connection. Over the years, (has it really been years?) I occasionally get a package in the mail from her...little (and sometimes bigger) baggies...with bits of Shetland sheep fleece tucked inside. I spin them up, I make notes...I set them my "Shetland samples" basket.


The baggies are marked with the name of the sheep, and occasionally the name of shepherdess and/or the name of the Shetland color. According to the NASSA..Shetland wool comes in one of the widest ranges of colors of any breed.

While reading up on the names and numbers of colors that can come out of the Shetland breed, I found this interesting quote:

"Besides the white, the sheep produce several shades of wool including moorit(reddy/brown), shaela (silvery grey), fawn, grey, dark brown and black. They are often patterned such as krunet (white crown), katmoget (dark belly) and gulmoget (light underneath). There are 11 main colors as well as 30 markings, many still bearing their Shetland dialect names. Unfortunately, many of these colors and markings have become quite rare as white wool has historically commanded better prices."


I'm starting to enjoy seeing the range of samples that I am slowly amassing...they look so pretty all lined up.

From dark to light:

Batty Grey (which was my favorite!)
Sax Emsket multicolor
Liberty light

Some samples have been spun on the Great Wheel, others on the Ashford, or CPW...and a few are spindle spun. Some are woolen, some are worsted, and some are somewhere in between. Some of my samples are singles.

I have tried to spin the individual wool samples the way I believe they should be spun. In other words, I spin the wool in a manner that I think the wool would best lend itself to make the type of yarn they were born to be. If you don't spin, you may not understand what I am talking about. That's OK.

I still have a few baggies stashed away to spin up...they are marked:

Willow fawn

And what is to become of all this yarn?


Cathy has completed a Shetland Samples sweater...gorgeous..did you see it? And Leigh has also worked with Shetland samples...did you see her finished Shetland Sweater? Oh my! I just love looking at their work! Each sweater reflects the imagination and style of the creator. When I think of the talents and skill and creativity that went into these sweaters, I stand in awe of them!

Both of these projects are so beautiful, and of these days, I will finish spinning up my Shetland samples, and create a sweater of my own. But I don't mind telling you, after looking at these two projects, it is somewhat daunting to think of making my own!


Lisa at Greenbow said...

These are all beautiful colors. I like the sounds of Shaela. I can't wait to see your finished sweater. Both of the sweaters you highlighted are wonderful inspiration.

Sharon said...

Love the samples! I think they will be great all together in a big project!

I love your attention to detail with labeling and keeping a lock of the fleece etc.

Leigh said...

Absolutely gorgeous. I think your final finished Shetland sweater will be a WOW in it's own right. :)

Cathy said...

I agree with Leigh!! We'll be keeping an eye on you!!

B has a shaela fleece which is very pretty (from a CO raiser).

I loved Batty too - and am really having fun spinning Jubilee. A darker brown lamb.

elizabeth said...

I have no doubt that your sweater will be just as stupendous!!! And I know exactly what you mean about the yarn being what it's meant to be. :o)

Jody said...

I just luv Shetland wool and it always seems to have such beautiful luster. If I was to make a Shetland sweater I would probably choose one of Alice Starmore's patterns :-)

annmarie said...

the colors are beautiful and the names sound magical. beautiful yarn that will make a wonderful sweater. :)

Diane said...

Wow! Stunning yarn is such lovely natural colors!

Valerie said...

Lovely yarns!! what a great collection of colors to just gaze upon and fondle!

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