I was offered the opportunity to put together an exhibit about our Shetland sheep and knitting yarn for the 'Local Life' exhibition space in the nearby gallery. It's on show from April 2014 at the Loch Torridon Centre Gallery. Here are a few shots and extracts from the display which features the Shetland breed of sheep, it's variety of colours and qualities. Also featured in the display is the lacy knitting pattern for 'Birch Trees Scarf' (which is available to download free) knitted in our natural white yarn.
'Our small flock of pedigree Shetland sheep were purchased in spring 2012. We decided to send some fleeces for spinning following the summer shearing. Our first batch of yarn proved successful and we made plans to produce more the following year.
After a productive lambing time in 2013 our flock had grown in numbers and variety of shades. The Shetland breed provides a range of natural colours and markings. Currently our sheep display five colours (black, white, moorit, easit and sheala) out of the eleven recognised solid shades along with some multi coloured sheep called 'katmogets', having a lighter body and dark belly and legs with badger face makings. The names original from the Shetland dialect.
The fleece is soft, lightweight, warm and should never feel scratchy to the skin. The world famous Fair Isle knitting is based on this fibre. Delicate lace weight yarn used for the equally famous Shetland lace shawls is spun from the finest Shetland fleeces.
We use Griffiths Mill in Derbyshire for our fleece spinning. This is a small family business specialising in the processing of fibre from as little as a single fleece. They can guarantee that we will have our own fleeces returned to us. We grade and clean the fleeces, then post them to the mill. They take care of the scouring, carding, wool spinning process and post the skeins of yarn back to us. For 2014 we have four colours available at the gallery in double knitting weight yarn.'