Since I met Kate Davies at Woolfest in 2012, and bought the pattern for her Rams and Yowes blanket, I have been planning to spin my own yarns for it.
Kate designed the blanket to use all nine of the natural shades of Jamieson & Smith's Shetland Supreme yarn. The natural colours of Shetland wool have delicious names. mooskit, shaela, moorit, gaulmogot, sholmit, katmollet and yuglet.
But I wanted to use as much local wool as possible, and to include several different breeds of wool... I have used three Shetland fleeces which I brought back from the islands, and three others which have all been bred and grown close to my home in Perthshire.
I have spun five of the 'pure' colours - grey Blue Texel (similar to yuglet), white Ryeland, reddish-brown Shetland Moorit, black Zwartbles and paler grey Shetland (shaela), ....
|Left to right: Blue Texel, Ryeland, Shetland Moorit, Zwartbles, Shetland Shaela|
Next I needed to blend colours for the other three shades: to the sholmit fleece I added different amounts of white Ryeland to produce mooskit and gaulmogot, and to the white Ryeland I added a small amount of black Zwartbles to mimic Katmollet, a pale grey.
|clockwise from top left: Katmollet, Mooskit, Gaulmogot, Sholmit|
Blending colours is a lot of work, even using a drum carder. The mooskit and gaulmogot batches needed to be carded three times, and the katmollet still looks a bit streaky after four times through the drum carder, but the colours will blend more when I spin it woollen-style.
I'm looking forward to sitting down to spin these batts - after so much carding they will spin up easily. It will be some time yet before I can cast on and start to knit my Rams and Yowes though!