In order to have bigger quantities spun I have switched this newest batch of Shetland to The Natural Fibre Company. The fleece is the same as in previous batches (with the addition of Craiglands, here on the Black Isle, to increase the quantity of white fleeces) and is extremely good quality (read more about the flocks involved here in ‘Meet the Sheep’). When I spent time with Oliver Henry* of Jamieson and Smith earlier this year I found that Oliver knows Sally Wild who has Meadows Flock (Sally is also chair of the Highland branch of the Shetland Sheep Society). Oliver is familiar with Sally’s flock and commented that he would expect her fleeces to fall into the Superfine and Grade 1 categories.
The Shetland sheep is perhaps known as the British breed with the finest wool and that is certainly the case with this very soft, worsted spun yarn. Shetland wool from Shetland is traditionally and typically woollen spun but this isn’t an attempt to mimic true ‘Shetland’ Shetland yarn and is quite a different take on a very Scottish yarn from special flocks here in the Highlands.
*I was lucky enough to spend time with Oliver Henry, in the Jamieson and Smith wool shed where he has worked for over 50 years sorting the Shetland wool clip. I had approached Oliver to ask if he could spare a few hours to help me improve my wool grading – and had the most incredibly informative morning with him, immersed in fleece. Oliver is also the 2019 Patron of Shetland Wool Week.