Celebrating Wool – Shetland Wool Week 2014

Shetland Wool Week 2014

The fifth annual Shetland Wool Week will soon be here. October 4 -12, 2014.

What is Shetland Wool Week?  It is a celebration of Britain’s northerly native sheep, Shetland, the Shetland textile industry and the farming communities found on the Shetland islands. Shetland has produced some of the finest lace and Fair Isle knitwear in our textile world.

During Shetland Wool Week, there will be events, exhibits, and classes that represent the various subject matters of spinning, dyeing, Fair Isle and lace knitting and weaving.

As part of celebrating Shetland Wool Week, the organization has offered a free pattern,  the Shwook hat, designed by Hazel Tindall.

Hazel Tindall has held the title as the World’s Fastest Knitter. She designed the hat for Shetland Wool Week 2014.  A beautiful Fair Isle design, using light fingering wool, it is available free from the Shetland Wool Week website.  You only have to provide your name and email and in a short time, a pdf will arrive in your inbox.

I plan to dig out my Shetland wool and get started on the Shwook Hat to celebrate Shetland Wool Week.  How will you celebrate?

Shetland Island Screen Shot

Wool: Felted

Applique wool pincushion

With my upcoming adventure into bobbin lace, I decided that I needed a new fall-themed pincushion for my silk pins.

Working with felted wool is always a delight.  I love the texture of it, how it looks when you use a tweed or kettle-dyed piece. Let me just say, plaid wools make me swoon!

This pincushion is a smaller version of the one in Primitive Quilts Fall 2014 issue.  I just looked at the picture and did a free hand of the leaves and acorn, along with using a small bowl as my circle templet.

Stuffed with millet seeds I keep on hand for such a project to weigh it down and some local wool fleece from my stash.

Now to see how this bobbin lace thing works.

Wool – 100% Natural, Renewable, Sustainable

As I worked last night on a project, I was thinking of the many ways wool can be used.

Of course, there is the beautiful clothing and blankets made from wool.  Sometimes it feels scratchy, while other times, it is butter soft and you just want to cuddle up with it.

There are also options to buy wool insulation for your home.  With R-values ranging from R-9 at 2.36 inches all the way up to R-46 at 11.82 inches. Toasty!

Some of the things I have used with the wool from the fleeces I have purchased over the years.

  • Spinning for yarn
  • felting for wool applique
  • stuffing for projects

One of my favorite uses of wool in the past few years was the day I assembled my new Jensen Tina II spinning wheel that had arrived after a few months from when my order was placed.  I did all the staining, waxing, and getting all the pieces prepped to assemble it and I found on the legs was coming up a tad short and making my beautiful new wheel (Mr. Darcy, for future reference) wobble and not sit squarely upon the floor.

Mr Darcy

My solution.  Take a pinch of my “Bonny” Shetland fleece and stuff it up in the hole to help get the wheel to sit correctly.  It worked.


“Bonny & Friends”

Bonny is the lovely sheep with the black faced/white coat in the back near the wondering chicken.  She was my pick from Ananda Farms in Port Ludlow, WA.  The rest of the lovies are her sheep mates.

Historically, long after I am gone, someone might take Mr. Darcy apart and find a wad of wool stuffed up in the table and not know the history of that little bit of Bonny’s fleece.  Maybe I should tape a note with a picture under the table of the wheel for future reference.  Yes, I think I will.


Last night, I made a sturdy bobbin lace pillow.  Traditionally they are stuffed with cut-up straw and stuffed to the gill.  I decided I did not want to spend the whole evening cutting up straw so I went with a package of pine shavings and a fleece I had purchased from a local gal. It was a good use for the fleece that I might not otherwise get to spinning it.

The bobbin lace pillow weighs 5 lbs 12 oz. after all was done.  It has a linen casing for the main body and a cover made in ticking with three layers of felted wool sewn down the the center.

I found this lovely photo online today. Dated 1936; Germany.  Look at the sweet lace being made by the young woman in the center. I can see that being sewn on a towel or pillow case.  I wonder what she did with it after all.


Photo source

I have not yet done any bobbin lace work, but I have plans to get started soon and thought this was a great project to make (and use wool).

“Wool, it’s 100% natural, renewable, and sustainable.”

The perfect wool campaign.


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