Monday, 22 October 2012

A Spinning Mill at Sandness

Today was the day when I was going to visit the Jamieson’s mill where the Shetland Wool was spun before I wove it into my length of red and black dogtooth fabric for making a handbag. The journey was through stunning scenery mainly along a single track road for miles and miles. The mill seemed a long way from Lerwick and I wondered how many other visitors would get there and how my wool had left the mill. The mill had a sizeable shop where we were left to freely wander round. Seeing every single shade of their Spindrift en mass was worth the trip on its own! There were lots of Fair Isle jumpers, blankets etc to buy and a good collection of their knitting patterns – I succumbed and bought ‘Simply Shetland’ book 5, containing some inspirational designs.

Michael and I then walked round the mill to see the wool being made. The overall impression was of noise, but it was really fascinating seeing carding, roving making and finally the twisting and coning. Finally there were automatic knitting machines (working from a floppy disc) producing Fair Isle jumpers and girls doing the joining attaching the neckbands etc. In all we saw about 7 staff (on the shop floor so to speak) which seemed a very small number for what they producing,

Coming back I just couldn’t resist taking some pictures of the mossy moorland colours – as inspiration for another yarn or jumper or cloth.

When we got back it was rest time as tonight was the midnight bird watching for storm petrels on Mousa.

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