Friday, August 22, 2014

shetland ~ hand dyed wool


hello! it's another spectacular day in the shetland isles! today our field trip is taking us to hoswick, a small hamlet in sandwick, about twenty minutes from lerwick...


where we gathered to try our hand at wool dyeing


with the fantastically talented and charming niela nell


while niela described the technique we'd be using, we also learned about where her inspiration comes from. here in shetland, (it is everywhere)


hard at work. we were each given a large undyed white double knit sock blank to design any way we wanted


and play ~ we may have enjoyed a bit of sherry, cheers! (photo by pat philbin) (look at all the beautiful colors!)


more wonderful designs


more inspiration



my attempt at a speckled effect (top left), meant to conjure images of a meadow of wildflowers found everywhere here



  (photo by pat philbin)
the latest in dye wear :)


next we went to niela's studio! 


lovely niela nell in her beautiful shop



just walking through hoswick with my hansel hap shawl...
(photo by kathy cadigan)


our finished sock blanks



looking very different after it was dry!


back at home, began the long process of separation. next i soaked the hanks and hung them with weights to smooth out the kinks, after drying, the last step before knitting was to wind the wool into cakes


finally, it's on the needles!


and then, finished! this is simmer dim, the shawl our group decided to make with our hand dyed blanks, a wonderful pattern by gudrun



 favorite souvenirs!


photographed here with my croft house cushion designed and knit by the extraordinarily talented ella gordon. i had hoped to find one of her cushions on this trip and was thrilled to discover one!



more favorite souvenirs!


ella and her cushions in the shetland textiles book


and a few more journal (iphone) photos to share, this is the cover i embroidered




and the back. so thrilled to find that we went to all these places i stitched. the area we stayed is not 
on here, i think i might add it. burrastow was located on the west side, across from lerwick


it looks a bit different now, it's a little scruffier and a lot fuller. 
thank you for coming along, your interest and kind comments are SO appreciated.
xxx lori

68 comments:

  1. What lovely souvenirs--I really enjoyed seeing the transformation of the yarn from dyeing all the way through to finished shawl!

    The puffin and journal cover are fabulous, too!

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  2. Oh Lori, your dyed wool came out so beautifully. What an awesome process of dyeing, drying and then winding. Fantastic! And your shawl is absolutely gorgeous! Wow! Love your journal cover, too. So creative. Best wishes, Tammy

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    1. thank you so much tammy, it's all been so much fun, i'm so happy you enjoyed reading!

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  3. That's amazing - did I follow correctly - you painted your inspiration on a big piece of knitted yarn, that was unraveled and then rolled into cakes which you then knit a shawl with!
    Your embroidered journal cover is beautiful. Does 'wick' mean something in 'Scotish', it seems to be at the end of a lot of place names.

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    1. that's correct emma :) we were given a large white stockinette stitch panel, dyed it, then unraveled it (after it dried). i unraveled it and then unraveled it again, separating the plys to make fingering weight yarn. it was intended to be made into an identical pair of socks, but we opted to make a shawl instead. then i added the step of soaking and hanging to dry with weights to remove the kinks. then cake and finally knit!
      not sure about the wick, but i did learn that shetland names are norse in origin, the islands are closer to norway than the uk.
      thank you so much for such kind words!

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  4. Beautiful blog post, really enjoying your Shetland adventures x
    (Terdotty on Rav)

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    1. thank you so much, so glad you are enjoying, it is such a pleasure to share!

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  5. This is a lovely interesting post, I'm fascinated by the sock blanks - were they knitted on a knitting machine? Do you then unravel them and knit the yarn into something else? Is this how all hand painted sock yarn is done?
    I am also imagining the noise in that hall with you all fuelled by Sherry!!
    Your shawl is beautiful - what a special holiday souvenir xx

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    1. thank you celia! this is my first experience with a sock blank and hand painting yarn so not really sure if this is the way it always goes. the blanks were knit on a machine. and we did have to unravel them after they were dry. i might have made it more difficult, but i did it in 2 steps (it was a loooong process). hee hee, the sherry was fun, we all just had a teeny bit, felt more celebratory than anything else!

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  6. I think you did really well and absolutely captured that wildflower meadow look - what a lovely shawl!

    ...and what a lovely trip you had. I LOVE your journal.

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    1. aw thank you so much irene! it was a lot of luck and a little (tiny) bit planning. but so much fun! this was the most difficult journal to keep up with, there was so much going on with such lovely people, at all times!

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  7. Wonderful! Thank you for sharing this experience! The shawl is really beautiful!

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  8. What an extraordinary process - from sock blank to shawl! I am fascinated by how the shawl is so different from the blank but related.

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    1. i agree! i'm really looking forward to seeing the rest of the girls fo's!

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  9. and a dyeing experience, too!! oh, my-----color me green----with envy!!! (love the shawl....but the cushion!!!! !!!!!)

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    1. thank you steph! i know, the cushion!! was so thrilled to find one!

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  10. Amazing colours that came out in your dyeing project I love the shawl!

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  11. That dying process is amazing and your shawl came out so summery looking, and lovely. I never knew the dying was done on a knitted piece, then unraveled, then knit again - oh my!!! I'll never wonder about hand dyed prices again. Its all lovely, and I also love your embroidery.

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    1. oh thank you so much mim! i am not sure about the process in every case, but i agree hand dyed really is a labor of love and worth the price!

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  12. Why didn't I go!!!! I think it is an amazing thing that such wonderful people put a trip like this together. I can't thank you enough for taking us along with you so we could all feel like we were there. I in the mean time I am saving my pennies so I can afford to go to Squam. Knitting retreat here I come!!!!

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  13. What a fabulous journey. Good for you!
    And the shawl is lovely ~ a wonderful keepsake.

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  14. I'm amazed by all the dying process and the result is just incredible!!!
    I love the books you've selected : just imagine the joy to browse through them….!!!!
    happy weekend, xxxxx ale

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    1. LOVE the books (would have bought more if i could! gudrun had warned me about the shetland times bookstore!) thank you so much ale!

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  15. Again wonderful pictures!!! And your cover of journal... looks so nice and cozy :)
    Have a nice weekend!
    Jolana

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  16. The trip of a lifetime!!! The images are just stunning and I adore the shawl you knit. Such a beautiful color and pattern. Your journal cover is wonderful, what a great reminder of this trip!

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    1. thank you so much anke, such lovely kind words, i really appreciate.

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  17. Your trip to Shetlands looks really special Lori, to meet all those women who share your enthusiasm for wool and nature.

    Love your scarf!

    Happy weekend!

    Madelief x

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    1. it did feel so special, shetland and the women! i am so grateful. thank you so much madelief!

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  18. fascinating. and your embroidery!

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  19. Oh my goodness, all of it is just so lovely. What a wonderful trip.

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    1. thank you for your always sweet words kim.

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  20. Oh Lori, where to begin.

    I loved each of the Shetland blogs you posted. What a fine reporter you are!

    Yes, I wish that I could have been along on this trip, but how wonderful to have my enthusiasm for the Shetland Isles and knitting fed so well by all that you've shown us. I do think that I have caught lots of the special atmosphere of those days, and have an appreciation of the wonderful folks that you met as part of the tour and also Shetland locals.

    I'm imagining that the long daylight hours of Shetland fed into going and returning jet lag and that you must have really enjoyed sleeping a bit when you got back to California. So ... how, oh how, dear Lori, did you find time to knit that beautiful shawly scarf from the yarn that you'd dyed via your own color talent and new dye painting skills? You must be a very fast knitter. Thing that Hazel might have to watch out for her record!

    Your scarf really does have the Lori touch! It's so interesting to see how painting a pre-knitted tube as the free-form drying technique turns out so beautifully. I keep thinging about the beautiful harmonies of Rothko's thin oil washed canvases.

    I've down-loaded the special Wood Week pattern for Hazel's Shwook hat and may give it a try myself...though I might not have enough Shetland yarns around here to make a truly authentic version.

    I am bound to forget a comment I really meant to make, but definitely want ot compliment you on that embroidered cover for your travel journal. You've surely planted a seed in my travel-lusting mind with that idea.

    Okay. I will end this comment now. Might have to follow it up with email afterthoughts.

    One more thank you, Lori, for these brilliant posts. xo

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    1. oh dear frances, :)
      i am not a fast knitter at all, just a little single focused when it's something really interesting! i lOVE this pattern and will surely make many more of these simmer dim's. i think it made a perfect canvas for the hand dyed wool. i'm really looking forward to seeing the rest completed.

      the blank was actually a flat piece of stockinette stitch, a large rectangle. niela recommended painting on the purl side for some reason the stitches took the color better or more evenly. it was all a lovely experiment and honestly i would have been happy with whatever came out.

      thank you for your kind words and lovely comment, it's really gratifying to know lovely people (like you) appreciate and enjoy reading!

      p.s. you know jamieson & smith ship?! (for your shwook) :)

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  21. I just love it all - the photos, the workshops, the smiling faces, the yarn, the shawl, the treasures, the journal... Thank you so much for sharing, Lori! xoxo

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    1. thank you so much leigh! it's a pleasure to share, i know you would have loved everything! xoxo

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  22. Sigh.What a wonderful trip and travelogue. Love the sheep photo on top (of course). Hate to have the Shetland series end! What wonderful souvenirs- so great how the dyed blank in Gudrun's pattern brings it all together. (also- Wilma Widdershins! )

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  23. i LOVE that book! it's a childrens book but so fascinating, its about finding a tree that washes ashore, there are no trees on shetland, so it's very special! well, i still have more to share gale, so not over quite yet. hee hee, the sheep photo was one of the only ones in this post that wasn't taken with my phone.

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  24. Wow, this looks so interesting Lori :)

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  25. Well, Lori, you look very stylish even in the garbage bag, LOL! I can't think you enough for sharing these bits of your journey, what a treasure xxoo

    And I am loving the entrance to Niela's studio ;)

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    1. haha! i was the foolish one who wore a white top to a dyeing workshop, so i asked niela if i may borrow an apron. she didn't have one, but suggested the garbage bag. perfect! and it worked for all!! thank you so much for your kind comment, i'm so glad you've enjoyed. xoxo

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  26. Lori, I am SO SO SO happy you took such amazing photos of our wonderful trip, because mine feel so sadly lacking. Through your amazing eye, I am reliving the wonderful time that we had! You Simmer Dim might not be speckled (mine isn't either, haha, but we gave it a good try right?) but it's perfectly beautiful, like Shetland, like you.

    And YES, you MUST add Burrastow/Walls to your gorgeous journal embroidery!

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    1. oh nicole, thank you so much. i'm feeling the same though, i didn't take many of the photos i hoped to. chuck said i had overload a.d.d. :) :) it's true. well, you know. there just wasn't enough time for everything. thank you for the encouragement, it's been a life changing trip and i think we need to keep sharing, it's such a part of us now. will stitch if you finish up the gorgeous drawings in your journal too! XXX

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  27. Lori, your travel journal is absolutely precious! The dying project turned out fantastic! I enjoyed seeing how your flower dots turned into the beautiful shawl. Thanks again for sharing.

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    1. thank you very much leslie! it was all so much fun, the best souvenir of all are our memories, but the shawl and journal are very much loved!

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  28. Such an interesting post! Your shawl is amazing. x

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    1. thank you very much! an yes, will be sharing edinburgh soon (thank you for asking!)

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  29. Beautiful. Stunning. Fabulous !

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  30. There are so many beautiful things here--I love the way you so thoughtfully and carefully document your adventures, not just for us (thank you!) but for you too; your keepsakes always seem very meaningful. The shawl, made with yarn you dyed as a group, in a pattern you chose as a group, is just gorgeous, and it must be infused with memories. Wonderful. :)

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    1. thank you so much kristen, your comment means a lot to me. it's all so much fun and sharing here is a joy. i'm so glad you've enjoyed. xxx

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  31. What an amazing trip! I just adore that journal,thanks for showing!!!

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  32. Lori - I love seeing these photos. You have truly captured our trip in a meaningful way. My simmer dim is done and tomorrow I'll get it blocked. While yours echoes the green of the fields, mine is the blues of the sky, water and the bright fuchsia of the flowers. I think together we have captured the island! Thanks so much for posting your photos!

    Paula

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    1. thank you paula! can't wait to see your simmer dim!

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  33. I love that technique of dyeing an image, then taking it apart and turning it into something new!

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    1. :) it was truly an amazing experience!

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  34. just catching up on your posts, sorry I missed them! what a wonderful time you had and that journal is so dear and the shawl and that shop, just lovely!

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  35. hello Lori,

    wat a very very great knittingprotject.
    Wooow wat a goed time you have.

    greatings send you Conny from the Nederlands

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xoxo lori