Shetland Sheep: Rich in History, Rich in Textiles

Shetland Sheep: Rich in History, Rich in Textiles! Our farm mission is to enjoy and promote the wonderful diversity of the Shetland breed by fully utilizing to the best of our ability all they have to offer historically. We believe the best preservation and management of this breed includes it's full spectrum of history. We encourage old and new shepherds alike to join in the fun by engaging in fiber arts, especially spinning and knitting, as this breed is so intimately linked with those aspects of the arts.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Take Joy! Greetings from Shetland

Almost finished with second sock. :)

From fleece to garment, Shetlands are a fine garment breed! While lacy shawls were well known on the Shetland Islands, the true backbone of the Shetland fiber is clearly work wear. At times, it was known that as many as 1500 ships would harbor over in or near Lerwick's Bressay Sound in summer, waiting for fishing to begin, or to trade for everyday work wear. Sweaters (called jumpers over the pond), and socks (called stockings then) were the desire of many a fisherman who took Shetland goodies home to their families. Socks (stockings) were very desired for over 200 years.
Notice the floats? You can almost see the pattern in reverse on the inside.

Look what came in the mail recently! Greetings from Shetland. Let's go!
Can I keep the pony?

The days are getting pretty short now...about 9 1/2 hours of sunlight on a bright, sunny day. I bet that seems heavenly to those near the arctic circle! On cloudy days, rooms in buildings practically need lights on. It has been a fairly peaceful December so far, warm but the Shetland Islands no doubt! A big difference between here and there...MUD! We get LOTS of mud in weather like this. When the temperature drops below freezing, it's a happy day, for freezing temps. dry up the mud and everyone can go out again!

Take joy in warm, snuggly socks! If you do not know how to knit a pair yourself, pay someone WELL (!) to knit you a pair, for it will be well worth it! In the meantime, stay warm everyone as we get into much colder weather. Hope you are enjoying the peace and darkness of this quiet time!

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