Sunspun Fine Yarns

In focus: Shilasdair Yarns

2 Comments

We’ve just received more of our eagerly-anticipated new yarns, this time from Shilasdair on the Isle of Skye, off the west coast of Scotland… Allow us to to introduce you to Shilasdair Luxury 4ply and DK! These beauties are naturally dyed with traditional dyestuffs and come in the most wonderful, rich and saturated range of colours:

 

Shilasdair Luxury 4ply and 8ply

Shilasdair Luxury 4ply and 8ply

 

After moving to Skye from London in the early 1970’s, Eva Lambert started dyeing with natural materials as a way of creating the colours she wanted to use in her work as a tapestry weaver. Lots of interest from other craftspeople and yarn shops meant that, before too long, Eva was dyeing full time and had opened Shilasdair, a small yarn shop and studio in Waternish, now a much-loved stop on the Skye tourist trail. She recently handed over the running of the studio and shop to others, allowing her to concentrate on dyeing large quantities to sell to yarn shops all over the work- like us! We are super excited to be the first shop in Australia to carry Eva’s beautiful yarns.

Eva combines locally-available dye plants, such as tansy and meadowsweet that she harvests herself, with exotic cultivated plants, such as madder and indigo, and this combination of everyday and rare plants allows her to create an range of 24 varied and subtle colours. Any given colour may be the result of 2, 3 or more turns in the dyepot, so the process is slow and full of magic. She has developed a system of dyeing 20kg of yarn at a time, so, although shades may be different from batch to batch, the dye lots are large enough to make knitting garments from Shilasdair easy, something that is quite uncommon in natural dyeing.

 

Reds, pinks and purples

Reds, pinks and purples

Blues

Blues

Greens

Greens

 

Some are solid colours, while others have more variegation:

 

Subtle colour variegation

Subtle colour variegation

 

And below, next to the yellows, is the undyed yarn, a lovely, soft fleecy colour that works beautifully with the dyed yarns. You can see more of the colours at Shilasdair and, of course, in the shop!

 

Natural and yellows

Natural and yellows

 

You can also see the lovely texture of the yarn base, a luxurious blend of merino, angora, camel and cashmere. This is the kind of yarn that blooms and softens the more you wear it; it’s plenty soft for childrens garments but is also durable enough to stand up to being an everyday garment. And the slight halo that lifts as you knit with and wash it makes it a perfect candidate for colourwork, ensuring that stitches and colours blend and merge in a wonderful way.

So, can you tell how excited we are about Shilasdair?! We hope you love it too.

(And, if you’re interested, you can see a bit more of Shilasdair, including the surrounding landscape, studio and more on Jules’ blog from her visit there in 2010!)

 

Ideal uses for Shilasdair Luxury:

Adults and children’s garments, baby blankets, colourwork knitting…

 

Vital stats for Shilasdair Luxury 4ply:

Yarn weight:  4ply or fingering

Tension:  24- 28st/ 10cm

Needle size:  3 to 3.5mm

Metrage:  200m per 50gm

Fibre composition: 40% merino, 40% angora, 10% cashmere, 10% baby camel

Price: $14 per 50gm skein

 

Vital stats for Shilasdair Luxury DK:

Yarn weight:  8ply

Tension:  22st/ 10cm

Needle size:  4mm

Metrage:  300m per 100gm

Fibre composition: 40% merino, 40% angora, 10% cashmere, 10% baby camel

Price: $25 per 100gm skein

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “In focus: Shilasdair Yarns

  1. Hi! Just found all this on facebook – lovely…BUT, my partner/husband Tony, who joined Shilasdair 6 years ago is now the main dyer as the dyeing cabinets are a bit much for me!
    You have a lovely website; thanks for all the kind words and I wish you every success!
    Cheers, Eva

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