Friday, 15 May 2015

Shilasdair Shawlette



When I went to Scotland last year I brought home some great yarn gifts to myself. Some have been knitted up already, others are still waiting in the yarn treasury for their turn. However, I did not only bring yarn back for myself. I brought my mum some wool as well. The choice went to two pretty Shilasdair fingering weight skeins. Shilasdair, hails from the Herbrides, the Isle of Skye. Shilasdair yarns are naturally dyed with locally sourced dye materials. The yarn is a mix  of 10% cashmere, 10% baby camel, 40% angora, and 40% lambswool, an interesting mix of different fibres. I wasn't sure how it would hold up, but my mum says it holds up very well. The colourway of the skeins I picked for her is moss, naturally dyed with meadowsweet, tansy, onion skins and indigo.



 My mum made it into a simple shawlette to show off the colours of the yarn. She used an old pattern from a Dutch magazine. Over here, these types of shawls are called "kippendoekje", or "Chicken cloth". These types of small shawls were worn by Dutch farmer's wives when working around the farm. There was quite some buzz about them in the Dutch knitting community earlier this year when a well known not knitting related Dutch magazine had a special about these shawls. There were a lot of different variations of "kippendoekjes" around, some incorporated a simple lace or texture, or a special border at the edge of the shawl, but first and foremost these were practical items, so they weren't too fussy, except for the ones for Sundays and special occasions. My mum knitted a basic version of this old tradition. She is very happy with the outcome, and is already planning to make a similar shawl in one of the red Shilasdair colourways.


I love wearing shawls, in all shapes and sizes. Small shawls are perfect for this time of the year, when the weather is starting to warm up, but it is not quite there yet.



In other news, my computer is crumbling down. On the one hand, she's an old cat so it was about time to find a replacement, on the other hand the thing was working perfectly fine until last week, so it has come as quite a surprise. Not the best timing, with the thesis writing going on, but I guess these things happen. If I'm around less, you know what to point fingers to!

Xx
Nisse


5 comments :

Becca said...

Ooh, I'd not heard of chicken cloth before! Just started a shawlette in this yarn and am loving the colours, although the fibres shed a little bit. It's an unusual blend x

Nisse said...

It is an usual fiber mix, so I wasn't sure about how it would hold up. I'm very sympathetic to the idea of naturally dyed yarn, so still want to try and knit something with it myself. Looking forward to see the FO on your blog!

uiseag.com said...

I loved reading about the kippendoekjes; really interesting! My favourite items to knit are those that have a distinct practicality to them, much like kippendoekjes I bet.

Tagati said...

Aloha,

Love the shawlette. Any chance to purchase the pattern?

Mahalo.

Nisse said...

@Tagati
Kippendoekje was featured in a Dutch magazine recently, called Landleven. I think my mother used this pattern as a basis, though she improvised the edges. http://www.landleven.nl/Wonen/Algemeen/2014/4/Brei-een-kippendoekje-1496001W/

@uiseag
I agree! That's one of the reasons I like knitting heritage: they just didn't have the time and resources to knit stuff that wasn't practical to wear!