Shetland - Day 5 - Wednesday October 10

Today, Monique and I jumped in the car for a visit to the spinning mill in Sandness. We were really looking forward to this trip, as our friend DutchJan had already said that the west of Mainland Shetland is just amazingly beautiful.
But, before we set off, we went and did a small shop, as we didn't know exactly what time we'd be back, and had a walk through Lerwick again, to buy some more yarn, postcards, stamps etc...

Someone had asked us before: 'Have you seen the selkies at Tesco's?' And truth be told, we hadn't even looked there! Right in front of the store, across the road, in Breiwick bay, there they were: suntanning away, relaxing and letting their bellies hang out. Have a look how many you can find in the picture! Their camouflage is amazing!
In town, we had lunch at Fort Charlotte, being watched by a very hungry seagull... He looked as if he wanted to just rip the cheese sandwiches out of our hands! But to no avail, we were hungry ourselves, so he only got the crumbs...
Then it was time to set off. We stopped so many times to enjoy the view, I don't know of half the places where it was, haha... A few piccies we took...

Voe, with trees!
Down to single lanes...
...with passing places. And sheep. Lots of sheep!
Sheep galloping...
Running away up the hill
And following the fence for miles to find the frigging gate... to get to the other side...
And then we got to 'Sandness Industrial Estate'. Consisting of one, single-story factory. Which only made a soft humming noise... We had some time to look around before the tour started, so enjoyed being at this end of the world...

The town of Sandness. And the skies, people. The skies!

And the fields right next to the factory, with more sheep.
The spinning mill of Jamieson's of Shetland uses only local wool, and they do everything in-house. It was fascinating to see the whole process, from fleece selection to the actual packages with 10 balls of yarn that are sold in the store, and completed sweaters! Pictures!
First, a look at the weavery:

The factory has two large tweed looms
Garry turned one on so we could have a look (and listen... noisy buggers!)
The punch rolls with the weaving pattern
We then saw the process from fleece to yarn:

Garry in front of bags and bags of fleeces. The tubes behind him
suck up the wool to be cleaned in the next room.
Big baths to rinse and clean the wool.
One of the dye kettles. It's big!
The start of the carding process, after dyeing.
Turning it into fleece matts...
Thinner strips...
And rolls of pre-yarn!
Now, you can knit with this stuff, but it's hardly got any twist, so it would break as soon as you point at it with your knitting needles. And that is where the 'grannies' come in...

Pre-yarn at the top, going along rolls into the spinning holes...
And the spun yarn on the cones! These are singles. 
Plying the yarn onto different cones again...
And then turning the yarn into neatly wound balls...
...which are packed up and ready to go to the store!
At Jamieson's, they not only sell yarn, but also knit garments. And these are knit in a room where a very busy man has to look after around 7 knitting machines...

When a colour runs out, the operator has to go and fetch new cones.
Stacks of sleaves, backs, fronts and cuffs...
The knitted parts then have to be assembled into garments, which is done by these lovely ladies:

Meticulous assembly of the fair-isle garments.
The knitting has to line up exactly!
Before we went to the store to see what goodies they had on offer, we got the opportunity to check out 'the fabric room'. Garry had told us before that a famous designer (we won't name any names) had ordered a roll of tweed, but had then not paid for it. The tweed was returned to Shetland and is now here. Of course, a few of us ladies were very interested in seeing that!
The fabric room
The famous fabric. Plain, but a lovely weave!
And then we were let loose on the 'bin'... There were so many left-overs, we were more than welcome to take some home. Honestly, don't say that to five women with deep pockets and big bags!!! It almost looked like the Sales at Harrod's....
After stuffing our bags with odds and ends, we also had a nose through all the great colours in the store.

The store at Jamieson's
And after dropping Monique off at the trunk show, I drove back to the house to have a quick bite to eat. Look at that sunset!

And the stash for today... Not a lot, but treasures nonetheless!

I've a few ideas for this already!!!

Tomorrow: another trip - this time to Unst!


MoniqueB. said…
Again I get excited by your pictures. To see Garry again with all the fabric. I was so busy grabbin' the tweed, I didn't take pictures!
The sunset is glorious! Didn't see that either.

Thanks for bringing diner!
Jeannette said…
Wat een geweldige inkijk..
En je zièt de lucht schoon zijn, en zorgen voor die prachtige kleuren en tinten overal...

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