Yarn Profile: Jamieson Shetland DK
As adults, we realized the merits of Shetland-type wools and learned how to minimize the scratch factor. The reward: a strong but lightweight knitted fabric with unbeatable warmth and more colors than there are stars in the sky.
While there are several Shetland wool manufacturers, only one still grows and spins its yarn in the Shetland Islands: Jamieson's.
Jamieson's currently offers Spindrift, DK Shetland, Soft Shetland, and Chunky Shetland. In this review, we look at the DK Shetland.
From a technical standpoint, knitting it up was a breeze. There was no snagging nor twisting. The yarn hugged my needles closely, and the resulting stitches were even in appearance.
Blocking / Washing
If you're capable of washing your own hair in the shower, you can take care of this yarn without having to take it to the dry cleaner's.
I immersed the swatches in lukewarm water with a small amount of mild shampoo, moved them around gently until they were saturated, and then let them soak for about five minutes. I then rinsed them in a bath of equally lukewarm water, rolled them up in a towel to remove excess water, and lay them out to dry.
This last step wasn't necessary, however. The swatches dried almost instantly. Depending on where I measured, my swatches expanded by one-half to one stitch per inch, something you should definitely take into account.
The yarn bloomed beautifully with wash, relaxing into a more cohesive fabric. Although there was no bleeding in the wash, the dried swatches looked somewhat lighter because of this bloom. The swatches also were matte in appearance due to the lack of luster in Shetland wool fibers.
You will see pills over time, however. Your best bet is to use a sweater shaver (available at most drug stores), which removes the pills without disturbing the surrounding fiber structure.
You'll find a mind-boggling selection of colors, with delicate variations on every possible hue, including heathers that are simply amazing.
It's no wonder that Jamieson's is often used for multicolored Fair Isle patterns. Limiting yourself to just one color would be a pity indeed.
Previous Reader Comments
"I have also found that after hand washing my Shetland wool garments, if I use a good quality creme rinse (the type you use on your own hair)the garment feels softer." bbraasch, 11/6/2001
"Where have some of my favorite designers gone? To wit: Annabel Fox and Alice Starmore. Both had their own wool, patterns, and addresses. Now I can't find them anywhere." dawn, 11/5/2001
Good news! Alice Starmore has again emerged. In September she and her daughter Jade launched Virtual Yarns. - Clara
"ummm.. I just bought the Jamieson Shetland pattern book but after reading your review using their yarn does not sound very attractive--scratchy? prone to felting? I wonder what a good substitue would be?" tipj, 11/5/2001
100% Shetland wool
5.5 to 6 sts per inch on US 4-6 needles
Average retail price
$7.95 / skein
Where to Buy Online
Weight/Yardage per Skein
50g. / 170 yards
Country of Origin
Shetland Islands, U.K.
Manufacturer's suggested wash method