First I selected the fleeces, a naturally grey Blue Texel for the main colour, and a black Zwartbles for the first contrast, both from sheep raised within 5km of my home. The other contrast colours were Shetland wool and some Italian Bose tops, all dyed in solar jars on my windowsill.
I spun four skeins of the Zwartbles, and one skein each of seven dyed colours, over the summer, mostly while demonstrating spinning at local Highland Games and agricultural shows. The black Zwartbles and the darker purples were easier to see outside in daylight.
I didn't start knitting until all the colours were spun, as I needed them straight away in the bottom welt.
|Steek reinforced with crochet before cutting|
Once the neck and button bands were finished I decided to replace the bottom welt. I had originally used two different shades in it but now I knew that I had enough of the 'proper' colours, so I boldly cut the welt away, picked up the stitches and knitted it again.
The whole garment is edged with knitted-on I-cord, a daunting prospect but it went quicker than I expected, as there was always a corner to aim for. It gives a really nice finish, well worth the effort.
Instead of making woollen buttons as described in Kate's instructions I used some amazing buttons I had found in an antiques market in Lucca.
It has been a long time in the making - I've actually knitted a few other small projects at the same time - but now that the winter weather has arrived I'm very glad to be wearing my cosy Scatness tunic! I'm spinning wool from lots of different breeds of sheep for my next handspun project, and today I was out taking photos to use in the design of the one after that. Watch this space.....!