Shetland Wool – Sonrae Sweater

The yoke in progress
From my handspun stash

October 16, 2021: I was deep in a Shetland knitted lace project when we got the news that my dad needed treatment for some heart issues. I needed something that I could knit while distracted, so I grabbed a pattern from Jennifer Steinglass. You can pretty much pick any of her sweaters at random and have a gorgeous pattern. I chose the first one for sportweight yarn that came up on search. I love her designs because the colorwork is very intuitive. Once you’ve knit the first few rounds, the rest follows. It’s easy to see if (when) I get off because it shows right away.

During Tour de Fleece 2019, I put up about a pound of shetland roving into a worsted spun, sportweight yarn with plans for a sweater. 2020 was not a good knitting year for me. I managed one sweater and the test knits for my Lake Effect hat/mitten pattern.. Fortunately for 2021 knitting, this meant that shetland was sitting all balled up and ready for knitting. I knew it was meant to be when I found the swatch and it was on gauge!

I went stash diving into my demo yarns for the contrast colors. I found a woolen, sort of sportweight yarn that was supposed to become thrummed mittens about 5 years ago. If I remember correctly, it was spun on a great wheel from shetland rolags. I dyed it after spinning using a mix of Greener shades dyes. The shetland was had a great luster, so the teal just glowed.

I also pulled out a skein of seriously wonky bluefaced Leicester that I spun up from test dye scraps. I spun this at a festival with the help of any little one who wanted to try treadling a wheel and helping me draft. It is all over the place, but it’s mostly sportweight. The grist drifts. The kids picked the color to spin from a basket of pink, blue, turquoise, and purple, the color layout is completely random. Lots of barberpoling after plying.

The teal shetland is heavier than the grey shetland in addition to being a completely different texture. I put it at the neck which I like for the color choice, but I’m not sold on the texture. The texture of the multicolor BFL isn’t showing as much as I’d hoped. I was counting on the irregular texture to balance out the fuzzier shetland. I’ll have to see what happens when it is washed.

As I knit, I’m waffling between keeping it as a sweater or converting it to a jacket. Right now, the jacket is the favorite.

Update: Nov 2, 2021
Still working along on the body. I’ve joined the next cake of yarn. This cake is 10 1/2 oz, so it’s time to make some yarn balance choices. I’d like to make the sleeves with yarn spun at the same time. So I can use this for the sleeves and then pick up the body again- or I finish off the body, use this for the steek/button band and spin fresh yarn for the sleeves. Fortunately I found another ball of this shetland fiber in my stash, so I can stop worrying about having enough yarn. Now it’s all about making sure the grist matches when I spin.

It’s time to fish or cut bait on the garment length/steeking. I haven’t found any extra decision making willpower in the wake of Halloween candy and binge watching Dr Who (9th Dr for other Whovians wondering.) Unless I have a flash of inspiration, I’m going to make a low hip length, steeked cardigan. AhhH! Waffle waffle waffle.


This yarn is a tough one to photograph. The color of the grey in the sweater is pretty close- it’s a bit washed out,. The cake is only that dark grey in low light. I love how the sweater colors change with the light.

Hey, I found a picture of the plied yarn on a bobbin. Looks like I spun this on my Hansen minispinner in July 2019

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