Shetland Supreme Jumper Weight
Shetland Supreme Jumper weight is a totally undyed and natural 4ply Weight Yarn and we have been singing the praises of this natural woollen spun yarn for many years.
Supreme Jumper Weight comes in a range of 9 completely undyed shades, ranging from Natural White (Shade 2001) to Yuglet (Shade 2009) The other shades are either as they are on the sheep or carefully blended from the natural wool to create a well-rounded palette.
Historically Coloured Shetland Wool was used by knitters in Fair Isle patterning and Lace knitting like Haps before the dyed wool was available. As time went on however the Coloured wool lost its value and it became almost worthless because white fleece was easy to dye and much more uniform in texture. Up until around 1997 almost all Shetland Yarns in ‘natural’ shades were dyed to create these tones, the reason being the dye house could make it a set shade each time. This differs from our supreme range in that each batch, for example Shetland Black (shade 2005) will not be the same each time as all sheep are not the same shade. So if you plan to use this yarn its best to get all the yarn at one time, it may be quite different in the next lot!
Another reason most of the mills have to dye or ‘add a touch of dye’ is that we at Jamieson & Smith buy roughly 80% of the entire Shetland wool clip , the majority of which is white with only a limited amount of natural coloured which we use for these our 9 shades. We need a substantial amount of natural coloured fleece in order to produce all the shades in the palette. This means we have to do a lot of hand sorting to separate the various fibre qualities and of course shades which can be found in one fleece. For more information about the Natural Wool and the Sorting process see our earlier posts here and here.
In 1997 we began a journey to further and strengthen the value of the coloured fleece. This came about as a joint venture between Jamieson & Smith and Yarns International, a now sadly closed down business in Maryland in the USA. Betty Lindsay, a partner in the company visited J&S and was saddened when we told her that the coloured wool had little to no value. Betty vowed to do something and true to her word we set up the totally dye free range which was named Shetland 2000. She employed Ron Schweitzer to design a range of patterns using the yarns, you can see some of his designs on his Ravelry designer page here. Since then lots of desingers have found how well all the natural colours blend together, you can subtely blend them or do some quite striking patterns.
We also carry the dyed colours in this same yarn but in 25g balls as Shetland 2 Ply Jumper Weight.
This yarn can also be used in vintage patterns which call for “4 ply yarn”.
Fibre Content: 100% Shetland Wool
Weight/Yardage: 50 g = 172 m /188 yds
Gauge/ Tension: 32 sts = 4″ /10 cm on 3.0 mm ndls
Knitting Weight: Fingering
Care: Hand Wash; Lay Flat to Dry
More about Jamieson & Smith Wools
Jamieson & Smith Shetland Wool Brokers Ltd. purchase Shetland wool from over 700 of Shetland's crofters and farmers, and transform it into high-quality Shetland wool products including yarns, knitwear, blankets and carpets. Shetland wool is an incredibly natural and sustainable fibre, and is world renowned for its fineness and warmth. Shetland Sheep graze on the islands' hills and beaches eating wild heather and seaweed. This diet, along with the not-so-great weather, makes Shetland wool soft, strong and warm. Shetland Wool is also very diverse: it's perfect for hand-knitting both Shetland Lace and Fair Isle, as well as for knitwear manufacture and weaving. We hand sort and grade our wool and, to make sure that we do not waste anything, the coarser parts of the fleece are used in carpets and mats.