A piece of Shetland

I am a knitter, a lot of my time is spend with needles in my hand. I knit stuff intended for wearing. I mean; I love the occasional luxurious item, but by far most of the stuff I knit is for everyday use. I am primarily a cardigan/jumper knitter, I have one of these on the needles at any given moment.
This has resulted in me owning a fair amount of handknitted goods. I’d say that if I’m wearing something knitted, chances are 90% that I made it.

 But not this time.

A few weeks ago I stumbled across this cardigan in a vintage shop. In the shop nothing particular caught my eye, until I found this one. I just loved the colour and the styling and it was exactly my size. Then my eyes fell on the label…it was made out of hundred percent Shetland wool by a Scottish company! That was it! Nobody was going to stop me from buying this piece, oh, no…(as if there was a chance before!)

It dates somewhere in the eighties and shows hardly any proof of wearing. I think this is partly due to the material as shetland wool is known as a hard wearing wool. At home I washed it like I would do any other handknit/woolen garment, just to be sure. The colours didn’t bleed, nor did I expect any colour bleeding as it’s a vintage garment.

I’m particular fond of the colourwork on the yoke, the colours are beautiful and I’m not sure if the photo’s do it justice. The patterning is that of a traditional Shetland yoke sweater, which was in fact one of the first things that caught my eyes. I had been collecting inspirational shetland sweater pictures and found some vintage patterns in this style. Especially in the seventies (a little later then the period I’m usually gushing over) these yoke sweaters and cardigans were very popular. For those of you interested to read a little more background on these garments I can reckommend The Art of Fair Isle Knitting by Ann Feitelson. The book was originally published in 1997 but Interweave republished it in 2009, I believe.

I’m still in the market to knit my own Shetland yoke sweater at some point, but finding this cardigan has made the urge a little less urgent. The cardigan has however made me even more enthusiastic about knitting with Shetland wool. The fabric it’s knits up with feels the right amount of “wooly” and the colours are amazing, especially if you consider that this cardigan has seen some years already.

All in all I thought the cardigan was nice enough to make a knitter blog about a store-bought cardigan. Next time however I will be completely devoted to handmade again! What about you, ever found something so special that it made your handmade heart swoon? How do you feel about wearing vintage/second hand clothing?

I hope you’re all in for a great weekend! It will be my last days of freedom before the academic year starts again, so I’m going to fill it to the max with knitting, sewing, friends and other fun stuff.
 Happy knitting!

9 thoughts on “A piece of Shetland

  1. Wauw, nu zie ik pas goed hoe hij eruit ziet. op mijn Phone is het toch anders.
    Goed dat je gekozen hebt er een nieuw jasje omheen te doen.
    Mooie en aantrekkelijke uitstraling!
    groet Margot

  2. Haa Nelson, wat een supermooi vest heb je gemaakt. Lichtblauw staat je heel mooi en past ook heel goed bij je. Ook bij je nieuwe lay-out! Liefs Kim

  3. What a great find! I longed for a Shetland cardigan ever since I followed the Wovember blog. There was this outrageous sweater in grey wool that looked like it was new, but it had constant use for over 25 years. And there also was this dreamy fair isle cardigan that Kate Davis found in much of the same way as you did, but it was over 50 years old! That's just so amazing to me. I only ever owned sweaters and cardigans that starded to pill over time, or get holes or just really showed their age. Shetland wool is like fairy stuff. Youthfull till the end.

    It is such a lovely color blue too! Lucky, lucky, lucky!

  4. Ha bedankt voor de fijne berichtjes! Ja ik ben zelf ook wel blij met hoe de achtergrond geworden is. Foto's komen toch wat beter uit zo, vind ik. Maar ik wil misschien de zijbalk nog een beetje veranderen…als ik tijd heb šŸ˜‰

    @Kim Ja die vlag had ik dat weekend gekregen, dus die moest natuurlijk ook op de foto! Hoewel de Schotse vlag misschien beter had gepast hierbij. Licht eraan waar je staat in het onafhankelijksheids debat. šŸ˜‰

  5. Thanks Sandra! I remember those cardigans and they were amazing! They indeed hardly showed signs of wear. Haha I agree, Shetland wool is like fairy stuff! Fingers crossed you'll stumble upon a Shetland cardigan too!!

  6. Would like to buy an old fashioned shetland sweater (cardigan) for my wife but just about impossible here in the states. Could the model please show the rest of the sweater?? Thank You

  7. Hello Anonymous,

    Just to clear up the confusion: I've just recently bought this cardigan, I'm not selling it, so unfortunately I can't help you. You might try etsy.com 's vintage selection though. Good luck with your search!

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