Tuesday, 25. July 2006
Spinning for a Faroese Shawl.
Three years (so long already??) ago I visited the Faroe Islands with my scout group, for a two-week-long trip, with lots of fun and new discoveries.

Among other things, I discovered "Sirri", the only company on the Faroe Islands who sells genuine faroese yarn that looks and feels like the traditional yarn that was handspun for hundreds of years on the Faroe Islands, made with Faroese Wool, too.

On the first day in Torshavn, I discovered a Faroese Shawl for sale in one of the tourist places. I wanted it. I NEEDED it! I could afford it. But, when I wandered further into the city, I found "Sirri" and decided to photograph the shawl and buy enough yarn to knit one. How much is enough? I kept on buying the (extremely affordable) yarn, and ended up with 600 grams of a nice brown. (I needed 150. I sold/swopped the other skeins for nice yarn :-)
By chance, we met an aquintance from Denmark who is native to the Faroe islands, and who showed us the fabulous book, "Färöyar Bindingarmünstar". We bough it on the spot! Bought needles, and off we were, my mother and I.

This is not the topic I wanted to adress, but it is an introduction.

Spinning for a Faroese Shawl

As in all handicraft, the first you need, it to know what the finished product should be like.
A Faroese shawl is usually a sturdy and very practical garment, often lined (with another shawl, knit without lace pattern). It could also be very lightweight and delicate. This shawl, however, lies somewhere in the middle, needing a fine two-ply yarn, or a sturdy and thick-ish single.

What wool?
The Faroese wool is not merino-soft, nor is it scartchy, but it has a nice hand and semi-long staples. Shetland wool, Icelandic wool, even "sheep" (You know, the kind that has no race or heritage, and whose wool you get for free) would do well. If you can get your hand on Faroese wool, by all means, use it, but you would be hard pressed to find any wool that has been grown on the Faroese Islands, as they... *shudder*.. Throw it AWAY!!

Spinning Style:
Worsted. For a strong, non-pilly yarn you will need a worsted-style yarn spin quite finely and plied with medium twist. When saying you need a "fine, 2-ply yarn", my mind is thinking along the lines of "baby" yarn, or sock-weight.

Try aiming for 1000 yards as you spin your yarn, but spinning-as-you-go is not bad, especially as I do not know exactly how much will be needed, yet.

Have a really nice day, everybody!