Does anyone else have an ever-growing wool stash? Even though I have been furiously knitting over the past few weeks, my wool stash still seems to be as healthy as ever! Last week I shared one of my stash favourites with you – the stunning Shilasdair skeins from Skye. Continuing with the theme, here’s another favourite – Hebridean wool from the Isle of Coll.
I love buying wool on my holidays! There is something special about being able to ‘place’ the wool and convert fond holiday memories into knitted goodies. I was introduced to Coll – an island in the Inner Hebrides off the west coast of Scotland – when Mr D and I joined my parents for a long weekend on the island in 2011. It is a tiny island with beautiful sandy beaches and a rugged coastline, looking out to the Atlantic and across the Gunna Sound to Tiree (another small island in the Inner Hebrides, famous amongst surfers for the giant waves crashing on its shores).
Coll is a brilliant island to cycle around. We enjoyed a couple of days pottering across the island by bicycle, taking in the scenery and fresh sea air. On our travels, we came across a little flock of sheep – the Hebridean flock whose dark fleeces are used to produce the natural Coll wool. I love the rustic quality of this wool. The flecks of dark, light and brown at irregular intervals confirm that this yarn has not been dyed and remains its natural colour, as displayed on the sheep themselves. Being relatively untouched, the wool is coarser than some and is perfect for more hard-wearing projects – such as this cushion.
I made this honeycomb cable cushion for my Mum just over a year ago. The pattern is by Rose Sharp Jones and can be found in Purls of Wisdom by Jenny Lord. The Isle of Coll wool is wearing very well and is seemingly unaffected after a year spent on an Ercol chair in my Mum and Dad’s living room. I love the honeycomb stitch pattern – it really does look like a little beehive! The rest of the cushion is a lovely double moss stitch, with three simple buttons on the reverse to hold the cushion cover in place.
Mum liked her cushion so much that on her next visit Coll she bought more Isle of Coll wool so that I can knit her a matching cushion! So, in my wool stash, I have another four balls of Hebridean yarn waiting to become a honeycomb cushion. I’ll be casting on again soon!
Mrs D xx
Love the cushion and the natural colours of this yarn. Over the years of teaching myself to knit and crochet, I’ve built up a huge stash of yarn too. Whilst I’ve often had the thought over the years: “I’ll never use this!”, I’ve frequently proved myself wrong and come back to a yarn that I’d written off but then turned out to be perfect for a particular project. So I say: “embrace your stash!”.
Did you buy the wool in the post office, because last week I was in the Col post office looking at the jumpers and cushions, thinking I should be some wool and knit a cushion…but ended up buying a Hebridean
fleece instead, from the flock that the lady who runs the post office owns. You are so right its a wonderful little island.