Terry Dresbach

Outlander Costume Designer

Reply To: Claire's Knitted Things

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Hi, New to this blog and forum …but have loved the postings in this discussion. I have always loved all things Scots and love fiber crafts even more so. I raise a flock of Shetland sheep and hand process much of my wool while listening to the audio versions of the books. The rich natural colors of shetland sheep are represented in much of the knitted parts of the costuming. I especially love the grey garter stitched shawl. Shetland wool would have certainly been used during this time period for not only the knitted items, but especially the woven ones. Shetland wool is designed through nature-not man, and hence has some very unique qualities that would be beneficial and immensely practical in the harsh weather in the highlands. The wool has a soft down, but tempered with guard hairs that lend strength and practicality to the garments knitted and woven. And the varieties of white, fawn, Grey’s, Brown’s and blacks…are so beautiful and set off the naturally dyed tools in a tartan. Of course, the yarn was washed, carded and hand spun with amazing industry for the amount each family had to produce. Children were often first set to task to card the wool. And it was most certainly a community affair…like the scene of the wool wauking. And I am sure it was all hands on deck for the shearing day as it is today on the crofts on the Shetland islands like Foula. (There is an old book about living on Fouls that any knitter would enjoy.) Families need to gather in the sheep, then work together to harvest all the wool. In the second book, there is mention of sheep when Claire and Jamie return to his home place in Scotland. Some sheep are missing and Jamie and Ian set off to find them. There is mention that Jenny keeps a few Merino for the special knitting. I am hoping to see more knitted and woven items. I would especially like to see some scenes featuring more wool production, which was certainly going on in the background all through the story. Here are some of my sheep. And a pic of Shetland hats and a lamb…I have attached a free Shetland hat pattern. We attend fiber festivals teaching spinning and selling out Shetland and angora bunny yarn and roving and some felt things too. Shetland sheep on Sweet Tree Hill Farm.Shetland hats, knitted and woven shawls..Shetland lamb