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    The Woolly Thistle

    Shopcast 161: A Norwegian Confluence & An Adventure from Fair Isle

    Shopcast 161: A Norwegian Confluence & An Adventure from Fair Isle

    TWT Shopcast 1/14/22

    Shopcast #161: A Norwegian Confluence & An Adventure from Fair Isle


    Thank you for joining us. If you are enjoying this Shopcast, please subscribe & share it with a friend! Join our email list so you’re always in the loop with our weekly Shopletter:  


    00:00 Intro & Giveaway #1

    3:49 FOs and WIPs

    19:15 Upcoming Colorwork Accessory KAL

    24:57 The Holidays!

    27:14 What’s In The Shop!

    1:05:55 Postcard from Shetland- Rachel from Barkland Croft



    Ravelry Group: The Woolly Thistle 

    Facebook Group

    Ravelry, Corinne: thewoollythistle

    Instagram: @thewoollythistle

    Facebook Page: The Woolly Thistle 

    If you were one of the TWO giveaway winners in this episode, please send us an email to with “WINNER” in the subject line.


    To enter this week’s giveaway for a $25 TWT gift card, Leave us a Comment about anything you like, Give us a Thumbs Up & Subscribe.  It helps other people find our Shopcast!


    Maggie is wearing a Felix Pullover by Amy Christoffers (@SavoryKnitting) knit in Lettlopi

    And another handspun cowl based on the Eureka Cowl by Jessica Gore from her own handspun yarn 


    Corinne is wearing the Victory Cardigan in Rauma Vams colorway 400.  Kits are available 




    Defiant Cardigan from Scandanavian Sweaters


    YT Card 00:10:55:29: Emma Barnaby’s Podcast for Felting Need episode #Episode 21 Tiny Desk Knitting Episode 21: Brae Cardigan 2


    Emma Barnaby’s Tiny Desk Knitting Channel:



    Buness Tam by MJ Mucklestone


    Balvonie Bonnet in Jamieson & Smith

    It will be available as a free download for the Accessory KAL!


    Annual Colorwork Accessory KAL is starting February 18th!  Stay Tuned for more information!



    A 2nd Balvonie Bonnet in Biches & Bûches Le Petit Lambswool

    New In The Shop!

    Rauma Garn Vandre Sock Yarn!! 


    Check Out bmandarine's channel 


    YT CARD 00:30:57:25: BMandarine’s Channel 


    Exclusive Norwegian Hook & Eye Closures in sets of 2 & new pewter buttons in sets of 3  

    Norwegian Woven Ribbon

    Nordic Knits with Birger Berge 

    Scandanavian Sweater s by Kristin Wiola Ødegård

    Knits from Around Norway by Nina Granlund Sæther 

    Socks from Around Norway by Nina Granlund Sæther 


    Knit Like a Norwegian 


    Selbu Patterns & Selbu Mittens by Anne Bårdsgård 


    Vanilla Sweater Kit 




    Jamieson & Smith is in good supply

    Star Cardi pattern has returned to Donna Kay 

    Eldenwood Craft bags 

    Be on our Newsletter!  


    We’d love to see any of your FO’s from our yarn or patterns as well!  Use #thewoollythistle to have your FO included in a future shopcast!

    Thank you for watching!  If you go out, take your knitting!

    Corinne's gold bangles from

    Video editing: Intelligent Octopus 

    Dispatches from Orkney: December by Isla

    Dispatches from Orkney: December by Isla

    Hello and the warmest of December greetings to you all.  

    It has been quite a month for me.  I should have been sitting writing to you from England where I had plans of spending lots of quality time with friends and family before Christmas. Instead I am sitting on my own sofa in front of the fire watching Christmas movies recovering from Covid.  Not quite what I had in mind for the first couple of weeks of December but it can’t he helped.  I have a few more days of self isolation to go. Of course I am gutted not to have been able to see everyone but I am very thankful that I found out I was positive the day before I was due to leave.  I am also thankful that compared to so many I have not been too ill. 

    I haven’t been alone though during my illness and this seems the right point to introduce you to meet Bonnie.  Bonnie is an eight year old rescue black Labrador cross.  My old dog Fizz, who sadly passed away a year ago, was also a rescue dog so I knew that any future four legged addition to my life had to be a dog in need.  I don’t know much about Bonnie’s past apart from her previous owner was unable to keep her any longer.  She is a very soppy thing and being part Labrador every time there is a noise from the kitchen she is straight there!  Bonnie was from northern Scotland so very much used to the wet and windy weather we get a little bit further north in Orkney at this time of year!   

    Bonnie has settled in brilliantly to life with me in Orkney despite us being limited in our adventures this last couple of weeks. We are still getting to know each other but she loves nothing more than laying on the sofa napping while I knit away on my Christmas gift knitting.  She does have a habit of getting a little too close which hampers things a bit.  

    A sweet black lab laying on a sofa looking cozy.

    Which leads my nicely on to what I have been working on!  Despite feeling a bit rubbish I have been able to finish this little chap, the Tsutsu Bear.  He has been the fiddliest thing I have knitted in a very long time but the pattern was really well written and has lots of helpful tips along the way.   I am delighted with how he has turned out and I am going to be sad to part with him.  

    A little knitted bear on a shelf next to some candles.

    I hope the next few weeks are as peaceful and joyful as they can be for you.  See you next year!


    October in Orkney by Isla

    October in Orkney by Isla


    I hope you are well.  I am writing to you from my lounge on a dark, wet and windy evening.  Despite being surrounded by houses the wind makes its presence felt at this time of year as it funnels down my street directly from the harbour. The clocks have recently gone back in Britain meaning that it starts to get dark here in Orkney from 4.00pm at the moment.

    October saw me on my travels again and this time I was accompanied by my boyfriend David. We covered a lot of miles during the two weeks we were away which started with an overnight stay in Glasgow and my first ever Scotland football match.  I am happy to report that Scotland won…… just!  Although next time I might have to ditch my woolly jumper for a Scotland football top.

    The Woolly Thistle October in Orkney by Isla blog

    After the action and excitement of city life we had a few nights camping in Tam before crossing the border to England and onto Lincolnshire.   This was David’s first ever visit and I was excited to show him the city where I was born and where I lived before moving to Orkney.  We did lots and lots of walking including around Lincoln, where we visited the castle, walked around its walls and enjoyed delicious Lincolnshire ice cream.  We left plenty to see and explore for our next visit. Of course there was plenty of time spent with my family and best friends during our week there. 


    The Woolly Thistle October in Orkney by Isla blog
    The Woolly Thistle October in Orkney by Isla blog

    Holidays always go too fast and it was soon time to head back to Orkney.  However, not before we spent a wonderful four nights camping in Tam close to Stirling where there was even more walking to be had.  This time in the Ochil Hills, which overlooked the campsite where we were staying.  From the summits we could just make out Edinburgh in the distance.  We also visited another castle, this time Stirling Castle, followed by climbing up The Wallace Monument for more amazing views. 

    The Woolly Thistle October in Orkney by Isla blog


    The Woolly Thistle monument photo from October in Orkney blog post

    It has been full speed ahead with work (and my Christmas gift knitting) since I got back.  I work in an independent bookshop right in the centre of Kirkwall and as you can imagine things are starting to get busy at this time of year.  However, I was able to pop outside as the annual Halloween procession led by the Kirkwall City Pipe Band paraded down the street last Saturday followed by many children (and a few adults) in Halloween costumes. 

    Right time to pop the kettle on and make a cup of tea.

    Until next time


    If you would like to see more of Orkney and what Isla is up to, you can find her on Instagram as @islap1k1

    Other Blog posts of interest: Seasonal Changes in Orkney, An Introdcution to Plotulopi with Kelsey, Postcards from Rachel in Fair Isle.

    Postcards from Fair Isle with Rachel of Barland Croft: Part 7

    Postcards from Fair Isle with Rachel of Barland Croft: Part 7

    Thank you for joining us! We're delighted that Rachel @BarklandCroft is checking in again. This month Rachel has a surprise for us with a little tour around some of her favorite Lerwick shops! Be sure to watch Rachel's previous videos to learn more about her, her lovely sheep and island life! Join our email list so you’re always in the loop with our weekly


    Join us! Facebook: The Woolly Thistle Group

    Ravelry, Shop: The Woolly Thistle Instagram: @thewoollythistle

    Rachel can be found on Instagram at @Barklandcroft and on YouTube as Barkland Croft.

    Rachel's previous videos can also be found here!

    An Introduction to Plotulopi with Kelsey

    An Introduction to Plotulopi with Kelsey

    Unspun wool? What are we even talking about? Don’t you need to spin wool to make yarn? Well, the answer is yes, but also NOPE! Yarn is generally fiber that has been spun to add strength. But, due to the dual-coated nature of Icelandic wool, you can actually knit with the unspun fiber without needing that added strength to have a stable fabric. It’s called Plotulopi!

    Plotulopi consists of the unspun tog (long, outer fibers) and thel (shorter, inner coat fibers). The tog fibers give the yarn structure and stability without needing spinning. The thel adds softness and loftiness to the yarn, but wouldn’t hold together as well without the tog. If you’ve knit with Lettlopi before, Plotulopi is one of the two plies in Lettlopi. It’s exactly the same fiber, but half the weight and unspun. 

    You can knit Plotulopi single for an approximately sport-weight yarn, but can also knit it double to approximately Lettlopi (worsted/aran) weight, and even three or four strands together to get a bulkier yarn. You can also knit it at a wide range of gauges. As I mentioned, it’s listed as a sport weight, but it can be knit even more tightly for a dense fabric, or even more loosely for an airier fabric. Being unspun, Plotulopi is very lofty and fills up the breathing room you give it. 

    It works well in colorwork, because the unspun fibers lock together when knit together and then blocked. Finally, because it’s unspun, some people say it feels softer than spun Lettlopi because all of the fibers are pointed in the same direction along the “grain” of the fibers, instead of sticking out of the spun plies. 

    Plotulopi’s uniqueness also leads to some quirks. Because it’s unspun, it does pull apart in a way that spun yarn generally does not. It comes in plates instead of balls or skeins because of this, and you need to unwind the fibers for a length before knitting instead of pulling as you go. The upside is if you need to reattach a break, the fix is an easy spit-splice away. 

    Read Kelsey's blog post all on Marling yarns using Rauma or her thoughts on Beginner Color Theory.
    Kits that feature Plotulopi yarn include the Altheda Sweater, Larsdatter Sweater and the Rusty Cardigan. 
    Kelsey Peterson is a knitter, eager student of yarn construction and sheep breeds, and employee of TWT. You can find her on Instagram as @kcrp.making and on Ravelry as yellowpaperfish.

    Fun with Stripes by Emma Barnaby

    Fun with Stripes by Emma Barnaby

    Striped knitting is very satisfying. It’s not complicated and doesn’t require very much attention, but it’s more motivating than plain stockinette (‘just one more stripe!’) and is a gorgeous way to showcase a special yarn. I’ve been on a huge stripes kick lately and thought I’d share some project ideas with you:

    Striped Vanilla Sweater! This piece is knit using the TWT Vanilla Sweater pattern (20 sts/4”), but I’m using a local Vermont yarn that’s somewhere between a heavy DK and light worsted. The lighter brown is from Heart and Hands Farm, and the darker is from Two Grammas Farm – this one is extra-special because I know the farmers! But it can be expensive to buy a whole sweater quantity. You can showcase a gorgeous special yarn here because only one skein is needed – my stripe sequence is 8 light and 2 dark. 

    Did you see Caitlin’s recent segment on the shopcast? Hers is knit in Rauma Finullgarn and she paired a gorgeous mint green with copper!

    Caitlin stands showing the back of her Vanilla Sweater with stripes.

    Striped Socks! In my TWT 2021 Sock Bag, I got some beautiful Garthenor Snowdonia yarn in a marled dark brown and medium brown. I didn’t want to just make Vanilla socks, but I didn’t want a lace pattern to get lost in the lovely depth of color of the marled yarn. So I dug into my (mom’s) sock leftover stash and found some Shibui sock from many years ago in a beige that went perfectly with this yarn and made some striped socks! This pattern is the Broken Rope Socks from the Hello, Sailor! Sock Set by Summer Lee Knits. 

    It’s a great way to show off a darker, variegated, or marled yarn, since there’s a lot of textural interest in the pattern but it’s still very simple. Or choose a self-striping yarn, like West Yorkshire Spinners Country Birds or Holiday colorways…see the photo of Maggie’s elf socks below!

    A pair of Candy Cane striped socks in knee high length shown on Maggie's legs.


    Sock scraps? Scrappy socks! I always find myself with small leftover balls between 10 and 40 grams. Scrappy socks are a great way to use up those leftovers and they can be as subdued or crazy as you want! These purple ones are a plain vanilla (all knitting, except for the cuff and heel) sock with a heel flap and gusset.

    You can also make fun DK socks by holding the sock scraps double – I knit mine here with one strand of white sock yarn and then used leftovers to create a fun marled palette. The pattern is Thicksgiving Socks by Summer Lee – I chose the ribbed version for a nice snug fit.

    Make sure to check out Denise of @earthtonesgirl on YouTube for great tutorials on how to knit in your ends and create jogless stripes. (Denise has a video:

    Emma Barnaby is a fair isle knitter based in Vermont. You can find her on Instagram as @barnaby_knits, YouTube as Barnaby Knits, and Ravelry as ebarnaby93. You can find her previous post on the Porty Pullover as an introduction to Fair Isle knitting for The Woolly Thistle here


    Looking for a book all about knitting with Stripes? Veera Välimäki has a new book about Stripes releasing October 29th.