Shilasdair dyer, Eva Lambert, is inspired by the intense but subtle colours of the Isle of Skye landscape where she lives and works and the legacy of Scottish natural dyeing. There is a subtle and vibrant beauty in the colours created by the natural dyes that she uses to dye her gorgeous luxury yarns.
Shilasdair Luxury 4ply is hand dyed on the beautiful Isle of Skye in 24 magical colours. I used 5 of these to knit the Shetland Hap Shawl. I loved the depth of the colour in the Blaeberry and used it for the main colour in the shawl. The yarn is lightly spun and wonderfully soft and warm.
I visited the Isle of Skye a few years ago. It was truly beautiful. A gorgeous place to live and work, and every time I look at the beautiful colours in the Shilasdair Luxury 4ply range I find myself thinking about our trip. So I thought I’d share a few of my favourite places from our visit to the Isle of Skye. I always keep a travel journal and enjoyed reading through it while I was writing this.
After reading an article in the Guardian on wild swimming I knew that I wanted to visit the Fairy Pools near Glen Brittle on the Isle of Skye.
We packed a picnic, dressed warmly, and set off. As we got closer to the Cuillin Hills it started raining. Initially a light drizzle but then it got heavier. By the time we reached the start of the walk it was raining cats and dogs!
The walk was along a narrow rough path and every so often we crossed the river using stepping stones. Even in the rain, the river was beautiful, and we got glimpses of the awesome Cuillin Hills as they appeared through the mist and cloud.
The river was incredible and the force of the water had created pools, waterfalls, gullies and arches in the sandstone and limestone. On a good day people can swim in the Fairy Pools but with the wind and rain pelting down on us this wasn’t remotely possible. I feel the cold too much!
Listening to the sound of the river and the waterfalls midst the vastness of the landscape was energising and meditative at the same time. We walked for over an hour and the Cuillin Hills always appeared to be just over the next waterfall but eventually we turned back.
On our second trip on Skye, we visited the Old Man of Storr a natural geological rock formation on the Trotternish peninsula. Of course, Neil photographed the rock sensibly.
I on the other hand, saw a waterfall which I thought would be great in the foreground of the old Man of Storr and climbed up the side of the waterfall walked along the river at the top, crossed over where it was narrow enough and scrambled down the other side of the fall to get my shot!
After taking the photo I thought it would be easier to continue to the road on this side of the river. As it turned out this was a mistake as I felt my feet sinking in the wet mossy swamp.
On our next excursion we headed for the Quiraing a landslip on the Trotternish Ridge escarpment. This was an amazing landscape to drive through. Wonderful rock formations and a walk to the rocks themselves.
I went part of the way but when I reached the part of the path where the cliff dropped away below me, I felt my knees turn to jelly and I had to turn back (I’m not good with heights). Neil continued a bit further and then joined me where I was sitting on a rock watching sheep and a family of fledgeling birds. The views from here were amazing.
We travelled through Uig before turning off for Balnaknock that led us to the Fairy Glen.
The Fairy Glen was magical. 365 conical mounds with pockets of hazel trees and a few ash trees. The hazel copses were old and covered in lichen and moss with the rocks strewn below coated in a thick carpet of moss.
Some of the mounds were pretty steep. Neil walked up to the summit of Castle Ewen and then found a much easier way down!
This was such an amazing place that the time spent there just flew by. It was hard to leave it. I was very drawn to this place particularly the serene beauty of the hazel copses.
And of course, I couldn’t resist photographing some of the sheep that we passed!