Thursday 4 October 2018

The Croft Shetland Colours Aran + Pattern Book Review

In 2007 West Yorkshire Spinners launched an aran-weight yarn The Croft Shetland Tweed. This year, for its Autumn/Winter season, the company has built on its popularity by bringing out 12 solid colours in the range, dyed on the same 100% Shetland Island wool base.

The Croft Shetland Colours image courtesy of West Yorkshire Spinners
There's also an accompanying book containing 14 patterns for men, women and children designed by Sarah Hatton.

The Croft Shetland Colours book image courtesy of West Yorkshire Spinners
West Yorkshire Spinners kindly sent A Woolly Yarn a copy of the pattern book and two skeins of Shetland Colours wool for review. The shades are all named after places in Shetland and the review shades were Lerwick (light grey) and Ollaberry (magenta)

Lerwick and Ollaberry
They are certainly eye-catching and softly squishy skeins and the ball band undoubtedly has vintage-style instagram appeal. But what was it like to knit up?

One pattern in the book, the Kingsley children's hat requires just two skeins to knit up (with some wool left over for the smaller sizes). Here's what it looks like expertly photographed in the book:

Kingsley hat image courtesy of West Yorkshire Spinners
To test out the wool I decided that the hat would be a great Christmas present for my friend's young son and cast on Lerwick for the brim in size 3 to 5 years. The Croft Shetland Colours Aran is strong and hardy, yet soft enough to wear next to your skin. It has a slight halo and shows up cables really well. It's good value too at £8.50 per 100g skein.

I didn't have any problem with the wool splitting and it was a lovely little knit that took me a couple of nights to complete in front of the TV. Here's the result!

It feels like the hat will be really warm for the young lad to wear and I'm really pleased with how it turned out. The pattern was easy to follow, the only slight bugbear being that the special abbreviations are on the page before the actual pattern so I had to keep flicking back until the meaning of C4B and C4F became stamped on my brain.

The Patterns

Kingsley is just one of the patterns in the book. West Yorkshire Spinners has a very practical style for its pattern books, ring binding them to make it simple to keep your page open. Having said that, the photo quality standard is as high as a more coffee table style publication.

My favourite pattern in the collection, probably because I've got two WIP yoke jumpers on the go at the moment, is the Paisley cardigan for women. The orange really pops out against the dark grey.

Paisley image courtesy of West Yorkshire Spinners
Men don't have to miss out on the cardie fun either: Rory is a cardigan for men with a handy collar that can be put up to keep his neck warm in the wind.

Rory image courtesy of West Yorkshire Spinners
For children there's Paterson, a warm-looking cabled hooded jacket, that will suit either sex:

Paterson image courtesy of West Yorkshire Spinners
If a quicker but challenging knit is more your style then there's try the unisex Addison hat and scarf pattern.

Addison image courtesy of West Yorkshire Spinners
Plus there are nine more patterns in the collection. See all designs at The Croft Shetland Colours Pattern Book where you can also buy the book directly from West Yorkshire Spinners for £12.95 plus P&P.

A Woolly Yarn's verdict is that The Croft Shetland Colours Aran is a great budget yarn available in shades that will please all the family. The pattern book gets a thumbs up for having a practical design and large colour work charts.

Which is your favourite pattern from the collection? Let us know in the comments box below or on our Facebook page.

Here's a little hint if you'd like to win the pattern book: look out for Father Christmas coming to A Woolly Yarn in December!

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