sheep heid

Here’s me heid in me Sheep Heid!

Sheep Heid uses all 9 natural shades of Jamieson and Smith Shetland Supreme Jumper Weight, showcasing the variety of fleece colours in this marvelous yarn – just in time for Shetland Wool Week!

Horned rams appear atop the crown . . .

. . . while the brim features thirteen rather stolid-looking moorit sheep.

From start to finish, this hat was a complete joy both to design and make. Supreme jumper weight has to be the ultimate yarn for stranded knitting – one feels that the yarn just wants to be worked in this way!

These photos were taken up by Duddingston Loch, where you will find the aptly titled Sheep Heid Inn – which claims to be the oldest pub in Scotland. We tried several times to get the words “Sheep Heid” in shot with my heid in its sheep heid . . .

. . . this is the best we could do.

. . and, in the end, I much prefer the photos taken while we were out walking round the loch. . .

After yesterday’s post, I feel compelled to point out that, not only have I got a super-sheepy hat on my heid, but I am also dressed in an almost-entirely woollen outfit. I am wearing wool coat, wool waistcoat, wool mid-layer, wool shorts, wool tights, and . . . wool underwear. That’s right, folks – – 100% woolly knickers! Don’t worry, I’m not going to reveal my pantz, but I will show you one of the two non-woolly items in my outfit . . .

. . . the other being my boots.

To make yourself your own sheep heid, you’ll need 25 yards or less of each colour. I find the Shetland dialect names for these sheepy-shades almost as pleasing as the shades themselves, and while knitting, I was constantly swithering over which was my current favourite. . . gaulmogot . . .mooskit . . shaela . . . sholmit. . . yuglet. . .

Anyway, the Sheep Heid pattern is out now, and you can find it here or here

I am very excited about heading North now. Oh, and as I have recently bought myself an iPad (joy!) and the internet access on Shetland is so bloody good, I thought I might try to tweet my way through Shetland wool week. For those of you on twitter, you can find me as @wazzag, and my feed will also appear over on the right hand side of the front page here.

113 thoughts on “sheep heid

  1. Drat that spellcheck…I meant to say sheeps, and iPad knew better. Hope you enjoy yours, Kate…I love mine except for when it tweaks my words…

  2. Got the pattern – thank you!

    Ordered the yarn – hurry and send it to mr J&S please.

    Enjoy Wool Week – looks like the weather is going to be good for it.

    I don’t usually do twitter but I’ll be following via your blog. Have a great time, a lot of us I’m sure will be with you in spirit.

    Say hi to MaryJane – I’m sure you’ll run into her.

  3. Oh frabjous hat – I wants it! And although I don’t have all the colours of J&S required I’m pretty sure I could rustle up some handspun. Hope you have a fabulous fabulous time up in sheepy Shetland (really hope the evil migraines etc stay away).

    Wasn’t Gaulmogot an elven king (or am I thinking of Gilgalad?)

  4. This simply has to be one of the most fabulous things that you have designed! So clever; and infinitely appealing. Since the natural colours are an important part of the design, might we hope that some kits will be made available? For those of us living across the pond, who do not have easy access to J&S jumperweight?

    1. Love the idea of a kit, especially for the poor J&S natural supreme jumper weight-deprived US, so I second the idea. I haven’t used this yarn before and this pattern would be a great introduction!

    2. I came back to check the comments to see if there was any response to my kit suggestion, and was delighted to see that I am far from being alone in this desire. Perhaps it will be possible. Actually, the response to sheep heid is so enthusiastic that I would wager that it is destined to become a knitting ‘classic’ and worthy of a kit.
      Matching mittens would be nice, and would allow for the kit to be put up with the usual size ball of wool; thus avoiding the tedious measuring of appropriate quantities for a tam.


  5. This is really such a beautiful design…congratulations! There is already so much buzz about it on Ravelry. I am lucky enough to have six of the shades in my stash, and have just ordered the remaining three. What fun. Happy travelling!

  6. Kate… you tempted me again… I just another added to my to do list. ( and shhh… I have some wool knickers and vintage knitting patterns for mens and womens under garments)
    Happy Shetland times

  7. Your blog is one of the best blogs out there—I love it! The writing, the knitting, the photos . . . You are such an inspiration! Thank you for sharing!

  8. Lovely pattern, and I like the outfit very much. I had got out of the twitter habit, but shall re find it and will be following you.

    100% WOOL!

  10. Absolute genius! The stolid sheep seem to have so much attitude. I just wish I had about six pairs of hands as there are so many of your patterns that I want to knit and I have such limited knitting time at the moment!

  11. The hat is gorgeous, and may well follow neep heid (which my iPad insists should be autocorrected). NH is my first stranded project, and I’m learning loads from it, Kate – thanks for such a clearly written pattern.

    In addition, I’m absolutely jealous of both your attire and the weather that warrants it. I’ve just returned from ten days in Perthshire and Yorkshire, a trip for which I had happily packed lots of woolly things. It was instead relentlessly sunny, warm, and cheerful.

  12. I absolutely love the new hat, so I bought it. Now I need to shop for the yarn, but what fun this is going to be. I feel like Felicity, in the comment above, in that, I need to write in all caps + exclamation points. I LOVE THIS HAT. Thank you for designing it for all of us.

  13. Lovely. I think I *need* this to go with my March of Fibres (the wonderful Liz Lovick design).

    You are completely right about the supreme jumper weight wanting to be knit into stranded colourwork. And on a different note: I am not the only one who loves the sheepy smell of that wool, am I?

  14. Well, it looks as though I’ll be making two of your Sheep Heids. Hubby saw it and said he could wear that. He also liked the dialect in this post, namely ‘havering’. How ’bout a whole post in dialect? Have fun up north.

  15. How sweet :-). And appropriate, given your last post :-).
    I like how you’re wearing wool for hiking so much. Have you been reading about the experiments around Mallory’s outfit going up Everest? Woolies significantly lighter than modern gear, but at least as comfortable and weather-proof. So there.

  16. Oh, I love this heid!! What more could anyone want – shetland wool, beautiful natural colours, fairisle sheep… Absolutely wonderful. I am also extremely and I mean extremely envious of everyone going to Shetland Wool Week – so – please have a fantastic week and I can’t wait to hear more about it. Enjoy a knitting fiesta!

  17. I don’t usually comment but I am always reading :-) I LOVE this hat and the yarn that you have used looks gorgeous, can I purchase that wool online? I have been trying to make up my mind as to which hat of yours I am going to make and know I know for sure. Its beautiful and I just love the name, I can just hear my grandpop calling me that :-)

  18. I adore your hat but alas the knitting is way too hard for me-wish I could pop over and have you teach me. I envy you the trip to Shetland and will eagerly await posts and pics. Your outfit is wonderful-my granddaughter Madeline would especially like your non-wool belt-she adores owls.
    Safe journey-Pam

  19. that is my absolute favourite piece of knitting EVER!!!!

    a kit??? did somebody say a kit????

    oh I’d love to buy a kit……


  20. Each new project is my new favorite! I love this, love the shape and the reason to buy all those colors. I am astounded by the creativity you have had going on the last few weeks. Your brain is amazing! You are so talented and I am so impressed and inspired by all you have accomplished.

  21. I love this hat! I am going to get the pattern right away! i have never done a stranded hat before, but do have a large stash of J&S jumper weight yarn – some old before they reduced their color line – so I am sure I have enough to pick a good color line. Very exciting! May have to get a twitter account just to follow you through the Shetland Fair!

  22. Perhaps my favourite of all your designs. And that’s saying something since I love them all so much.
    And I LOVE your all-wool outfit, even down to the wool knickers (I own a pair too, and think they are the best, especially when I am out in -30 weather).

  23. I love it! Adorable yet sophisticated. You are amazing (and all encased in wool)! I don’t much like knitting colorwork, but I’ll make an exception in this case.

  24. The hat is an inspired design — suits the place, the yarn, and you! But I find myself equally intrigued by your jacket and the belt. Information please?

  25. LOVE. What a charming hat! And I’ve been looking forward to knitting with J&S for a while, thanks to you. :) (Just need to finish some Christmas gifts first.) I don’t often comment, but I always love your patterns.

    And I also vote for a kit! I’ve had trouble finding J&S here in the US, so a kit would be a great help.

  26. Smashing! Very dapper. (The whole outfit, really)
    Unfortunately, it is coming into spring here, but a sheep sweater seems ideal …
    I would quite like to hear about the woollen undergarments (it’s not weird!) as I am currently assembling a nice woollen cycling costume – after having ridden home in the rain in a nice woollen cardi (no raincoat) and finding my shirt completely dry underneath, it seems like the Thing to Do. The evenings are still chilly enough…
    Are they knitted/sewn? Or did you buy them? (I saw the Icebreaker note above). If hand made, advice/opinion would be lovely…

  27. Once more, you need to walk us through your wardrobe! I am coveting your coat, and where on earth did you find decent wool shorts and undies? I would love a pair of decent wool trousers! Wool thong?!

  28. Much as I love all the sheepiness, I love the owls even more! I don’t usually wear belts, but I want one like that, and I want it now. As for woolly knickers – I am itching at the thought – it was bad enough being forced to wear woolly vests as a child.

  29. Absolutely beautiful! Being a fan of naturally coloured wool myself, I really loved this design! Love your woolly outfit too! I think this design just knocked down everything else on my to do list and jumped up on first place. I just have to find a suitable yarn here in Norway. Have a nice week!

  30. Gorgeous, stunning, scrummy piece o’ work!

    As soon as I saw it I thought “oooh, a kit please!” What better way to get Shetland wool out into the world?

  31. It is brilliant! I love the strength of the design using the limitation of stitch ‘pixels’ to such advantage! So cool!

  32. I love it! I WILL knit it for myself, but I see in my future many years of stealing it back from my (currently 1-year-old) sheep loving daughter. It’s a passion I plan to encourage, even in the event that I might lose my hat…!

    Have fun at Shetland wool week :-)

  33. Love this post, love your entire outfit, and the new “Sheep Heid” I would love to have access to that yarn too, but the postage to Australia is sometimes very $$
    You are looking very well in the photo’s Kate.

  34. Well – It’s amazing how excited we can all get about a wee hat – but excited we are!! It is a wee cutie. I was very impressed with your outfit and the fact that it is all natural is, in fact , it’s appeal. Yes, it has been tastefully put together but it’s ‘realness’ (is that a word?) is what makes it look so good – for me anyway.

    Nice to see the ‘Sheep’s Heid’ sign again – and the wander round he loch brought back some memories.

  35. Love the hat ! You look great !
    Wholly wooly undies for polar times only, at least for me !
    The Shetland Wool Week looks great, I have just had a look on your link. Busy week, right ? So, you (and your hat) will go easy, gently, softly so as to manage yourself (your conscience speaking, not me).

    I look forward to reading your next post and the picturesque report ! Until then, have fun and take care of yourself.

  36. I don’t want to sound trite but…I know there are a lot of things that your stroke has taken from you..but your ability to knit and design beautiful works of art is not one of them…Revel in the beauty of what you can do…WONDERFUL and gorgeous…

  37. LOVE this. Would love to be able to purchase a kit! I am, as ever, so inspired by you. You are amazing. And I was fortunate enough to have been in your lovely country just recently (my husband and I, along with two friends, rented a self-catering cottage in the beautiful Borders). I was UNFORTUNATE to not be in the right place at the right time often enough to purchase much yarn, however, I did score some gorgeous St. Magnus DK at K1. It is a gorgeous deep green that will forever remind me of the beautiful rolling hills and the sheep that dot them everywhere.

  38. It has been a long time since I wanted to drop everything I was working on and start something RIGHT THIS MINUTE!
    I raise Sheltands and have 5 moorit ewes grazing outside my window right now. How can I not make this hat!

  39. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. My love of colour gradations hat-ified. If I gather enough skills to do stranded work, this would be my work of choice. Congratulations on such a beautiful design.

  40. I’ve never, ever done this before but this design is so inspiring that I just ordered the yarn from J&S – all 9 colors – and am going to duplicate this hat exactly. It is so beautiful!

  41. Wonderful!
    I would also love to be able to buy this as a kit…
    And I urgently need wooly knickers, now that I know they exist…

  42. I’ve bought the pattern and ordered the wool – do you warn Jamieson and Smith before you bring a pattern out?!

    The sheep round the brim remind me of the stance of the sheep standing in the middle of the roads in the Highlands as we slowly drove towards them, just before they would suddenly disperse to the side.

  43. Kate I haven’t read any comments so sorry if this aready covered; in australia we had a very strict lableing system for wool with ONLY pure wool being called wool (pure NEW wool to cover those that recycle wool) and a picture of a ball of wool on the label then wool blend for mixed fiber if the wool content was the highest a label with a striped ball of wool was allowed. They were VERY strict about this in the ’80s and 90’s but most manafacturing has gone ofshore now so not sure of policing of it. You should contact the Australian Wool Board. We once took our wool very seriously down here we we made ‘on the sheeps back’. Keep looking after yourself pace pace pace you’re in a marathon you want to be well for the later bit too your doing so well don’t push your self to hard learn to nurture yourself. I love wool and only wear natural fibers so love your blog. grace Hey and what happened about the pattern for the coat or where you get it I promise you’re never going to bump into me wearing it down the street I live more than 10 000 miles away so please post about the coat.

  44. I have just returned to Canada from a trip to Scotland, and the minute I saw this hat went over to Ravelry to purchase it. It will be the perfect knit to remind me of my time there.

  45. Love, Love, Love! I too vote for a kit. I have not been able to find J&S here “on this side of the pond” and would love to knit this in the J&S.

  46. I also am echoing the need for a kit- especially for those of us across the pond who live in places that have never even heard of Shetland wool…. I would so buy a kit from J&S if it could be worked out….

    I love that hat. I live in South Texas where we don’t wear hats (its warm enough here that we wear shorts in the winter. With no tights) but I travel enough to northern climes in the winter that I would make the hat just so I could wear it on those trips.


  47. I’ve ummed and ahhed over buying your other gorgeous hat patterns. As much as I love them and I do want to do detailed knitting like that I always ask myself, would I get round to knitting them? would I have the patience? would I lose heart half way through? would I lose my place half way through reading the pattern. Never gave it a thought when I saw Sheep Heid, I just have to knit it…wear it…. it’s the sheep wot did it! Thank you. I’m casting on tonight!

  48. You are such a gift to humanity! Is this the hat that you designed during your days in bed after the seizure? I’m in awe. How do you do it? Thank you!!!!

  49. KATE – love , love , love your hat – its so you and you look amazing in it – all those little sheep are great and using all the natural colors too

    – what a pain , these seizures – hope your neuro guy gets to the bottom of whats going on and promptly too — its such a worry – brave of you to head off to the islands [ fun , but brave too ]

    grab a hold of what you love and enjoy , its all what we all should be doing

    warm thoughts –pat j

  50. This hat is gorgeous. Although I normally don’t like to knit with several colours I downloaded the pattern and will give it a try. The colours are wonderful and I love the natural sheepy colours.


  51. I love this hat so much that I am considering ordering all nine balls on-line and having them sent to me on the West Coast of Canada. A kit would be great, but please, if a kit is not going to happen perhaps you could design a small scarf or a cowl – yes a cowl – using the remainder of the yarn. I am not much of a mitten wearer. Oh, you could put the sheep’s back ends on the cowl instead of the heads. This would suit your woolly sense of humor and be so fun. Would there be enough yarn for a cowl? Or maybe a small scarf with a button.
    How is the Jamieson and Smith yarn for softness? Will I have to line the hat?

  52. Kate, all of your designs are gorgeous and intricate, but their true complexity and your design talent are realized by the knitter in the knitting of the items. But this…wow! This is so obviously shows off your cleverness, attention to detail, and phenomenal design skills.

  53. Hi – I think Schoolhouse Press in the US sells this yarn for Kate’s lovely hat. I’m still trying to figure out which shades are from the natural line but I think they all are 1-0- something numbers. The put-up is different from those on the J and S website so I’m not positve it’s the same yarn. Somebody wander over there and see what you think. Schoolhouse calls it Jamieson’s Shetland 2 ply Spindrift and I think the colors are white 304, Gaulmogot 104, Katmollet 105, Shaela 102, Mooskit 108, Sholmit 103, Yuglet 107, Moorit 108, Black 101. (Would love to know what these names mean – such a nice break from “latte”). The colors from the two sites show up quite differently on my computer so it’s hard to tell.
    Kate I so enjoy your blog but you need more dog pictures. I’m joking but I’m currently dogless (yes, Haters, I can go to dinner AND a movie without stopping at home) so I live vicariously through all of you lucky dog owners.

    1. Hi Lynn,

      The Jamieson’s spindrift is indeed a completely different yarn – it is finer and spun differently & knits to a different gauge than the J&S. When I get home I promise to post some Bruce pictures!

  54. Your sheep heid is a masterpiece. Where can I get the pattern? I’d love to get a kit from Jamieson and Smith if you were able to get that organized while you were there. I was in Shetland in July and fell in love with the islands and the people. I have very happy memories of a yarn frenzied afternoon at the Wool Brokers among my fellow knitting tourists. Little did I know at the time how Much I would wish I had stocked up jumper weight colourways once I returned to Canada.
    I have just found your blog and have now subscribed.Your prose is very fine and your knitwear designs are beautiful and wonderfully full of knitterly attention to detail.
    How can I subscribe to Textisles? It looks to be right up my alley, so to speak.
    I hope your seizures will not recur and your recovery will continue apace.

  55. What a gorgeous hat!! I had recently discovered your blog and enjoy reading it. Also your photos are really beautiful! Hope you had a lot of fun at the wool week and are returning inspired to new designs.
    Wish you all the best!

  56. I’ve never knit a hat, in fact I don’t even like hats, but this one…
    This one I must have. It’s gorgeous.
    Love your blog, too.
    Off to Rav to order the pattern, and to Hjaltland Halo to tell them I need a kit :). On second thoughts: a kit will contain the pattern too, won’t it?

  57. First of all, it’s high time for me to finally order my first Jamieson & Smith yarns. I have a color chart, and well, I have lots to compare to, having now knit colorwork with Virtual Yarns’ Hebridean 2ply, Jamiesons Spindrift, and another local Shetland wool variation grown from non-native sheep. I am inspired by the All Natural Tones, in your darling Sheep Heid, but also Hazel Tindall’s “Peat Hill Waistcoat”. Nice, nice, nice !!!! Secondly, I am glad you’re Tweeting, for although I am not (yet), I know this will excite so many of your appreciating followers (and I do peek, because I tend to ‘hang out’ on Needled quite bit). Thanks for all your Putting Forth of Things Going On.

  58. Dear Kate, I just finished making my own Sheep Heid! It was my first stranding project and it’s fantastic! Thank you so much for designing such a lovely hat!

  59. The sheep heid is gorgious- I bought the yarn – and I can`t stop knitting….the yarn is fantastic- your pattern is perfect-
    and I `m looking to get my “own” sheep heid” – as my daughter and my best friend are eagerly waiting for a sheep heid!
    Thanks a lot for your design….
    and a Happy New Year from Germany

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About Kate Davies

writer, designer and creator of Buachaille (100% Scottish wool)