My vintage Knitmaster knitting machine is a wee bit temperamental! It isn't keen on yarns any thicker than the size of handknitter's laceweight. Subsequently, I have struggled to source local wools. However, whilst attending a wonderful spinning workshop with Ange of Weftblown, she suggested trying 1-ply Shetland weaving wool from Jamieson's of Shetland.
I sent off for two cones as a trial. I was delighted to find that the yarn was strong enough to cope with my machine. So, I then ordered a range of natural colours with a view to knitting up fabric in my Scottish Wildflowers design. I was delighted with the cones when they arrived, but experience has taught me that yarns dyed using "heather" techniques can be difficult to use in colourwork.
Hence, swatching began! Using six of the yarns as a base, I knitted up a range of samples. After washing and blocking, I sewed the swatches to a board so that I wouldn't lose them or forget which colours I'd used! Now I can choose which combinations are best to use for my bags.