At last my “woolly horse” aka “jumper board” but not to be confused with a “woolly jumper” (Aussie boomer joke) arrived from the Shetland Islands. I believe it is originally a Shetlands invention and is discussed in books about Fair Isle knitting; a pattern to make your own is in “The Fair Isle Knitting Handbook” by Alice Starmore. I’m not skilled enough to build my own so I bought this. It is really quite an interesting piece and I used it recently to block the Scalloway Yoke jumper. It worked brilliantly. I was able to adjust for my size and block the garment to fit. Because the air can reach all sides, the garment dries very quickly. I purchased it from Jamieson & Smith and it wasn’t cheap but given the amount of knitting that I do, I felt the money spent was justified. A benefit for me is being able to block a garment knitted in one piece. When working with Shetland knitting wools, the garment must be washed for the wools to soften and of course it assists to set stitches and the FI design. I was a bit worried that it wouldn’t work with an Icelandic yoke jumper but I had no problems. I know that a number of knitting yarns don’t need blocking but Shetland wools definitely need it. In fact, I’ve read in numerous sources that Shetland knitters don’t consider a garment finished until it’s washed and blocked.
The bottom pole for the sleeve underside is adjustable as are the side poles for the sides of the garment body. One can put as much or little tension on these parts of the garment as desired. As I had noted in the Scalloway Yoke posting, the sleeves were too short but I was able to stretch and lengthen them on the jumper board. Please send me a message if you’re interested to know more.
This photo was sent to me from Jamieson & Smith. The nice lady is Connie who used to live here in NZ on the South Island! The world is so small!