Meg Rodger produces knitting yarn from sea-faring Hebridean sheep bred on the Isle of Berneray

We’ve been chatting to Meg Rodger at Birlinn Yarn Company. The Birlinn Yarn Company produce knitting yarn from sea-faring Hebridean sheep bred on the Isle of Berneray in the Outer Hebrides. They’ll be in the Marketplace at Loch Ness Knit Fest 2017.

So how did Meg first get into knitting…
My Grandma always used to knit in the evenings, once work was done for the day. She knitted mohair cardigans with beautiful old wooden knitting needles. She called them ‘Cosy Coats’ and we all had one. I still have mine, it is turquoise blue stripes, which is funny now that I live in the Hebrides and look out my window at beautiful, turquoise, blue sea stripes.

Like everyone life is quite busy. I don’t sit comfortably doing nothing but sometimes you need to take the time to stop and recharge. I find knitting very relaxing. It allows me to sit, thinking and being quiet, knowing my hands are busy.

What’s her favourite fibre…
My own yarn of course. Birlinn Yarn is from our Hebridean sheep, which are a hardy and thrifty Northern short tailed breed brought to the islands by the Vikings. Their fleeces have evolved in a Northern climate and, hence, the yarn produced is so very warm and great for an outdoors lifestyle.

Which other crafters inspire Meg…
Hilary Grant’s patterns are grounded in the Shetland tradition but have a great ‘up to date’ edge to them. Kate Davies is very productive and creative with a wonderfully refreshing style.

Thoughts on Scotland…
I have lived in the Hebrides for around twenty years. In the Uists, the environment is a blend of island meets Highland. In a short distance you can walk from white sandy beach, through flower strewn machair onto heather moor with Golden eagles. Whether in storm or blue sky sunshine it is so beautiful.

Counting down to Loch Ness Knit Fest 2017…
It will be great to meet everyone, whether customers or other woolly businesses. It is a lovely sector to be working in, everyone is so enthusiastic and supportive, so we always have a nice time.