I recently had the pleasure of visiting Eldamato to learn more about their story and offerings. Dj, the owner, embarked on her journey to Shetland from central California fifteen years ago. Originally en route to Ireland, Dj's plans changed due to her struggle with an autoimmune disorder that made her allergic to sunlight. Seeking a suitable environment to call home, Dj found the perfect haven in Shetland.

Reflecting on her time here, Dj speaks fondly of Shetland, emphasizing the warmth and welcoming nature of its people. Prior to establishing Eldamato, Dj supplied her hand-dyed and hand-spun wool to Loose Ends. When the opportunity arose to take over the space beneath Loose Ends following Marjory's retirement, Dj seized the chance and opened Eldamato in August 2023.

Eldamato yarn stands out for its unique quality. Dj meticulously hand-dyes the wool using professional dyes and citric acid to ensure vibrant colours. The wool is then left to dry in the Shetland breeze (or gale force winds), which imparts a softness to the fibres. Each batch of yarn is a testament to Dj's craftsmanship, with colour blends achievable only through hand spinning—something unattainable with commercial wool. Other fibres are added to the wool such as Merino wool or silk to make the yarn super soft.

Beyond yarn, Eldamato offers an array of spinning and felting supplies, along with quality local knitwear and other crafts. Drawing from her extensive teaching experience, Dj plans to introduce crochet, lace knitting, and spinning classes in the near future.

For Dj, the most rewarding aspect of running her business is the opportunity to connect with people. She delights in witnessing the awe on customers' faces as they explore her shop and marvel at the array of beautiful products and colours. Choosing Lerwick town centre as her business location was a strategic decision, given its high footfall and vibrant atmosphere.

However, Dj admits that managing the administrative tasks and accounts poses a significant challenge. Nevertheless, she remains undeterred, urging those who haven't visited Eldamato yet to drop by and explore the ever-changing range of products. For returning visitors, Dj assures that there's always something new to discover.

Dj emphasizes that Eldamato is first and foremost a shop for local people, and she warmly welcomes other knitters and crafters to sell their products alongside hers in her shop, fostering a sense of community and collaboration within the crafting community in Shetland.

And if you are wondering what Eldamato stands for, it's the first two letters of her four children's names—a touching tribute to her family.

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