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Keep Making KAL 2020

Spockies Heylor Gloves

Hello everyone, you may remember earlier in the year (somehow this year has been extremely long yet short at the same time!) we announced our Keep Making Knit-A-Long. Our aim for this KAL was to inspire people to just keep making – we are lucky that knitting, crochet, spinning etc is a great help to us all at this time! We wanted to create a place in our Ravelry group that people could share progress, encourage each other and then post their finished objects – we are delighted with how many people posted a finished object, here is a small selection (see here for them all) :

trevsters Shetland Heritage Vest

ladywulfs Shetland Homespun Hap

ginni’s Davern Mittens and Tam

griseldis’s Lockdown Project

Bealavenders Porty Pullover

We have chosen a winner at random and I can reveal it is Melissa aka silvershoes on Ravelry (I’ve sent you a message!), thank you to everyone who took part – it has been a great KAL. We try to have one or two knit-a-longs a year so if you would like to take part keep an eye on our Ravelry group*

Silvershoes Northumberland Pheasant

 

Happy Knitting!

 

*in the middle of this KAL Ravelry did their site design update which is why we didn’t post too much about it for those of you who could no longer use the site, we are hopeful that it will/has become more accessible for those with issues or if you have ideas of other places we could host a KAL please post below.

 

 

Sandra’s Supreme Shoormal

Hello everyone, today we thought we’d share something inspiring that Sandra worked on during lockdown – A Shoormal Hap knit in Shetland Supreme Jumper Weight!

We launched our Shoormal Hap a couple of years ago, its a classic and timeless Shetland Hap, which is a square shawl that usually has a middle, borders and an edging. These have been made in Shetland for hundreds of years and used for babies, as outerwear and just as a blanket – its a surprisingly versatile item!

In the pattern version, Sandra used Shetland Heritage Naturals which worked beautifully – the yarn has an excellent drape and handle but for this version, she decided to use our undyed woollen spun Jumper Weight, Shetland Supreme for a cushier version and I think you will agree it is beautiful!

My (Ella’s) boyfriend Peter also made me this Hap Board during Lockdown, following the excellent Tutorial on Kate Davies blog but he is a joiner so it came out perfect, so we thought the new Shoormal was a great opportunity to try it out – Nothing looks better than a Hap on Hap board!

If you want to make your own Shoormal in Supreme Jumper weight you can find the pattern here or here and you will need:

Shetland Supreme Jumper Weight – 50g balls

2005 (Shetland Black) x 6

2008 (Katmollet) x 1

2007 (Sholmit) x 1

2004 (Moorit) x 1

 

She used the same size needles throughout (5mm) so although the yarn is a bit thicker it came out the same size (45 inches square) perfect for the back of the couch or on your bed.

Truly a timeless piece of knitting!

Hand Knits

Hello everyone, happy weekend! Today is just a quick post to show you some of the hand-knit accessories we have in stock just now, first off we have a limited amount of hand-knit versions of Olivers Hat from ‘Jamieson & Smith A Shetland Story‘ These have been hand-knit by the designer, our very own Sandra Manson so this a special opportunity to get your hands on one! We have added a J&S star tag to mark its authenticity:

We also have a selection of hats which are knit by a lovely lady here in Shetland, they are all made using vintage and new shades of Jumper Weight and each one is different, so you will never see another the same!

And we have some Fingerless Gloves (although that sounds wrong – they do have fingers, just small ones!)

and also Fingerless Mitts (no fingers at all, just ribbing at the top) again knit by a selection of ladies in Shetland using vintage and new wool in a range of one-off patterns.

Now as most of these are one-offs you need to get in quick if you see ones you fancy! If they have sold out before we get to your order we will be in touch but I thought we would mention them for (ahem ahem) Christmas gifts as due to the ongoing COVID related delays Royal Mail has put in extremely early last recommended posting dates for international Christmas Delivery – we have already passed one of them!! :

Monday 5 October All non-European destinations
(except South Africa, Canada, Middle
and Far East, USA)
Monday 12 October Middle and Far East, Hong Kong,
Singapore, South Africa
Monday 2 November Canada, Cyprus, Eastern Europe,
Greece, Iceland, Malta, Turkey, USA
Monday 16 November Western Europe

So that’s some of the accessories we have in stock, they are selling fast already! Happy knitting!

SWW Online at J&S – A Taste!

Hello Everyone,

Thanks for all the comments and feedback on our Wool Week videos and content – it was a weird week for us, we are used to a totally different experience which definitely doesn’t adhere to the current rules so we, like many others in Shetland, tried to take Wool Week online!

We knew Olivers Woolstore talk would be one of the most missed events by visitors so that was top of our list to film:

 

We also filmed a video of all our yarn ranges to try and give you a semi-being in the shop experience:

 

 

And we asked two of our great Wool Week teachers Hazel Tindall and Alison Rendall to film their classes which we usually host during the week:

 

 

 

We also had videos documenting the production of our yarns:

 

 

 

 

As well as some exclusive videos from the Campaign for Wool, Vispring and West Yorkshire Spinners:

 

 

 

 

During the week we also had Anne from the ‘I Thought I Knew How’ podcast using our new upstairs space to host a few interviews including this one with local knitter and designer Janette Budge:

 

We also posted a couple of blogs from local designer Lesley Smith and artist Vivian Ross-Smith in case you missed those.

This is just a selection but to see all the videos we posted head over to our youtube channel and sit down with a cup of tea and your knitting, while you are there: lots of great videos were also posted by Shetland Wool Week themselves which you can see on their youtube channel and we would definitely suggest looking through the posts and hashtags on Instagram relating to the event – its a rabbit hole for sure but a good one! (start with #shetlandwoolweek2020)

We hope this has helped soothe the sadness of the event being cancelled – we are waiting to get our Annuals so as soon as we do they will be on the online shop! Happy Knitting x

Shetland College Project 2020

Hello everyone,

You may know that every year we work with the Shetland College and their Fine Art and Contemporary Textiles students on a project in which the students create a piece of work inspired by J&S and its buildings and yarns, even though things have been very different this year we did manage to have the usual visits with the students at the beginning of the year before everything shut down so they were able to continue the project and last week I (Ella) headed to the college to see the results of the project.

As always we will go through the students work and I’ll write a little bit about their inspirations:

Shannon Leslie

Shannon was inspired from her visit to us and hearing Oliver speak about the importance of Shetland sheep and their colours, marking and existence – She created this collection of beautiful ‘lugs’ – ears in Shetland dialect from raw wool and combed tops.

She said ‘We never want these ears to become mere ‘specimens’ of what ‘once was’’. I found the ears very tactile and cute, and I could see links to Museums and Taxidermy which was very effective.

Elouise Spooner

Elouise was inspired by the markings on the floor in the Woolstore and the colours and textures in the woolstore from the walls, floors and wool. She worked into a sheet using sewing, painting and distressing.

She said: ‘The phrase ‘Common Land’ took a whole different meaning when put into the context of today, as before it just meant a field used by many crofters for sheep, but in the context of COVID-19 it stands for how people have had to come together in the ‘Common Land’ of the internet and how people have had to become more empathetic with each other as this virus affects everyone. This piece was not what I expected when I first stepped into Jamieson & Smith, but I’m very happy with the outcome.’

It was a really effective piece and I liked how it linked into the present as well as the every day in the Woolstore.

Jean Urquhart

Jean created a selection of sculptural pieces and painting in her work as well as small art book containing samples of fleece paintings which she then took out onto bigger scale wall pieces.

She was inspired by the textures and colours of the woolstore which I think translated well into her use of natural colours in the Heritage and Tops.

She said: ‘I really enjoyed discovering the wool shed, loved the untreated wool, the atmosphere, the history: found it inspirational. The natural yarn is very beautiufl and makes me want to learn to knit’

Elaine Thomason

Elaine was inspired by visiting J&S and its buildings to create a ‘Taatit Rug’ which incorporated lots of elements of what we do – including our logo and bannisters!

She said:

For the last sixty years, J&S have bought fleeces from the Shetland crofters…who graze their hardy peerie sheep on the stark hillsides. In the 1960s the old United Free Kirk was purchased to be used as a grading shed…it is now the Wool Shop. In the 1900s this part of Lerwick was a hive of activity with numerous fishing stations spread along its shores. The shore being the work-place of the Herring girl’s as they gutted and salted fish. The kirk was a place of worship and relaxation for them. The herring girls had a restroom and knitted in any free time. Marriages also took place and even a Post Office made use of the building. This colourful history inspired me. I thought of the poverty of material things and how nothing was wasted. From conception to creation the coming together of the Tattit rug, historical a wedding gift to the bride and groom from both families.’

I found Elaine’s rug really moving and could totally see all the inspiratrions and how they had translated into the piece.

Cilla Robertson

Cilla was inspired by the textures in the woolstore and decided to work with crochet and balls to represent the reach of Shetland Wool all over the world. She combined these into hanging almost ‘mobiles’

Shet said ‘I wanted my final work to highlight the environment that supports the production of wool. I used peat, clay, heather and rams’ horns.’

I loved the use of different materials withing the work and found them very beautiufl to look at and stand under.

Jane Ridland

 

Jane worked with audio and visuals to represent her visits to J&S and what that ignited within her and she made her film from a Grandaughters perspective.

She said ‘I used film to recreate the rhythmic movement and sound of my grandmother’s knitting needles and highlight the importance of yarn quality, and the essential knitting belt. Finally, to remember a small flock of twenty sheep.’

I think the work the students produced considering everything that’s happened this year was really great and it’s always amazing to see what is produced and how others see coming into J&S and we love seeing work from so many different perspectives.

To find out more about the creative courses at the Shetland College click here, we hope you’ve enjoyed seeing the students work.

Working With Wool, A Guest Post from Vivian Ross-Smith

‘Form’. Shetland wool on Burlap. 20x21cm. 2018

You don’t have to look hard in my studio to find wool. There are balls of J&S yarn scattered everywhere and crimps of raw fleece dotted around my work benches. There’s a grip and bite to Shetland wool that is unlike any other wool I have used in my work; the texture is beautiful to hold and excellent to work with. J&S have an enticing range of colours waiting to grab your attention but it’s the natural shades that always sit best with my work. Reminding me of shearing sheep on my home island of Fair Isle.

‘Fair Isle Scattald’ 2018, acrylic on wood. 14 x 12 cm each (series of 17)

‘Ewes Out’ 2018. Shetland wool handstitched on canvas. 70 x 51 cm (Detail)

Some of my fondest childhood memories are gathering as a community to ‘caa’ sheep. This process involves walking through the rugged, heather-covered hills as one to manoeuvre the flock toward the ‘crü’, a large enclosed pen from which sheep can be sheared and dosed. Feeling the rich, almost sticky lanolin coat my hands as I prize fleece away from skin to find the growth line I will clip along. Not only have these textures, colours and smells stuck with me, the coming together of community to work collectively had a huge impact on me too. As with many artists, my personal history is an integral framework for my practice. The mentality and dynamic of island communities’ shapes my work, I approach my art as an islander.

‘But if you use the word craft, it’s like you’re politicising the word craft’, 2020. Shetland wool and acrylic on paper

‘Craft Conversations II’, 2020. Canvas, felt, acrylic, Shetland wool, wood and tracing paper

Materiality forms the backbone of my practice from which I explore the aesthetic qualities, as well as the cultural value of material. Fish skins, salt, wood, and hessian are paired with traditional island skill sets such as knitting, knotting, weaving and stitching to communicate craft, skill, isolation, and commitment to place. It is wool, however, that features in my work time and time again – a material completely intertwined with Shetland culture. When I use wool, I play a small part in feeding into the long and rich history of crofting, knitting and textiles in Shetland.

‘Stitch’, 2019. Hessian and Shetland wool. 24x24cm

‘Sorting + Grading’ 2019. Shetland wool and burlap. 140x80cm

‘Sorting + Grading’ 2019. Shetland wool and burlap. 140x80cm (Detail)

Living on a small island like Fair Isle simultaneously requires self-sufficiency and a willingness to rely on neighbours. Although not the only industries, the laborious working of land and sea through crofting and fishing, is still a common practice on Shetlands islands. I use my practice as a method of echoing the types of work that take place on islands, commitment to working in a repetitive and laborious way is mirrored through the rhythms and durational nature of my work, reminiscent of the ebb and flow of the sea, or the back and forth of a knitting machine. Alongside the workload of an islander comes a collective commitment to place and way of life, which highlights the need for a strong community, allowing a sharing of workload and the building of support structures. It is this joined-up thinking I am interested in. To me, islands are places of coming together.

Good Mother, 2018. Shetland wool handstitched on canvas. 70 x 51 cm

‘Moder Dy’, 2019. Haddock skins, Shetland wool, wooden bar

This shared working is very apparent in the crafts of the island and particularly in the knitting, where its commonplace to share patterns and knitting knowledge with neighbours, friends and family. The social aspect is what draws me to textiles and from that stance, my appreciation of wool as a material strengthens.

‘J+S’, 2019. Raw fleece hand-stitched with Jamieson and Smith yarn. 24×24 cm

I’ve never been taught how to use stitch properly, instead making it up as I go along with whatever means make sense to the work. The same goes for my knitting, although Fair Isle is my home island and I have been surrounded by exceptionally talented knitters for my whole life, I only taught myself to knit garments properly in 2017. My use of wool in my artwork has always been intuitive and centres around the development of tactile surfaces and trying to gain an understanding of the materials form and function.  piece could be as simple as exploring the relationship between raw and spun wool, yet the touch of the fleece, the smell of the lanolin, the individual crimps, keep my mind and hands engaged for hours. Or the conceptual could take forefront, how does craft practice fit into fine art? Is the internet the new craft space rather than gathering and making physically? Regardless of the starting point for a piece of work, it’s the material – and usually the wool – that my mind goes to first.

‘Craft Conversations III’ 2019. Shetland wool and canvas

 

I ask viewers to look at material from a perspective they’re not used to. I ask them to question its qualities, origins and if our understanding of the material itself can be built on. From this place of constant learning, a deep appreciation can be formed.

————————————

Vivian Ross-Smith is an artist working from the Shetland Islands. She adopts a collaborative and systematic approach to making and sharing through painting, textiles and the digital. Her work creates space to discuss the practices of island life from a contemporary, fine art context and explores the textures, qualities and values of material and space. Ross-Smith’s work builds relationships and conversations between material, place and people and is as much about experiencing as it is about seeing.

 https://www.vivianrosssmith.com

@vrosssmith

Thank you Vivian for this guest post – we hope you are enjoying our Wool Week content – make sure to follow our instagram and subscribe to our youtube channel – if you haven’t already! Happy Knitting!

 

 

Knitting an Afterthought Heel, Guest Post from Lesley Smith

My name is Lesley Smith and I am a knitter and designer living and working in Shetland. Ella has asked me to write a short blog post for Wool Week 2020 about my method for knitting an afterthought heel into a Fair-isle sock.

An afterthought heel is as the name describes, a heel that is knitted on when the rest of the sock is completed. It’s a common sock heel construction but not one that was traditionally used in Shetland as far as I can find. All the old examples of socks I have seen here have a heel flap and gusset. I chose to use an afterthought heel for a number of reasons. It allowed me to use the same design on the heel and the toe. I could also use design elements from the crowns of Fair-isle tams and berets, which I love. Best of all I don’t have to purl every 2nd row of colour work on a heel flap. Here, I am going to show you how to pick up the heel stitches after the rest of the sock has been knit.

As you can see from photo 1, I have knit the whole sock save for the heel, with waste yarn knitted in where the heel will go. The waste yarn I used is a synthetic in a contrast colour which makes it easier to see and remove. I have knit it across half the stitches of the sock

The next step will be to pick up the stitches above and below the waste yarn. I like to pick these stitches up before removing the waste as it avoids dropped stitches! I use a circular needle with a long cable in a finer gauge than the sock was knit with as it makes it easier. Begin picking up the stitches from the side of the sock where the row begins. This will keep the jog in the pattern on the sock and the heel at the same side.

In this example, I’m picking up the leg stitches first. Once you’ve picked up the leg stitches (half of the total number of stitches to be picked up) slide the stitches onto the needle cable. Turn the sock so the toe is nearest you. Pick up the sole stitches by going behind the right leg of each stitch. Picking them up this way prevents them from being twisted. When all the sole stitches are picked up slide them onto the cable needle

Next, we are going to remove the waste yarn. With a tapestry needle or knitting needle pick out one stitch at a time all the way along. If the end gets too long snip it off as you go.

Now all that’s left to do is transfer these stitches onto the needles you knitted the rest of the sock with. In my case, it was a short circular needle.

Before you begin to knit, check your stitch count. I usually have one extra stitch on the sole which can come in handy! When you knit the sole stitches, knit up to the last stitch. This last sole stitch can then be knitted together with the leg stitch next to it. This helps to close any small holes at that side. If I don’t have an extra stitch there, I would pick up something to do this with. Any holes at the other side can be closed by using the yarn ends to weave in on the back.

 

I hope this will help and inspire you to give it a go. If you’d like to see any more of my designs you can find me on Etsy as TakDeeSock and on Ravelry as Lesley Smith Designs. Hope to see you for Wool Week 2021!

Thanks to Lesley for this guest post, the yarn used in her sock shown here is Shetland Heritage, we hope you are enjoying our Wool Week content – make sure to follow our instagram and subscribe to our youtube channel – if you haven’t already! Happy Knitting!

Wool Week Videos at Jamieson & Smith

Hello everyone, This weekend would have seen the beginning of Shetland Wool Week, sadly but unsurprisingly it was cancelled this year but we, like many others have put together some online content for you throughout the week. The following list breaks down what you can expect from our Youtube channel over the next week or so (all UK time):

Sunday 27th September

Slowing Down Fast Fashion (Campaign for Wool)

Monday 28th September

10am – Wool Sorting and Grading with Oliver Henry (J&S)

2pm – Shetland Story (J&S/Curtis Wool)

5pm – Vispring Beds (Vispring)

Tuesday 29th September

10am – The J&S Yarn Range with Ella Gordon (J&S)

2pm – Haworth Scouring (J&S/Curtis Wool)

5pm – Why Wool – Protect our Oceans (Campaign for Wool)

Blog Post – Afterthought Heel with Lesley Smith

Wednesday 30th September

10am – Fair Isle Bookmark with Hazel Tindall (J&S)

2pm – Wool Combing (J&S/Curtis Wool)

5pm – There’s no Wool in the Sea (Campaign for Wool)

Thursday 1st October

10am – Fair Isle Cuffs with Alison Rendall (J&S)

2pm – Spinning with Lighthowlers (J&S/Curtis Wool)

5pm – Synthetic VS Wool and Two Jumpers, What’s the Difference? (Campaign for Wool)

Blog Post – Vivian Ross Smith on Working with Wool

Friday 2nd October

10am – WYS with Sarah Hatton (West Yorkshire Spinners)

2pm – Shetland Wool Week 10th Anniversary with Prince Charles (Campaign for Wool)

5pm – Two Carpets, what’s the difference? and Two Curtains, what’s the difference? (Campaign for Wool)

Saturday 3rd October

10am – Bonus Video! The Difference Between Woollen and Worsted Spun (J&S)

2pm – Choose Wisely – Check its Wool (Campaign for Wool)

Sunday 4th October

Throughout the day – Woolabilities, short cartoons produced by the Wool Carpet Focus Group.

We have been provided with great videos from the Campaign for Wool, Vispring and West Yorkshire Spinners and here in Shetland, we worked with Keiba Clubb so we really hope you enjoy them. Thanks also to Adam Curtis for helping us with filming on the mainland, Haworth Scouring and Lightowlers Yarns. To see what else is happening make sure to follow Shetland Wool Weeks social media and visit the website for more online events.

Happy knitting/watching/listening/reading!

In the next few weeks..

Hello Everyone, as difficult as it was we totally understand why the decision was made to cancel Shetland Wool Week this year, but of course, we will miss seeing all our visitors and this means many of you will not be getting your Shetland and J&S fix this year! to that end, we are working hard on having content which we will be sharing over the end of September and beginning of October. We will have exclusives from Haworth Scouring and Combing, West Yorkshire Spinners, Campaign for Wool and Vispring as well as lots from us here at J&S, this post is to remind you to follow our social media to make sure you don’t miss anything!:

Instagram

Facebook

twitter

And to subscribe to our youtube channel as that is where we will post all our video content first:

youtube

We know it won’t be the same as being here but we hope it will give you lots to see and help tide you over until you can visit again, we also still have spaces available on our Zoom Drop Spindle class with Deborah Gray – this is the only ‘live’ class we have and it is on the 1st of October, if you order a kit (see here) you will receive a drop spindle and natural comb top sample pack to be used in the class. We will be back with more details about the other content nearer the time but we hope you will all be looking forward to it,

Happy knitting!

New WYS Shetland Yarns!

Hello everyone, sorry for being quiet on here – we are in the middle of the Wool Season so things are pretty busy in the wool store and we are working on lots of things which we will share soon! but today we happy to share the two new ranges which have been launched with our ongoing collaboration with West Yorkshire Spinners.

In these ranges, West Yorkshire Spinners purchase the raw Shetland Wool from J&S and using their state of the art dyeing and spinning capabilities to create now 3 different ranges using Real Shetland Wool.

First up is the Croft Double Knit range:

The Croft Double Knit carries on from the success of the original Aran Croft range with 12 solid colours and 6 speckled shades, and alongside the range is a pattern book containing garment and accessory patterns by Sarah Hatton and Rosee Woodland.

Technical Information:
Hank Size: 100g
Composition: 100% Shetland Wool
Weight: Double Knit
Needles: 4mm US6
225 Metres / 246 Yards
Tension: 28 Rows – 22 Stitches

You can find the Croft DK on our online shop here, and the pattern book here.

Next up is something new and exciting – The Croft Wild Shetland Aran Roving Yarn:

This yarn is a really unusual loosely spun Aran yarn available in a range of 4 colours inspired by Shetland and its landscape, we also have the undyed Ecru to go along with it. The yarn has long colour stretches resulting in an interesting effect on the finished item as you can see in the swatches

l-r: Rolling Hills, Stormy Skies, Fired Earth and Turning Tides

Technical Information:

Hank Size: 100g
Composition: 100% Shetland Wool
Weight: Aran Roving
Needles: 5mm US8
166 Metres / 182 Yards
Tension: 24 Rows – 18 Stitches

We also have two kits available for this range, the Finlay and Alana Sweaters, you can find them on the online shop here and here.  You can find the Wild Shetland range on the online shop here.

We look forward to seeing what people make with these new ranges, happy knitting!

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