Woolfest 2017

Hello everyone, happy Friday! So we are getting organised and packing together what we will be bringing down to Woolfest next week!

We are taking a wide range of our yarns – including every shade of 2ply Jumper Weight and a selection of books, kits and we will also be able to take orders for anything else people would like that we dont have with us – any orders placed at the show we have free postage, So on Tuesday night me (Ella) and Kharis will be heading on the boat and making the drive down!  Woolfest is an award winning event which takes place in a auction mart in Cockermouth in Cumbria, its a big celebration of Wool and the event also includes animals and fleece sales so we are looking forward to seeing that.

Its is open Friday 23rd (10am – 6pm) Saturday 24th (10am – 5pm) and the tickets are £10 each day or £15 for a two day ticket, you can find us on stand J197 and 242. So if you are coming we look forward to seeing you and we will do a blog once we are back all about our trip.

Happy Knitting!

Wool Awareness Event

Hello everyone! So this past Saturday we hosted something a bit different at J&S, a Wool Awareness event. This was for our crofters and wool producers and focused on the ways to present the wool so as to get the best price. Jan, Oliver and Derek were all on hand to advise and talk through with the visitors about what was on show.

The woolstore was laid out brilliantly with examples of all the different grades we take in as well as what we don’t want and how it can lower the price the crofter receives, this was great I thought (as a non-crofter!) because it was well described as to why this lowers the value and I could see what was wrong with it compared to the other examples.

We also had fancys!

And fleece-rolling demonstrations!

We had as well a display of all the yarns and products we make so you could also see the finished product – a number of the visitors came into the shop afterwards and all the feedback I had was really good, so I hope those that came enjoyed it.

Its extremely important to us to support the crofters as much as we can, after all we wouldn’t get very far without them! I made a quick video on Saturday too which you can see below, Happy Knitting!

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British Knitting Awards 2017

Yippeee! We have been nominated again (for the 4th year running!!) in the Best Brand For British Yarn category in the British Knitting Awards! When you think about how small Shetland is geographically we are always extremely pleased to be nominated in this category, and we are in great company – We would love it if you would vote for us, so if you would like you you can do so here (by entering you also get entered into a competition to win lots of prizes!!)

So thank you again for nominating us! it really means a lot, happy knitting!

 

Shetland College Project 2017

Hello everyone, Happy weekend! On Wednesday myself (Ella) and Oliver headed to the Shetland College, every year for the past few years we have worked with the College on a project using our yarns. The students are given a brief to produce a garment or home interiors product using the Worsted Spun and Heritage yarns (Shetland Supreme Lace 1 and 2ply, Shetland Heritage Natural and Dyed, Shetland Aran Worsted and Shetland Chunky). This year also had two woven products which was very exciting!

We were there to see the final items and hear the presentations from 3 students, Rhea Kay who’s Jumper we saw last year was also included in this module so if you want more information about her garment see last years post here. Andrea who was included with Rhea last year has moved onto another college on the Mainland so her poncho isn’t included but you can see more information about it too in that post. Rhea’s garment looked as good as we remembered it – it will be on display at the Whalsay Heritage Centre after the term ends at the college so keep an eye out for it there if you are visiting!

First up was Julia Nairn who covered a footstool in fabric made using the Shetland Heritage Natural yarns, she was inspired by the Houll Loch in Whalsay and took lots of photos of the scene. She finds it to be a timeless landscape and she was particularly inspired by the ripples in the water and the almost symmetry seen her her photos which she took through to her finished item. She used an undulating twill structure for her weaving and her main focus was to take the landscape into the home which is why she made a homeware product.

We loved the way the resulting fabric came out and found the footstool to be very effective, the heritage yarn is soft yet robust making it very suited to weaving.

Alicja Tyburska also used weaving in her project but decided to make a garment, in this case, a large wrap. She is a weaver but also extremely interested in History and Archaeology, in particular, Shetlands Natural Landscape and its features, and she took the inspiration from Brochs and other stone features in Shetland – mainly how they are seen from above in drone photography.

This gave her the inspiration for her weave structure and she combined different weights of yarns – the Shetland Aran, Heritage and Chunky together to give beautiful texture to her finished item. We loved the professional finish and texture of the wrap, and the chunky tassels just finished it off perfectly.

Marcia Galvin used knit in her project and made this lovely wrap cardigan in the Shetland Heritage yarn, she was inspired by the word ‘Heritage’ and what it means to her, although not a Shetlander she has been here for many years and was interested in how certain areas have changed architecturally in Lerwick in particular Hays Dock. The Shetland Museum and Archives and Mareel are examples of modern architecture that Marcia looked at and took inspiration from, she looked up the briefs the architects of these building had and looked at the lines and shapes of the buildings.

You can see in her finished garment how elements of these buildings came out in her motif and texture. The cardigan is oversized but can be closed a number of different ways and with a belt. We though the use of colour and inspiration were very successful.

The winner of the unit will be announced at the Degree Show in a few weeks but we think all the students did extremely well, it’s really important to us to support the local College – me and Kharis are both graduates of the Contemporary Textiles course and it gives students the skills to be able to work in the industry in Shetland, something which is quite difficult and we, as an industry, must be supportive of these students.

Happy Knitting!

PS. remember the Shetland Wool Week programme comes out on Tuesday the 16th of May, there are lots of things happening again at J&S and it looks to be another fabulous year!

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A Couple More Cones..

Hello Everyone, just a quick post today! We are constantly getting in more yarn of course but lately it feels we have been getting in even more than usual – this means lots of cones in the 2ply Jumper Weight. When we order a shade we get a certain amount on cone and the rest on ball, this means that we don’t always have all the shades on cone and if we don’t have a certain shade it may be a bit of a wait until we get it again on cone BUT at the moment we have a good selection. We are always updating the cone page so if there is a shade you are looking for keep checking!

new recent cones: 1a, 1, FC43, 72, 125, 93, FC15, FC37 and 36

A cone is extremely economical if you are making any kind of 4ply yoke jumper like the Puffin Sweater, Crofthoose Yoke, Stasis, Scalloway Yoke, Hairst Cardigan.. the list goes on. It also means less ends which is always a good thing! The cones are oiled for machine knitting but don’t let that put you off, you just have to wash the garment when you’re finished – we would always advise that for Shetland Wool anyway as it looks the best once washed and blocked.

Finally we are open as normal this Easter Friday and Monday but there is no post so any orders wont get posted out until Tuesday, happy knitting!

Fire Festival KAL Winners

Hello everyone, so last week I asked you to vote on your favourites for the winners of the Fire Festival KAL and you didn’t disappoint, 736 of you voted in the two category’s and the winners were:

So congratulations DottyBev and Hedwychs, I have contacted you by Ravelry message, they have both won a gift voucher to spend at J&S, thank you again to everyone who took part – we have really enjoyed seeing the different ways people put the colours together!

We will be having a little break but we were thinking to have a KAL for the Shetland Wool Week pattern – the Bousta Beanie – probably beginning in June so keep an eye out for that.

Happy knitting!

J&S Staff Profile: Kharis Leggate

This is the third post in the series about the people who work at J&S, Kharis has been doing the series so today its me (Ella) who gets to introduce her! Kharis has been working at J&S for nearly two years now and we don’t know what we did without her, she manages and organises all the Wholesale and trade customers and orders – a big task when you look now at our stockists page! You might think to work at J&S you need to be a knitter – which Kharis is – but she is also a weaver which is great as it means there is another craft we can give advice on, Kharis makes beautiful cushions using J&S yarns which you can see in the links at the bottom of the post.

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What’s the best thing about working at J&S?

“There are so many things I love but the main one is getting to work with my creative and hilarious colleagues every day!”

Do you have a favourite place in Shetland?

“Probably my most favourite place is Westsandwick on Yell, one of the North Isles. My Mam is from here and it’s where we spent all our holidays growing up, it’s like a second home.”

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Sooth Toon, Westsandwick (Kharis Leggate)

“Other places on the Westside like Clousta and East Burrafirth, and up North like Eshaness and Hillswick I love too.”

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Hillswick (Kharis Leggate)

How do you like to spend your time when you’re not working at J&S?

“I like combining walking, photography and writing. I use my camera, pen and notebook to capture atmosphere, colour and texture ideas for weaving inspiration as well as for use in my blog. My handweaving work is mainly interior fabrics for cushions and blankets. I’m planning to develop upholstery designs as well as try out some pieces incorporating botanical dye techniques.”

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“I also love yoga! Vinyasa Flow and Kundalini are the styles I practice most online through Yogaglo, a few of my favourite teachers are Tiffany Cruikshank, Jo Tastula, Amy Ippoliti and Kia Miller. And, of course, I knit!”

What’s your favourite J&S yarn?

“It has to be 2ply Jumper Weight, preferably on cone as that makes winding a warp for weaving a lot easier. I tend to gravitate towards the marled and more muted shades. Favourites at the moment are 1280, 2, 1284, FC61 and FC62.”

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You can follow Kharis on:

Instagram

Home is an Island blog

Home is an Island shop

Ravelry

Twitter

Facebook

 

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