Hello everyone, Happy Saturday! We’re back today with another round up of our Wirsit Inspo (wool inspiration) posts that we post every week on our Social Media (facebook, instagram and twitter) as we come into summer there have been some brighter posts but July is proving to be very grey here unlike everywhere else in the UK! We have now been doing these posts for nearly a year and we love seeing how much you enjoy them.
If you are inspired by any of the colourways make sure to tag us or send pictures to us, we’d love to see!
So that takes us up to July, we will continue to share these round ups every few months but you can see the posts each week over on our social media, happy knitting!
Hello everyone, for the next week (Tuesday 13th July 2021 – Tuesday 20th July) we are offering 20% off individual balls of our Woollen Spun 2ply Lace on the Website. This is a great chance to stock up if you are a fan or to try it out!
This range is currently available in 31 shades ranging from brights and pastels to dyed naturals. Its traditionally used to knit Shetland Lace – scarfs, stoles, shawls etc but its a lovely yarn that also works well for light weight garments or for holding together with other yarns for marls or to create a thicker yarn.
This range is one up from our finest 1plys, 2ply Lace weight can also be used in any pattern calling for 3ply Yarn, making it a perfect yarn for Vintage patterns. Like the cobweb it is blended with Lambswool to give it some added softness. Having the yarn slightly thicker than the 1ply means it gives a bit of substance to lace patterns but also means it will keep you warm in a scarf or stole.
There are a couple of shades already reduced (L3, L15 and L93) and L1A is missing from the above shade cards as we have taken it back for 1 batch, but apart from that you can see the rest of the shades above.
You can find the 2ply Lace on the website here, happy knitting!
Hello everyone, every year we work together with students at the Shetland College on the Contemporary Textiles and Fine Art courses on a project inspired by Jamieson & Smith and our yarns (in particular our worsted spun ranges) and ask them to create a piece of work in response. This past year has been a bit more tricky but we were still able to go ahead with the project and last week I (Ella) headed to the college to see the (as always, amazing) results:
Alana McGuiness used tapestry weaving for her piece of work:
This tapestry piece is based on a croft house on Bressay that has fascinated me for some time. I had been looking at the history behind Jamieson and Smith, and in particular their connection to the crofters and the strong traditional links between Shetlanders, the sheep and the heritage crafts. In the end I found what better could represent such history than a croft. Still surrounded by and sheltering Shetland sheep to this day, these ruins still play a part. The modern crofts are still the silent partners of Jamison & Smith. They rely on the crofters to produce the wool and the crofters rely on them to purchase the fleece.
I also intended to celebrate the Shetland wool, as Jamieson & Smith had done, in championing what was previously an at-risk heritage breed. I wanted to highlight the natural colours, textures and properties behind the wool. I used a mixture of J&S wool, roving, some handspun and some raw wool from a local croft. I wanted viewers to be able to see and feel the differences in the wool dependant on how it is processed and therefore its suitability for a variety of uses. I used a simple frame as my loom and a handspun warp to create a contemporary textile using traditional and simple techniques.
Hetty Mahon used weaving for her piece:
‘Based on the yarn shop and inspired by the shelves of coloured yarn which promise such potential!
I decided to combine elements of proposals 2 and 3 and create a woven piece in a grid pattern reflecting the wool shop shelves with the sheep colours incorporated or superimposed onto it.
A final decision was taken to use a combination of J and S heritage shades of dark fawn and light grey as the weft on snaa white warp. The combining of the weft yarns gave an attractive mottled appearance which worked better than the individual shades.
Two twill patterns were selected to be alternated between grid squares
Final piece: grid pattern woven in different twills in Jamieson and Smith Heritage yarns. Examples of the different colours of Shetland sheep created from natural wool roving.
Richard Mains weaving was inspired by the wool stalls:
‘My final proposal was inspired by the overwhelming presence of wool in the warehouse. Considering that even when the warehouse was empty there would still be tufts of raw wool sticking to the wire mesh enclosures which had housed the wool prior to collection.
I decided to focus my work on diamond mesh patterns with tufts of roving woven in at random intervals to simulate that aesthetic from a design perspective by having tidy pieces of roving hanging down instead of ragged pieces.’
Susan Pearsons work combined our Heritage Yarns and Combed Tops with sculpture.
‘The wrapping felt poignant; with connotations of protection. I thought of gutter’s hands, of wrapped footwear, wrapping shawls and swaddling babies.
I used second-hand pieces of knitting, and 8 undyed Shetland Heritage yarns and mixed undyed wool roving to wrap around the abstract figures.
For the faces, I made moulds and cast them with plaster of paris. The faces seemed too white with the natural yarn, so I painted them but did not add detail because that detracted from the main body of the piece.
The pallet used as a plinth is a nod to the more industrialside of the business. A reminder of the work that goes into the products.’
We also had a video animation piece by Clair Davenport which you can see above.
‘I wanted to respond to the fact that Shetland sheep neared extinction in the seventies and were thus crossed. But I also wanted to create something imaginative and fictional.
I started to note down plot points and here and there designed props. I tried to make lots of separate parts that could be joined with a pin to ensure movement. I made scenic backgrounds using splashes of ink and drawing. Some of these were also joined with pins to ensure their movement, like the sea. I gathered materials from the hillside, such as this heather that had been uprooted.
There were snags along the way. How do I create standing and moving props without somebody’s assistance? I can’t feasibly crop hands out of hundreds of pictures? I tried to make heads that would observe the sheep, like totems, out of plaster and paper eyelids and eyes but unfortunately the DIY plaster I bought was too brittle. I wanted the protagonist to go on a long journey. This was probably the best prop, using screws as legs. I studied legs in motion and after a few drawings was able to create a credible movement.
I enjoyed looking at how I could weave the sheep in and out of the landscape, cutting its body into parts as it went behind a tree. The Magic Egg. The egg came about fairly accidentally as I wondered how I could make a contracting and expanding structure out of paper either as an egg or a time machine.
I was pleased with my egg and its mechanism – short and longer tears and clips on each segment to help it contract and expand – but in future it would be better to use a textile and thread or something more durable. I enjoyed searching free sound.org for suitable clips. Using fade ins and outs on premiere pro helped temper the sound effects from frame to frame. Using templates I made heads and bodies and joined them with a double-ended pin. I would like to expand on character making next year with more movable parts that are joined by clips or pins. Plasticine for gestures and expressions can be very messy and tear the paper.
I was very pleased with the rain and its simplicity – long vertical cuts in the paper letting the strip slide up and down at will.’
So for another year that’s our work with the students of the Shetland College, we really enjoy supporting them and every year we are so impressed with the quality of work – and this year for the project to have still been able to go ahead is quite remarkable so we are extra pleased!
Hello everyone, today we are posting about a few new colours we have got back in over the past while in Jumper and Lace Weight, we are lucky that because we have been making yarn since the 1960’s we have a huge bank of shades from over the years that we can refer to. We are always looking at what’s missing from the 2ply Jumper range and we have recently added 4 new colours:
92 – bright marigold yellow
135 – mid navy
1285 – bright rust mix
FC13 – dark red mix
We have all 4 shades available on cone and ball at the moment, we are waiting for Shade cards to be printed for the new shades so for the moment they are not on the cards but they will be soon and they are on our digital shade card which you can find here, this is good for looking on a device (phone, laptop etc) but I wouldnt suggest printing it as it wont be accurate.
The new shades really add to some of the blending options for Jumper Weight – you can see below how they give just a bit more dimension which works great for Fair Isle knitting.
We have also taken back two shades of 2ply Lace Weight: L38 and L62, thes shades round out the 2ply Lace really well:
L38 – Bright Sherbet Orange
L62 – Marled Blue Purple Mix
You can see below how well they go with some of the other lace shades:
L-R: L40, L69 and L62
L-R: L125, L38 and L53
And last week we took in a batch of 2ply Lace in L1a – this is our natural white 2ply lace shade which we discontinued a few years ago, so if you are interested in a more ‘off white’ look for your project in the Woollen Spun 2ply Lace this is a great option and we are not planning to take it back in permanently so grab it while you can!
Below you can see it alongside the other ‘Natural’ – (all shades in the 2ply Lace are Dyed) colours, L-R: L1, L1A, L202, L3, L78, L4 and L5.
So thats a few new colours for us, we hope you like them – happy knitting!
Hello everyone, happy weekend! Its still pretty cold here in Shetland but we are hoping better weather will be coming soon, this week we are back with our coverage of our Wirsit Inspo (wool inspiration) posts from our Facebook and Instagram posts through March, April and May:
So that takes up to our most recent post, we will post another round up again in a few weeks, we hope these posts give you some inspiration! Happy Knitting!
Hello everyone, happy weekend – today we are sharing here more of our weekly Wirsit Inspo (wool inspiration) pictures that we post on Facebook and Instagram, these cover what we posted in February and March so next week we’ll be back with rest of March til now:
We hope you like seeing these posts as much as we like putting them together, they are to give you ideas for Fair Isle, colourwork, stripes, lace – anything. It shows how much our colour palette is inspired by our surroundings here in Shetland. Happy knitting!
Hello everyone, you may have seen our post on instagram with our new pattern earlier today, Sandra has designed this lovely hat in Shetland Heritage in two different colourways and lengths -Tirval’s Toorie!
The Shetland Heritage is a great option for a hat as we move into Spring, its Worsted Spun (meaning its been combed before spinning) which creates a drapier, softer yarn and its slightly thinner than Jumper Weight making for an overall lighter weight hat. The pattern uses traditional Shetland motifs and corrugated ribbing and is finished off with a plain crown and a tassel.
So if you have a stash of Shetland Heritage the pattern is available to download on ravelry here, payhip here or the kit is available on our online shop here, Happy Knitting!
Sadly again this year Shetland Wool Week will be online (keep an eye out later in the year for more on that!) but this means that Wilma Malcomson has continued her reign as Patron for another year and designed another beautiful hat, Da Crofters Kep.
Unfortunately, even with planning and ordering ahead, we are out of stock of one of the shades (FC38) in the J&S colourway 😦 Lockdown, coronavirus etc etc has really impacted our production chain as it has for many people and businesses but we are offering a pre-order option for our colourway.
If you order it you will pay for it now but it will not be posted until we have the full kit in stock – we are hoping it will be less than a month but we cannot guarantee this, we are asking for your understanding and patience with this and you can be sure AS SOON as that missing shade appears we will be getting those kits out!
As always with the Wool Week Hat patterns we love to see the variety in everyone’s finished hats and for this design you need two balls of your main shade (one if you use Shetland Supreme Jumper weight) and one ball each of 5 contrast shades of 2ply Jumper Weight.
We cant wait to see everyones Crofter Keps! Happy Knitting!
UPDATE 30/4 We now have kits available and have fulfilled all the pre-orders. You can order kits here
As promised on our last Wirsit Inspo blog here are all the inspiration pictures we have posted on our Instagram and Facebook. Every week I (Ella) scour my photo archives for pictures from all seasons and match them up with 2ply Jumper Weight (mainly due to the shade range but I am always looking to use other ranges too!)
So here they are and as long as you keep enjoying them we will keep posting them:
Puffin in Fair Isle: FC21, 54, 91, 125, 1, 77 and FC12.
Wintery Walks, Lerwick. Shades 1, 75, FC34, FC38 and FC44.
Laburnum and Aliums, Lerwick Flower Park, Summer 2020. Shades 23, 123, FC24, FC11 and FC12.
2020 Lerwick Up Helly Aa Galley, shades 1, 121, 1403, 132 and FC41.
Hello everyone! today we have some exciting news to share! we just received more of our Skye Weaver Rugs – we’ve replenished our original grey colourway and added two new colourways:
All the rugs are woven in our undyed Shetland Supreme Jumper Weight, 100% Real Shetland Wool in its beautiful natural colours. So our new colourways are: 2007 and 2006 – Sholmit and Shetland Black, 2004 and 2006 – Gaulmogot and Moorit and our original 2003 and 2009 – Sholmit and Yuglet.
These woollen spun yarns make for a truly cosy blanket (ideal for the snowy weather we’ve been having here in Shetland) and are perfect for the back of a couch or on your bed. They measure approx 140cm wide and 190cm long. They are woven by pedal for us by Skye Weavers, we are so excited for them to have arrived!