Viking visits J&S!

Up Helly Aa arrived at J&S today in the form of a viking named Oliver, who most of you will be familiar with. We are currently in the middle of the worst weather in over 20 years but in true Shetland spirit no one has let that put a dampner on the day. So after a hectic day of touring the town and performing all the Jarl Squad duties Oliver popped in for a quick visit to show off the Jarl Squad suit, which was stunning!



Every part of the suit was beautifully designed to the last detail: the intricate metal inlay on the shields; the ornate helmet an axe; cow-skin cloak complete with dragon brooch; heavy scale armour; and most exciting of all, for us, the kirtle and pouch woven using J&S yarn.




The kirtle was made from our Coll Black Shetland Heritage yarn. It was knitted in a way to make it look woven, giving a beautiful, smooth fabric that ties in perfectly with the Jarl Squad’s Viking-themed suit.


Since this is a day we have all been looking forward to for years, especially Oliver, we thought we would need to get a group photo of him in full costume with the J&S staff (minus Ella who was out getting plenty of photos for a blog post later in the week).

All of us here at J&S hope Jarl Ivor Cluness and his squad, the 900+ guizers and everyone attending this years Up Helly Aa have had a fantastic day and enjoy the long night ahead!



6 thoughts on “Viking visits J&S!

  1. Kirsten January 29, 2014 / 12:16 am

    What a magnificent outfit! No viking will have been as good looking as Mr. Oliver. I am especially impressed by all the care which has been given to detail.
    Does anyone know what Up Helly Aa means?
    Greetings from Denmark

  2. Felicity Ford January 29, 2014 / 9:41 am

    Fantastic to see Oliver in the full Viking get up! He looks superb, a proud day for J&S.

  3. Deborah October 12, 2014 / 1:11 pm

    Oliver looks magnificent! Thank you for showing the details of the suit.

  4. Arizona Coleman September 11, 2015 / 6:09 pm

    obviously whoever put that Wagner-esque monstrosity together has never done one shred of research as to what vikings wore or were armed with.

  5. Ella September 12, 2015 / 2:13 pm

    Arizona, obviously as we are Shetlanders and the Vikings are in our history we know this is not traditional Viking wear. Up Helly Aa is a modern invention more to do with the welcoming of more light in the dark nights which developed into a Viking inspired festival. We don’t pretend it is a re-enactment and never have, if you would like to read more there is a lot of information at

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