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Yarn Series – Shetland Chunky


Todays post is about one of our smaller (but no less important!) ranges, the Shetland Chunky! In the past Jamieson & Smith mainly concentrated on the more traditional yarns such as Jumper Weight and Lace Weight which were most commonly used by Shetland’s hand knitter’s. However we did have a heavier chunkier woollen yarn which was a 3/11 cut Gala count, this yarn was called ‘Embo’ named after a village in Sutherland in the north of Scotland. This was a woollen spun yarn made from the lower grades of Shetland wool with a very robust handle and was made for coarser out door wear garments, Sadly this yarn died out with the closure of Hunters Mill in 2004. We were often asked by customers to provide a heavier weight yarn and in 2010 we developed this worsted Real Shetland Chunky Yarn. The yarn is similar in thickness to the Embo, however being worsted spun it is much kinder to the wearer in handle and has a beautiful softness.


The worsted process means the fibres are combed and by doing this it acheives two things, the short fibres are removed and the remaining fibres are then left in a straight order for spinning. This increases the strength and also the softness of the yarns. In relation to the colours, we have a small but specialised range inspired by a selection of Shetland colours. We added the Charcoal shade a few years ago and it has been a good addition to the range. The colours available lend themselves well to Icelandic style garments, but Kate Davies also designed the lovely Port ‘O’ Leith Jumper and Cowl in this yarn.


Although we call it a Chunky yarn, and compared to Jumper Weight it definitely is, you can achieve a wide range of effects using this yarn and different needle sizes: a 4mm needle will give you a dense fabric and the higher needle size you go the more loose and drapey the fabric will become. Although it is becoming a bit warmer in Shetland, some days you could definitly still wear something knit in this lovely yarn! Available in 100g balls (120m/131yards) one ball will give you a hat and a few balls will do for a cushy scarf.

We’ll be back next week with another range so until then have a good weekend and happy knitting!

5 Comments Post a comment
  1. Nordie #

    thanks again for this series.

    Picking up on your last point about what can be produced – do you work with any local designers or producers? Do you have anyone that you could feature here? e.g. I’ve worked with J&B for x years, this is what I produce with this style of product, here’s where you can buy the wool/instructions/finished items” (hint hint :)).

    That’s not to say you cant talk about any bigger consumers – e.g, the bulk buyers, the mass producers (e.g Woollen Mills, Tartan producers, even Tweed). Would love to see/know where your products end up!

    Dont worry if this doesn’t fit in with your blog plans, just throwing out ideas there!

    May 8, 2015
  2. Anderea #

    What is the color 3rd on the left side? I checked your website and don’t see that color.

    May 8, 2015
  3. Susan #

    Lovely as always. Thanks.

    May 8, 2015
  4. Hi Anderea, i’m not sure which colour you mean. They are as follows: pink: Raan, brown: Dumba, dark purple: Fuschia, grey: Steekit, black: Charcoal, white: Kryn Mylk, blue: Haar and light purple: Lupin. Hope this helps!

    May 12, 2015

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