Hello everyone, can you believe Shetland Wool Week is nearly upon us yet again? We are trying to get organised here but you can hardly believe that this is the 10th Shetland Wool Week, every year the event has grown and now its a huge event in the calendar and our busiest week in the shop by far!
You may or may not know that it was us, J&S, who started Wool Week back in 2010. Through our work with the Campaign for Wool, it was suggested we hold a Wool Week in Shetland which was organised to tie in with the Shetland Flock Book Society’s annual sale – if you’ve ever wondered why SWW is at the time of year it is – that’s why! Together with the Shetland Amenity Trust and Shetland Museum J&S put together a number of events and that’s what kicked the whole thing off! Since 2011 the event has been made possible thanks to the work of Promote Shetland as it was then and later the Amenity Trust.
So I thought we would have a look back through some pictures from Wool Weeks over the years here at J&S..
You have to go pretty far back on the blog to find about 2010 but after Oliver had a couple of weeks to put together a SWW J&S hosted a selection of classes and tours. It was also the year we launched the Shetland Fine Lace project and in turn our Shetland Supreme 1 and 2ply Yarns.
2011 didn’t have a lot of blogging action but it did see the launch of our first book Knit Real Shetland for SWW alongside some of our most popular kits: Eva Shawl, Eid Top and Yuglet Hat to name a few, it was the first year we had a programme for the event and it consisted of a folded a3 piece of paper – seen above. Quite different from now!!
2012 was when I would say people started really seeing that Shetland Wool Week was the place to be.. highlights included a trunk show from Kate Davies’ first book ‘Colours of Shetland‘ (we had no idea how big that would be!!) and the launch of our Shetland Heritage yarns.
Kate was the first patron of Shetland Wool Week, at that time it wasn’t the big thing it is now but it was the start of that tradition..
2013 saw classes from visitors like Tom of Holland and Felicity Ford (the second wool week patron!) and local designers like Hazel Tindall and Elizabeth Johnston.. for a bonus point see if you can see another future patron in the class pictures..
We also had a visit from some of Shetlands future designers, the girls visited us from Whalsay, at the time they were the only after school/lunchtime knitting group and were definitely innovators!
In 2014 we had our first opening ceremony – prior to that the organisers always had a closing ceremony but for the first time we all gathered at Mareel. We also had our first pattern! Hazel Tindall was the patron and designed the Shwook hat – starting the hat pattern tradition we have all come to know and love. More classes this year from designers including Gudrun Johnston and Mary Jane Mucklestone whos classes can be seen above.
2015 was the year of the Baable Hat! Donnas pattern for that year truly went viral and we had another busy year with classes and tours in the shop as well as a lot of wool buying (of course!). The opening ceremony grew again and was even bigger at Clickimin Centre featuring speeches and talks from all involved in Wool Week.
2016 was another busy year of classes and we saw lots of new and returning visitors at J&S, that’s one of the best things about SWW – we get to see the friends we made in the years before! Every year Oliver’s sorting and grading demonstrations are one of our most visited events (if you are here this year they are on again!)
In 2017 we had a very exciting SWW as we launched our book Jamieson & Smith A Shetland Story, this was the result of a good few years of work by us all so it was exciting to have the book launch during Wool Week. We continued with our classes in the shop but also hosted a Wool and crofter focused event at Gremista Farm as unfortunately, the Flock Book sales fell outwith SWW that year.
Oh dear, I didn’t get many pictures last year! It was by far our busiest year in the shop so most of the time was spent at the till – but it was another great year. We had a big Opening Ceremony at the new Anderson High school and you can see all the Merrie Dancers Toories!
And here we are at 2019 and the year of the Roadside Beanie and Oliver as the patron, it’s so great to see it come full circle.
I hope you’ve enjoyed a trip down J&S SWW memory lane!