Shetland Wool Week at J&S through the years

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!

The programmes through the years!

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..

2010

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

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

   

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

     

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!

2014

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

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

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!)

2017

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.

2018

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!

2019..

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!

Ollie Dolly!

Hello everyone, happy Friday! A few weeks ago we received an email from a customer in Australia, Debra Hinton who had made a doll featuring our very own, and this year’s wool week patron, Oliver Henry!

Debra had kindly mentioned in her email she would be happy to have the pattern available free so we are offering it to you here if you would like to make your own peerie Ollie! I (Ella) decided to make one and for my first knitted doll – I’m very pleased! I found the pattern easy to follow and it just took me a few nights of working on it before he was finished.

It’s knit using 2ply Jumper Weight and stuffed with our Wool Balls – I went for shades 21 (blue), 53 (peach) 54 (dark grey) 203 (light grey) and 9097 (red). For the boiler suit details, I used sewing thread held double in a bronze shade.

So if you would like to make your own Oliver you can get the pattern by clicking here: oliver henry man of wool doll. Although it is free (for non-commercial use i.e you can make it for yourself or for a gift, not for sale) she did mention she would be happy for people to make a small donation to the MRI Maakers appeal.

If you are coming to Wool Week and would like to make one we would love for you to bring your doll so we can take a picture and show Oliver, we’d love to see how many we can see before the Week is out!

Unst Show 2019

Hello everyone, me (Ella) and Sandra headed up to Unst on Saturday for the Unst Show. This is a trip which involves getting two ferries so we were up early and make our way up there to judge the knitwear entries which for the first year also included a colourbox section! You will know if you regularly read our blogs or look at our facebook and Instagram that this year we have been to Voe, Cunningsburgh and Walls to judge the Colourbox. This is a selection of 8 shades of  2ply Jumper Weight which we chose – the entrants then have to use at least 5 of the 8 shades in their creations.

 

There was a great mix of garments and accessories and we were really pleased with the number of entries for the first Colourbox at Unst. We also judged the rest of the knitwear and as expected for Unst (known for its beautiful lace) there were some amazing entries – and quite a few Roadside Beanies!

Sadly it was a very wet day and although Sandra and I thought we were suitably attired it became apparent very quickly we were not! Luckily our judging was indoors but it meant we didn’t get to see all the animals, I had a quick look around the sheep though so thought you might like to see a few damp but happy enough sheep.

We also went to the Unst Heritage Centre which was across from the show field (to try and dry off) to look at the amazing lace on show and we really enjoyed that, it is well worth a visit.

It was a good trip and marked the end of our show season, the Yell show is on this weekend and that is the last. Summer certainly feels like it’s over now but that means one thing – soon its Shetland Wool Week!

Happy Knitting! 🙂

New Croft Shades

Hello everyone, happy Friday! You may have seen on our Instagram last week we welcomed 6 new shades of the Croft Yarn, this is a yarn produced by West Yorkshire Spinners using raw Shetland Wool purchased from us! Initially, there were 8 speckled shades then 12 solid were added and with this batch 4 more speckled and 2 solid shades bringing the total up to 26 shades!

L-R: Lunna Quendale, Copister
L-R: Huxter, Hillswick and Marister

It is a great yarn for both colourwork and textured knitting, although named as Aran weight by WYS we would say its more of a Heavy DK / Worsted weight so it can be knitted at a wide range of gauges and it is treated so its machine washable but it still holds a Shetland Wool feeling – just not as rustic as some of our own ranges.

Another pattern book has also been added to the range featuring patterns by Mary Henderson and Rosee Woodland, it contains a mix of garment and accessories all knit using a range of the colours.

We were also sent a pile of free patterns for this nice hat – which is perfect for one hank! So if you order any Croft Yarn we will include a free pattern (until we run out!)

You can find the Croft Yarn on our the online shop here

Me (Ella) and Sandra are heading to the Unst Show tomorrow so keep an eye out next week for a post about what we see, till then have a nice weekend and happy knitting!

Voe Show 2019

Hello everyone! this past weekend saw the first of this summers agricultural shows here in Shetland and it was the Voe Show, I (Ella) headed up to judge the Colourbox Competition – this is something we do every year with some of the shows, we choose a selection of 8 shades of 2ply jumper weight and then people make things using at least 5 of the 8 shades. This years shades were: 5, FC44, 16, FC46, 32, 23, 91 and FC47

As always the standard was extremely high and it was very hard to judge, its amazing how much the way the colours look changes depending on how they have been put together. I took lots of pictures at the show so here are some of the Colourbox entries:

You have to choose a trophy winner from all the firsts and I chose this allover, I loved the corrugated rib collar and cuffs and thought the colour use and pattern were really excellent: The rest of the knitwear entries contained a huge variety of different styles from Fair Isle and Lace and everything in between – you always see amazing uses of colour, design and finishing. After I had finished in the hall with the knitwear I had a wander around the rest of the Show – the sun had come out and it was a lovely day. Apart from knitting, there is all the sheep, cows, horses and ponies, baking, plants, wool, hens, ducks etc etc.. there are also lots of places to get food, ice cream and stall selling things so it’s easy to spend a lot of time (and some money!) I hope you’ve enjoyed this look at some of the things to be seen at this year’s Voe Show, Sandra will be judging at Waas and Cunningsburgh in the next week so keep an eye on our Instagram for some pics from those shows, happy knitting!

Another Batch of Patterns

Hello everyone, we have had a busy couple of weeks here in Shetland. The Wool Season is well underway and often we struggle to see the boys in the Woolstore under the mountain of Oo! We have been busy in the shop too with lots of visitors and groups, we also recently had the end of our Seasons of the Shetland Crofter competition so we are looking forward to showing you the results of that project – the photos which were entered were great!

We have added another batch of 4 patterns to our Ravely and Lovecraft’s pages, this week we have chosen the Sissal Mitts and Hat, Eva Shawl, Fair Isle Vneck Jumper and the Pam Shawl.

The Pam Shawl is another Gladys Amedro pattern, its knit in 2ply lace and alongside the usual Hap motifs, it also features a cable border and twist motif. it was originally in the Shetland Lace book (now out of print) but we have always had it as a paper pattern so now its available as a PDF. As with many of Gladys’ patterns, they follow her abbreviation style which may take a moment to get used to but once you do it makes sense, it is an entirely written out pattern and contains no charts.

The Fair Isle Vneck Jumper is from our Shetland Heritage collection and is knit from a garment in the Shetland Museum and Archives, you can see that every lozenge is a different pattern – making it the perfect knit to keep you on your toes! knit in the Shetland Heritage yarn, a worsted spun light fingering weight it is a great layer for when it’s not too cold (amazingly like Shetland at the moment!!)

The Eva Shawl was originally sold as the Shoulder Shawl but for the Wool Week Collection in 2011 we redeveloped it as the Eva Shawl and it was knit in Shetland Supreme 1ply and the pattern had charts added. Its a beautiful and elegant shawl which has been used several times as a wedding veil due to the shape.

The final pattern this week is the Sissal Mitts and Hat, these are the perfect project for Fair Isle beginners and enthusiasts alike, the background colours stay the same the whole way through throughout the project. Its knit with Shetland Supreme Jumper Weight as the main colour and 2ply Jumper Weight as the pattern colours – we are often asked if you can knit them together and you can! You can see how they work great together.

So you can find these patterns and the others we have made available as PDF’s on Ravelry and Lovecrafts, happy knitting!

This weeks patterns

Hello everyone, we’ve added some more patterns this week to both Lovecraft’s and Ravelry. We are trying to add a mix of Fair Isle and Lace every week to give you a good choice of patterns knit in a range of our yarns.

Bluebell is a pattern which always sells well in the shop when people see the sample, its knit in 2ply Lace and features corrugated rib and a simple Sanquhar inspired Fair Isle motif. This makes it a lovely lightweight garment that still features some interesting elements.

Shetland Crescent which was designed by Kieran Foley was released in our Lace Collection in 2012 and although its a simple introduction to Lace motifs the finished shawl has a lot of impact, its another one which sells well when people see the sample. Knit in Shetland Supreme 2ply Lace, an undyed worsted spun yarn, it has drape which works well with the shape.

The Oxna Mitts are another classic Shetland pattern designed by Sandra, they are simple fingerless mitts with a Norwegian star and seeding to the palms. Knit in Shetland Supreme Jumper Weight and 2ply Jumper Weight these are perfect for keeping your hands warm but your fingers free.

The Sletts Shawl is a remake of our Gladys Amedro patterns (L252) Originally knit in 2ply Lace (and still available as a kit here) we recently remade the shawl in Shetland Supreme 2ply Lace and updated the pattern with Charts. This is a great entry into Square Shetland Shawls, and perfect for wrapping up a baby!

As always let us know if there are any specific patterns you would like to have available as downloads, happy knitting!