J&S Staff Profile: Kharis Leggate

This is the third post in the series about the people who work at J&S, Kharis has been doing the series so today its me (Ella) who gets to introduce her! Kharis has been working at J&S for nearly two years now and we don’t know what we did without her, she manages and organises all the Wholesale and trade customers and orders – a big task when you look now at our stockists page! You might think to work at J&S you need to be a knitter – which Kharis is – but she is also a weaver which is great as it means there is another craft we can give advice on, Kharis makes beautiful cushions using J&S yarns which you can see in the links at the bottom of the post.

me crop

What’s the best thing about working at J&S?

“There are so many things I love but the main one is getting to work with my creative and hilarious colleagues every day!”

Do you have a favourite place in Shetland?

“Probably my most favourite place is Westsandwick on Yell, one of the North Isles. My Mam is from here and it’s where we spent all our holidays growing up, it’s like a second home.”

2016.09.03 25.soothtoon
Sooth Toon, Westsandwick (Kharis Leggate)

“Other places on the Westside like Clousta and East Burrafirth, and up North like Eshaness and Hillswick I love too.”

hillswick
Hillswick (Kharis Leggate)

How do you like to spend your time when you’re not working at J&S?

“I like combining walking, photography and writing. I use my camera, pen and notebook to capture atmosphere, colour and texture ideas for weaving inspiration as well as for use in my blog. My handweaving work is mainly interior fabrics for cushions and blankets. I’m planning to develop upholstery designs as well as try out some pieces incorporating botanical dye techniques.”

loom 2crop

“I also love yoga! Vinyasa Flow and Kundalini are the styles I practice most online through Yogaglo, a few of my favourite teachers are Tiffany Cruikshank, Jo Tastula, Amy Ippoliti and Kia Miller. And, of course, I knit!”

What’s your favourite J&S yarn?

“It has to be 2ply Jumper Weight, preferably on cone as that makes winding a warp for weaving a lot easier. I tend to gravitate towards the marled and more muted shades. Favourites at the moment are 1280, 2, 1284, FC61 and FC62.”

yarn

You can follow Kharis on:

Instagram

Home is an Island blog

Home is an Island shop

Ravelry

Twitter

Facebook

 

Save

Save

Save

J&S Staff Profile: Jan Robertson

Second post in a series about the people behind Jamieson & Smith.

jan-robertson
photo courtesy Felicity Ford

Jan works in the wool store all year round. Between July to October she grades wool which comes in from over 600 local crofters and farmers. It’s a busy time and there’s never a dull moment! Over the winter Jan continues to sort fleeces as well as carry out any maintenance that needs to be done around the buildings.

It’s great to have Jan as such an integral part of the J&S team as she’s also a crofter and a beautiful knitter! When Ella and Sandra aren’t around in the shop for colour advice for a customer I have often asked for Jan’s help.

What’s the best thing about working at J&S?

“Meeting all the people who come through the big green doors who have as great a passion as I do for the Shetland breed and about what we are doing here at Jamieson & Smith. I also love telling the J&S story.”

Do you have a favourite place in Shetland?

“Shetland as a whole, all of Shetland! I am so lucky to live in such a beautiful place. It never ceases to amaze me, even through the wind and the rain. In the summer it’s mesmerising.”

dsc00772
Watsness with Foula in distance. Photo courtesy Oliver Henry
dsc00609
Smiths Knowe, Walls. Photo courtesy Oliver Henry

How do you like to spend your time when you’re not working at J&S?

“At home with the animals in Walls – ‘Waas’ in dialect; knitting (there are always at least two things on the wires at any one time!) whether it’s lace or colourwork. I also like to be out and about when I can find the time away from croft work but I do love lambing time (March to May) and clipping (July to August).”

 

dsc00734
Jan, her niece, Keiva and Dad, Alistair with their fleckit Shetland sheep

What’s your favourite J&S yarn?

Natural Heritage at the moment but all the yarns are amazing to work with.”

IMG_8736.JPG
Shetland Heritage Naturals

J&S Weekend in Harrogate

Sandra and I arrived back home to Shetland on Monday afternoon after a great four days at the Knitting & Stitching Show in Harrogate. You can read my round up of our first two days here. The weekend was just as successful so again I’d like to share a bit about the people we met over Saturday and Sunday.

Just across from us was 3 Bags Wool, based in Aberlour, who had a stunning display of thrum hanks which are a by-product from Scottish weaving mills. They can be used in lots of ways including sewing and knitting. The colour combinations were so nice!

3bagswool4

Also available on the stand were giant wooden knitting needles which, as well as being perfect for the thrums, were great for knitting with our combed tops (knitted sample courtesy of 3 Bags Wool – thank you!)

We had a number of customers buying tops for this purpose and also for arm-knitting – we were told that about 2kg of tops was enough for a blanket. We’d love to see some examples so if anyone would like to share and tag us on Twitter or Facebook that would be great!

Over the other side of the hall was Woolaballoo. Lovely people and lovely yarns! I really liked these handmade yarn bowls and I always love a good Herdy mug 🙂 You can find Woolaballoo in Langley Park, Durham.

woolaballoo1

woolaballoo2

One of the really fun things about being at the Knitting & Stitching Show was meeting so many amazing people, chatting with them, hearing all their stories about making with wool and seeing their wonderful knitwear! This is Brian and Margaret who I had to grab for a photo with their super pattern and colour combinations. We chatted quite a bit with Margaret, she was brilliant! The grey/orange Fair Isle jumper she’s wearing is an old Jaeger design.

brian-margaret

Of course there were some beautiful yarns (other than our inimitable J&S Shetland!) which were very tempting … and yes I did buy some…

A stand overflowing with the most amazing array of colour was The Knitting Goddess. Here is just a small selection of her hand-dyed yarns. A couple of gradient mini-skein bundles came home with me. So excited to get knitting with them over the winter!

joy

Now, I’ve been looking for the perfect pattern since last winter to replace a very old cabled jumper of mine but nothing I came across was quite right. Until… Purl Alpaca Designs ‘Mayan Jumper’ found me! Bear in mind that this was Sunday, the last day of the show, and I was VERY tired when taking photos so unfortunately forgot to take one of my perfect jumper but you can see it here.

I did buy the pattern and yarn which made me happy, yay!

purlalpaca1

Finally, we get to the Latvian mittens! They’re knit on tiny needles, around 1.5mm. Hobby Wool have a wonderful selection of patterned kits to choose from, not just mittens but socks too. They were traditionally given as special gifts and the symbols mostly derive from deities and gods. They had a beautiful book too – Mittens of Latvia which was incredibly inspiring, I can’t wait to have a proper look through my copy!

latvia1

Ok, I’ll finish there, possibly rather abruptly I know. Apologies if my writing is not the best in this post, I’m really in need of a proper sleep! We’ve had a super time and would like to thank everyone at the show – visitors, fellow exhibitors, the fudge guy (can’t remember the name of his stand, sorry) and the sweetie man aka Henleys, all the porters, oh yeah the lady who came around with the tea trolley and brilliant cakes on the day we were setting up! She had perfect timing! Aaah, everybody, thanks!

Save

The Knitting & Stitching Show – Harrogate

We’re halfway into the Harrogate Knitting & Stitching Show so I thought this would be a good time to share with you how it’s going.

As you may know, this is the first show we’ve attended for quite a few years. We weren’t sure exactly how it would go or what people would be looking for so we took a mixture of kits with samples, combed tops, jumper boards, glove boards… a lot of different items!

stand-full

It’s been great so far, many beautiful stands and we’ve met some wonderful people. Here are a few visitors who stopped by to see us and a small selection of exhibitors we love (more in next post!).

Knitwear designer and tutor, Graeme Knowles-Miller, brought along some of his designs made using our 2ply Jumper Weight. It was so lovely chatting with him! You can see beautiful images of his work on his website.

graeme

While Helen (AntyHelenInspires on Ravelry) was looking at yarn I couldn’t help but notice a wonderfully coloured something peeping out of her bag… she was happy to show us her handspun(!) Stephen West Mistery Building Blocks Shawl.

helen1

Amazing colours!

Another customer had a beautiful shawl she’d knitted several years ago using our 1ply Cobweb Yarn. Wow!

Catherine (africandaffodil on Ravelry) was wearing a really lovely crescent-shaped shawl which I just had to ask about as I loved the colours! It turned out to be her own design – The Sheperdess. I didn’t get a photo at the time but here’s one of Catherine’s own images.

 

africandaffodil
The Sheperdess – image Copyright Catherine Holmes

 

Next up are two of my favourite exhibitors. Both will be at Edinburgh Yarn Festival 2017 so keep a look out for them.

Beyond Measure is Grace Whowell who has the most beautiful collection of textile-making accessories and notions. Love!

grace2

The last wonderful person I’ll mention today is Sue Stratford of The Knitting Hut. She’s an author of some seriously cute knitting books! At the show she also had knitting kits for different birds, my favourites were the Chunky Blackbird and Chunky Robin!

I’ve still not made it all the way around the whole show, a lot more to see. I’d like to get some photos of a couple of stands I’ve already seen so I’ll tell you about them in the next post.

If you’re yet to make it along to the show at the Harrogate International Centre it’s on today and tomorrow from 10am until 5pm. We have some limited edition coloured combed tops as well as all our natural shades, lots of kits which could be perfect Christmas presents, we have special prices on our Knit Real Shetland and Gladys Amedro Vintage Lace books, and also free postage on any orders placed at the show.

For those of you who can’t make the show I’ll be writing up another post after Sunday x

 

 

 

 

 

 

Harrogate – The Knitting & Stitching Show

We’re beginning to get back to normal after Wool Week which was amazing as ever!

However, there’s no slowing down in the shop as we’re beginning to pack up for going to The Knitting & Stitching Show (24-27 November). If you’ve read the earlier post I wrote then you’ll be familiar with the type of products we’re planning to have on the stand.

Living and working in Shetland means travel and delivery of all the items we want to take to the show takes a bit of figuring out! Flights (two of these and pretty much a whole day to get us down to Harrogate) and accommodation for Sandra and myself were booked a couple of months ago so that leaves all the lovely Jamieson & Smith things for the stand.

kits

Just a taster of the kit selection we’ll have available! You’ll have the option of adding in one of our beautiful new gift boxes…

kit box

Our ‘Every Week is Wool Week’ printed canvas bag has been so popular over the past year that we’ve added a new design which we really love! We’ll also have our two books – Knit Real Shetland which has patterns using a range of our yarns, and Gladys Amedro Vintage Lace Collection 1. For anyone who makes cushions or similar items then our Peerie Project Bags full of Shetland Wool stuffing are perfect!

All of the above will be available to buy at the show but if there’s anything else you’d like then you can place an order with us. We will have examples of all our yarn types and colours, like a giant shade card! We think this is important so you can really get a feel of the different yarns and see the true colour.

That’s about all for now, got to get back to packing up all those kits! You can find out more about our stand in the show Exhibitor List. I’ll be back again soon to let you know of offers and special products so watch this space!