Hello everybody, specifically those of you who can’t make it to Shetland Wool Week but would like to be involved…
The wonderful Felicity Ford AKA Knitsonik has been busy working away on an idea just for you: Introducing the Knitsonik Mitts-a-Long for Shetland Wool Week! ‘Yay’ I hear you cry, well Yay indeed, read on for the details.
The idea is to design your own stranded colourwork using ‘Fingerless Mitts’ as the base for your explorations. There are two kit options for you to choose from, each one has been carefully thought out by Felicity and includes the pattern along with the corresponding 8 balls of our lovely 2ply Jumper Weight (a 4ply weight yarn).
The first theme is the Crofthouse Museum, situated in Dunrossness in the South Mainland of Shetland. It is set up as it would have been in the 1870s so you can get a real feel of what it was like to live in a typical Shetland home at that time.
The second theme is taken from knitting sheaths in the Shetland Museum & Archives. These were in use before knitting belts and were made with feathers to grip and hold a needle in place while working.
The Knitsonik Mitts-A-Long 2016 coincides with Shetland Wool Week 2016 starting on the 24th September. It will continue until the 24th October with lots of places to share and discuss your progress online – you can find other participants by following the hashtag #knitsonikmittsalong on Instagram and Twitter, and on the Knitsonik Ravelry forum.
We have a limited amount of kits in stock so if you would like to knit your Shetland inspired mitts with wool all packed up by us in Shetland, this is your chance!
Hello! last Saturday dawned a bit damper as me (Ella) and Sandra headed out to Waas for the Walls Show.
Spirits were not dampended however and we soon got to work (after a cup of tea and a bacon roll!) judging the colourbox. This is our first year having the colourbox at Walls so there wasn’t too many entries but next year I’m sure there will be more!
As with all shows in Shetland there were plenty of animals to be seen..
and lovely knitwear..
We weren’t able to stay until everything was fully set up but I’m glad we got a few pictures! Thankfully it dried up and the rest of the day was much better than the morning. We were amazed on the way back to town how lovely the heather is at the moment in Shetland..
You can see why we have so many heathery shades in our Jumper Weight range (FC55, FC56. FC14, 87, 133 to name a few!) FC11 and FC12 are good matches for the grass too!
There are a few more shows still to come (Yell and Unst) but we probably won’t make it to those so I hope you’ve enjoyed our trip around the mainland Shetland Shows!
Happy Knitting🙂 xx
Welcome to the first post in a new series about the people behind Jamieson & Smith
We’ll start by introducing Ella Gordon, who I’m sure many of you will already know as she is the 2016 Shetland Wool Week patron! From her early days at J&S as a Saturday ‘shop girl’ in 2012, while studying textile design at Shetland College, Ella has continued to develop her creative skills and passion for knitting. We are so lucky to have her working with us as our main blog writer, as well as the everyday busy shop duties of making up orders and assisting customers with their projects. Ella is also great at the graphic design side of things and coming up with ideas for KALs and other fun woolly stuff!
What’s the best thing about working at J&S?
“My favourite thing about working at J&S is meeting so many people from all over the world passionate about Shetland Wool and Knitting. Through things like Wool Week, Ravelry, tours and our blog I feel like I’ve met lots of people with the same interests as me. I also really enjoy being in the shop and helping people choose colours and patterns. I’m very thankful for being able to have a job in the industry I am interested in which not everyone can say.”
Do you have a favourite place in Shetland?
“I love lots of places up north like Uyea and Fethaland and I recently walked to Lang Ayre but it was such a trek I don’t know if I’d do it again! I like walking around the Town as well and I love the south end of Lerwick where the Lodberries are.”
Uyea (Ella Gordon)
South End of Lerwick (Ella Gordon)
How do you like to spend your time when you’re not at work?
“Knitting.. haha! I do spend most my time either thinking about knitting, looking at Ravelry about knitting, reading about knitting and a little bit of time actually knitting! I also like all the usual things like spending time with my boyfriend and family, reading and walking.”
What’s your favourite J&S yarn?
“I would say my favourite yarn is probably 2ply Jumper Weight, the longer I work at J&S the more different colours I like. I love greys so 203, 54 and 81 are up there in my faves but I really love FC11 and FC58 – two of the shades I decided to use in my Crofthoose hat!”
(Jamieson & Smith)
You can follow Ella on:
You may notice when looking at our website we have quite a variety of different yarns in much the same weights but available in Worsted and Woollen spun variations. I thought today we’d go through and look at the differences of both and why you may choose one over the other depending on your project.
l-2ply Lace r-Shetland Supreme 2ply Lace
In relation to the fibre preparation before spinning – Woollen spun fibre is carded and this means the fibres are still overlapping having been carded back and forth over each other, this creates a very airy fibre which when spun is warm and springy.
Worsted spun however is combed so all the fibres are lying relatively parallel to each other which creates a smoother and stronger yarn, the combing process also removes many of the shorter fibres, one aspect which can be found itchy by the wearer.
our new Shetland Heritage Naturals are Worsted Spun
I’ve made this very rudimentary illustration to show what I mean when these two methods are used in a finished yarn: (ignore the similarity to a hairy leg!)
The image above also illustrates what it is people sometimes find itchy about wool, those fibres poking out are what irritates the skin and this is why worsted spun can be less itchy than woollen, although worsted spun can still have a visible ‘halo’ the location of the fibres are not actually poking out in the same way as woollen spun.
The reason we have similar weights available in both woollen and worsted is because both approach have pro’s and con’s and depending on your intended final finish it is always good to have a choice!
In relation to the thinner 1ply yarns Woollen Spun has a crisper feel, whereas the Worsted Spun has more drape and softness. In this photo below you can see the 1ply Supreme (worsted) on the left has more of a halo whereas the 1ply Cobweb (woollen) on the right has better stitch definition – it almost feels like cotton although it is 100% wool. For projects using 1ply you need to think what the finished item will be used for – a baby’s christening shawl which wont be used often may benefit from being knitted in the crisper 1ply Cobweb but a stole that will be worn close to the skin and often may be better in Shetland Supreme.The loftiness in the fibre of Woollen Spun yarn means air is trapped within the yarn making it warm to wear, it also is known all over the world for its use in Fair Isle knitting because of the way the fibres interact with each other. In the below image you can see the effect of the two different spinning processes in Fair Isle, worsted spun on the left and woollen on the right. Both successful and traditional in there own right, its only down to your preference. You can see the Shetland Heritage garment has a sheen and flatness whereas the Supreme Jumper Weight garment has a slightly fuzzy look due to the fibre preparation we mentioned earlier.At the top of this post you can see an image of 2ply Lace and Shetland Supreme 2ply Lace next to each other, the loftiness of the Woollen Spun 2ply is evident to see in the thickness of the yarn and the smoothness of the 2ply Supreme Worsted spun is also clear to see. In finished garments these two aspects can still be seen, In the 2ply Lace the crispness works extremely well in traditional Lace patterns and similarly the drape of the Shetland Supreme 2ply also works well in Shetland Lace patterning.Due to the fibres being combed and all the fibres aligning Worsted Spun yarns are very strong and quite hard to break, Woollen spun has the short and long fibres jumbled together so it is easier to pull apart, this is another thing to think about for your finished garment – Shetland Lace can need quite aggressive blocking so it may be worth looking into the Worsted Spun ranges if this is something that concerns you.
I hope this quick look into our worsted and woollen spun yarns has been informative and it might make a bit more sense why we have similar weights in both Woollen and Worsted spun!
hello! Thank you for the kind comments on our last post, today I’m going to speak about another fun thing we are doing this Spring and Summer. After the success of our Winter Woollies KAL last year we thought we’d try another one! So these are the shades for our Spring/Summer KAL 2016
L-R: 141, 125, 29, FC55, 122, 1281, FC45, 121
The Rules for the KAL are:
- You must use at least 5 of the 8 shades (no additional shades not listed above)
- You can make any kind of garment or accessory
- The item must feature some Fair Isle knitting (two colours per row)
- The Knit a Long will run until 1st August 2016
I had a look on Ravelry and came up with some patterns which would work great with the KAL, all use Fair Isle knitting and a number of colours. First up is Hats!
Next up is Gloves and Mitts..
Since it is getting into the warmer months I thought rather than Jumpers I’d share some good vest patterns which are out there, they are perfect for trying out all the techniques like stranded knitting and steeks but without the huge investment which a jumper can be..
I hope this has given you some ideas for the KAL! if you want to take part we have a thread on Ravelry about it which you can see here, so come and join the conversation, and you can buy the shades here from our site.
Today we have an exciting new pattern to share, we often get asked about childs yoke cardigan patterns, much like our adult Hairst Yoke. This is one of the many kinds of patterns Shetlanders pass down generation to generation which makes it difficult to find a traditional pattern to make, but now Sandra has designed one for us!
The cardigan is called the Natalia Yoke, named after our very cute model and Kharis’ niece. It is knit using 2ply Jumper Weight and comes in sizes 22 inches up to 28″. It is knit traditionally in the round with a steek but it also includes instructions for if you wanted to knit it flat, the relatively small size makes it a great first steeking project, and as there are only 3 different contrast shades a great first Fair Isle project too.
If you would like to order the kit for the Natalia yoke you can do so on our website here!
Sometimes here in Shetland its easy to forget how far-reaching our yarns can be. As you probably know, every year we take place in the Colourbox challenge with local agriculture shows, see posts here and here.
Well our friend Mary Jane Mucklestone was teaching at Vogue Knitting Live last week and she had the idea to try a mini colourbox challange with her students, so using this years colours, the students set about knitting their own Fair Isle using the colourbox shades
They were very lucky because there were a few Shetland Ladies kicking about New York last week and noted Shetland Designers Hazel Tindall and Wilma Malcomson were both available to judge the entries, just like we do here!
After some deliberation (by the looks of it!) Hazel and Wilma chose their winners..
So congratulations ladies! We would have loved to have been there and seen J&S in the wild in New York