British Craft Awards 2018

Hello everyone, happy Friday! Just a quick post today to tell you about something quite exciting! We have been nominated in The British Craft Awards 2018 in the Knitting Brand of the Year category!! isn’t that amazing??

According to the website ‘Celebrating the crème de la crème of the crafting world, the British Craft Awards 2018 are the most highly prized awards for excellence, so make sure you have your say and put your favourites in the spotlight! Whether it’s an amazing designer or blogger who gets your creative juices flowing, or a retailer or product that’s transformed your crafting in the last 12 months, this is your chance to tell us who you think deserves extra special recognition for what they do!

So if you think we deserve it we would really appreciate your vote which you can do here,

Happy Knitting!

 

Shetland College Project 2017

Hello everyone, Happy weekend! On Wednesday myself (Ella) and Oliver headed to the Shetland College, every year for the past few years we have worked with the College on a project using our yarns. The students are given a brief to produce a garment or home interiors product using the Worsted Spun and Heritage yarns (Shetland Supreme Lace 1 and 2ply, Shetland Heritage Natural and Dyed, Shetland Aran Worsted and Shetland Chunky). This year also had two woven products which was very exciting!

We were there to see the final items and hear the presentations from 3 students, Rhea Kay who’s Jumper we saw last year was also included in this module so if you want more information about her garment see last years post here. Andrea who was included with Rhea last year has moved onto another college on the Mainland so her poncho isn’t included but you can see more information about it too in that post. Rhea’s garment looked as good as we remembered it – it will be on display at the Whalsay Heritage Centre after the term ends at the college so keep an eye out for it there if you are visiting!

First up was Julia Nairn who covered a footstool in fabric made using the Shetland Heritage Natural yarns, she was inspired by the Houll Loch in Whalsay and took lots of photos of the scene. She finds it to be a timeless landscape and she was particularly inspired by the ripples in the water and the almost symmetry seen her her photos which she took through to her finished item. She used an undulating twill structure for her weaving and her main focus was to take the landscape into the home which is why she made a homeware product.

We loved the way the resulting fabric came out and found the footstool to be very effective, the heritage yarn is soft yet robust making it very suited to weaving.

Alicja Tyburska also used weaving in her project but decided to make a garment, in this case, a large wrap. She is a weaver but also extremely interested in History and Archaeology, in particular, Shetlands Natural Landscape and its features, and she took the inspiration from Brochs and other stone features in Shetland – mainly how they are seen from above in drone photography.

This gave her the inspiration for her weave structure and she combined different weights of yarns – the Shetland Aran, Heritage and Chunky together to give beautiful texture to her finished item. We loved the professional finish and texture of the wrap, and the chunky tassels just finished it off perfectly.

Marcia Galvin used knit in her project and made this lovely wrap cardigan in the Shetland Heritage yarn, she was inspired by the word ‘Heritage’ and what it means to her, although not a Shetlander she has been here for many years and was interested in how certain areas have changed architecturally in Lerwick in particular Hays Dock. The Shetland Museum and Archives and Mareel are examples of modern architecture that Marcia looked at and took inspiration from, she looked up the briefs the architects of these building had and looked at the lines and shapes of the buildings.

You can see in her finished garment how elements of these buildings came out in her motif and texture. The cardigan is oversized but can be closed a number of different ways and with a belt. We though the use of colour and inspiration were very successful.

The winner of the unit will be announced at the Degree Show in a few weeks but we think all the students did extremely well, it’s really important to us to support the local College – me and Kharis are both graduates of the Contemporary Textiles course and it gives students the skills to be able to work in the industry in Shetland, something which is quite difficult and we, as an industry, must be supportive of these students.

Happy Knitting!

PS. remember the Shetland Wool Week programme comes out on Tuesday the 16th of May, there are lots of things happening again at J&S and it looks to be another fabulous year!

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Fire Festival KAL Winners

Hello everyone, so last week I asked you to vote on your favourites for the winners of the Fire Festival KAL and you didn’t disappoint, 736 of you voted in the two category’s and the winners were:

So congratulations DottyBev and Hedwychs, I have contacted you by Ravelry message, they have both won a gift voucher to spend at J&S, thank you again to everyone who took part – we have really enjoyed seeing the different ways people put the colours together!

We will be having a little break but we were thinking to have a KAL for the Shetland Wool Week pattern – the Bousta Beanie – probably beginning in June so keep an eye out for that.

Happy knitting!

Cunningsburgh Show

Our tour of the Shows continued this week and we headed to Cunningsburgh on Wednesday. It was a lovely day, the only one of the week so it was great to be out!

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Again I was judging the Colourbox Competition and Oliver the Wool so we headed to our respective huts to get judging..

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After I’d done my bit I went to see how Oliver was getting on with the raw wool

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As it was such a nice day we had a good wander round and looked at some of the Sheep..

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and I was amazed at the amount of dogs..

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Before heading back to the Knitwear to see the finished displays, as always the skill and amount of Knitwear entered was brilliant and it was very hard to judge the Colourbox, I did a few of the other category’s too but the I’m sure the other knitwear judges would agree the standard was very high!

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As we had a tour in the afternoon we headed back to town so we didn’t get a look at everything but just like the Voe Show there were Cows, Poultry, Horses, Vegetables.. lots of things to see!

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The Walls Show is this weekend so after that Ill have another post to round up the J&S tour of the Country Shows!

Happy Knitting!

British knitting awards 2016

Thank you all for the kind feedback and comments on the last blog, we were so pleased with how it was received! Today I’m back with a quick reminder about the British Knitting Awards hosted by Lets Knit Magazine..

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We are lucky enough to have been nominated again  in the Best Brand for British Yarn Category, this is our third year being nominated, thank you! We are in a category alongside some of the big wigs  so we really love being seen in the same regard by our customers.

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The past two years we have won third place which is brilliant but we would really love to come First or Second this year! You can vote here and it also enters you into a great giveaway (a £500 spa break or a £100 yarn bundle!!) so what is there to lose?

Thanks again and happy knitting 🙂

Spring/Summer KAL 2016

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

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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!

 

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Clockwise from top left: Green Memories, Seasons Hat, Saudade and Crofthoose Hat

Next up is Gloves and Mitts..

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Clockwise from L-R: Blomkrans, Maggies Gloves, Margots Garden and Swedish Fish

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..

Clockwise from L-R: Cruden, Wartime Farm, Islay and Tortoise and Hare
Clockwise from L-R: Cruden, Wartime Farm, Islay and Tortoise and Hare

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.

Happy Knitting!

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Winter Woollies KAL: colour and patterns

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Hello! We are so excited as to how many of you have picked up the colours for the Winter Woollies KAL! there is still plenty of time left to get involved so today I thought I’d share some of our thought on the colours and a few ideas for free patterns available on Ravelry.

As you know the Knit A Long requires you to use at least four shades so we (Me -Ella, Amy and Kharis) tried to pick 2 lots of four shades of 2ply Jumper Weight that worked together. Our first group is shades 1,203,FC34 and FC41

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To us these colours make us think of dark nights, snow, ice, stormy skies and seas.. all typical of a winter in Shetland! our second group is FC43, FC38, 65 and 9113

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These colours are more ‘inside’ inspired shades – roaring fires, christmas trees, baking and mulled wine.

We hoped  by having these two groups it might give people more ideas – of course you can mix and match to your hearts content, it is just a starting off point and by changing one or more you get a different look –

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Sometimes it can be daunting to try and come up with a pattern too, even once you have decided on your colours.. To that end I thought I’d show you some fun patterns all available for free on Ravelry – they all call for fingering weight yarn which is what 2ply Jumper Weight comes under and a few even call for 2ply Jumper Weight exactly (Fair Isle Cuffs, Kite Mitts, Shwook hat) so all you have to do is pick your colour arrangement..

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clockwise from top left; fair isle cuffs, kites, far me socks, classic colourwork cowl
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retro sampler, snowflake fingerless mitts, solidago socks, shwook hat
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sheep may safely graze, tourbillon, stem and leaf cowl, fair isle flower sock

You will see some of the patterns only use 2 or 3 shades, all this means is you will have to add a couple more shades in to get to your 4 colours. This is easily done by doing a bit of background shading or foreground shading. If you feel you need to rechart the Fair Isle into your colours there are a few good free options – one is this Chartmaker which is free, there are also a few good tutorials online about using Microsoft excel to colour a chart (like this one)

I hope this has given you some ideas! We cant wait to see peoples ideas begin to take shape – remember to tag your project on ravelry and instagram using #winterwoolliesKAL and to share your projects in the group on the Jamieson & Smith Lovers group page

Happy Knitting!