This past weekend it was the Edinburgh Yarn Festival which has become the time when the new Shetland Wool Week hat and patron are announced, this year is it Shetland born designer Gudrun Johnston and her beautiful Bousta Beanie design!
You can download the pattern here and find our kits for the given colourways here, if you want to choose your own colours simply buy two balls of your main colour and one ball each of your two contrasts, with such a graphic motif its hard to go wrong and this makes the pattern an excellent choice for Fair Isle newbies and experts alike!
How about greys?
The possibilities are endless! Remember to tag your projects on instagram and Ravelry with #boustabeanie and #Shetlandwoolweek2017 so others can see your Bousta Beanie and spread the story of Shetland Wool Week, happy knitting!
Hello! We have something exciting to share today, a couple of weeks ago me (Ella) and Oliver filmed a few interviews for the Fruity Knitting podcast on youtube. It came out yesterday so you can watch it now!
For more information you can read over on the Fruity Knitting blog. Thank you to Andrea and Andrew for asking us to take part!
Hello and happy Monday! here at J&S we love to support local designers and we’ve just got in a delivery of some new to us patterns from Outi Kater, Outi is originally from Finland but has lived in Shetland for over 10 years, she takes her inspirations from her Nordic upbringing but is also inspired by Shetland and we think her patterns make a perfect blend of those two inspirations. I don’t know about where you are in the world but in Shetland things are still a bit chilly so these patterns are calling out to me!
Outi is extremely good at putting complex colour combinations together but her graphic 2 colour designs are equally as successful as you can see from the pictures above. We have received 7 new patterns printed by Outi, and if you order a kit it will include a copy of the printed pattern and all the yarn to knit your chosen design. You can see more of Outi’s designs on her Ravelry page and you can see all her designs which we offer as a kit here which includes her two kits we already sold.
Hello everybody! We hope you’ve had a lovely festive season and are feeling refreshed and ready for 2017, the New Year is a great time to plan for those skills you want to improve in the next 12 months – although sometimes it’s hard to know where to start!
One skill close to our hearts at J&S is Fair Isle knitting and its what many people use our yarns for (especially 2ply Jumper Weight!) but we know it can be quite daunting to some people, luckily there are lots of different ways you can get help with the trickier aspects!
One way is to watch someone doing and explaining these things! Hazel Tindalls DVD ‘The Fine Art of Fair Isle Knitting‘ is an excellent resource for those of us who learn by watching – I am definitely one of those people!
The DVD takes you through all aspects of traditional Shetland knitting and demystifies things like knitting belts, jumper boards, long DPN’s and steeks to name a few.
It’s one of those things you will refer back to often and although the DVD is about knitting a garment (in this case a cardigan) the skills you learn can be carried over into all your knitting. You can view the trailer and buy the download if a DVD isn’t for you here
Another great way to gain confidence in your skills is to use a kit, by following a pattern in the colours provided all stress is taken away, I know choosing colours can be quite scary! And sometimes a smaller item like a hat, socks or hot water bottle cover can seem a lot more manageable than a Jumper!
For those of you that want a bit of a colour challenge our Fire Festival KAL is a great way to play with a group of colours already chosen for you, there are lots of projects appearing in our ravelry group so there’s a place to support, advise each other and chat about how you’re putting the shades together! The knit a long runs until March so there’s still plenty of time to join in.
I hope this has given you some ideas about Fair Isle you’d like to try, especially now that Christmas and gift knitting is by with – some selfish knitting may be in order!
Hello! Many of you have asked if we would be doing another Knit A Long this winter and the answer is yes!
This year we have decided to take inspiration from something unique to Shetland and that is Up Helly Aa, there are a number of these fire-festivals all over Shetland from the Scalloway one in the second week of January up to the Delting Up Helly Aa in March.
Without going into too much detail Up Helly Aa is held all over Shetland throughout the beginning of the year and they all feature a Guizer Jarl (chief Viking) and their Jarls Squad, a number of Squads dressed up, a torchlight procession and the burning of a Galley. It is something which cheers up and brightens many Shetlanders during the darkest time of the year here and I have always found the colours inspiring!
So you can see from the shades chosen we have mainly been inspired by Fire! we have chosen a number of fiery shades (91, FC38, 125 and 9113) but also some darker shades to represent the dark winter skies (36, 81, 54) we have thrown in the bright blue shade 132 as when I was looking through photos for inspirations I kept seeing a brighter blue either in the sky or shadows like the photo above.
Although we have taken our inspirations from the Vikings this Knit A Long is totally open to your interpretation of the colours, all you have to do is knit something (garment, accessory, whatever you feel!) using at least 5 of the 8 shades and it must feature some Fair Isle knitting (two colours in a row)
You can put together your own patterns or use a pattern that’s already out and work with putting the colours into it, we know there is still a lot of Christmas knitting going on so to coincide with the last Up Helly Aa we will have the Knit A Long running From now until 20th March 2017
I have put together a mood board of pictures on Pinterest so feel free to have a look and enjoy the Knit A Long, you can see the colours here on the online shop. If you take part and would like to Share pictures please post in our Ravelry Group and tag your pictures on instagram with #firefestivalkal
You have probably seen this book if like us you love anything related to Fair Isle, Knitting and Shetland! Published by The Shetland Times and compiled by the Shetland Guild of Spinners, Knitters, Weavers and Dyers A Shetlanders Fair Isle Graph Book in Colour is a bright and inspiring book – perfect for this dark and dreary time of year. It was released just in time for Wool Week this year and since then it has been selling like hot cakes, everytime I went to do a blog it would be sold out!
As things calm down though its a lovely book to look through. It is filled with hand coloured motif’s for Fair Isle knitting, the originals of the notebooks belonged to Bill Henry who ran the Hosiery side of Anderson & Co in the mid 20th century. They were most likely used by knitters to put together pattern to put on items to sell.
The idea of the notebooks themselves is not unusual, Shetland knitters have many self drafted pattern books but what makes this one unusual is the coloured aspect, it is very common to see the black and white dotted kind you see in many Fair Isle books like Traditional Fair Isle Knitting by Sheila McGregor, Alice Starmores Book of Fair Isle Knitting and Fair Isle Knitting Patterns by Mary MacGregor. Those kind of graph books are invaluable also because they help you to put together patterns without being distracted by the colours but this book is a feast for the eyes if you like Fair Isle and Stranded knitting.
It’s very tempting to gather up colours and try to match them up…
The yarn on the right-hand side is the same kind of shades as the ones on the left for the pattern in the previous picture but it would give you a more subtle version of the pattern. That’s another fun part of putting colours together, you can adapt it until it is more your kind of shades.
We have the book in stock just now and it costs £20.00. It would make a great present for anyone interested in Shetland Knitting, the historical aspect is just as interesting as the colour inspirations!
I hope you liked our post last week about the classes at J&S during Wool Week, again I’m sorry it was so brief, I still can’t get over how busy it was! We were still working on Saturday but I nipped out quickly to visit the Makers Market at Islesburgh – which was pinned! Its a great chance for local makers and small yarn producers to show what they make to a very appreciative public.
I came back from the Makers Market and me and Sandra headed up for a quick look at the Marts, every year the Flock Book have the sale of Pure Shetland Sheep and Lambs, its always good to see the Sheep (reminds you what Wool Week is all about!) Scott who works in the Woolstore had been there all morning as Oliver and Jan were judging the wool on the hoof so the next photos are all taken by him
Vispring always provides the sponsorship for the Fine Wool and I was asked to present it to the winners:
On Sunday after a bit of a lie in I headed out to Tingwall for the Sunday Teas held by the Guild, its one of my favourite bits of Wool Week..
As well as the lovely food there are brilliant displays of the Work of the Guild which is always so inspiring!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this more relaxed look at the last few days of Wool Week, we are just about recovered, but already looking forward to next year.