Post Shetland Wool Week

Hello everyone! Things are getting back to normal after another great Shetland Wool Week, we were extremely busy which meant we couldn’t do our usual blog update so I’m very sorry about that but I would highly recommend looking through the Shetland Wool Week 2018 hashtag on instagram – it gives you a great insight into what everyone was up to!

As our bags say – Wool Week never ends for us but we have just put some copies of this years Annual on to the online shop which contains lots of great patterns by visiting but mainly Shetland designers as well as interesting articles including one on the Herring industry which features some great pictures of where we are in the North Road including this one below on the right which shows our ‘Tin Kirk’ shop in the background.

There are lots of great patterns in the Annual and 5 use J&S 2ply Jumper Weight in them – You could make yourself a perfect winter wardrobe using just these 5 patterns!

l: Antidote Mittens by Outi Kater m: Kliek Cardigan by Marjolein Reichert r: Foula Snood by Donna Smith
l: Skalavag Mittens by Tori Seierstad r: Einar Hat by Ella Gordon

We also have some 2017 Annuals so if you missed out last year I would snap it up, they are definitely collectors items and very worth having in your knitting library. Of course the Annuals also contain the official Wool Week pattern for that year – so last years has the Bousta Beanie and this year the Merrie Dancers Toorie. That leads us onto another fun Wool Week themed kit we put up just before Wool Week but didnt get a chance to post about: Patron Packs!

We asked all the patrons there have been for Shetland Wool Week so far to choose their favourite 8 shades of 2ply Jumper Weight. We’ve put them together for you and you can find them on the online shop here. Its a great way to build up your jumper weight stash with colours you maybe wouldnt have chosen!

If you came to Shetland Wool Week we would like to thank you for visiting and supporting this event, it is an extremly important week for us and we appreciate all of you that came to see us. If you didnt visit us thank you for being patient with us while we try to get back to normal!

Cunningsburgh Show 2018

Hello everyone, we had a lovely day at the Cunningsburgh Show on Wednesday so I thought I’d share some pictures. Derek and Oliver were down to judge the raw Wool and I came to judge the Colourbox Competition:

You will know by now that every year we choose 8 colours of Jumper Weight which is then used by knitters to create Fair Isle garments and accessories – this year there was also a miscellaneous category which included the blanket you can see in second photo.  There were lots of entries again and as always it was extremely hard to judge. The garments were also a very high standard and its amazing how different each one can look using the same colours!

As I was waiting for Amanda and Janet (seen judging the gloves) to finish their bit so we could decide on the trophy winners I took some pictures of the other knitwear. There is always some lovely stuff entered and the lace in particular was very beautiful. At the Cunningsburgh Show you can enter no matter where in Shetland you live so there is always a wide range of entries.

So once we had done our bit I went for a wander around and saw all the other things on show, as has been the case the last couple of years it was a lovely day so it was great to go around and see all the animals and other entries:

So tomorrow me (Ella) and Sandra will be heading to Waas for our final Show visit of the season – phewf! there are still a couple more but these (at the moment) are the only ones with the Colourbox Competition. We hope you enjoy seeing the pictures!

Happy Knitting!

Voe Show 2018

Hello everyone, this past Saturday saw our annual visit to the Voe Show – the first agricultural show of the year in Shetland. I (Ella) headed up to judge the Colourbox Competition. Every year we choose a selection of 8 shades of Jumper Weight which are used by people in a category on its own in the knitwear section of the show. The entrants must use at least 5 of the 8 colours – this year the shades were: 3, 53, 66, 72, 87, 366, fc37 and FC56.

The allover on the left was the Trophy winner for this year.

It is always very difficult to choose the winners as the standard is extremely high but I was really pleased with the entries. This is the Show where I have the most time so I helped the other ladies with laying out the rest of the knitwear and as a judge I got to help with choosing the trophy winners. There is everything from lace, handspun and machine knitting to yokes, all overs and hats.

This 1ply Shawl by Kathleen Anderson won lots of prizes – very well deserved! It was beautiful.

I then spent the rest of my time at the show looking at all the other entries. At Voe there are Cows, Sheep, Horses, Chickens, Ducks, Goats, Dogs… the list goes on.

The sheep are probably my favourite as the amount and variety of breeds is always so interesting but I also like to have a look at the flowers and vegetables too…

I didnt get any photos of the baking or other handicrafts but I can assure you it all looked great too! The rain came on just as I was leaving but I had a great day at the Voe Show, this week sees Cunningsburgh on Wednesday and Waas on Saturday so we will be back with more photos from those shows too, happy knitting!

New Colours KAL 2018 – the entries

Hello everyone!

We are back today with the final items made for the New Colours KAL, there is a good mix or garments and accessories. The rules for the KAL was the item had to use at least 3 of our newly brought back colours of 2ply Jumper Weight (16, 32, 90, 1282 and FC21) along with as many other shades of Jumper Weight you wanted. If you want to see more pictures please click on the link on each picture – that will take you to the ravelry project page.

We have spilt the poll into garments and accessories so once you’ve had a look over please vote for your favourite!

Garments

Wild Flowers by Auchnagaoith
Yoke 2 by MaureeninFargo
NCKal Clover Cape by Rubyshasha
Man Vest by bessie4dogs
Never Smile at a Crocodile by Alix Pearson

Accessories

Merrie Dancers Toorie by Fabclaire
New Colours KAL 2018 by Anniejay
Babyblanket by Eval8
Decennium by ginny8
Color Challange by Jelibet
J&S New Colors KAL by HootersHall
Never Smile at a Crocodile Hat by AlixPearson

The polls will close Next Wednesday 16th May and we will announce the winners and contact them to send a prize, Thank you to everyone who took part, we love doing our colour themed knit-a-longs and we are glad you do too.

Happy Knitting!

Fair Isle Designs from Shetland Knitters Vol. 1

In March the Shetland Guild of Spinners, Knitters, Weavers and Dyers released their latest book of patterns – Fair Isle Designs from Shetland Knitters Vol 1. The book contains 15 original patterns by designers and knitters in the Guild and based at the time of writing in Shetland. It’s an inspiring group of patterns ranging from small items up to garments and features a good range of adult and children’s items:

Seaness Phone Cover by Irene Copperwheat, Quarwall Triangular Shawl by Lauretta Robertson and Quarry Hat and Mitten Set by Alice Pottinger
Clover Brimmed Hat by Ina Irvine, Jemina Hot Water Bottle/Ipad cover by Wilma Couper and Kae Waistcoat by Susan Johnson

When you think of Shetland knitting the most common weight of yarn used is what we call Jumper Weight – a woollen spun 4ply weight yarn available in lots of colours which make the shading of colourwork pop, these patterns in the book either use our 2ply Jumper Weight or Shetland Supreme Jumper Weight:

Sandison Yoked Jumper by Hazel Tindall and Pole Star Mittens by Joan Poleson
Meenie Wristwarmers by Barbara Cheyne and Hvarfi Gloves by Pearl Johnson
Snow in Kergord Mittens by Outi Kater

There are also three patterns in the book which use our Shetland Heritage yarn, both dyed and natural. The Shetland Heritage is slightly lighter weight than Jumper Weight. As it is Worsted Spun the yarn has a softness and drape which makes it perfect for people who find Shetland Wool slightly itchy – the Vailima Cardigan and Frances Frilly Pixie are both for children which the heritage is great for. The Tangwick Tank top in the Natural Heritage is a lovely lightweight top perfect for warmer days but also for layering in the colder months (more often than not in Shetland!)

Vailima Cardigan by Ruby Williamson
Tangwick Tank Top by Sara Leith
Frances Frilly Pixie Hat by Linda Shearer

Congratulations to the Guild on the publication of the new book, you can purchase it here on our website and we look forward to seeing Volume 2!

Happy Knitting!

The Vintage Shetland Project

Hello everyone, today I thought I’d share some pictures and information about the above book ‘The Vintage Shetland Project’ by Susan Crawford which recently came out and uses J&S yarns for a number of the patterns. The book has been many years in the making:

‘The Vintage Shetland Project, is the culmination of eight years of hard work and personal determination. Inspired by the patterns and colours of Shetland knitting, the fashion historian, author, designer and publisher Susan Crawford began a journey into the rich heritage of Shetland knitwear, and in particular the pieces held in the Shetland Museum archive. With the help of Dr Carol Christiansen, the museum’s curator, Susan undertook the task of carefully selecting the most stunning and original designs from the 1920s to the 1950s, transcribed them stitch by stitch, and has here recreated them for the modern knitter, in stunning detail and a range of sizes for women and men. In combination with the collection of 27 comprehensive patterns for garments and accessories are carefully researched essays exploring the stories behind each piece and honouring their creators – some famous, some forgotten. Photographed by Susan on the island of Vaila, situated off the west coast of Shetland, this book also celebrates the untameable beauty of Shetland itself. Compiled with Susan’s trademark attention to detail, this book is a fabulous treasury of Shetland knitting design and a valuable insight into its textile traditions. It offers you the chance to delve into a fascinating era for knitwear design and to bring it to life in stitch-perfect vintage style.’

Sandra and Me (Ella) can remember helping Susan to match up colours at Wool Week in 2013 and its so exciting to see the final book, it is almost half and half history and essays to patterns. The essays focus on many different aspects of Shetland textiles but also focus on specific story’s, people and pieces of knitwear, it’s the kind of book you can dip in and out of but still feel you’ve learnt something! The patterns of course take up a large proportion of the book and focus on unusual or special items which the originals are housed in collections at the Shetland Museum and the Shetland Textile Museum.

left: Highland knit in Shetland Supreme 2ply Lace
right: Margaret knit in 2ply Jumper Weight
photos: Susan Crawford
Munro knit in 2ply Jumper Weight
Photos: Susan Crawford
Petrie knit in 2ply Jumper Weight
Photos: Susan Crawford
Ralph knit in 2ply Jumper Weight and Shetland Supreme Jumper Weight
Photos: Susan Crawford

Unfortunately in the time between the samples and the book being published one of the shades in the Ralph Jumper has been discontinued and finished, the shade is 61 but you could use shade 78 instead.

Suffragette and Twageos knit in 2ply Jumper Weight
Photos: Susan Crawford
Yule knit in Shetland Heritage
Photos: Susan Crawford
left: Vaila knit in Shetland Heritage and Shetland Supreme 2ply Lace right: Peerie Clews knit in 2ply Jumper Weight
Photos: Susan Crawford

And when the Vaila was knit we didn’t have Shetland Heritage in Natural shades so it uses Supreme 2ply Lace Held doubled in Moorit but you can use Shetland Heritage Naturals in Moorit instead.

Harriet knit in 2ply Jumper Weight Photos: Susan Crawford

We are so pleased that so many of the patterns can be knit using our yarns, we have been a yarn producer since the 1960’s and a Wool Broker since the 1930’s so some of the original items may have come from wool handled by J&S which is pretty cool!

There is a good range of patterns in the book including both Fair Isle and Lace and garments and accessories so there is something for everyone interested in Shetland Textiles. Of course the creators of the original garments never made them to be multi sized so the amount of work which has gone into sizing and grading the patterns is amazing.

Unfortunately due to the weight of the book we are not able to sell it on the online shop (its above our contract weight for a single parcel) but you can buy it in the UK from both Ysolda and Susan herself, we have it in the shop so if you are in Shetland or will be visiting you can pick up a copy in Lerwick.

To see more of the patterns in the book and more information visit Susans website, Congratulations Susan on the publication of the Vintage Shetland Project!

Happy Knitting 🙂

New Colours KAL 2018

Hello everyone! things have been very busy here over January as we get back into the way of things but today we announce our KAL for the next few months – the New Colours Kal!

from left to right: 90, 16, FC21, 32 and 1282

We are constantly updating and changing the colours we have in 2ply Jumper Weight and we are lucky that we have a huge back catalogue of shades which if we need to we can take from and bring back. In recent years we did that with FC11 and FC7 which has really added to the palette and although this means saying goodbye to some shades its proof that it doesn’t always mean forever!

This KAL is a bit different than others we’ve done before in that you can use as many shades of 2ply Jumper Weight as you want but you must use at least 3 of the new shades. Hopefully it will be a lot of fun! As in the Fire Festival Kal at the end we will have a public vote so its always worth putting something in – you might win!

So the KAL: what we want you to do is –

  • Knit a garment or accessory using J&S 2ply jumper weight only.
  • at least 3 shades must be from our newly brought back colours: 90, 16, FC21, 32 and 1282.
  • As many other shades can be used as you want.
  • the item must use Fair Isle knitting/ stranded colourwork.

That’s it! The KAL begins on February the 2nd and runs until until the 2nd of May.

Now the new/old colours:

16 is a lovely bright blue

32 is a bright bronze

90 is a peachy orange

FC21 is a lovely marled lavender

And 1282 is a marled mid green.

All the new colours are now on the online shop and if you would like to take part there will be chat and discussion in our Ravelry group, if you share any progress photos on instagram use the #nckal

We’ll be back with some colour combo inspirations soon but until then happy knitting and planning!