Christmas Ideas 2019

Hello everyone, things are getting pretty chilly here in Shetland and the winter knits have certainly come out – luckily we know just the place to get the wool…! Anyway, the next thing on the calendar, of course, is Christmas so we thought we would share some ideas for presents you could get from J&S for your loved one or of course yourself..

Books always make a great present and there have been a few new ones this year, for those interested in Shetland and its agriculture we released our Seasons of the Shetland Crofter photo book this Wool Week and it makes a great peerie present at just £10, the Shetland Croft range was expanded this year which also meant a new book of patterns and the Shetland Country book is filled with a mix of contemporary designs. As always if you are a fan of J&S our Shetland Story contains our history as well as 10 designs using our yarns.

Also released this year have been the Shetland Guilds latest book – Fair Isle Designs from Shetland Knitters Volume Two, its filled with great patterns all from knitters based in Shetland using Shetland Wool, we’ve also taken in This Golden Fleece by Esther Rutter which you might have seen lots of people talking – our Shetland Heritage Yarn is mentioned on the back cover (proud moment!) Of course we have also got in this year’s Shetland Wool Week annual, every year they get bigger and better and this was the biggest to celebrate the 10th year.

As always, we also always have a wide range of kits available. If your looking for a smaller item things like the Weisdale Tam, Roadside Beanie and Harriets Yarn packs would make any knitters happy (for the Harriet and Roadside please note the patterns aren’t included but the information is on the product page)

Another classic kit we have is the Sheepheid by Kate Davies, its uses all 9 of the Natural Shades we sell in the Supreme Jumper Weight, its a more expensive hat kit but you get nine 50g balls so there are lots left over for more hats or mitts. The Skerry Gloves are seasonally traditional but have great use of colour that really stands out and if you are getting ready for Up Helly Aa the Guizers Toorie is perfect!

We have kits for bigger projects too like our traditional allover patterns we released this year – Antarctica and Roadside Allovers are designed by Sandra and use traditional Shetland techniques. Following on from the Sheepheid, the Rams and Yowes blanket kit is a dream knit for lots of knitters – we have a sample in the shop and we always joke it must be one of the most petted blankets ever!

We have these kit boxes which can be added to any order if you are giving it as a present. The small size is great for peerie kits and the big for garment kits. We also have selection boxes available for most of our yarn ranges which come in the kit boxes – these are great as they give you a taster of a yarn range with a mixture of shades or in some cases the full-colour range.

We also stock a range of accessory products which are great as stocking fillers like our peerie Maakin bags, Gauges and glove boards. These smaller things like bags, tape measures, keyrings etc make great additions to gifts especially if you are interested in Shetland knitting and wool.

We recently released our new Crew Neck Jumpers knit using 2ply Jumper Weight, we have them available in a range of shades and sizes. These are classic and so very warm – as long as they are looked after they will last a lifetime!

We also have a small selection of cushion and rugs, which includes rugs made in our Shetland Heritage yarns, Undyed wool cushions and a limited number of plain Moorit throws. They are perfect for having over your bed or on the back of the couch.

Talking of keeping you warm our range of socks made in our Shetland Heritage Naturals make a great present! We have two styles: Toonie which is a ribbed foot and Crofter which has a terry foot. They both come in a selection of colours and sizes.

Finally, I thought I’d give a mention to our mug and coasters – we get these made for us in Shetland using designs from our pattern collection, they are really high quality and the designs are exclusive to us so if you or a loved one is a J&S supporter they make a great gift.

So I hope that has given you some ideas, it will be here before we know it! These are the recommended last posting dates for Royal Mail and we would advise a least a few days before the date to place your order (in case of weather delays!):

Wednesday 18 December UK
Monday 9 December Africa, Asia, Caribbean, Central and
South America, Far and Middle East
Tuesday 10 December Cyprus, Malta
Wednesday 11 December Eastern Europe (except Czech Republic,
Poland and Slovakia)
Thursday 12 December Australia, Greece, New Zealand and
Turkey
Saturday 14 December Canada, Czech Republic, Finland,
Italy, Poland, Sweden, USA
Monday 16 December Austria, Denmark, Germany, Iceland,
Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovakia,
Spain, Switzerland
Wednesday 18 December Belgium, France, Ireland, Luxembourg

 

Wool Week 2019 – a photo roundup

Hello everyone, happy Friday! It’s hard to believe that Shetland Wool Week 2019 ended over a month ago, we had such a busy time but the dust has settled so we thought we’d share some pictures from throughout the week:

The Opening Ceremony L: lots of Roadside Beanies R: table decoration featuring scarfs mentioned in this post
Oliver giving his speech
Judging at the Marts L: on the hoof R: a beautiful Moorit fleece
L: Prizewinning fleece R: the winners
The Hub L: Lots of Knitters R: Amazing giant Jumper Board
Vivian Ross-Smiths’ exhibition was on in the Hub space during Wool Week, for more information about Vivian’s work see here.
L: Burra Bears R: Faye Hackers of the Shetland College and Nicholas Coleridge, Chairman of the Campaign for Wool
Oliver giving his talk ’50 Years in Shetland Oo’
L: The Oo never stops! R: Oliver giving his sorting and grading demonstration
L: It was a week of Roadside Beanies R: Amazing Jumper featuring all the motifs from Shetland Wool Week hats past and present.
Ruth Mackenzie and Matt Roberts of the Shetland Amenity Trust alongside Oliver presenting Dave Wheeler with his prize for winning our Seasons of a Shetland Crofter Competition. We also launched the book at Wool Week, its available here!
So much amazing Knitwear all week! L: a Hevdadale Scarf and Ola Yoke R: A Roadside Skirt!
Beautiful fleeces outside the Woolstore
L: Roadside Beanie and Glebe Jumper R: Just some of our mail posted out during the week

Lots of great memories and friends made as always, for more information about Shetland Wool Week see here, it will soon be here again, Happy Knitting!

photos: Adam Curtis, Ella Gordon and one from Sara Granqvist (thanks Sara!)

 

Shetland Wool Week Scarf Project

Hello everyone, happy Friday! Today we thought we’d share some images of a project we took part in during Shetland Wool Week which was coordinated by Faye Hackers of the Shetland College.

The project took inspiration from people known in the Shetland Textile industry who provided Faye with imagery and text about what they love about Shetland, this was then taken by Faye and designed into one-off scarfs which were auctioned off for charity during a silent auction at Wool Week.

Among the people asked were J&S’s own Oliver and Ella, former patrons Donna Smith, Elizabeth Johnston and Hazel Tindall. For more information see Fayes Instagram posts. We love how different each scarf was:

We were happy to donate all the yarn for the project meaning the scarves were knit in 2ply Jumper Weight or Shetland Heritage, in total the auction raised £1,776.00 of which 100% will be donated to charity as we provided the yarn for free. The charities chosen by the individuals were: Cancer Research UK, CLAN, Shetland MRI Scanner Appeal, Mind Your Head, GlobalYell, Lerwick Brass Band and Whalsay Heritage Centre.

All and all it was a great project!

Model and white photography: Faye Hackers

Museum Photos: John Hunter

Models: Akshay Borges and Alanah Young

Voe Show 2019

Hello everyone! this past weekend saw the first of this summers agricultural shows here in Shetland and it was the Voe Show, I (Ella) headed up to judge the Colourbox Competition – this is something we do every year with some of the shows, we choose a selection of 8 shades of 2ply jumper weight and then people make things using at least 5 of the 8 shades. This years shades were: 5, FC44, 16, FC46, 32, 23, 91 and FC47

As always the standard was extremely high and it was very hard to judge, its amazing how much the way the colours look changes depending on how they have been put together. I took lots of pictures at the show so here are some of the Colourbox entries:

You have to choose a trophy winner from all the firsts and I chose this allover, I loved the corrugated rib collar and cuffs and thought the colour use and pattern were really excellent: The rest of the knitwear entries contained a huge variety of different styles from Fair Isle and Lace and everything in between – you always see amazing uses of colour, design and finishing. After I had finished in the hall with the knitwear I had a wander around the rest of the Show – the sun had come out and it was a lovely day. Apart from knitting, there is all the sheep, cows, horses and ponies, baking, plants, wool, hens, ducks etc etc.. there are also lots of places to get food, ice cream and stall selling things so it’s easy to spend a lot of time (and some money!) I hope you’ve enjoyed this look at some of the things to be seen at this year’s Voe Show, Sandra will be judging at Waas and Cunningsburgh in the next week so keep an eye on our Instagram for some pics from those shows, happy knitting!

This weeks patterns

Hello everyone, we’ve added some more patterns this week to both Lovecraft’s and Ravelry. We are trying to add a mix of Fair Isle and Lace every week to give you a good choice of patterns knit in a range of our yarns.

Bluebell is a pattern which always sells well in the shop when people see the sample, its knit in 2ply Lace and features corrugated rib and a simple Sanquhar inspired Fair Isle motif. This makes it a lovely lightweight garment that still features some interesting elements.

Shetland Crescent which was designed by Kieran Foley was released in our Lace Collection in 2012 and although its a simple introduction to Lace motifs the finished shawl has a lot of impact, its another one which sells well when people see the sample. Knit in Shetland Supreme 2ply Lace, an undyed worsted spun yarn, it has drape which works well with the shape.

The Oxna Mitts are another classic Shetland pattern designed by Sandra, they are simple fingerless mitts with a Norwegian star and seeding to the palms. Knit in Shetland Supreme Jumper Weight and 2ply Jumper Weight these are perfect for keeping your hands warm but your fingers free.

The Sletts Shawl is a remake of our Gladys Amedro patterns (L252) Originally knit in 2ply Lace (and still available as a kit here) we recently remade the shawl in Shetland Supreme 2ply Lace and updated the pattern with Charts. This is a great entry into Square Shetland Shawls, and perfect for wrapping up a baby!

As always let us know if there are any specific patterns you would like to have available as downloads, happy knitting!

Pattern PDF’s

Hello everyone, its the beginning of another busy summer here in Shetland. We have lots of tours during the summer and gearing up for another Wool Season but as always we are working behind the scenes on lots of things – for a while now we have wanted to make available our single patterns as PDF’s as well as in kits we sell. To begin with we have chosen to make the patterns available on Loveknitting. (also now available on Ravelry!) We decided to start with a selection of our Fair Isle patterns knit using 2ply Jumper Weight: The Roadside Allover, Antarctica Jumper, Antarctica Set and one of our most popular patterns the Hairst Yoke. These are all great examples of Shetland designs by a Shetland designer – Sandra Manson who you will have met if you’ve ever been in J&S is the designer of all 4 patterns and I think her expert colour sense can be seen in them all.

The Antarctica Set was released in 2012 and you may remember they were released after being made for Dr Alexander Kumar on his research trip to Antarctica, the set includes a Double layer hat, neckwarmer/cowl and mittens.

The Antarctica Jumper is knit using the same motifs and colours and is knit from the bottom up with steeks for the armholes and neckline, this is a traditional Shetland technique where extra stitches are cast on and then cut open later so you can continue knitting in the round.

The Roadside Allover features the same construction, it was knit for Oliver to wear at Edinburgh Yarn Festival as his Wool Week Patronage was announced in March. it features a softer but equally striking colour scheme.

The Hairst Yoke is our version of a traditional Shetland Fair Isle yoke, it is one of the most well-known Shetland styles and we released this pattern in 2013, it has been one of our best sellers ever since. A Fair Isle yoke is a great way to use up your odds and ends and if you use a cone for the main shade it can be a very economical project.

So you can find these patterns on our designer page on loveknitting here and on Ravelry. We will be adding more over the next while so let us know of any of our self published patterns you would like to see as an individual PDF. Happy knitting!

Shetland College Project 2019

Every year for the last few years we have taken part in a Professional Practise module with the Textile Students and now also featuring the Fine Art students of the Shetland College. Last week me (Ella) and Oliver went over to the college to see this year’s final projects, there were six students work in total and as always we were impressed with the results.

Rebecca was inspired by the history of J&S and our former managers Eva and Jim Smith – she read into the history of the family and they’re interests from our book, Jamieson & Smith: A Shetland Story. She took inspiration from the photos of Jim with his plane and Evas jacket to adorn a Jacket featuring embroidery, crochet patches and felted applique which she also dyed and altered.

Tomas took his inspiration from the lines and textures of the Woolstore to create a range of knitwear to appeal to different and perhaps younger market. From his home country of Slovakia, he took colour and use inspiration forward in his hat, balaclava and headbands which can be worn in a mix and match way.

Rachel was inspired by elements in the Woolstore – the story, materials and abbreviations we use on Wool bags were some things she took forward into her art piece. There is a use of mixed media, screenprinting, felting and embroidery onto Hessian and use of the raw wool too.

Rosalynd took inspiration from the colour and texture of raw fleece into her garment, the panelling of different weights of yarn together with fringing which is reminiscent of the raw fleece. The large stitches also reminded us of the way bales are sewn together.

Kirsty was inspired by the lightness of the 1ply Shetland Supreme and with the idea of using the wool as a drawing tool. Knotting, tieing and draping the wool into words reminded her of fish nets – another strong shetland pastime, combined with photography of the croft she was interested in the journey of the wool and the process from croft to wool.

Sue took her inspiration from the Global reach of Shetland Wool week and how the history and culture of Shetland textiles bring so many people to us.  This led her to look into Navajo weaving and this is where she took her colour inspiration from along with the linear aspect and block patterns. Her final scarf included a textured weave with triangular and wavy motifs in the Shetland Heritage yarns.

Me and Oliver enjoyed our visit as always and it was inspiring to see the way the Students used our yarns in different and unusual ways. To see more work from the Shetland College you can follow both the Fine Art programme and Textiles course on Instagram.