Selection Boxes

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Hello! it can be quite hard sometimes to choose colours, especially if you are looking to try out a yarn range with no particular project in mind, we have been thinking of ways you can pick up a one stop box full of Shetland Wool so in that vein we have put together a selection of… Selection Boxes!

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In a few of the smaller ranges you will receive each of the available shades (1ply Supreme, Shetland Heritage Naturals and Supreme Jumper Weight) but for the rest we have picked a range of shades which we feel will work well together in a project or just round out your stash!

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You will get your selection box in a sturdy, naturally finished box stamped with the J&S logo which is included in the price. It makes a great gift for knitters but also makes a nice treat for yourself, we have started with a smaller range of choices but if you think there is something else you’d love to see – let us know! You can see the boxes on the website here.

Happy Knitting!

PS – remember there is still time to take part in the Fire Festival Kal, there have been some really beautiful projects appearing in our Ravelry group!

Fire Festival KAL inspiration

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Sometimes choosing colours for a Knit-a-Long can be quite daunting, but after quite a number of years of choosing shades for the Colourbox Challenges with the Country Shows in Shetland and a couple for our online KAL’s we are always pleased and surprised with the colour and pattern combinations people come up with. The Fire Festival KAL, inspired by Shetland’s Up Helly Aa festivals has been running for a little while now and more projects are beginning to emerge so I thought it was time to take a look at some of the knitting..

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clockwise from top right: one, two, three
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clockwise from top left: one, two, three, four

I always find it very inspiring to see how people have put colours together, and how to colours change when put next to others – it’s my favourite part of the KAL! it runs until the 20th of March so there is still plenty of time to get involved and knit yourself (or someone else a firey inspired garment or accessory) We have already had the first of Shetlands Up Helly Aa’s for 2017 with the Scalloway Fire Festival on the 13th of January, you can see some great pictures here. Lerwick Up Helly Aa is on Tuesday 31st of January and it is a public Holiday in the town on the day after (some of us need time to recover..) so we will be closed Wednesday 1st of February opening as normal on Thursday. If you would like to watch any of the live broadcast of Lerwick UHA on Tuesday you can do so here.

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I hope this has inspired you if you were thinking to join the KAL, you can find the shades here on the website, there has been some confusion about adding in other colours but to be entered in the KAL you can only use the 8 shades chosen and you must use at least 5 of them. Your project must also include some Fair Isle/stranded colourwork, don’t forget to share your projects in our Ravelry group and on Instagram with #firefestivalkal

Happy Knitting!

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New Year, New Skills!

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!

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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!

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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.

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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

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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!

Saudade and Fishermans Kep
Saudade and Fishermans Kep
Toatie Hottie and Yuglet Socks
Toatie Hottie and Yuglet Socks
First Footing and Antarctica
First Footing and Antarctica

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.

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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!

Speak soon 🙂

Fire Festival KAL 2016-2017

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Hello! Many of you have asked if we would be doing another Knit A Long this winter and the answer is yes!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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)

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Fire Festival Knit A Long Shades: 132, 54, 9113, 81, 36, 125, FC38 and 91

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

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Annes Sheelagh Shawl

A few weeks ago I spotted on Ravelry a beautiful version of the Sheelagh Shawl, knit by Anne for her wedding. It sparked a memory in me of an email inquiring about receiving the kit in the Shetland Supreme Yarn, we get (of course) lots of emails every day but its always so nice to see a finished item you helped someone get the yarn for. The Sheelagh is a classic Gladys Amedro pattern which begins with the border before picking up stitches (in this case 960 of them!) and knitting it in towards the middle decreasing as you go.

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I asked Anne if I could share some photos of her beautiful shawl from her wedding to her Husband Johannes and she gracefully agreed as well as telling me a bit about her knitting of the Shawl:

‘I have been a ravelry member since 2011, for the last 2 or 3 years I am online almost every day, browsing patterns, putting them into my favourites, queue, etc. … I don’t remember when, but I came across the Princess shawl from Sharon Miller. I think I discovered the Jamieson & Smith yarns there in the projects (or maybe also through admiring fair isle knitting, which came up around the same time 😉 ).

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When my now-husband asked if I’d like to be his wife last year in October, I knew I would like to have a shawl to wear on my wedding. In fact I knew this already before and was admiring all the nice lace shawls on ravelry,  I started a meant-to-be wedding shawl in a nice off-white Tussah silk from my LYS. I was already done when I realised, this would be way too heavy to wear on a summer wedding. I somehow was afraid of this fact already before, but just did not listen to my inner voice. I still was browsing patterns and yarn shops online almost every day, also the J & S page. I found the Sheelagh shawl kit there and fell in love. It was just the right thing. Not too simple, yet not super complicated (I would also have liked to knit the Princess shawl, but this was out of question at this time point, but I will do it someday…).

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It was already April and I am a slow knitter. By far I wasn’t sure, if I could ever complete this until end of august. The pattern called for the 1 ply cobweb lace yarn, but there wasn’t an off white available (I already bought my dress which is ivory), so I asked at J&S, if I could also get the kit but replace the yarn with the 1 ply supreme lace. Off course this was possible!

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The yarn arrived middle of April and I started knitting madly. I literally used every free minute I could get: before I went to work, at work I could only think of when I get home to knit, knitted every weekend. In May I was off sick for a week, I knitted all the day! In the middle of June I finished the last stitch. One day more, it would have been 3 month… In this time I changed my mind constantly from ‘Oh gosh, I will never finish this in time’ to ‘Seems to be manageable, right?!’ and back. But I still could finish the other silk shawl, right? Just parts of the borders were missing. And then not wear it, because it’s just too hot… At least I had a plan B.

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I ordered some blocking wires in the US and again was afraid, they would not get here in time. They came, and the shawl blocked from 87 cm to 127 cm each side. I sat next to our guest bed, where it was pinned on, knitting another project and proudly patting the shawl every now and then. I took it to the bridal shop, when I tried my dress to get it fitted and put it on my shoulders there to see if it fits. It was just perfect!

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The wedding took place on August 27th, it was 30 °C and super sunny. I wore the shawl during the ceremony, the champagne reception and our first photo shoot in the park next to the castle where the ceremony was. I was glad to have the Sheelagh shawl instead off the other heavier one. It did not add any heat in the afternoon as it is super light and late in the night when we spend some time outside with the last guests it kept my shoulders warm. I still admire my shawl every now and then and I think I will wear it again in the winter, because in my opinion it should be used and not sit on a shelf waiting for the next wedding in our family, which might be still years away…’

Thank you Anne for sharing with us the beautiful pictures of your lovely shawl! You can see more pictures of the knitting process on here ravelry project page here. Many people see these types of Shawls as strictly for a Christening but I think this shows you can make it look very classic yet modern as a Wedding shawl.

Seeing this has got me going to sort out the Sheelagh Shawl page on the website and you can now order the kit in cobweb but also in all six of the 1ply Shetland Supreme shades here. Happy Knitting!

Deepdale Shawl Colourways

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Every now and again we come into work at the shop and find there are a lots of orders for the same thing without knowing what its for! a few months ago that happened and we noticed there were a number of orders for 2ply Lace in shades L54, L203, L3 and L202. I thought they looked lovely together and then when I went on Ravelry later on I realised Gudrun Johnston had chosen to use those shades for one of her colourways in her MKAL pattern.

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For the past couple of years Gudrun has run a mystery knit along where each week new clues are revealed and you don’t know what the final project will look like! this shawl was this years effort and the final pattern is now available itself: Deepdale

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It gave me an idea to put together a few colourways using the 2ply Lace, it’s a sometimes overlooked yarn but it makes for lovely lightweight but warm projects.

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the original colourway: L54, L203, L202 and L3
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warm browns: L5, L4, L78 and L202
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greys: L77, L54, L27 and L203
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blues: L21, L63, L15 and L16
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pinks: L43, L68, L136 and L101

A number of people also ordered the Shetland Heritage Naturals for this project and they would work beautifully, the Heritage is a little bit thicker than the two ply lace but that only makes for an even more snuggly finished shawl!

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grey, light grey, moorit and fawn

The above colourways is very similar to the original, but the two below will give you more of a brown finished shawl or a grey one – I love the greys!

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shetland black, moorit, fawn and white
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shetland black, grey, light grey and white

I hope this has given you some ideas for colours for a Deepdale Shawl, if you make one using J&S yarns remember to tag us on Instagram, our username is thewoolbrokers and we love to see in progress pictures. 🙂

Happy Knitting!

Last Few Days of Wool Week 2016

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.

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My (Ella’s) Dad Smirk was there with Cartoons
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Foula Wool
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Students from the Textiles Course at the Shetland College
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Kathy Coull was there with Fair Isle Yarn
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The always bright and cheerful Neilanell knitwear
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busy busy!

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

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Vispring always provides the sponsorship for the Fine Wool and I was asked to present it to the winners:

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Me with the White Lamb and Coloured Lamb winners
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l-r: Lamb White winner and Overall Champion, Coloured Lamb winner, Adult White winner and Coloured Adult Winner.

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..

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As well as the lovely food there are brilliant displays of the Work of the Guild which is always so inspiring!

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Sue Arthurs Handspun Handknitted Jumper
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Kathleen Andersons Lovely Lace
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Hazel Tindall’s beautiful Fair Isle

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.

Happy Knitting!

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