Eva Smith

We are saddened to announce that Jamieson & Smith former co-owner Eva Smith passed away this weekend, Eva and her brother the late Jim Smith took over the running of the family company in 1969 after the passing of the company’s founder, their father the late John ‘Sheepie’  Smith.

Brought up on Berry Farm Scalloway Eva had a great love and passion for all aspects of farm life both at Berry and their farm at Pitmeden, Dyce, and Aberdeenshire. Eva was well-known for her work with Aberdeen Angus cattle and her great love of Shetland Ponies. Berry stud book was renowned for its breeding of special miniature ponies,  Eva in particular was much sought after as a judge in this field and became the youngest judge of her era to judge the Royal Highland Show as seen in the photo above.

Combined with all her hard physical work on the land Eva was sent out by her father to purchase Shetland wool from Shetland crofters and farmers and take it back home to Berry Farm where it provided work for the farm labourer plus Jim & Eva in the winter months.

With the expansion of the wool handling business in 1952 and its move to Lerwick, Eva became more involved in the running of their company and along with their manager Gilbert Johnston was responsible in having the Shetland sorted wool they bought contract spun into knitting yarns at Hunters of Brora in the Scottish Highlands.

Eva was a keen and active knitter and like many Shetland ladies produced her own designs, her understanding helped greatly in the progress of the company moving forwards and establishing Jamieson & Smith as the leading suppliers of Real Shetland knitting yarns in its field built up on the Berry philosophy of trust, respect and humbleness.

At the age of 75 and Jim 81 they decided to retire from the textile trade and concentrate on running both their farms selling the company on to the main buyers of the Shetland wool clip: Curtis Wool Direct in 2005.

Eva was a very private person and resolute in achieving her aims in both her careers as a farmer and wool merchant and even up to her final days was giving out orders and advice as to how J&S should be run, still a passionate and caring person to the end.

We shall all miss her greatly.

Oliver Henry

Eva with her parents John and Florence
Eva and Prince Charles at the Millennium Show, Eva receiving the price for Supreme Champion.
Jim and Eva, photo by Elaine Tait
Eva and Major Walters from Hunters of Brora

Oliver’s Ewan Sweater

Hello everyone! Just a quick post today to show you the jumper Sandra has made for Oliver using our Croft – Shetland Tweed yarn which we launched last year together with West Yorkshire Spinners..

Sandra made Ollie the Ewan Sweater from the Croft – Shetland Tweed pattern book, it contains 14 designs by Sarah Hatton all to be made using the Croft Yarn. The Ewan Sweater is one of two patterns for Mens jumpers in the book and there is a nice selection of other jumpers and cardigans for Women as well as some accessories. Oliver decided on the Boddam colourway for his jumper and I think it looks great!

Sometimes with a very flecked or speckled yarn its hard to imagine how the wool will knit up but this shows how the speckles really work well with the texture and cables in the pattern. Sandra likes to knit in the round as much as she can but she chose to follow the pattern and knit Oliver’s jumper in pieces, the Croft yarn has a good drape and can grow a bit when its washed so a big project like this is best worked in pieces for stabilitly.

I think Oliver is pleased with his Jumper!

You can see the Croft Shetland Tweed yarn on our website here and the pattern book here, you can also see more of the patterns in the book here. I would suggest looking through the projects made with the yarn on Ravelry too, there are some great ones!

Happy Knitting!

J&S Staff Profile: Jan Robertson

Second post in a series about the people behind Jamieson & Smith.

jan-robertson
photo courtesy Felicity Ford

Jan works in the wool store all year round. Between July to October she grades wool which comes in from over 600 local crofters and farmers. It’s a busy time and there’s never a dull moment! Over the winter Jan continues to sort fleeces as well as carry out any maintenance that needs to be done around the buildings.

It’s great to have Jan as such an integral part of the J&S team as she’s also a crofter and a beautiful knitter! When Ella and Sandra aren’t around in the shop for colour advice for a customer I have often asked for Jan’s help.

What’s the best thing about working at J&S?

“Meeting all the people who come through the big green doors who have as great a passion as I do for the Shetland breed and about what we are doing here at Jamieson & Smith. I also love telling the J&S story.”

Do you have a favourite place in Shetland?

“Shetland as a whole, all of Shetland! I am so lucky to live in such a beautiful place. It never ceases to amaze me, even through the wind and the rain. In the summer it’s mesmerising.”

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Watsness with Foula in distance. Photo courtesy Oliver Henry
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Smiths Knowe, Walls. Photo courtesy Oliver Henry

How do you like to spend your time when you’re not working at J&S?

“At home with the animals in Walls – ‘Waas’ in dialect; knitting (there are always at least two things on the wires at any one time!) whether it’s lace or colourwork. I also like to be out and about when I can find the time away from croft work but I do love lambing time (March to May) and clipping (July to August).”

 

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Jan, her niece, Keiva and Dad, Alistair with their fleckit Shetland sheep

What’s your favourite J&S yarn?

Natural Heritage at the moment but all the yarns are amazing to work with.”

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Shetland Heritage Naturals

J&S Staff Profile: Ella Gordon

Welcome to the first post in a new series about the people behind Jamieson & Smith

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(Ella Gordon)

We’ll start by introducing Ella Gordon, who I’m sure many of you will already know as she is the 2016 Shetland Wool Week patron! From her early days at J&S as a Saturday ‘shop girl’ in 2012, while studying textile design at Shetland College, Ella has continued to develop her creative skills and passion for knitting. We are so lucky to have her working with us as our main blog writer, as well as the everyday busy shop duties of making up orders and assisting customers with their projects. Ella is also great at the graphic design side of things and coming up with ideas for KALs and other fun woolly stuff!

What’s the best thing about working at J&S?

“My favourite thing about working at J&S is meeting so many people from all over the world passionate about Shetland Wool and Knitting. Through things like Wool Week, Ravelry, tours and our blog I feel like I’ve met lots of people with the same interests as me. I also really enjoy being in the shop and helping people choose colours and patterns. I’m very thankful for being able to have a job in the industry I am interested in which not everyone can say.”

Do you have a favourite place in Shetland?

“I love lots of places up north like Uyea and Fethaland and I recently walked to Lang Ayre but it was such a trek I don’t know if I’d do it again! I like walking around the Town as well and I love the south end of Lerwick where the Lodberries are.”

Ella Uyea(big)
Uyea (Ella Gordon)
Lodberries
South End of Lerwick (Ella Gordon)

How do you like to spend your time when you’re not at work?

“Knitting.. haha! I do spend most my time either thinking about knitting, looking at Ravelry about knitting, reading about knitting and a little bit of time actually knitting! I also like all the usual things like spending time with my boyfriend and family, reading and walking.”

What’s your favourite J&S yarn?

“I would say my favourite yarn is probably 2ply Jumper Weight, the longer I work at J&S the more different colours I like. I love greys so 203, 54 and 81 are up there in my faves but I really love FC11 and FC58 – two of the shades I decided to use in my Crofthoose hat!”

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(Jamieson & Smith)

You can follow Ella on:

Instagram

Ravelry

WordPress

Pinterest

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