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Posts from the ‘Knitting Patterns’ Category

Natalia’s Yoke


Today we have an exciting new pattern to share, we often get asked about childs yoke cardigan patterns, much like our adult Hairst Yoke. This is one of the many kinds of patterns Shetlanders pass down generation to generation which makes it difficult to find a traditional pattern to make, but now Sandra has designed one for us!


The cardigan is called the Natalia Yoke, named after our very cute model and Kharis’ niece. It is knit using 2ply Jumper Weight and comes in sizes 22 inches up to 28″. It is knit traditionally in the round with a steek but it also includes instructions for if you wanted to knit it flat, the relatively small size makes it a great first steeking project, and as there are only 3 different contrast shades a great first Fair Isle project too.

If you would like to order the kit for the Natalia yoke you can do so on our website here!

happy knitting!

The Wool Ride

During Wool Week there are many things happening all over the UK, of course we will be busy with Shetland Wool Week but in London the Campaign for Wool will be hosting their Wool Ride!


from the Campaign for Wool website: Starting and finishing at Potters Fields on Sunday 5th October, the bicycle ride will journey through some of the streets made famous by London’s most prominent wool supporters, including the archetypal Jermyn Street. Participants will also be able to take in some of London’s key sights and hotspots, passing through iconic scenery such as; London Bridge, Buckingham Palace, Westminster, Knightsbridge, Park Lane and Regent Street. Commencing at 9am and running through till 2pm, this 13.4 mile ride, estimated to take around 1 hour 38 minutes, takes riders along a meandering route with time to soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the sights of the capital at a leisurely pace.


in celebration of the Wool Ride, Sandra has designed two free patterns which you can download and make yourself. The Rastoorie and the Bikers Hat. Both are designed to fit over a cycling helmet but of course if you use smaller needles or block the hat over a smaller plate (Sandra used a large dinner plate) it will fit a lot less slouchy. Although if you like that look, go for it!


The Rastoorie uses lots of small amounts of Jumper Weight so its great for using up odds and ends and the bikers hat features a fun bike motif ‘cycling’ around the hat!


for more information and to download the free patterns, click  here

Its been a very busy summer at J&S so we haven’t had much time to blog, but with visits from Kate Davies, Deb Robson, Mary Jane Mucklestone and Gudrun Johnson thankfully they have blogged about visiting us! of course the usual tourist season filled with cruise ships and holiday goers has meant for a busy shop.


We are now beginning to get organised for Wool Week, and we cant wait!

Speak soon!

Sandra’s 2013 Collection for J&S

They’re finally here! After many months of designing, knitting, writing, editing, test knitting, checking, checking and checking again then printing, our shiny new patterns have arrived back to J&S and are available on our online shop as kits.

Sandra's 2013 CollectionSandra constantly has new knitting ideas popping into her head that she tries out on new designs in all different shapes and sizes such as her last patterns the Sheep Cushion, Monster Mitts and Monster Muff. The following four new designs reflect a broad range of her designs; featuring Fair Isle, lace and cable knitting techniques and various weights of yarn.

Noughts & Crosses Cushion

Sandras Noughts and Crosses Cushion uses the worsted spun Cushion Yarn used in the Shetland Flag Cushion, this unique cabled design which is inspired by the OXO Fair Isle patterns has holes in the cablesfor you to pull through Shetland Comb Tops which gives the cushion texture and a bit extra squash. You could use any colour of Comb Tops to co-ordinate with any colour scheme or leave the holes empty on one side for a more subtle effect. There are lots of possibilities!

You can find the Noughts & Crosses Cushion here.

Noughts & Crosses Cushion

Noughts & Crosses Cushion blue/white

Noughts & Crosses Cushion detail

Lace Ella

The Lace Ella can be made using two of our newest yarns, Shetland Heritage and Shetland Supreme Lace Weight, this warm but surprisingly lightweight jumper features lots of different lace patterns on the front and back, with a beautiful lace patterned V on the back, and the sleeves have a classic lace motif all over.

Sandra was inspired by a popular lace pattern from the 1970s and 80s in Shetland in which a signature lace V on the back was knitted by a particular knitter and any cardigan or jumper was known to be knitted by this one knitter, this is Sandra’s interpretation of this classic style.

 You can find the Lace Ella here.

Lace Ella Heritage

Lace Ella Supreme

Lace Ella detail

Aran Star 

The Aran Star Jumper has a retro feel, Sandra was inspired by Vintage patterns to create a modern version of the jumpers you used to see all the time in Shetland. It is quite a simple design but with the bold Norwegian star its very effective, using the Shetland Aran it makes a very warm and cozy jumper for this time of year. The simple Fair Isle motif and thicker wool makes this pattern a good choice for beginners.

You can find the Aran Star here.

Aran Star

Aran Star

Aran Star detail

Hairst Cardigan 

Fair Isle Yoke cardigans are a classic in Shetlands knitwear history, and now we have a J&S version, Sandra used a beautiful palette of subtle but bright shades of Jumper Weight, we called it Hairst which means Autumn in Shetland Dialect, the classic Norwegian star and tree motif has always been passed down from family to family and with the resurgance of the popularity of Fair Isle Yokes Sandra finally wrote down her technique to pass on to you. The pattern is written with both working flat and in the round as options so you can make the Cardigan in your favourite way.

You can find the Hairst Cardigan here.

Hairst Cardigan

Hairst Cardigan

Hairst Cardigan detail

As an extra little gift all orders up until and including Friday 20th December for these new kits come with a free J&S Big Project Bag to keep your knitting tucked up in.

Happy knitting!

Coming soon…

…four new patterns by Sandra Manson for J&S.

These include a cosy jumper made from Shetland Aran, a much sought after yoke cardigan made from our 2ply Jumper Weight, a lace jumper made in your choice of 2ply Shetland Supreme Lace or Shetland Heritage and a beautiful cushion made from yarn developed especially for our Shetland Flag Cushion pattern.

The proofs are in and have been checked so they are all ready to be printed just down the road here in Lerwick. These are the result of months of work so we are so excited to get them out to you!

More to come very soon…

Pattern Proofs

Kate Davies’ Sixareen Patterns

Kate Davies’ Sixareen Kep and Sixareen Cape are now available on our online shop as kits! The patterns arrived this morning so we couldn’t wait to get them online. They’re the first patterns that Kate has designed in our Shetland Heritage range, which makes us even more excited about them. As with all Kate’s designs they have been very popular so far judging by the distinctive yarn combinations we have been posting out from J&S.


These two new kits add to a number of Kate’s other patterns that she has designed to suit the specific character – the unique softness, bounce and ‘halo’ – of our Real Shetland Wool yarns: the BMC in our 2ply Jumper Weight; the Sheep Heid, Rams & Yowes BlanketSheep Carousel and Toby’s Coat in our Shetland Supreme Jumper Weight; and the Warriston in our Shetland Aran; and that is even before we mention those designs in her book Colours of Shetland. Also to make it easier to find all these beautiful designs in one place we have added a Kate Davies section to the kits part of the online shop. I’m sure there will be more to come in the future!

You can find the Sixareen Kep here and the Sixareen Cape here on our online shop.

You can also find out more on Kate’s Blog about the Kep here and Cape here where you also get to see beautiful photography such as this. Amazing!


Shetland Flag Day

With less than a month to go until Shetland Flag Day, now’s the perfect time to get your needles out to make you very own Shetland Flag Cushion. Designed for J&S by June Onigbanjo, it even had two shades of Chunky yarn created especially for it; Pennishin (white) and Olnafirth (blue).

Shetland Flag Cushion

The Shetland Flag was designed by Roy Grønneberg and Bill Adams in 1969 to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the islands being transferred from Norwegian to Scottish rule. It symbolises the influence on the islands of the two cultures, with the 500 years of Norse rule being shown in the Nordic Cross, typical of Scandinavian countries, and following 500 years of Scottish rule shown through using the colours of the Scottish Flag. It was officially recognised in 2005, just in time for Shetland hosting the Island Games, and is used widely by local organisations and teams as well as islanders as a mark of ‘national pride’.

Shetland Flag Cushion-1

Shetland Flag Day began in 2007 on the longest day (21st June) when it is still light at midnight and from the top of the highest hill you can see the sun barely dip below the horizon before rising again. It is not only a day for the celebration of our flag -when cars become adorned with little flags and people hoist it up on flagpoles outside their house – but also as a day for the celebration of all things Shetland. So if you have a connection with Shetland or simply love our islands, why not make yourself your very own flag cushion to celebrate all things Shetland on June 21st.

Shetland Night Sky

New Patterns for the Shetland Lambing Season 2013

The Shetland lambing season is in full swing at the moment so there are thousands of little lambs running around the somewhat chilly countryside just now. At home on my own croft we stared lambing 2 weeks ago tomorrow and almost all our breeding ewes have lambed already, so it has been a busy couple of weeks! To celebrate the coming of the next generation of wool providers, we at J&S are releasing 3 new woolly patterns dedicated to them.


All these patterns have been designed by Sandra Manson, our knitter-designer extraordinaire here at J&S.  They are fun little knits perfect for this time of year as you grab any knitting time you can in between all the little jobs that spring brings. They all use loop stitch and garter stitch and are good projects for a beginner or should only take a few days for the more experienced knitter to make.

Monster Muff

Monster Muff1

The Monster Muff came to Sandra around Halloween last year, inspired by the spooky holiday and a desire to create a nice little phone protector. Although it sounds scary it actually turned out quite cute with its pom-pom nose and button eyes. It was designed as a phone protector but can easily be adapted into a little bag, perfect for children, through simply adding on a strap made from leftover yarn. My mam tried this out for my niece; she loves it and has been taking it everywhere and putting all her things in it. 

You can find the Monster Muff here and can choose any shade you want to make it in here.

Monster Muff2

Monster Mitts

Monster Mitts2

The Monster Mitts developed from the Monster Muff as we noticed how cosy this type of knitting is and how amazing looking a pair of gloves made in it would be! At first they just look like a rather woolly pair of gloves until you see the flap on the cuff which makes it look like a little monster has eaten your hand. They’re great fun and also a pleasure to knit.

You can find the Monster Mitts here and can choose any shade you want to make it in here.

Monster Mitts1

Sheep Cushion

Sheep Cushion1

The Sheep Cushion is personally one of my favourite patterns that we’ve ever released! It was the idea of Derek Goudie, one of the ‘wool men’ here at J&S and was developed into this unique cushion by Sandra. Its loop-stitch body emphasises the warm, woolly nature of our Shetland Aran yarn and the garter stitch head, body and legs gives it a beautiful finish. It is also stuffed with our wool cushion filling, a perfect – and eco-friendly – way to finish off this little Shetland Sheep.

We purposefully simply called the pattern ‘Sheep Cushion’ so that you can name your own one anything you wish. As with all our other patterns we would love to see pictures of them when you’ve finished, as well as hearing what you’ve named your own little sheep and where they are living now. My mam is currently working on one now in very special colours which I think we’re going to call Jeemie Smith. More to come soon…

You can find the Sheep Cushion here and can choose any shades you want to make it in here.

Sheep Cushion2

For most crofters the Shetland lambing season begins a few months later than mainland Britain, at the end of April or start of May, when the weather has hopefully calmed down and is warm enough for the newborn lambs. This includes a mix of breeds including Suffolk, Cheviot, Texel and of course Shetland. Some yarns that claim to be Shetland wool are a mixture of breeds such as these, meaning you don’t get the quality of Real Shetland Wool yarns. Most of the wool from Shetland’s sheep comes in to us here at J&S where it is hand graded and sorted to make sure only the best Real Shetland Wool is made into our yarns, making sure they are soft, bouncy and beautiful to handle.

Sheep Cushion3

New patterns in J&S yarn

It has been a crazy couple of weeks at J&S getting some exciting new projects up and running or to the final stages. More about that later. But now we finally have time to share a couple of new designs that are out there that use our yarns with you.


Firstly is the Alcott slipover that is highlighted on the front page of The Knitter magazine, where it is featured, as a ‘Fair Isle tank top in candy colours’. It is designed by Mary Henderson who is a designer and knitter from Somerset.  Mary has a great skill in combining colours in Fair Isle designs. She will be here for Shetland Wool Week giving a class in our shop on using the steeking method, in which participants will be able to  knit, finish and take away their very own mug hug in an afternoon. You can find out more about Wool Week classes and events here


Photo: Jesse Wild

The following is from the lady herself on the inspiration for the Alcott and looking forward to her Wool Week class:

Inspiration comes from many places and happens in unexpected ways. Since the age of 8 I have been in love with Fair Isle knitting – I saw a photograph of a jumper in the Lady’s Home Journal (US publication) and wanted to learn how to knit it. It was the start of a lifelong journey. I have been knitting and learning ever since. In 2009 I realised a lifetime dream and travelled to Shetland for the In the Loop conference and finally visited Jamieson and Smith Woolbrokers (having ordered from them many times over the years). I was able to see all the colours and play around with colour combinations: traditional ones plus some unlikely ones. It is great to see how colours work together: how the colours ‘in between’ change and enhance the main colours and how a single, strong contrast in the horizon line can pull a colourway together and make it sing. Luckily the staff are very tolerant! I put together various colourways and organised for it to be posted home to Somerset.
Roll on 18 months. I was very fortunate to be part of the commissioning process for The Knitter – one of the possible samples was entitled Fruit Salad. I worked on a traditional OXO pattern with the colourway based on cross sections of citrus fruit – oranges, strawberries, blueberries – it was based on a colourway I had played with on the counter of the Woolbrokers. I wanted a bright colourway- it is a summer take on the traditional blue, red, yellow, white colourway – pinks and orange with red, shades of blue (towards the green side) with natural white as the background to lift the other colours. I wanted the colours in the 1×1 rib to shimmer as well as mirror the colour sequence in the main body.
A word about steeking: after decades of knitting Fair Isle designs – it was time to give steeking a go. It was a revelation! Placing the steeks at armholes and the neck made keeping track of decrease sequences really easy. As a knitting teacher I want to spread the word that it is a useful technique, easy to do with the right materials – Jumper Weight wool is perfect. I will be teaching how to steek during Wool Week in October – participants will be making a Mug Hug in a traditional OXO pattern. It should be great fun.

You can order the Alcott kit in a variety of sizes from our website here. This will come with all the yarn required to knit the kit in your specified size but please note that we cannot supply the pattern. You can find that in Issue 56 of The Knitter magazine or purchase it from Ravelry here or The Making Spot here.


Photo: Jesse Wild

The second of these two new designs done with our yarns is the Damaress jumper by Liz Lovick. This beautiful contemporary garment is done in a classic design which lends itself well as an ‘everyday favourite’ jumper or one for showing off at a special occasions. 

_DSC3761 cr med

Photo: Liz Lovick

Liz is a knitter and designer who lives in North Ronaldsay in Orkney and has been a friend of J&S for many years. She has done a number of patterns for us in the past, some of which are being made ready to print to be released soon. Quoting from the Yarn Review in the feature on the Damaress jumper in Yarnwise, Issue 59, she states that “J&S’s 2ply jumper weight has been the best yarn for Fair Isle work for generations! The shades blend well with each other, and the yarn is ‘sticky’ enough to make steeking easy”, which is a great compliment for us!

You can order the Damaress kit from our online shop here. This will come with all the yarn required to knit the kit to the size you select but please note that we cannot supply the pattern. You can find that in Issue 59 of Yarnwise magazine or purchase it from Ravelry here.

YW138 Damaress

Photo: Liz Lovick


As some of you may have noticed Shetland has featured quite prominently in the media recently. First came the ‘Shetland Ponies in Cardigans‘ which made two locals the faces of Visit Scotland’s ‘Year of Natural Scotland’; then the Dance Pony Dance advert filmed up at Eshaness with ponies from Burra went a bit mad last week; and over the weekend our beautiful islands have featured not once but twice on the BBC with a little snippet of island life shown in ‘The Great British Winter’ on BBC2 on Saturday and finally the long anticipated  ‘Shetland’ mini-series on BBC1 last night (Sunday).

Shetland Ponies in Jumpers

‘Shetland’ is a 2-part murder-mystery drama based on Ann Cleeves’ novel ‘Red Bones’ and heavily features Shetland’s beautiful landscapes, culture (somewhat skewed for dramatic licence) and knitwear. We were quite excited to spot a few familiar pieces cropping up throughout it, including the Eid Top, Ireland pullover and something that looked remarkably like the Puffin Sweater by Kate Davies, but knitted in natural, undyed Shetland colours. Though it wasn’t the Puffin Sweater it was beautiful and gave us great ideas for producing one in our Supreme Jumper Weight… If you recognised any other pieces we would be love to hear about them from you! Also look out for more on the second part of the series shown at 9pm tonight.

Kate Davies' Peerie Flooers hat on the left

Kate Davies’ Peerie Flooers hat on the left

One piece that featured prominently was the Peerie Flooers hat by Kate Davies. If you fancy making your own one Kate recommended shades from us that you could use, creating one that is truly Shetland made from Real Shetland Wool! You can purchase the pattern from Kate here and the shades she recommended are 202 and 14 for the background, and 29, 65, 131, 93, and 91 for the contrast colours.

Tobys Coat

Carrying on with the theme of natural colours from yesterdays post we have a new kit to show you today.

A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing (Tobys Coat)

A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing (Tobys Coat)

Last year Sandra knitted her peerie dog Toby a coat to keep him warm, She used the motif’s from the Rams and Yowes blanket. When Kate saw the coat on her one of her visits to Shetland last year, they chose to release it as a joint pattern between them, A Wolf in Sheeps Clothing is the result!


Toby in his coat, photo by Kate Davies

A Wolf in Sheeps Clothing (Tobys coat) uses all nine shades of Shetland Supreme 2ply Jumper Weight and includes the essential pattern features of the Rams and Yowes by Kate Davies.

This coat is made from the tail upwards, casting on stitches for the belly and using contrast yarn to create and ‘afterthought’ front leg openings to be made later. The body is worked back and forth in stocking stitch. The neck is shaped by decreasing, and a ribbed edging is added all around the sides.

if your peerie dog could use a coat just like Tobys you can buy the kit here and if you already have the wool you can download the pattern from Kate here

woof woof!

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