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!

Another Batch of Patterns

Hello everyone, we have had a busy couple of weeks here in Shetland. The Wool Season is well underway and often we struggle to see the boys in the Woolstore under the mountain of Oo! We have been busy in the shop too with lots of visitors and groups, we also recently had the end of our Seasons of the Shetland Crofter competition so we are looking forward to showing you the results of that project – the photos which were entered were great!

We have added another batch of 4 patterns to our Ravely and Lovecraft’s pages, this week we have chosen the Sissal Mitts and Hat, Eva Shawl, Fair Isle Vneck Jumper and the Pam Shawl.

The Pam Shawl is another Gladys Amedro pattern, its knit in 2ply lace and alongside the usual Hap motifs, it also features a cable border and twist motif. it was originally in the Shetland Lace book (now out of print) but we have always had it as a paper pattern so now its available as a PDF. As with many of Gladys’ patterns, they follow her abbreviation style which may take a moment to get used to but once you do it makes sense, it is an entirely written out pattern and contains no charts.

The Fair Isle Vneck Jumper is from our Shetland Heritage collection and is knit from a garment in the Shetland Museum and Archives, you can see that every lozenge is a different pattern – making it the perfect knit to keep you on your toes! knit in the Shetland Heritage yarn, a worsted spun light fingering weight it is a great layer for when it’s not too cold (amazingly like Shetland at the moment!!)

The Eva Shawl was originally sold as the Shoulder Shawl but for the Wool Week Collection in 2011 we redeveloped it as the Eva Shawl and it was knit in Shetland Supreme 1ply and the pattern had charts added. Its a beautiful and elegant shawl which has been used several times as a wedding veil due to the shape.

The final pattern this week is the Sissal Mitts and Hat, these are the perfect project for Fair Isle beginners and enthusiasts alike, the background colours stay the same the whole way through throughout the project. Its knit with Shetland Supreme Jumper Weight as the main colour and 2ply Jumper Weight as the pattern colours – we are often asked if you can knit them together and you can! You can see how they work great together.

So you can find these patterns and the others we have made available as PDF’s on Ravelry and Lovecrafts, 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!

Roadside Beanie

Hello everyone, today is the first day of the Edinburgh Yarn Festival marketplace, Derek and Sandra are there (if you are going we can be found at stand K8) but Oliver is also down because he has been announced at this year’s Shetland Wool Week Patron!

We are very excited of course as Oliver was instrumental in organising the first Shetland Wool Week 10 years ago as J&S founded the event. It has gone from strength to strength every year so for the 10th anniversary, it’s great to see such an important figure in the Shetland Wool Industry as the patron.

Oliver’s design – the Roadside Beanie has been launched today and you can find kits here on the website and the pattern here on the Wool Week website. The design features common motifs for a Shetlander, sheep and fishing boats! To learn more about the Roadside Beanie have a read of the pattern.

We are extremely proud of Oliver and look forward to seeing all the Roadside Beanies this year. Happy Knitting!

Up Helly Aa

Guizer Jarl and the 2019 Jarl Squad this morning in Lerwick

Hello everyone, Happy Lerwick Up Helly Aa day! Just a quick post to remind you that as tomorrow is a public holiday in Lerwick we wont be open but everything goes back to normal on Thursday. To learn more about Lerwick Up Helly Aa have a look here and here, every year the Procession and burning are streamed live – to view that see here.

If you’d like to get into the Up Helly Aa spirit we recently released the Guizers Toorie kit, Sandra designed this for Ella a few years ago and shes worn it at every Up Helly Aa since! knit in 2ply Jumper Weight in a group of fiery shades the fold over brim keeps your head very warm! UHA is known for its fiery procession which takes place at night and the Guizers Toorie depicts the burning torches as they near the galley. UHA season lasts until March here with different fire festivals taking place all over Shetland so theres still plenty of time for your Guizers Toorie!

Happy Knitting!

Olivers trip to Visit the Shetland Sheep Society

Oliver and Catherine recently returned from a few days away visiting the Shetland Sheep Society, they invited Oliver down to give a talk on Sheep, wool and its uses and his work at Jamieson & Smith. The event took place in Nuneaton at one of the groups conferences.

In 1985 the Shetland Sheep Breeders group was formed to help breeders outside the Shetland Isles to maintain flocks conforming to the 1927 Shetland Breed Standard. The group then became responsible for registering Shetland sheep on the U.K. mainland, overseeing and maintaining the strict breed requirements by inspecting the animals. The group admits they are not totally dependent on breeding the sheep classing themselves as part time unlike in some cases in Shetland where sheep is the bread and butter of the sheep producer.

 Oliver was greatly surprised and delighted to see the high standard of Shetland sheep in person at the Ashby by owners Lynne and David White. It was obvious that a great deal of care and attention into the flock breeding and husbandry of the animals. There was a big focus on quality, fibre fineness, uniformity of staple length and handle ( softness). After his presentation and question and answers Oliver was asked to judge a small amount of fleece some members had there and as with the sheep very impressive the fibre fineness and handle was quite exceptional.

There is no doubt that this group containing approximately 500 members from the North of Scotland to Devon and Cornwall in the south of England play an important part in the Shetland breed of sheep. Not only does the group members travel to Shetland frequently and purchase high quality fine wool breeding stock, it is not unusual for  some Shetland sheep breeders to do likewise.

There are many reasons for this. One being the numbers of natural pure bred coloured sheep flocks are diminishing, also blood lines in Shetland are in some cases becoming to close thus the need for new stock.  There is also an exchange of Shetland sheep judges wherein mainland judges travel to Shetland and judge at local agricultural shows, in turn Shetland sheep breeders travel and judge on sheep at U.K. mainland shows. It is very clear there is a combined dedicated effort to preserve the Real Shetland sheep, and this connection has resulted in many close friendships over the years.

The visit was not just confined to sheep and wool but also a visit to Ashby St Ledgers a very important part of English history the home of the Gunpowder plot of 1605 where Guy Fawkes and the co-conspirators would have hatched up their plans to blow up King James and his Parliament. The church dates back to the 1100 s and is still in use today.

Very grateful thanks from Oliver and his wife Catherine for the excellent and kind hospitality shown to them by the group, and a special thank you to David & Lyn of the Ashby Flock for letting me see and handle their outstanding Shetland Sheep. A never to be forgotten journey.

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!