Skip to content

Posts from the ‘Real Shetland Wool’ Category

New Colours

Hello everyone, today we are posting about a few new colours we have got back in over the past while in Jumper and Lace Weight, we are lucky that because we have been making yarn since the 1960’s we have a huge bank of shades from over the years that we can refer to. We are always looking at what’s missing from the 2ply Jumper range and we have recently added 4 new colours:

92 – bright marigold yellow

135 – mid navy

1285 – bright rust mix

FC13 – dark red mix

We have all 4 shades available on cone and ball at the moment, we are waiting for Shade cards to be printed for the new shades so for the moment they are not on the cards but they will be soon and they are on our digital shade card which you can find here, this is good for looking on a device (phone, laptop etc) but I wouldnt suggest printing it as it wont be accurate.

The new shades really add to some of the blending options for Jumper Weight – you can see below how they give just a bit more dimension which works great for Fair Isle knitting.

We have also taken back two shades of 2ply Lace Weight: L38 and L62, thes shades round out the 2ply Lace really well:

L38 – Bright Sherbet Orange

L62 – Marled Blue Purple Mix

You can see below how well they go with some of the other lace shades:

L-R: L40, L69 and L62

L-R: L125, L38 and L53

And last week we took in a batch of 2ply Lace in L1a – this is our natural white 2ply lace shade which we discontinued a few years ago, so if you are interested in a more ‘off white’ look for your project in the Woollen Spun 2ply Lace this is a great option and we are not planning to take it back in permanently so grab it while you can!

Below you can see it alongside the other ‘Natural’ – (all shades in the 2ply Lace are Dyed) colours, L-R: L1, L1A, L202, L3, L78, L4 and L5.

So thats a few new colours for us, we hope you like them – happy knitting!

Da Crofters Kep Kit Pre-Orders

Hello everyone, you may have seen that today the new Shetland Wool Week hat pattern – Da Crofters Kep was launched!!

Sadly again this year Shetland Wool Week will be online (keep an eye out later in the year for more on that!) but this means that Wilma Malcomson has continued her reign as Patron for another year and designed another beautiful hat, Da Crofters Kep.

Unfortunately, even with planning and ordering ahead, we are out of stock of one of the shades (FC38) in the J&S colourway 😦 Lockdown, coronavirus etc etc has really impacted our production chain as it has for many people and businesses but we are offering a pre-order option for our colourway.

If you order it you will pay for it now but it will not be posted until we have the full kit in stock – we are hoping it will be less than a month but we cannot guarantee this, we are asking for your understanding and patience with this and you can be sure AS SOON as that missing shade appears we will be getting those kits out!

2021 Shetland Wool Week Hat J&S Colourway: 2ply Jumper Weight FC46, 82, FC38, 122, 32 and Shetland Supreme Jumper Weight 2005 Shetland Black.

As always with the Wool Week Hat patterns we love to see the variety in everyone’s finished hats and for this design you need two balls of your main shade (one if you use Shetland Supreme Jumper weight) and one ball each of 5 contrast shades of 2ply Jumper Weight.

We cant wait to see everyones Crofter Keps! Happy Knitting!

UPDATE 30/4 We now have kits available and have fulfilled all the pre-orders. You can order kits here

New Rugs!

Hello everyone! today we have some exciting news to share! we just received more of our Skye Weaver Rugs – we’ve replenished our original grey colourway and added two new colourways:

All the rugs are woven in our undyed Shetland Supreme Jumper Weight, 100% Real Shetland Wool in its beautiful natural colours. So our new colourways are: 2007 and 2006 – Sholmit and Shetland Black, 2004 and 2006 – Gaulmogot and Moorit and our original 2003 and 2009 – Sholmit and Yuglet.

These woollen spun yarns make for a truly cosy blanket (ideal for the snowy weather we’ve been having here in Shetland) and are perfect for the back of a couch or on your bed. They measure approx 140cm wide and 190cm long. They are woven by pedal for us by Skye Weavers, we are so excited for them to have arrived!

You can find them on our website here.

Wirsit Inspo

Hello everyone, If you follow our Instagram or Facebook page you will have seen over the past few months we have started doing weekly ‘Wirsit Inspo’ posts. basically, its where we take an image of something in Shetland and put a palette together inspired by the picture. I have mainly done them in 2ply Jumper Weight but have done one in 2ply Lace and I’m going to try and use more ranges too. When we post them they always get really good feedback so I thought we would share them here too:

Seaweed at the Shetland Museum Slipway. 2ply Jumper Weight top to bottom: 2. 1281, FC38, FC44, FC11

Seapinks and Sea, Northmavine. 2ply Jumper Weight top to bottom: FC61, 203, 121, 1283, FC12, 4

Wool Bales. 2ply Jumper Weight top to bottom: 81, 54, 1281, 2, 202

Peerie Boat, Shetland Museum. 2ply Jumper Weight top to bottom: 202, 66, 125, 16, 122, FC14

Scalloway Haa. 2ply Jumper Weight top to bottom: 3, 27, 1, 16, 101

Stratsraad Lehmkuhkl, Lerwick Harbour. 2ply Jumper Weight top to bottom: 36, 21, FC47, 91, 66, 1

Fading Heather, Nesting. 2ply Jumper Weight top to bottom: FC12, 80, FC38, 1284, FC21, 16

Sunset. 2ply Lace Weight top to bottom: L63, L15, L53, L96, L95

Wintery Beach. 2ply Jumper Weight top to bottom: 203, FC39, FC47, FC21, 2

The Lodberrie and Bains Beach. 2ply Jumper Weight top to bottom: 77, 54, FC61, 1281, 32

Seapinks, Sumburgh Head. 2ply Jumper Weight top to bottom: 81, FC41, FC11, FC6 and 1A

As we head into winter here (the sun set at 3.22pm yesterday..) it’s great to look back at pictures from seasons past, I will post them here every couple of months but you can follow the #wirsitinspo hashtag on Instagram to keep up with them as we post them, hope this has given you some inspiration,

happy knitting!

Ella

Keep Making KAL 2020

Spockies Heylor Gloves

Hello everyone, you may remember earlier in the year (somehow this year has been extremely long yet short at the same time!) we announced our Keep Making Knit-A-Long. Our aim for this KAL was to inspire people to just keep making – we are lucky that knitting, crochet, spinning etc is a great help to us all at this time! We wanted to create a place in our Ravelry group that people could share progress, encourage each other and then post their finished objects – we are delighted with how many people posted a finished object, here is a small selection (see here for them all) :

trevsters Shetland Heritage Vest

ladywulfs Shetland Homespun Hap

ginni’s Davern Mittens and Tam

griseldis’s Lockdown Project

Bealavenders Porty Pullover

We have chosen a winner at random and I can reveal it is Melissa aka silvershoes on Ravelry (I’ve sent you a message!), thank you to everyone who took part – it has been a great KAL. We try to have one or two knit-a-longs a year so if you would like to take part keep an eye on our Ravelry group*

Silvershoes Northumberland Pheasant

 

Happy Knitting!

 

*in the middle of this KAL Ravelry did their site design update which is why we didn’t post too much about it for those of you who could no longer use the site, we are hopeful that it will/has become more accessible for those with issues or if you have ideas of other places we could host a KAL please post below.

 

 

Sandra’s Supreme Shoormal

Hello everyone, today we thought we’d share something inspiring that Sandra worked on during lockdown – A Shoormal Hap knit in Shetland Supreme Jumper Weight!

We launched our Shoormal Hap a couple of years ago, its a classic and timeless Shetland Hap, which is a square shawl that usually has a middle, borders and an edging. These have been made in Shetland for hundreds of years and used for babies, as outerwear and just as a blanket – its a surprisingly versatile item!

In the pattern version, Sandra used Shetland Heritage Naturals which worked beautifully – the yarn has an excellent drape and handle but for this version, she decided to use our undyed woollen spun Jumper Weight, Shetland Supreme for a cushier version and I think you will agree it is beautiful!

My (Ella’s) boyfriend Peter also made me this Hap Board during Lockdown, following the excellent Tutorial on Kate Davies blog but he is a joiner so it came out perfect, so we thought the new Shoormal was a great opportunity to try it out – Nothing looks better than a Hap on Hap board!

If you want to make your own Shoormal in Supreme Jumper weight you can find the pattern here or here and you will need:

Shetland Supreme Jumper Weight – 50g balls

2005 (Shetland Black) x 6

2008 (Katmollet) x 1

2007 (Sholmit) x 1

2004 (Moorit) x 1

 

She used the same size needles throughout (5mm) so although the yarn is a bit thicker it came out the same size (45 inches square) perfect for the back of the couch or on your bed.

Truly a timeless piece of knitting!

Hand Knits

Hello everyone, happy weekend! Today is just a quick post to show you some of the hand-knit accessories we have in stock just now, first off we have a limited amount of hand-knit versions of Olivers Hat from ‘Jamieson & Smith A Shetland Story‘ These have been hand-knit by the designer, our very own Sandra Manson so this a special opportunity to get your hands on one! We have added a J&S star tag to mark its authenticity:

We also have a selection of hats which are knit by a lovely lady here in Shetland, they are all made using vintage and new shades of Jumper Weight and each one is different, so you will never see another the same!

And we have some Fingerless Gloves (although that sounds wrong – they do have fingers, just small ones!)

and also Fingerless Mitts (no fingers at all, just ribbing at the top) again knit by a selection of ladies in Shetland using vintage and new wool in a range of one-off patterns.

Now as most of these are one-offs you need to get in quick if you see ones you fancy! If they have sold out before we get to your order we will be in touch but I thought we would mention them for (ahem ahem) Christmas gifts as due to the ongoing COVID related delays Royal Mail has put in extremely early last recommended posting dates for international Christmas Delivery – we have already passed one of them!! :

Monday 5 October All non-European destinations
(except South Africa, Canada, Middle
and Far East, USA)
Monday 12 October Middle and Far East, Hong Kong,
Singapore, South Africa
Monday 2 November Canada, Cyprus, Eastern Europe,
Greece, Iceland, Malta, Turkey, USA
Monday 16 November Western Europe

So that’s some of the accessories we have in stock, they are selling fast already! Happy knitting!

SWW Online at J&S – A Taste!

Hello Everyone,

Thanks for all the comments and feedback on our Wool Week videos and content – it was a weird week for us, we are used to a totally different experience which definitely doesn’t adhere to the current rules so we, like many others in Shetland, tried to take Wool Week online!

We knew Olivers Woolstore talk would be one of the most missed events by visitors so that was top of our list to film:

 

We also filmed a video of all our yarn ranges to try and give you a semi-being in the shop experience:

 

 

And we asked two of our great Wool Week teachers Hazel Tindall and Alison Rendall to film their classes which we usually host during the week:

 

 

 

We also had videos documenting the production of our yarns:

 

 

 

 

As well as some exclusive videos from the Campaign for Wool, Vispring and West Yorkshire Spinners:

 

 

 

 

During the week we also had Anne from the ‘I Thought I Knew How’ podcast using our new upstairs space to host a few interviews including this one with local knitter and designer Janette Budge:

 

We also posted a couple of blogs from local designer Lesley Smith and artist Vivian Ross-Smith in case you missed those.

This is just a selection but to see all the videos we posted head over to our youtube channel and sit down with a cup of tea and your knitting, while you are there: lots of great videos were also posted by Shetland Wool Week themselves which you can see on their youtube channel and we would definitely suggest looking through the posts and hashtags on Instagram relating to the event – its a rabbit hole for sure but a good one! (start with #shetlandwoolweek2020)

We hope this has helped soothe the sadness of the event being cancelled – we are waiting to get our Annuals so as soon as we do they will be on the online shop! Happy Knitting x

Shetland College Project 2020

Hello everyone,

You may know that every year we work with the Shetland College and their Fine Art and Contemporary Textiles students on a project in which the students create a piece of work inspired by J&S and its buildings and yarns, even though things have been very different this year we did manage to have the usual visits with the students at the beginning of the year before everything shut down so they were able to continue the project and last week I (Ella) headed to the college to see the results of the project.

As always we will go through the students work and I’ll write a little bit about their inspirations:

Shannon Leslie

Shannon was inspired from her visit to us and hearing Oliver speak about the importance of Shetland sheep and their colours, marking and existence – She created this collection of beautiful ‘lugs’ – ears in Shetland dialect from raw wool and combed tops.

She said ‘We never want these ears to become mere ‘specimens’ of what ‘once was’’. I found the ears very tactile and cute, and I could see links to Museums and Taxidermy which was very effective.

Elouise Spooner

Elouise was inspired by the markings on the floor in the Woolstore and the colours and textures in the woolstore from the walls, floors and wool. She worked into a sheet using sewing, painting and distressing.

She said: ‘The phrase ‘Common Land’ took a whole different meaning when put into the context of today, as before it just meant a field used by many crofters for sheep, but in the context of COVID-19 it stands for how people have had to come together in the ‘Common Land’ of the internet and how people have had to become more empathetic with each other as this virus affects everyone. This piece was not what I expected when I first stepped into Jamieson & Smith, but I’m very happy with the outcome.’

It was a really effective piece and I liked how it linked into the present as well as the every day in the Woolstore.

Jean Urquhart

Jean created a selection of sculptural pieces and painting in her work as well as small art book containing samples of fleece paintings which she then took out onto bigger scale wall pieces.

She was inspired by the textures and colours of the woolstore which I think translated well into her use of natural colours in the Heritage and Tops.

She said: ‘I really enjoyed discovering the wool shed, loved the untreated wool, the atmosphere, the history: found it inspirational. The natural yarn is very beautiufl and makes me want to learn to knit’

Elaine Thomason

Elaine was inspired by visiting J&S and its buildings to create a ‘Taatit Rug’ which incorporated lots of elements of what we do – including our logo and bannisters!

She said:

For the last sixty years, J&S have bought fleeces from the Shetland crofters…who graze their hardy peerie sheep on the stark hillsides. In the 1960s the old United Free Kirk was purchased to be used as a grading shed…it is now the Wool Shop. In the 1900s this part of Lerwick was a hive of activity with numerous fishing stations spread along its shores. The shore being the work-place of the Herring girl’s as they gutted and salted fish. The kirk was a place of worship and relaxation for them. The herring girls had a restroom and knitted in any free time. Marriages also took place and even a Post Office made use of the building. This colourful history inspired me. I thought of the poverty of material things and how nothing was wasted. From conception to creation the coming together of the Tattit rug, historical a wedding gift to the bride and groom from both families.’

I found Elaine’s rug really moving and could totally see all the inspiratrions and how they had translated into the piece.

Cilla Robertson

Cilla was inspired by the textures in the woolstore and decided to work with crochet and balls to represent the reach of Shetland Wool all over the world. She combined these into hanging almost ‘mobiles’

Shet said ‘I wanted my final work to highlight the environment that supports the production of wool. I used peat, clay, heather and rams’ horns.’

I loved the use of different materials withing the work and found them very beautiufl to look at and stand under.

Jane Ridland

 

Jane worked with audio and visuals to represent her visits to J&S and what that ignited within her and she made her film from a Grandaughters perspective.

She said ‘I used film to recreate the rhythmic movement and sound of my grandmother’s knitting needles and highlight the importance of yarn quality, and the essential knitting belt. Finally, to remember a small flock of twenty sheep.’

I think the work the students produced considering everything that’s happened this year was really great and it’s always amazing to see what is produced and how others see coming into J&S and we love seeing work from so many different perspectives.

To find out more about the creative courses at the Shetland College click here, we hope you’ve enjoyed seeing the students work.

Working With Wool, A Guest Post from Vivian Ross-Smith

‘Form’. Shetland wool on Burlap. 20x21cm. 2018

You don’t have to look hard in my studio to find wool. There are balls of J&S yarn scattered everywhere and crimps of raw fleece dotted around my work benches. There’s a grip and bite to Shetland wool that is unlike any other wool I have used in my work; the texture is beautiful to hold and excellent to work with. J&S have an enticing range of colours waiting to grab your attention but it’s the natural shades that always sit best with my work. Reminding me of shearing sheep on my home island of Fair Isle.

‘Fair Isle Scattald’ 2018, acrylic on wood. 14 x 12 cm each (series of 17)

‘Ewes Out’ 2018. Shetland wool handstitched on canvas. 70 x 51 cm (Detail)

Some of my fondest childhood memories are gathering as a community to ‘caa’ sheep. This process involves walking through the rugged, heather-covered hills as one to manoeuvre the flock toward the ‘crü’, a large enclosed pen from which sheep can be sheared and dosed. Feeling the rich, almost sticky lanolin coat my hands as I prize fleece away from skin to find the growth line I will clip along. Not only have these textures, colours and smells stuck with me, the coming together of community to work collectively had a huge impact on me too. As with many artists, my personal history is an integral framework for my practice. The mentality and dynamic of island communities’ shapes my work, I approach my art as an islander.

‘But if you use the word craft, it’s like you’re politicising the word craft’, 2020. Shetland wool and acrylic on paper

‘Craft Conversations II’, 2020. Canvas, felt, acrylic, Shetland wool, wood and tracing paper

Materiality forms the backbone of my practice from which I explore the aesthetic qualities, as well as the cultural value of material. Fish skins, salt, wood, and hessian are paired with traditional island skill sets such as knitting, knotting, weaving and stitching to communicate craft, skill, isolation, and commitment to place. It is wool, however, that features in my work time and time again – a material completely intertwined with Shetland culture. When I use wool, I play a small part in feeding into the long and rich history of crofting, knitting and textiles in Shetland.

‘Stitch’, 2019. Hessian and Shetland wool. 24x24cm

‘Sorting + Grading’ 2019. Shetland wool and burlap. 140x80cm

‘Sorting + Grading’ 2019. Shetland wool and burlap. 140x80cm (Detail)

Living on a small island like Fair Isle simultaneously requires self-sufficiency and a willingness to rely on neighbours. Although not the only industries, the laborious working of land and sea through crofting and fishing, is still a common practice on Shetlands islands. I use my practice as a method of echoing the types of work that take place on islands, commitment to working in a repetitive and laborious way is mirrored through the rhythms and durational nature of my work, reminiscent of the ebb and flow of the sea, or the back and forth of a knitting machine. Alongside the workload of an islander comes a collective commitment to place and way of life, which highlights the need for a strong community, allowing a sharing of workload and the building of support structures. It is this joined-up thinking I am interested in. To me, islands are places of coming together.

Good Mother, 2018. Shetland wool handstitched on canvas. 70 x 51 cm

‘Moder Dy’, 2019. Haddock skins, Shetland wool, wooden bar

This shared working is very apparent in the crafts of the island and particularly in the knitting, where its commonplace to share patterns and knitting knowledge with neighbours, friends and family. The social aspect is what draws me to textiles and from that stance, my appreciation of wool as a material strengthens.

‘J+S’, 2019. Raw fleece hand-stitched with Jamieson and Smith yarn. 24×24 cm

I’ve never been taught how to use stitch properly, instead making it up as I go along with whatever means make sense to the work. The same goes for my knitting, although Fair Isle is my home island and I have been surrounded by exceptionally talented knitters for my whole life, I only taught myself to knit garments properly in 2017. My use of wool in my artwork has always been intuitive and centres around the development of tactile surfaces and trying to gain an understanding of the materials form and function.  piece could be as simple as exploring the relationship between raw and spun wool, yet the touch of the fleece, the smell of the lanolin, the individual crimps, keep my mind and hands engaged for hours. Or the conceptual could take forefront, how does craft practice fit into fine art? Is the internet the new craft space rather than gathering and making physically? Regardless of the starting point for a piece of work, it’s the material – and usually the wool – that my mind goes to first.

‘Craft Conversations III’ 2019. Shetland wool and canvas

 

I ask viewers to look at material from a perspective they’re not used to. I ask them to question its qualities, origins and if our understanding of the material itself can be built on. From this place of constant learning, a deep appreciation can be formed.

————————————

Vivian Ross-Smith is an artist working from the Shetland Islands. She adopts a collaborative and systematic approach to making and sharing through painting, textiles and the digital. Her work creates space to discuss the practices of island life from a contemporary, fine art context and explores the textures, qualities and values of material and space. Ross-Smith’s work builds relationships and conversations between material, place and people and is as much about experiencing as it is about seeing.

 https://www.vivianrosssmith.com

@vrosssmith

Thank you Vivian for this guest post – we hope you are enjoying our Wool Week content – make sure to follow our instagram and subscribe to our youtube channel – if you haven’t already! Happy Knitting!