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Posts from the ‘Real Shetland Wool’ Category

Knitting With Cones

Hello everyone, thank you for the good feedback on our last post! Today we will go into something else we always get asked about – knitting with cones!

cones in our new back-shop area.

We offer quite a few of our ranges on cone but by far the most popular is our 2ply Jumper Weight, this is our traditional Shetland 4ply thickness wool that we have been producing since the 1960s. It’s available in over 100 shades and we often have most of these available.

We produce them in 500g cones. This is equal to 20 balls – approximately 2500 yards/2300 metres

Two shades we took back last year, left 9 and right 8

What is the difference between the yarn on cone or ball?

Nothing at all – when we order a shade we get a certain amount on cone and the rest on ball but initially the whole order is made on cone, the yarn to be turned into balls is then scoured and balled.

What would I use it for?

Lots of things! In Shetland cones are probably mostly used for knitting the body and sleeves of Yoke cardigans and jumpers and it is perfect for that but anything which needs a substantial amount of one shade will benefit from using a cone. Also if there is a shade you use a lot – it might be worth investing in a cone to always have to hand.

Why would I buy a cone over balls?

Cost: Because there are less production costs (no scouring, balling, bagging etc) the overall cost of a cone works out a lot cheaper than buying the balls – its over a 45% discount if you purchase it directly from us!

Ease of knitting: you just plop the cone down and knit! Compared to balls there are less ends, and within the cone you should find few if any knots which means a seamless garment will be just that.

Knitting Machine: If you have a knitting machine a cone is by far the easiest way to knit and because we sell the cones in oil (meaning the yarn is oiled with a synthetic oil – like sewing machine oil) that means the yarn will glide through the machine and not catch, and therefore break.


Can I handknit with a cone?

Of course, because the yarn is oiled it doesn’t feel the same as the balls but once washed it feels exactly the same. Anything made with the oiled yarn must be washed – we would advise this for any item made with Shetland Wool anyway but for the oiled yarn it is crucial, the oil is not meant to be next to skin and may irritate it.

Some people do not like the feeling of the oiled yarn to knit with so you can hank/skein the yarn, wash then wind it into balls if you prefer but it is not necessary.

The only time we would advise taking care would be if you were knitting with a very strong colour (black, red, blue etc) alongside a lighter colour as the stronger pigments can attach to the oil and bleed when first washed. In this case, we would wind off and wash or use a colour catcher when washing.


What about swatching?

If you need to swatch you must wash the swatch – the gauge is not reliable until its washed as with the oil it can look much thinner and therefore not give you a reliable tension.

How do you wash out the oil?

To remove the oil you need to submerge the item in very hot (not boiling) water along with a wool wash or hand wash wool detergent. You will see a lot of grey water which is the oil and perhaps some of the colour of the yarn as the dye can attach to the oil. Its best to leave the item (without agitating for up to an hour. Then rinse and repeat until the water runs completely clear.

We also offer our undyed Jumper Weight range on cone too – Shetland Supreme Jumper Weight is completely undyed and available in 9 Natural shades. Because this is a rarer fibre we don’t always have all the colours on cone available but as is the case with any product on our website you can add your email address to an ‘in-stock alert’ and it will email you as soon as we add more.

Sometimes there can be a long wait between us getting more of particular shades or ranges on cone, its important to understand that the cones are something we have chosen to offer to our retail customers as an extra to balls. We have to order large amounts of individual shades, and we are always trying to find the balance in ordering enough to sustain our physical shop, online shop and all our stockists. This is all done by us here in Shetland so we are grateful for your patience and understanding.

If you are a Lace knitter we also sometimes have our 1ply Cobweb, 1ply and 2ply Supreme Lace and Shetland Heritage ranges available on cone. You just need to keep an eye out on our online shop if the shade you want is not available.

If you have any more questions about knitting from a cone – just ask. Happy Knitting!

Shetland Aran Worsted Naturals

Hello everyone, long time no see! we have had a jam-packed summer in the shop and as you probably know last week was our first in-person Shetland Wool Week since before 2019! So to mark the occasion we launched a new yarn which is now available online, Shetland Worsted Aran in 5 natural shades:

Left to Right: Shetland Black, Dark Grey, Moorit, Light Grey and Fawn.

we already have this yarn in a range of 12 solid shades, but adding these undyed ones opens up a whole new world of possibilities! This yarn is spun in the same way as our Shetland Heritage range – in that they are worsted spun from combed tops. This spinning process removes a lot of the shorter fibres which can make Wool feel itchy to some (for more information see our blog post here) The resulting yarn then feels much softer than you would normally think for a Shetland Yarn.

We are currently working on reworking some of our older patterns to work with this new range but a couple of our patterns like Gremista Gansey and Aran Harpa already use the Worsted Aran range so would be ideal in the undyed colours, the yarn is a standard Aran thickness so any Aran pattern should work – including these two we have for the WYS ranges: Alana and Finlay.

black, dark grey, moorit, fawn, light grey and snaa white

We haven’t added a white in the undyed colours as we already have Snaa White and Optic White which work perfectly as you can see above. The natural colours of Shetland Wool are precious to us and we are happy to be able to use them in another range – this all helps at adding value to the coloured wool, something we are passionate about.

So you can find the new shades alongside the dyed ones on the online shop here, we look forward to seeing what you make with it!

a quick swatch worked up in Shetland Black and Light Grey
  • Shetland Aran Worsted: 50g ball 61m/66yds
  • 100% Real Shetland Wool
  • Suggested Needle Size: 4mm
  • Tension: 22 sts and 24 rows over 4 inches using 4mm needles over stocking stitch.
  • 22 sts and 20 rows over 4 inches using 4mm needles over Fair Isle.

Garment Patterns

Hello everyone, a few weeks ago we launched Sandra’s most recent garment pattern – the Joseph Slipover:

This tank top features traditional motifs and techniques but uses 10 zingy shades of 2ply Jumper Weight, we have the sample in the shop and everyone comments on just how bright it is! It’s knit completely in the round using steeks for the neck and armholes, you might recognise the motif and colours from the Parrots of the Rainforest Mitts, Sandra just wasn’t finished with it..

We thought we’d go through our other single garment patterns we have available at J&S, knitting a full garment can be intimidating – especially in fine yarn but we have a wide range of styles to make your entry (or re-entry) into garment knitting as easy as possible!

Our heritage and traditions here in Shetland are important to us and our main focus will always be Shetland/Fair Isle or inspired styles so we have a number of Allover garment designs which are as the name implies patterns featuring an all-over pattern:

Click here to see the patterns: Roadside Allover, Lynsey Sweater, Fair Isle V-Neck Jumper and Antarctica Allover

As well as the Joseph Slipover we also have the Cruden pattern, if sleeves are not something you fancy (unfortunately there are usually two of them..!)

Click here: Cruden

and another popular Shetland style – yokes!

Click here: Adenia, Eid, Moorie, Ola, Winter Yoke, Sandvoe and Hairst Yoke

Bairns patterns are something we also have a few of – this can be a great introduction to Shetland Garment knitting, all the main skills being used just on a smaller scale:

Click here: Natalia, Bairns Crofthoose, Peerie Lynsey, Gremista Gansey and Peerie Bairns Jumper

So that’s just some of the garment patterns we have available at J&S, unfortunately, our website doesn’t have the capabilities to have kits for all the different sizes but it means you can change colours, add extra balls or just purchase the pattern if that’s how you feel! We have the amounts and shades listed on the pattern pages so you can just make a list and add the colours to your basket.

Please note: many of these patterns are available digitally either from us on Ravelry or payhip or directly from the designer. If you are outside the UK you might find the p&p is expensive for just a pattern so we would encourage you to see first if it’s available digitally or add the pattern to an order. Happy knitting!

Catch Up

Hello everyone, happy weekend! Sorry things have been a bit quiet here, we have had a really busy few months since our last post! Things are cooling down fast here in Shetland and we had our first snow last week – it’s all gone already of course but it will be back! We thought we’d do a quick catch up post of some of the things we’ve been enjoying lately:

Over the past few weeks we’ve been working on adding all our Yoke Cardigan and Jumpers to the Online Shop, we work with a number of local knitters on our yokes so each one is totally different – something we love about them but it means it takes us a while to get them all up! but for the moment the current stock is all online and available, you can see them here

A few weeks ago we got in stock of our 1 and 2ply Supreme Lace in a shade we’ve not had before – Light Grey! this is a truly beautiful undyed and completely natural Shade which we have in other ranges but have never had before in the Supreme Lace.

As its a natural shade we don’t know if we will have it again but we currently have it in both ball and cone in both weights, it really adds to the palette and offers another light shade, you can see it here alongside the other 2ply Shades:

We also added recently added some new patterns and kits, on our new online shop we can offer the paper patterns individually which means you can add them to your order or change colours and we are loving seeing how many of you are picking them up, you can see all the Patterns we have here

Some of the new kits we’ve added are the Radiant Star Mitts, Croft Cowl and Radiant Star Cowl by Ella Gordon and Jacks Jacket and Allium Hat and Mitts by Outi Kater. You can see all the kits we have available here

There have also been some great new books come out recently – the Shetland Wool Week 2021 Annual, Shetland Trader Book 3: Heritage, and Shetland Wool Adventures Journal Volume 3. They are all filled with beautiful patterns using Shetland Wool and the Journal and Annual both contain articles all about Shetland.

Finally, as things have been cooling down we’ve been keeping warm under our Skye Weavers rugs and are delighted by how many else of you are also enjoying them during this winter!

They are made for us by Skye Weavers using our Shetland Supreme Jumper Weight, another of our completely undyed ranges, this week you might have seen our post about the Coloured Wool – we are currently working through these amazing shades in the Wool Store, and its amazing to see these natural shades come back to us as cozy blankets!

Oliver in the Woolstore working on the coloured wool.

So that’s some of the things we are enjoying just now, we are being kept busy with all your orders. We have had some poor weather here which does impact the boats and planes so its worth keeping in mind although we try our hardest to get everything out as quickly as possible there are some delays outwith our control, we hope you are enjoying your December and happy knitting!

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!


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!