Woolfest 2018

photo from woolfest.co.uk

Hello everyone! we hope your enjoying your Monday, just a quick post today to remind you about Woolfest! we have had lots of lovely weather the past couple of weeks here in Shetland but we have started organising all the lovely Shetland Wool we will be taking down with us to Cockermouth.

Ella and Kharis on our stall last year

We will of course have all our ranges of yarn – from 1ply up to Chunky including the full palette of 2ply Jumper Weight and a small selection of kits for things like the Merrie Dancers Toorie. If there is anything in particular you think we should take with us please leave it in the comments below and we will try to make room in the van.

So you can find us on stall J210 and J211, for more information about the event have a look at the show website here

We had a great time last year so we are looking forward to our trip again and seeing lots of you in Cumbria in a couple of weeks!

NKCAL 2018 Winners!

hello everyone! its time to share the winners of the NCKAL, there were nearly 600 votes so thank you to everyone that took the time to vote for their favourite. It was all very close in the results but..

The winner in the Garment Category is Alix:

And the winner in the Accessory Category is Eva:

So Congratulations Alix and Eva, I will be in touch by Ravelry message about your prize, thank you to all that took part and either entered or voted. We will think up another Knit A Long soon!

Happy Knitting x

New Colours KAL 2018 – the entries

Hello everyone!

We are back today with the final items made for the New Colours KAL, there is a good mix or garments and accessories. The rules for the KAL was the item had to use at least 3 of our newly brought back colours of 2ply Jumper Weight (16, 32, 90, 1282 and FC21) along with as many other shades of Jumper Weight you wanted. If you want to see more pictures please click on the link on each picture – that will take you to the ravelry project page.

We have spilt the poll into garments and accessories so once you’ve had a look over please vote for your favourite!

Garments

Wild Flowers by Auchnagaoith
Yoke 2 by MaureeninFargo
NCKal Clover Cape by Rubyshasha
Man Vest by bessie4dogs
Never Smile at a Crocodile by Alix Pearson

Accessories

Merrie Dancers Toorie by Fabclaire
New Colours KAL 2018 by Anniejay
Babyblanket by Eval8
Decennium by ginny8
Color Challange by Jelibet
J&S New Colors KAL by HootersHall
Never Smile at a Crocodile Hat by AlixPearson

The polls will close Next Wednesday 16th May and we will announce the winners and contact them to send a prize, Thank you to everyone who took part, we love doing our colour themed knit-a-longs and we are glad you do too.

Happy Knitting!

Shetland and Shetland Type

Hello everyone, today we are going to touch on something which comes up every now and again – the issue and differences between Shetland and Shetland Type wool. Sometimes it can be quite confusing but this post is just to alert you to the fact some yarns you see called ‘Shetland’ may be that in name only.

According to the British Trading Standards, the current usage of the word Shetland in Wool is: ‘A yarn spun on the Woollen system of 100% Virgin Wool.. such yarn being capable of imparting to a fabric the qualities of crispness and/or smoothness and soft handling attributed to the products formerly made exclusively from the Shetland breed of Sheep’  This is interesting as it shows you that a yarn could be named ‘Shetland’ but not include much or any Shetland Wool, but by imitating the spinning style or feel of whats attributed to Shetland Wool you can give it that name regardless of where the wool comes from or the breed used. Another point in the trading standards information is this: ‘where the term is qualified by the adjectives ‘genuine’, ‘real’ or any similar description, or quantified by the terms ‘100%’ or ‘all’, this implies the wool actually originated in Shetland.’ You will see we always talk about our wool as Real Shetland Wool, or 100% Shetland Wool etc – this is us working on this basis – to show you the wool originated here in the Shetland Islands from Shetland Sheep!

We know for a fact that there are many more products out there called Shetland than there is wool available. We annually take in over 260,000 kilos of local wool from the Shetland Islands (which equals well over 80% of the Wool clip) and what doesn’t come back to us in yarn and finished product is sold on through our parent company Curtis Wool Direct for many other wool products. There are of course other Shetland Wool producers and ones on the mainland but you will find in their description of the yarns they will explain this – the ones which should ring alarms bells are those who have ‘Shetland’ in the name of the yarn range but no other mention of Shetland or Shetland Sheep in the description.

We have a very interesting piece of text in our archives which comes from Alistair MacDonald who was a long-term staff member at Hunters of Brora, where we used to have our yarns spun before they went out of business in the early 2000’s. The folder contains Alistair’s findings and remarks on lots of different aspects of the yarn and knitwear industry and he has some interesting comments on the Shetland/Shetland Type argument, some of which we noted in our book: ‘When I think of the Shetland yarn on offer I am reminded of the bizarre situation with Cheddar Cheese.. the name Cheddar now describes a type of cheese not a cheese from the Cheddar Valley. Just as cheddar is now ubiquitous to the super market so now Shetland is ubiquitous in the textile market place.’

Our aim with this post is to highlight that ‘Shetland Type’ yarns are appropriating the reputation that Shetland Wool has earned over hundreds of years through our climate, culture, history and sheep. We are rightly extremely proud of our wool and if this is something which is important to you also, we urge you to ask questions about the origins of the Shetland Wool you are buying.

Happy knitting!

All photos on this post have been taken by us either in the Woolstore at J&S or at local Agricultural Shows and the top image was taken at one of our crofters farms in Bressay.

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!

Edinburgh Yarn Festival 2018

Hello everyone, happy Friday! Just a peerie post today reminding you that we will be at Edinburgh Yarn Festival next weekend, the marketplace takes place on the 15th-17th and is located at the Corn Exchange in Edinburgh. We have been busy organising all our stuff to bring and we will be heading on the boat on Monday night.

Of course we will have our entire range of 2ply Jumper Weight, as well as a selection of all our other ranges from cobweb up to chunky. We are also taking lots of books, knitting belts, patterns etc etc.. basically everything a lover of Shetland Wool would need!

We will have samples of all the projects from Jamieson & Smith: A Shetland Story which we released at Wool Week last year so this is the perfect time to see the samples and choose your project. If there is something we don’t have with us at the show we can take orders there and we will post it to you for free when we get back to Shetland.

Also EYF is where this years Shetland Wool Week patron and pattern will be announced so once you have picked up your pattern you can come over to us and pick up your yarn! I (Ella) have been to EYF the past two years but this is our first time exhibiting so me and Kharis are really looking forward to it, so if you are going come and see us at stand K8 (you can download a map here) So wish us a calm sailing on the boat on Monday night and we will see any of you who are coming in Edinburgh!

Happy knitting 🙂

New Colours KAL 2018

Hello everyone! things have been very busy here over January as we get back into the way of things but today we announce our KAL for the next few months – the New Colours Kal!

from left to right: 90, 16, FC21, 32 and 1282

We are constantly updating and changing the colours we have in 2ply Jumper Weight and we are lucky that we have a huge back catalogue of shades which if we need to we can take from and bring back. In recent years we did that with FC11 and FC7 which has really added to the palette and although this means saying goodbye to some shades its proof that it doesn’t always mean forever!

This KAL is a bit different than others we’ve done before in that you can use as many shades of 2ply Jumper Weight as you want but you must use at least 3 of the new shades. Hopefully it will be a lot of fun! As in the Fire Festival Kal at the end we will have a public vote so its always worth putting something in – you might win!

So the KAL: what we want you to do is –

  • Knit a garment or accessory using J&S 2ply jumper weight only.
  • at least 3 shades must be from our newly brought back colours: 90, 16, FC21, 32 and 1282.
  • As many other shades can be used as you want.
  • the item must use Fair Isle knitting/ stranded colourwork.

That’s it! The KAL begins on February the 2nd and runs until until the 2nd of May.

Now the new/old colours:

16 is a lovely bright blue

32 is a bright bronze

90 is a peachy orange

FC21 is a lovely marled lavender

And 1282 is a marled mid green.

All the new colours are now on the online shop and if you would like to take part there will be chat and discussion in our Ravelry group, if you share any progress photos on instagram use the #nckal

We’ll be back with some colour combo inspirations soon but until then happy knitting and planning!