Shetland College Project 2017

Hello everyone, Happy weekend! On Wednesday myself (Ella) and Oliver headed to the Shetland College, every year for the past few years we have worked with the College on a project using our yarns. The students are given a brief to produce a garment or home interiors product using the Worsted Spun and Heritage yarns (Shetland Supreme Lace 1 and 2ply, Shetland Heritage Natural and Dyed, Shetland Aran Worsted and Shetland Chunky). This year also had two woven products which was very exciting!

We were there to see the final items and hear the presentations from 3 students, Rhea Kay who’s Jumper we saw last year was also included in this module so if you want more information about her garment see last years post here. Andrea who was included with Rhea last year has moved onto another college on the Mainland so her poncho isn’t included but you can see more information about it too in that post. Rhea’s garment looked as good as we remembered it – it will be on display at the Whalsay Heritage Centre after the term ends at the college so keep an eye out for it there if you are visiting!

First up was Julia Nairn who covered a footstool in fabric made using the Shetland Heritage Natural yarns, she was inspired by the Houll Loch in Whalsay and took lots of photos of the scene. She finds it to be a timeless landscape and she was particularly inspired by the ripples in the water and the almost symmetry seen her her photos which she took through to her finished item. She used an undulating twill structure for her weaving and her main focus was to take the landscape into the home which is why she made a homeware product.

We loved the way the resulting fabric came out and found the footstool to be very effective, the heritage yarn is soft yet robust making it very suited to weaving.

Alicja Tyburska also used weaving in her project but decided to make a garment, in this case, a large wrap. She is a weaver but also extremely interested in History and Archaeology, in particular, Shetlands Natural Landscape and its features, and she took the inspiration from Brochs and other stone features in Shetland – mainly how they are seen from above in drone photography.

This gave her the inspiration for her weave structure and she combined different weights of yarns – the Shetland Aran, Heritage and Chunky together to give beautiful texture to her finished item. We loved the professional finish and texture of the wrap, and the chunky tassels just finished it off perfectly.

Marcia Galvin used knit in her project and made this lovely wrap cardigan in the Shetland Heritage yarn, she was inspired by the word ‘Heritage’ and what it means to her, although not a Shetlander she has been here for many years and was interested in how certain areas have changed architecturally in Lerwick in particular Hays Dock. The Shetland Museum and Archives and Mareel are examples of modern architecture that Marcia looked at and took inspiration from, she looked up the briefs the architects of these building had and looked at the lines and shapes of the buildings.

You can see in her finished garment how elements of these buildings came out in her motif and texture. The cardigan is oversized but can be closed a number of different ways and with a belt. We though the use of colour and inspiration were very successful.

The winner of the unit will be announced at the Degree Show in a few weeks but we think all the students did extremely well, it’s really important to us to support the local College – me and Kharis are both graduates of the Contemporary Textiles course and it gives students the skills to be able to work in the industry in Shetland, something which is quite difficult and we, as an industry, must be supportive of these students.

Happy Knitting!

PS. remember the Shetland Wool Week programme comes out on Tuesday the 16th of May, there are lots of things happening again at J&S and it looks to be another fabulous year!

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Shetland College Visit

Over the years we have done lots of projects with the Contemporary Textiles students at the Shetland College and yesterday we visited them again to see the results of our last brief with them. There were just two students taking part in this part of the unit this time but there was great quality to both the finished garments and they both were inspired by their own cultures in different ways.

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First up was Andrea Ordùna who was inspired by Ponchos from her native Chile and also the colours and stripes of flags in South America. There is a kind of poncho called a ‘Chomanto’ which is reversible and has a light and dark side and this also played into her design.

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Andrea was also inspired by Japanese designers like Rei Kawakubo of Comme De Garcons, this led to the asymmetrical aspects to the design and the unusual arm gap which added structure and shape to the Poncho, a traditionally shapeless garment. Andrea used 2ply Jumper Weight and Shetland Heritage together in the garment and machine knitted the 4 panels, the finishing was brilliant and so professional.

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Next up was Rhea Kay, Rhea is from Whalsay – one of Shetland Outer lying islands and she was inspired by the strong culture of Fair isle knitting in Whalsay.

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She looked at photos from her family members of traditional Fair Isle but also looked at the Shetland Nature for inspiration for colours. She did alot of swatching at looking at contemporary knitting brands like Gudrun & Gudrun.

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She eventually decided to make a cropped jumper featuring Fair Isle motif, modified by her to fit in with the aesthetic she was looking for. She used Shetland Supreme 2ply Lace and Shetland Heritage and made a beautiful cropped jumper, a very contemporary shape with traditional features. Again the finishing was really professional and I can imagine wearing it myself!

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As always it was a joy to visit the college and see how the students decided to work with our yarns, every year the standard gets better and better.

Speak soon!