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Posts from the ‘Shetland knitting’ 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.

FC11

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.

1281

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!

Choosing A Lace Yarn – Woollen or Worsted

Hello everyone, today we are going a bit more in-depth about something we get asked about all the time – what is the difference between the Supreme Lace and ‘non’ Supreme Ranges aka 1ply Cobweb and 2ply Lace, and why would you choose one over the other?

left: 1ply Cobweb right: 1ply Supreme Lace

There are some differences but the main one is the Supreme Lace 1 and 2ply are Worsted Spun whereas 1ply Cobweb and 2ply Lace are Woollen Spun.

Worsted Spun – all the fibre is combed before spinning, this results in a softer and stronger yarn because the fibres are all aligned and not poking out (this is what can make wool scratchy)

Woollen Spun – before spinning the fibre is carded which disrupts the fibres trapping air and making a lofty and warm yarn.

The Shetland Supreme Lace yarns were developed alongside research through Shetland Amenity Trust in 2010 as part of the Fine Lace Project to add and increase value to the coloured clip and to replicate yarns used in handspun and vintage Shetland Lace.

Shetland Supreme 1ply

1ply/single 25g ball 400m/436yds
100% Real Shetland Wool
Suggested Needle Size: 3mm

This yarn is available in Optic White (which is bright white) and Natural White, Fawn, Moorit, Light Grey, Dark Grey and Shetland Black

Shetland Supreme 2ply

2ply 25g ball 200m/219yds
100% Real Shetland Wool
Suggested Needle Size: 3mm

This Yarn is available in Natural White, Fawn, Light Grey, Dark Grey, Moorit and Shetland Black.

Sletts Shawl knit in 2ply Supreme Lace

The Woollen Spun lace yarns have been produced by us since the 60’s, Cobweb was the traditional weight most 1ply Shawls were made in and 2ply Lace was the classic choice for Lace Cardigans, ‘thicker’ shawls and lightweight garments.

left: Sheelagh Shawl in cobweb right: Grace Jumper in 2ply Lace

1ply Cobweb

1ply/single 25g Ball 350m/379 yds

50% lambswool 50% Real Shetland Wool

Suggested needle size: 3mm

This yarn is available in White and Dyed Black.

2ply Lace

2ply 25g ball 169m/185yds

50% lambswool 50% Real Shetland Wool

Suggested needle size: 3/3.25mm

This yarn is available in over 30 dyed Shades.

1ply Supreme Lace on the left and 1ply Cobweb on the Right

Why would you choose one over the other?

finish: items made in Worsted Spun yarn have more drape and a silky smoothness due to the spinning process, they have a ‘halo’. Our Woollen Spun lace yarns are crisper and have more stitch definition.

Left: 2ply Lace right: 2ply Supreme Lace

ease of knitting: due to the finish mentioned above the Cobweb and 2ply lace are easier to knit with because the yarn doesn’t ‘melt’ together in the same way the Supreme Lace does – the Supreme is much harder to take back if you make a mistake. However, the Cobweb and 2ply are our only mixed yarns in that they both contain 50% Lambswool which is a weaker fibre than Shetland so the Woollen Spun ranges are not as strong as the Supreme.

left: 2ply Supreme right: 2ply Lace

recipient: it’s worth considering if your item will be used as an ‘heirloom’ piece like a Christening Shawl you may want to use the Supreme as it has a very high-quality finish and is lovely and soft, similarly if its for a scarf to be worn around the neck the supreme would feel nicer and has a good drape. The Cobweb and 2ply Lace will result in excellent stitch definition so if the pattern and motif is the most important element to your design it might be a preferable choice.

Elizabeth Williamson Turvie Stole knit in 1ply Supreme

colour: In the 2ply Woollen Spun range there are 30 shades including a mix of dyed and dyed naturals, so there is obviously a lot of choice and options for more colourful lace. In Supreme only the 1ply Optic White is bleached all the other colours are 100% Natural and as they come off the sheep here in Shetland.

thickness: the 1 and 2ply Supreme are finer than the Woollen Spun counterparts, you can see in the 1ply the Cobweb is 350m per 25 ball and the Supreme 1ply is 400m per 25g ball – this means the yarn itself is the thinnest we produce. So if you are looking for some of the finest Lace yarn commercially available the Supreme 1ply could be it.

detail of a Rosemary Shawl knit in 1ply Supreme

In conclusion, we know it can be confusing that we have different ranges in the same thicknesses but we hope this makes it clearer and you can see they are both not only needed but necessary!

Let us know if you have any questions, happy 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!

Chunky Knitting

Hello everyone, during these strange times, it can be hard to find things for children and young people to do in their downtime, looking at screens or watching tv is good some of the time but not all the time so knitting could be a new skill they take up, It improves fine motor skills, problem-solving and math skills as well as using their creativity and reducing stress.

Our Shetland Chunky range is now discontinued but this means the stock we have is available at a reduced price, originally it was £7.50 per 100g ball but we are now offering it at £3.50 a ball, there are lots of great patterns out there for chunkier yarn and there are a few free patterns which are designed for our Shetland Chunky:

These patterns all include different elements of rib, reading your knitting and in the case of the Chunkeanie – knitting in the round. Once these skills are learnt they can be grown upon and using slightly thicker wool, to begin with, will encourage beginners not to give up! There is a lot of help available online too – if you search ‘knitting tutorial beginners’ on youtube, there are literally hundreds of videos that come up!

Happy Knitting!

This Weeks PDF patterns

Hello everyone, the days are getting brighter here in Shetland! We are continuing to add patterns online and this week’s PDF patterns added to Lovecrafts and Ravelry are:

The Rosemary Shawl CW115 by Gladys Amedro is one of our best selling 1ply Shawl patterns, its currently only available in written form (no charts) and using Gladys’ abbreviations but once you get them in your head it’s very clear. We have plans to also offer it in a charted form so keep an eye out for that!

It can be knit in either 1ply Cobweb (available in Black and White) or 1ply Shetland Supreme (available in Natural White, Fawn, Moorit, Black and Grey)

The Fine Lace Stole and Scarf is another of Gladys 1ply Patterns, the pattern contains instructions for a stole (pictured above – 60″ x 22″) or a scarf (45″ x 15″) it contains traditional Shetland Lace motifs like the Ring Stitch, Print of the Wave and a peaked edging. Again this can be knit in either 1ply Cobweb or 1ply Shetland Supreme. This also is a written out pattern and uses Gladys’ abbreviations.

The Lynsey Jumper by Joyce Ward is a classic Fair Isle Allover jumper knit in Shetland Supreme Jumper Weight, the undyed yarns and traditional Shetland motifs make for a timeless gansey. It uses corrugated rib and steeks for the arm and neck holes. It can also be knit in 2ply Jumper Weight but you will need to account for the difference in yardage between Supreme and Dyed Jumper Weight (the Supreme is sold in 50g balls and 2ply Jumper in 25g but its not exactly double the amount)

Another fun pattern we’ve added this week is the Fair Isle Tea Cosy designed by Masami Yokoyama. This pattern only uses 3 colours of 2ply Jumper Weight and also utilises steeks for the handle and spout so it makes a great introduction to Fair Isle knitting and steeks in a smaller project.

As always if there are any J&S patterns you would like to have available as a download let us know and we will try to get them on, happy knitting!

Unst Show 2019

Hello everyone, me (Ella) and Sandra headed up to Unst on Saturday for the Unst Show. This is a trip which involves getting two ferries so we were up early and make our way up there to judge the knitwear entries which for the first year also included a colourbox section! You will know if you regularly read our blogs or look at our facebook and Instagram that this year we have been to Voe, Cunningsburgh and Walls to judge the Colourbox. This is a selection of 8 shades of  2ply Jumper Weight which we chose – the entrants then have to use at least 5 of the 8 shades in their creations.

 

There was a great mix of garments and accessories and we were really pleased with the number of entries for the first Colourbox at Unst. We also judged the rest of the knitwear and as expected for Unst (known for its beautiful lace) there were some amazing entries – and quite a few Roadside Beanies!

Sadly it was a very wet day and although Sandra and I thought we were suitably attired it became apparent very quickly we were not! Luckily our judging was indoors but it meant we didn’t get to see all the animals, I had a quick look around the sheep though so thought you might like to see a few damp but happy enough sheep.

We also went to the Unst Heritage Centre which was across from the show field (to try and dry off) to look at the amazing lace on show and we really enjoyed that, it is well worth a visit.

It was a good trip and marked the end of our show season, the Yell show is on this weekend and that is the last. Summer certainly feels like it’s over now but that means one thing – soon its Shetland Wool Week!

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!

Waas Show 2018

Hello everyone, so bright and early on Saturday morning me and Sandra headed out to Waas to have a look at the Show and judge the Colourbox competition. This is only the 3rd year we have had the colourbox at the Walls Show so it is a bit smaller but still has beautiful entries:

We’ve had a few questions about the Colourbox Shades so for a reminder the 2018 colours were: 3, 53, 66, 72, 87, 366, fc37 and fc56.

Once we had done our bit we enjoyed wandering around looking at the animals and other entries. While we were driving out it was pretty rainy but luckily it was dry and sunny on the Westside (which is quite often the way!) so we had a great time.

Like all shows in Shetland the knitwear is to an extremly high standard, there was quite alot of lace but also Fair Isle. The judges had a tough job!

There are still a couple of shows  still to be but thats the last with the Colourbox for this year, next years colours have been chosen so we are looking forward to 2019 already!

Happy Knitting!

Brora Black Cobweb Shawl

hello everyone, a quick post today about a new version we have of one of our classic patterns, the Brora Black Cobweb Shawl is another one of Gladys Amedro many Shetland 1ply Shawls which Jamieson & Smith released in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. This pattern was released in 1991 and like all of Gladys patterns was written rather than charted – but recently we had a customer, Heather, who had re charted the pattern for herself and allowed us to use her charts for a charted version of the pattern.

It features lots of tree motif’s – you see a lot of trees in Shetland knitting considering we don’t have very many..! They are often seen in Fair Isle in yokes as you can decrease incredibly successfully around them as you can see here in the Hairst Yoke:

For the type of shawls that this one is the tree motif is quite apt as it is often known as the Tree of Life. There are a number of similar motif’s in Heirloom Knitting by Sharon Miller and they are described as such, a 1ply shawl is also used as a christening shawl and they were/are given to a new baby as a present or to be wrapped around them at their Christening.

This shawl is quite unusual as it was knit in Black, most are made in white but this was also seen to be able to be used as an evening shawl. Regarding the construction you first knit the border to create the scallops then pick up the stitches and work each triangle 4 times at the same time gradually decreasing as you get towards the centre. This means at the end there is no sewing to be done except your ends!

If you would like to knit your own Brora Black we have added the charted pattern kit to the online shop – you can choose to knit it in Cobweb 1 ply available in White and Black or Shetland Supreme 1 ply Available in 5 natural shades and Optic White (Optic is currently out of stock but we are hoping to have it mid August) if you want to know more about the merits of choosing a woollen spun yarn versus a worsted have a look at this post.

1ply supreme optic, white, fawn and moorit

1ply grey, 1ply shetland black, cobweb white and cobweb black

We are planning to work our way through many of our written patterns and translate them to also be available as a charted one too, so we hope you like it!

PS.. we recently got some new peerie project bags you can see them here

Shetland Wool Week 2017 at J&S

Hello everyone! thank you for your response to our last post, we are so pleased with how many of you are picking up the book, the digital PDF version is now online too.

Today i’m back with some photos from Shetland Wool Week, every year that it gets bigger I get less photos but I still got a good selection from what was happening in the shop.. We had classes every weekday alongside some free drop in events and it worked really well. We always have an excellent response to Hazels Fair Isle class..

Fair Isle with Hazel Tindall

knitting, cutting and steek relief!

And Felicity Ford was back again with her inspirational Mitts-a-long, this year everyone left with a full 8 balls of Jumper weight to finish their project started in the class inspired by a group of photos and a colour palette picked by Felix

Mittsalong Class with Felicity Ford (and a fetching neepheid!)

more nice knitwear in Felix’s’ class – a Cruden and Laebrack

We tried to fight the losing battle of keeping shelves filled up (if anyone can do it, its Sandra!) And we had more classes like Drop Spindling..

Drop Spindling with Deborah Gray

And a great evening event which was a trunk show for Jen and Jim Arnal Cullifords new book – A Year of Techniques which features a couple of projects in J&S yarns. It was great to see them again and celebrate the new book!

A Year of Techniques Trunk Show

We loved this hat which features the motif’s from the Baable Hat, Crofthoose and Bousta Beanie!

Felicity and Sandra say cheers to J&S!

We also had a launch event for our new book, and had all the designs on display. It was so good to finally have all the projects out and the book available. yippee!

Friday Morning was a bit quieter which was good as we had a lace class with Elizabeth Johnston, something which needs a bit of concentration I reckon!

Shetland Lace with Elizabeth Johnston

Felicity’s amazing wedding bunting!

Oliver’s last tour of Wool Week

But Friday afternoon was so busy! We had Oliver’s last tour of the week and a trunk show for Felicity’s next book, and everyone seemed to come for a look.. I don’t know how I had time to get the above pictures!

The Hub

After work on Friday I crawled to the museum to visit the Hub and admire the knitwear on display and the merchandise, I love the sweatshirts! (I bought one, of course!)

On Saturday Me, Kharis and Sandra were at the shop but i nipped over to Gremista farm where we were holding an event together with Eric at the farm and Vispring. Unfortuantely the Flock Book event fell outside Wool Week so we decided to have an event with sheep, food and farmers which went down really well and we are already thinking about how to make next year better!

Aah, all in all another successful Wool Week. There is such an amazing range of events on all week and this is just a small slice of what happened at J&S, happy knitting!