Winter Woollies KAL: colour and patterns


Hello! We are so excited as to how many of you have picked up the colours for the Winter Woollies KAL! there is still plenty of time left to get involved so today I thought I’d share some of our thought on the colours and a few ideas for free patterns available on Ravelry.

As you know the Knit A Long requires you to use at least four shades so we (Me -Ella, Amy and Kharis) tried to pick 2 lots of four shades of 2ply Jumper Weight that worked together. Our first group is shades 1,203,FC34 and FC41


To us these colours make us think of dark nights, snow, ice, stormy skies and seas.. all typical of a winter in Shetland! our second group is FC43, FC38, 65 and 9113


These colours are more ‘inside’ inspired shades – roaring fires, christmas trees, baking and mulled wine.

We hoped  by having these two groups it might give people more ideas – of course you can mix and match to your hearts content, it is just a starting off point and by changing one or more you get a different look –

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Sometimes it can be daunting to try and come up with a pattern too, even once you have decided on your colours.. To that end I thought I’d show you some fun patterns all available for free on Ravelry – they all call for fingering weight yarn which is what 2ply Jumper Weight comes under and a few even call for 2ply Jumper Weight exactly (Fair Isle Cuffs, Kite Mitts, Shwook hat) so all you have to do is pick your colour arrangement..

You will see some of the patterns only use 2 or 3 shades, all this means is you will have to add a couple more shades in to get to your 4 colours. This is easily done by doing a bit of background shading or foreground shading. If you feel you need to rechart the Fair Isle into your colours there are a few good free options – one is this Chartmaker which is free, there are also a few good tutorials online about using Microsoft excel to colour a chart (like this one)

I hope this has given you some ideas! We cant wait to see peoples ideas begin to take shape – remember to tag your project on ravelry and instagram using #winterwoolliesKAL and to share your projects in the group on the Jamieson & Smith Lovers group page

Happy Knitting!

wool week friday,saturday and sunday


On Friday we had another class with Felicity, this time the class were working from another set of inspiration pictures and different shades of 2 ply Jumper Weight.



Lots of brilliant swatches again! In the afternoon we had Deborah Gray in doing some drop spindling, we always try and offer at least one spinning class although it is tricky for the space, using the combed tops very quickly everyone was spinning away!




All through the week Oliver was also giving his sorting and grading demonstrations which was busy as always!



On Saturday morning Kharis and Amy held the fort at the shop and I went for a look at the Marts Flock Book sale






I then headed to the Wool Week Hub at Islesburgh Community Centre, where the Makers Market was being held



beautiful pouches by Julia


Traditional knitting by Patricia Doull


Scarves and Snoods by Fraser Knitwear

All through the week the Hub was the base for Wool Week and it worked brilliantly as there was plenty of space for people to sit and knit, spin or whatever!


This map shows all the far flung places people come from to go to Shetland Wool Week, its amazing!

Yesterday to finish off the week we attended the Shetland Guild of Spinners, Knitters, Weavers and Dyers Sunday Teas at Tingwall


Sunday Tea’s is Shetland are a classic and they didn’t disappoint! As well as the cakes and fancy’s there was a great display of the Guild Member’s Work




So that wraps up the J&S coverage of Shetland Wool Week 2015, it is a crazy week for us but we always enjoy it and look forward already to next year!

Happy Knitting xx

wool week monday and tuesday

Hello! I cant believe we are already on Wednesday, things have been nice and busy in J&S so far for Shetland Wool Week! We have been blessed with lovely weather too which makes things feel even better.


On Monday we only had one class in the afternoon, Elizabeth Johnston of Shetland Handspun was in doing her ever popular Shetland Lace class, Elizabeth is a brilliant and calm teacher so before long everyone was planning out and knitting their lace..



On Tuesday morning we had another Fair Isle class with Hazel Tindall


As always it was a great class and soon everyone was knitting their bookmarks



PicMonkey Collage

In the afternoon we had a lace class with the brilliant designer Ysolda Teaque, Ysolda always come up to Wool Week so we were so happy to have her first class at J&S


Ysolda shared some of her tips and tricks for planning lace motifs within knitting and everyone then charted out and knit some lace patterns.



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You can see from the photos we do all the classes at Wool Week in the shop so these kinds of classes are great. They give people a taste of Shetland style knitting and the chance to take classes with some brilliant designers but they are all about having fun and enjoying the atmosphere of Wool Week in Shetland.

Ill be back soon with more pictures from Jamieson & Smith at Wool Week!

wool week saturday and sunday


We begun the day on Saturday with a Fair Isle class with Hazel Tindall.

IMG_6588 hazel claswsHazel had the ladies knit a bookmark which meant they were doing Fair Isle and steeking in a small project! This way there was a good chance the project would be finished within the time of the class.



On Sunday we had the Opening Ceremony for the week, Wool Week has gotten so big that the ceremony was held in the Bowls Hall at the Clickimin, the hall was beautifully layed out.


As always there was a lovely Fair Isle Cake!


There was some musical entertainment from the Shetland Fiddlers who went to the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, they were wearing their beautiful outfits designed by Shetland Designer Neila Nell


Wool Week Patron Donna Smith cut the Cake


And we were treated to the muscial talents of Felicity Ford..


As well as a speech from Oliver..


And Q and A’s with some of Shetlands Textile elites, more speeches and funs..


We’ll be back throughout the week with more Wool happenings at J&S!

Til then.. happy knitting!

Vintage Lace Collection Volume 1


We often speak about Gladys Amedro here at Jamieson & Smith, the reason we do so is her patterns continue to be some of our best sellers since they were released over 20 years ago. Together with her we published many patterns in the best way there was at the time – in magazines! My Weekly, The Peoples Friend, Bella.. to name a few.


A collection of Gladys’ patterns were sold in a book called Shetland Lace which was published by the Shetland Times for many years and went through a few reprints. The Shetland Times currently publishes a few lace books, The Unst Heritage Lace book and A Legacy of Shetland Lace so they have decided at present to not reprint Shetland Lace.


As you may know we sell our kits with the patterns, and every day we have kits and yarn going out to knit one of Gladys designs. We have always had our patterns printed here in Shetland using the Shetland Times because we feel its important to support our local businesses so we decided that together with them we would put together smaller selections of Gladys Lace patterns into Volumes, so we present The Gladys Amedro Vintage Lace Collection Volume 1!


This first Volume contains the patterns for The Gibbie Shawl, Lace Christening Robe, Fine Lace Stole and Scarf and My Weekly Baby Knits Shawl.

We have reproduced the patterns as they were in the Magazines so they are written out line by line, rather than charted. All the patterns are written for either 1ply Cobweb or 2ply Lace but they would work equally well with Shetland Supreme 1ply or 2ply Lace, in the introduction we give yardage to help with substituting.

You can buy a copy on our website here!


Cunningsburgh Show 2015


On Wednesday Me (Ella) and Oliver headed down to Cunningsburgh in the South End of Shetland for the annual Show, Oliver was Judging the Wool, and I was judging the Colourbox Competition we hold each year with some of the shows.


When we arrived we had a peerie look around and then headed into the tent where the Wool Judging was to take place and Oliver begin judging the wool people had entered into the show.


Beginning in the late 1980’s they developed a Judging sheet for the wool, there are 5 or 6 categories which Oliver Judges each fleece against and gives them a mark out of a set amount. This is beneficial as it gives the entrants some explanation as to where they placed and how it can be improved for another year.




As well as the trophy fleece seen above, Oliver also judges a few other categories such a most commercially saleable fleece, which may be different to the best fleece!


While Oliver was doing the most of his judging (I took these photos at the beginning and end of his part) I headed over to the shed where the knitwear and crafts were


For the best few years we have done a competition with the rural shows where we chose a group of 8 shades of 2ply Jumper Weight to be used in Fair Isle knitting, the entrants then must knit an item using at least 5 of these shades. It has its own category and that’s what I was there to Judge!


The entries as ever were extremely strong and it’s always great to see how people have put the colours together, some colour selections are more popular than other years but as always we like it to be a challenge!


Unfortunately due to poor weather the Voe Show was cancelled this year, very kindly the Cunningsburgh Show committee decided along with the Voe Committee to show the Voe entries also so I Judged that too, there are always some extremely beautiful pieces of knitting in the Voe Show so I am really happy they were able to be in the Cunningsburgh Show!

12 13knit2Of course alongside the Colourbox Challange there is a huge amount of knitwear entered into the show14knitFrom Lace to Fair Isle there was a huge range of items to be seen


The fineness and skill in knitting Shetland Lace never ceases to amaze me and I was happy to see a few of our patterns knitted up, I spotted a Sheelagh and a Gibbie Shawl.


Understandably the knitwear was very busy with people coming to see how they and their friends had fared as well as just coming to see the skills on show.


Of course as it was a rural show there were lots of animals there too, obviously we spent a fair amount of time looking at all the sheep!

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22amooritBut as well as the sheep there were dogs, cattle, horses, ponies and poultry to name a few!






25hensIt was a very busy but great morning, as judges we were also treated to a lovely dinner at the hall! Of course I always have my eye out for nice knitwear..


I hope you enjoyed this peek into the Cunningsburgh Show! Til next time, Happy Knitting!

PS. remember there is still time to vote for Jamieson & Smith in the Best Brand for British Yarn category in the British Knitting Awards, if you like what we do at J&S you can vote for us here

Yarn Series – Shetland Heritage


Following on a few years after the successful launch of our Shetland Supreme Lace Yarns as featured in the last post, which was a joint collaboration between Jamieson & Smith, The Shetland Museum and Archives, The Shetland Amenity Trust and our parent company Curtis Wool Direct we developed the yarn we are talking about today, the Shetland Heritage Range. We were approached by Carol Christensen, Textile Curator of the Shetland Museum in 2010, to create a ‘wirsit’ worsted yarn reminiscent of some of the yarn used in their historic knitwear collection, of which some pieces date back to 1870. We were invited by Carol to view some of their collection held in the museum store at the North Staney Hill. On show was a mixture of distinct Fair Isle  ‘keps’ caps, scarves, all-overs and slipovers all laid out on tissue paper.

a piece from the museum collection.

a piece from the museum collection.

Our first impression was the distinct rich colours and how the Fair Isle patterns stood out and were crisp and well defined. Many of the articles were very old, Carol explained the yarn was hand-spun, the wool was combed and not carded, and the dyes were natural dyes. There was little or no wear visible in these garments, testifying that worsted yarn has different wearing properties than woollen spun yarns, a stronger smoother yarn, which retains its elasticity despite being washed and rewashed. We were allowed to handle these precious articles and were immediately impressed by the smooth soft handle.

a piece of Fair Isle knitting in our Heritage Yarn

a piece of Fair Isle knitting in our Heritage Yarn

Carol asked if it would be possible for us to produce a similar ‘wirsit’ worsted yarn as used in the construction of their garments. Carol said could we judge the thickness of the yarn by sight and handling the garments, a big ask to get the finished article correct. Having only worked with a woollen spun yarn and also in the days of the Gala cut, a woollen spun count system that was used by our old spinners Hunters of Brora. We settled on a 2/22.5 cut, which was a 2ply woollen spun yarn used by Hunters of Brora. This yarn would be slightly thinner than our present woollen spun yarn 2/8 nm. We passed on the images and information to Martin Curtis at Curtis Wool Direct, who put the process into action, firstly preparing the superfine Real Shetland wool, which they buy from us. Then combing and dyeing and finally having the yarns spun by one of the few remaining worsted spinners left in the U.K.


The resulting yarn has a beautiful soft handle, much softer than traditional Shetland or Shetland type woolly yarns. It is perfect for traditional Fair Isle but becuase the yarn is slightly lighter than Jumper Weight this also means it works well for lace. Initially we launched 6 traditionally inspired shades: Indigo, Madder, Fluggy White, Peat, Auld Gold and Berry Wine. We then added Coll Black, Snaa White, Mussel Blue, Moss Green and Silver Grey to round out the palette in 2013, the non marled and matte colours give the yarn a lovely sheen when knitted which looks very traditional.

detail from the Fair Isle V-Necked Jumper kit, available here

detail from the Fair Isle V-Necked Jumper kit, available here

The yarn was described by Carol as perfect, yet again we proved that partnering with local bodys like the Shetland Museum and Archives and the Amenity Trust helps us in recreating our living past in Shetland. The finish of the yarn makes it a diverse fibre and the Coll Black colour way was used by the 2014 Jarl Squad of which Oliver our manager was a member. we have the suit on permanent display in the shop so you can see the heritage yarn used in the Kirtle, the tunic worn underneath the breastplate. You can see from our post about that day here it was a horrible rainy day but according to Oliver they didn’t feel cold!


There is no doubting the luxury of our Heritage yarn, however most people encountering it today as well as being impressed they have not seen this type of yarn made from Real Shetland Wool, this in itself makes our job of marketing the yarn all the more difficult as it was lost in the age of time and only now has been resurrected, you can buy the Heritage yarn here.