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 wednesday and thursday

On Wednesday we began with a great class with the brilliant Felicity Ford


Felicitys book ‘The Knitsonik Stranded Colourwork Sourcebook’ focuses on finding your own inspiration and creating colourwork from that but in her J&S classes she decided to choose Shetland inspiration and picked a edited group of J&S shades of Jumper Weight to be used.


This meant everyone was working from the same source material but its amazing how different all the swatches came out!




Of course Felicity had her ever inspiring pile of swatches for inspiration


and at the end it was great to see what everyone had come up with


In the afternoon we had another Lace Class with Elizabeth Johnston of Shetland Handspun


Lots of concentration, scribbling and knitting followed..



Of course the shop has been very busy but things carry on and we are still getting out all our orders everyday!


Yesterday was the day for Mary Jane Mucklestone to come in a teach her class on knitting Fair Isle socks.


Mary Jane has written a number of lovely books and patterns and her colourwork skills are amazing! She has so many beautiful swatches which we layed out for inspiration


Socks are one skill and Fair Isle another so to combine them is a great skill and Mary Jane does it in a way which is not scary and before long everyone was knitting away



In the afternoon Gudrun Johnston was in doing her every popular Hap Shawl class


Gudruns beautiful Hansel pattern uses J&S 2ply Jumperweight and in this class she has everyone making a tiny version of the hap which covers all the separate elements of her Hap construction.




We have ran this class now for three years and Gudrun has a Craftsy Class on this subject but it is still very popular and always sells out!

Although its Friday we still have three days left of Wool Week so we will be back with the final few days! Til then, Happy Knitting!


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.



PicMonkey Collage2

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 2015


The shelves are stocked and we are ready for Shetland Wool Week 2015! The event starts today and goes on until next Sunday. We have classes everday in the shop and there will be lots of people in shopping! As it will be so busy there may be delays in us getting back to you and dispatching orders so please bear with us.


If you are here then enjoy Wool Week and if not dont worry we will be blogging  here throughout the week showing what has been happening at Jamieson & Smith!

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!

18 19




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 Supreme Jumper Weight


Hello! we are back with another post in the yarn series, this time it is the turn of Shetland Supreme Jumper Weight – a totally undyed and natural 4ply Weight Yarn. This yarn is perhaps best known in recent years for its use in the designs by Kate Davies, however we have been singing the praises of this natural woollen spun yarn for many years.


Supreme Jumper Weight comes in a range of 9 completely undyed shades, ranging from Natural White (Shade 2001) to Yuglet (Shade 2009) The other shades are either as they are on the sheep or carefully blended from the natural wool to create a well-rounded palette.


Historically Coloured Shetland Wool was used by knitters in Fair Isle patterning and Lace knitting like Haps before the dyed wool was available. As time went on however the Coloured wool lost its value and it became almost worthless because white fleece was easy to dye and much more uniform in texture. Up until around 1997 almost all Shetland Yarns in ‘natural’ shades were dyed to create these tones, the reason being the dye house could make it a set shade each time. This differs from our supreme range in that each batch, for example Shetland Black (shade 2005) will not be the same each time as all sheep are not the same shade. So if you plan to use this yarn its best to get all the yarn at one time, it may be quite different in the next lot!


Another reason most of the mills have to dye or ‘add a touch of dye’ is that we at Jamieson & Smith buy roughly 80% of the entire Shetland wool clip , the majority of which is white with only a limited amount of natural coloured which we use for these our 9 shades. We need a substantial amount of natural coloured fleece in order to produce all the shades in the palette. This means we have to do a lot of hand sorting to separate the various fibre qualities and of course shades which can be found in one fleece. For more information about the Natural Wool and the Sorting process see our earlier posts here and here.


In 1997 we began a journey to further and strengthen the value of the coloured fleece. This came about as a joint venture between Jamieson & Smith and Yarns International, a now sadly closed down business in Maryland in the USA. Betty Lindsay, a partner in the company visited J&S and was saddened when we told her that the coloured wool had little to no value. Betty vowed to do something and true to her word we set up the totally dye free range which was named Shetland 2000. She employed Ron Schweitzer to design a range of patterns using the yarns, you can see some of his designs on his Ravelry designer page here. Since then lots of desingers have found how well all the natural colours blend together, you can subtely blend them or do some quite striking patterns.

Peat Hill Waistcoat, Adult Lynsey and Karelides Cardigan, some of our current kits made using Shetland Supreme Jumper Weight

Peat Hill Waistcoat, Adult Lynsey and Karelides Cardigan, some of our current kits made using Shetland Supreme Jumper Weight

At the beginning of the post I mentioned Kate’s Sheep designs, the Sheepheid and Rams and Yowes blanket. Both these patterns are extremely popular and use all 9 shades to maximum effect, they both feature motifs of Sheep and Rams which is obviously reflected in the yarns.

IMG_5938You can order kits for these patterns here on our online shop

PicMonkey Collage IMG_5726Hopefully this post has helped you understand the work that goes into the Shetland Supreme Jumper Weight range. There a a number of crofters and farmers in Shetland who are very comitted to the coloured Shetland Sheep and we couldnt do this range without them! The coloured Shetland Wool would have been at a time one of the only ways to get different shades into your knitting, now we are extremly lucky to have so much different colours that we can use. Sometimes you cant go wrong using what nature provides us.


til next time, Happy Knitting!

PS. we are now on instagram! search thewoolbrokers to follow us.