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!

This weeks patterns

Hello everyone, we’ve added some more patterns this week to both Lovecraft’s and Ravelry. We are trying to add a mix of Fair Isle and Lace every week to give you a good choice of patterns knit in a range of our yarns.

Bluebell is a pattern which always sells well in the shop when people see the sample, its knit in 2ply Lace and features corrugated rib and a simple Sanquhar inspired Fair Isle motif. This makes it a lovely lightweight garment that still features some interesting elements.

Shetland Crescent which was designed by Kieran Foley was released in our Lace Collection in 2012 and although its a simple introduction to Lace motifs the finished shawl has a lot of impact, its another one which sells well when people see the sample. Knit in Shetland Supreme 2ply Lace, an undyed worsted spun yarn, it has drape which works well with the shape.

The Oxna Mitts are another classic Shetland pattern designed by Sandra, they are simple fingerless mitts with a Norwegian star and seeding to the palms. Knit in Shetland Supreme Jumper Weight and 2ply Jumper Weight these are perfect for keeping your hands warm but your fingers free.

The Sletts Shawl is a remake of our Gladys Amedro patterns (L252) Originally knit in 2ply Lace (and still available as a kit here) we recently remade the shawl in Shetland Supreme 2ply Lace and updated the pattern with Charts. This is a great entry into Square Shetland Shawls, and perfect for wrapping up a baby!

As always let us know if there are any specific patterns you would like to have available as downloads, happy knitting!

Seasons of A Shetland Crofter

hello everyone, just a quick reminder today about our Seasons of A Shetland Crofter competition which closes in a few weeks. We’ve had some great entries so far but we are still looking for more – To remind you we are looking for seasonal stories and photos taken in Shetland which show you the nature and agricultural aspect of our culture that crofting and farming have given us over the years..

We are hosting the competition together with Vispring, Shetland Amenity Trust and Shetland Wool Week  and for some inspiration I thought I’d share some modern and historical photos we have shared on the blog before:

Sheep at the Voe Show
Wool just been clipped, Bressay
Berry Farm
Shetland Sheep and Lambs
Suprise Lamb at the Cunningsburgh Show
Clipping Sheep
Caaing Sheep
Rams at the Walls Show

You do not have to be a crofter to enter (I took quite a few of these and I’m just a toonie with a crofter grandad!) but if you have historical or current photos that you feel show the crofting or nature of Shetland we would love to see them, the prizes include a Real Shetland Wool Vispring Bed (!) and a two night stay at Sumburgh Lighthouse so its definitely worth entering.

The competition closes on the 21st of July and you can enter and find terms and conditions here. 

More Patterns..

Hello everyone, this week’s patterns have been uploaded to Ravelry and Loveknitting (soon to be Lovecrafts) We’ve chosen a mix of Fair Isle and lace this week – and I know it is a heatwave in many places so it might seem a bit strange to be thinking about Gloves and Hats but we are sitting in a usual Shetland Summer day of 11 degrees..!

The Fair Isle Cap was a design we published in 2012 at the launch of our Shetland Heritage yarns, worsted spun to match items in the Shetland Museums collection. This hat is knit fully lined with a plain inside and a traditional Fair Isle outer.

Skerry Gloves is a design we recently commissioned from Lesley Smith as we felt we were missing a traditional Shetland Glove pattern, it features a traditional Norwegian Star and is perfect for using up your odds and ends of 2ply Jumper Weight.

We decided to also make available one of our all-time best selling patterns – the Gibbie Shawl, named after our former manager Gibbie Johnston and designed by Gladys Amedro. Knit in 1ply cobweb the pattern is written out line by line and not charted and the abbreviations used are those Gladys Amedro coined so although different to modern abbreviations once you get them, you get them!

The Shetland Bound stole was designed for our Lace Collection in 2012 by Monqiue Boonstra, knit in our 1ply Shetland Supreme yarn, it is a beautiful and impactful lace project. Perfect for when you want more than a scarf but not a wedding ring shawl!

We hope you are enjoying being able to get some of our patterns as downloads and we thank you for the  feedback we’ve had, remember if there are specific patterns you would like to see please leave a comment. Happy Knitting!

Pattern PDF’s

Hello everyone, its the beginning of another busy summer here in Shetland. We have lots of tours during the summer and gearing up for another Wool Season but as always we are working behind the scenes on lots of things – for a while now we have wanted to make available our single patterns as PDF’s as well as in kits we sell. To begin with we have chosen to make the patterns available on Loveknitting. (also now available on Ravelry!) We decided to start with a selection of our Fair Isle patterns knit using 2ply Jumper Weight: The Roadside Allover, Antarctica Jumper, Antarctica Set and one of our most popular patterns the Hairst Yoke. These are all great examples of Shetland designs by a Shetland designer – Sandra Manson who you will have met if you’ve ever been in J&S is the designer of all 4 patterns and I think her expert colour sense can be seen in them all.

The Antarctica Set was released in 2012 and you may remember they were released after being made for Dr Alexander Kumar on his research trip to Antarctica, the set includes a Double layer hat, neckwarmer/cowl and mittens.

The Antarctica Jumper is knit using the same motifs and colours and is knit from the bottom up with steeks for the armholes and neckline, this is a traditional Shetland technique where extra stitches are cast on and then cut open later so you can continue knitting in the round.

The Roadside Allover features the same construction, it was knit for Oliver to wear at Edinburgh Yarn Festival as his Wool Week Patronage was announced in March. it features a softer but equally striking colour scheme.

The Hairst Yoke is our version of a traditional Shetland Fair Isle yoke, it is one of the most well-known Shetland styles and we released this pattern in 2013, it has been one of our best sellers ever since. A Fair Isle yoke is a great way to use up your odds and ends and if you use a cone for the main shade it can be a very economical project.

So you can find these patterns on our designer page on loveknitting here and on Ravelry. We will be adding more over the next while so let us know of any of our self published patterns you would like to see as an individual PDF. Happy knitting!

Olivers trip to Visit the Shetland Sheep Society

Oliver and Catherine recently returned from a few days away visiting the Shetland Sheep Society, they invited Oliver down to give a talk on Sheep, wool and its uses and his work at Jamieson & Smith. The event took place in Nuneaton at one of the groups conferences.

In 1985 the Shetland Sheep Breeders group was formed to help breeders outside the Shetland Isles to maintain flocks conforming to the 1927 Shetland Breed Standard. The group then became responsible for registering Shetland sheep on the U.K. mainland, overseeing and maintaining the strict breed requirements by inspecting the animals. The group admits they are not totally dependent on breeding the sheep classing themselves as part time unlike in some cases in Shetland where sheep is the bread and butter of the sheep producer.

 Oliver was greatly surprised and delighted to see the high standard of Shetland sheep in person at the Ashby by owners Lynne and David White. It was obvious that a great deal of care and attention into the flock breeding and husbandry of the animals. There was a big focus on quality, fibre fineness, uniformity of staple length and handle ( softness). After his presentation and question and answers Oliver was asked to judge a small amount of fleece some members had there and as with the sheep very impressive the fibre fineness and handle was quite exceptional.

There is no doubt that this group containing approximately 500 members from the North of Scotland to Devon and Cornwall in the south of England play an important part in the Shetland breed of sheep. Not only does the group members travel to Shetland frequently and purchase high quality fine wool breeding stock, it is not unusual for  some Shetland sheep breeders to do likewise.

There are many reasons for this. One being the numbers of natural pure bred coloured sheep flocks are diminishing, also blood lines in Shetland are in some cases becoming to close thus the need for new stock.  There is also an exchange of Shetland sheep judges wherein mainland judges travel to Shetland and judge at local agricultural shows, in turn Shetland sheep breeders travel and judge on sheep at U.K. mainland shows. It is very clear there is a combined dedicated effort to preserve the Real Shetland sheep, and this connection has resulted in many close friendships over the years.

The visit was not just confined to sheep and wool but also a visit to Ashby St Ledgers a very important part of English history the home of the Gunpowder plot of 1605 where Guy Fawkes and the co-conspirators would have hatched up their plans to blow up King James and his Parliament. The church dates back to the 1100 s and is still in use today.

Very grateful thanks from Oliver and his wife Catherine for the excellent and kind hospitality shown to them by the group, and a special thank you to David & Lyn of the Ashby Flock for letting me see and handle their outstanding Shetland Sheep. A never to be forgotten journey.

Cunningsburgh Show 2018

Hello everyone, we had a lovely day at the Cunningsburgh Show on Wednesday so I thought I’d share some pictures. Derek and Oliver were down to judge the raw Wool and I came to judge the Colourbox Competition:

You will know by now that every year we choose 8 colours of Jumper Weight which is then used by knitters to create Fair Isle garments and accessories – this year there was also a miscellaneous category which included the blanket you can see in second photo.  There were lots of entries again and as always it was extremely hard to judge. The garments were also a very high standard and its amazing how different each one can look using the same colours!

As I was waiting for Amanda and Janet (seen judging the gloves) to finish their bit so we could decide on the trophy winners I took some pictures of the other knitwear. There is always some lovely stuff entered and the lace in particular was very beautiful. At the Cunningsburgh Show you can enter no matter where in Shetland you live so there is always a wide range of entries.

So once we had done our bit I went for a wander around and saw all the other things on show, as has been the case the last couple of years it was a lovely day so it was great to go around and see all the animals and other entries:

So tomorrow me (Ella) and Sandra will be heading to Waas for our final Show visit of the season – phewf! there are still a couple more but these (at the moment) are the only ones with the Colourbox Competition. We hope you enjoy seeing the pictures!

Happy Knitting!