Cunningsburgh Show 2017

Following on from Voe, last Wednesday was a bit brighter and Oliver and Me (Ella) headed down to Cunningsburgh for the Show, I was judging the Colourbox again alongside some other knitwear and Oliver was Judging the Wool.

I was put to work and worked my way through the Colourbox and other categories, there were some beautiful items in the Colourbox as always and the rest of the knitwear was of an extremely high quality too. The tropy winner for the Colourbox was the vest in the first picture, I loved the way the colours were put together and it was beatifully knitted. You can see above they also had a Bousta Beanie section!

The Wool is usually in another shed/tent but this year it was in the same shed as me so I was able to keep and eye on Oliver and his judging and after he was finished we started to make our way around all the other bits of the show.

There was a bit of a surprise arrival as you can see in the photo below!

This sheep obviously was trying to get on Oliver’s good side…

and this duck was interested in making friends too!

We had a great time as we always do at the Cunningsburgh show, the Colourbox is growing every year and I love to see all the animals. Cunningsburgh Show allows entries from the whole of Shetland whereas the others are all more area specific so there is always lots to see, it had 2841 entries in total this year!

Ill be back at the end of the week with our last show trip – to Waas, Happy Knitting!

Voe Show 2017

hello everyone, happy Monday! We have had a busy time of Shows this past week or so, I thought I’d begin with the first one we went to last Saturday which was Voe! it dawned a bit damp but we are pretty used to that around here..

The main reason I (Ella) headed us was to judge the Colourbox Competition we now host every year with the Voe, Cunningsburgh and Waas Agricultural Shows. Each year we choose a selection of 8 colours which must be used to make something using at least 5 of the 8 colours. This this then broken down into categories within that. Voe has the most entries and they have lots of categories for the Colourbox, this years shades were selected from the Heritage yarn so it was really interesting to see what people made with the more traditional colours.

You have to choose an overall trophy for the Colourbox and the cardigan below was the winner, it was beautifully made and I thought the colours were expertly put together..

The Voe Show has lots of other lovely knitwear on display, from Lace to Fair Isle with everything in between. I always love to see all the skills we have in Shetland and its so inspiring to see it all together.

After I had done my judging I went around and looked at everything else, they’re is so much to see from animals to flowers and you can spend hours wandering around.. quite happily I add!

I hope you enjoyed this peerie peek into this years Voe Show, I’ll be back in a couple of days with the round up from the Cunningsburgh Show, happy knitting!

Bousta Beanie KAL – choosing colours

Its been a bit of a dreich and damp day in Lerwick today so the thought of a nice new knitted hat is ideal! Our Bousta Beanie KAL kicks off on Monday and there is already a lot of good chat in the Ravelry thread. I thought I’d do a quick post about choosing colours – that is probably my favourite but also sometimes the hardest part of knitting Fair Isle.

The good thing about the Bousta Beanie is there are only three shades needed so that makes it a bit easier – One fail safe way I think is to either choose a nice light main colour.. like these.. (all hats are taken from here )

Or dark like these..

You can see on the lighter background ones that the contrasts are either dark or quite bright shades so they will always stand out well, this is the same with the darker main coloured ones above with the lighter/brighter contrasts. It can take a bit of trial and error but if you follow this general idea you will get a hat with enough contrast.

If you take a photo on your phone and put it into black and white you will also get a good idea as to whether there is enough or even too much contrast. You can see above 81 is a perfect dark MC and 202 and FC61 are tonally similar but different enough to make a good pair of contrast colours.

If you want to take inspiration from a photo there are a couple of good apps which you can download for Iphone (i’m sure similar ones are available for android) They do much the same thing, which is you add a photo and the programme chooses the main colours in the picture. The one on the left is Adobe Colour and the right is Pantone studio, there doesn’t seem to be a way to get less than 5 colours but it still gives you some good ideas and put together pleasing combinations that you wouldn’t have thought of!  I took those photos in the Flower Park here in Lerwick but you could use any picture to give you ideas, I think this works well if you want to go for a more subtle colour scheme which also looks lovely in this pattern.

Another thing you can do of course is swatch! As you will be knitting the hat in the round its best to swatch in the round too and you can follow this tutorial for swatching circularly flat (it is for plain knitting but you can use it for Fair Isle too) You will be able to finalise your colours and also check your gauge!

I hope this has given you some ideas and you are ready to start the Bousta Beanie from Monday! feel free to chat in the thread on Ravelry and use the #boustabeaniekal on instagram. We’ve had a busy week with the Voe Show last week, Cunnigsburgh Show on Wednesday and Waas Show tomorrow so I’ll be back next week with some photos from the shows.

Happy Knitting!Save

Wool Season

Hello everybody, sorry it has been quite quiet on the blog this summer, we have been so busy which of course is a great problem to have. We are now in the heart of the Shetland Wool season and thanks to a pretty good summer so far the clipping has been happening in earnest so the woolstore is filling up as fast as they can empty it! Even with roadworks happening outside our door (we can still be reached from the bottom of North Road) we are averaging 2-3 tonnes through the doors everyday.

I took the chance on Saturday after the woolstore ones had gone home to take a few photos of the organised chaos, I find the Woolstore extremly photogenic and the sheer volume of wool in there never ceases to amaze me. We have shipped two loads so far and they are well into load 3 so you can see we are bursting (at the seams you can see above!)

These pictures sum up just a fraction of the wool we see from over 80% of Shetlands Crofters and Farmers in a year, but I hope you’ve enjoyed this peerie peek. One more thing thats happened this summer is Oliver has reach 50 years at J&S! I posted a few photos through the years on Instagram which you can see here but I took this one last week which just about sums it up…

Happy Knitting!

J&S at Woolfest

Hello everyone! We are back from Woolfest, and had a great time. We really enjoyed seeing everyone who came to the J&S stall and sold lots of lovely Shetland Wool!

sheep at Lockerbie – one of our stops on the long drive!

We left Shetland a week ago yesterday and went on the boat to Aberdeen then drove down to Cockermouth, we stopped off a few places on the way to break up the drive including Lockerbie which had some great Sheep statues as you can see above.

We stayed not far at all from the Mitchell’s Marts which is where Woolfest is held, and once we had our stall set up (which took a few hours!) we were really pleased with how it looked. We took some of everything including every colour of Jumper weight and that was a great seller, people loved to see all the colours and choose the shades for their project. If you have ever been in the J&S shop in Lerwick you will know we have big cubbyholes for every colour and this was the impact we were trying to make – i think it worked great!! we also took a lots of things specific to Shetland knitting like Jumper Boards, Glove boards and Knitting Belts which was good as people could have a right look at them.

We were so busy that we we didn’t get many chances to look around or take a lot of pictures but we had a great weekend and the show was organised so well, there were lots of livestock too which was possible because we were in a marts so it worked great!

So thank you to everyone who visited our stand, me (Ella) and Kharis had a great time, I made a video of our trip, I posted it to instagram but it can only be a minute long so I had to cut it down – but here’s the extended version for you – Shetland to Cockermouth and back in 2 and a half minutes!

Happy Knitting!

Save

Wool Awareness Event

Hello everyone! So this past Saturday we hosted something a bit different at J&S, a Wool Awareness event. This was for our crofters and wool producers and focused on the ways to present the wool so as to get the best price. Jan, Oliver and Derek were all on hand to advise and talk through with the visitors about what was on show.

The woolstore was laid out brilliantly with examples of all the different grades we take in as well as what we don’t want and how it can lower the price the crofter receives, this was great I thought (as a non-crofter!) because it was well described as to why this lowers the value and I could see what was wrong with it compared to the other examples.

We also had fancys!

And fleece-rolling demonstrations!

We had as well a display of all the yarns and products we make so you could also see the finished product – a number of the visitors came into the shop afterwards and all the feedback I had was really good, so I hope those that came enjoyed it.

Its extremely important to us to support the crofters as much as we can, after all we wouldn’t get very far without them! I made a quick video on Saturday too which you can see below, Happy Knitting!

Save

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!

Save