Shetland Wool Week Mitts-a-Long

Hello everybody, specifically those of you who can’t make it to Shetland Wool Week but would like to be involved…

The wonderful Felicity Ford AKA Knitsonik has been busy working away on an idea just for you:  Introducing the Knitsonik Mitts-a-Long for Shetland Wool Week! ‘Yay’ I hear you cry, well Yay indeed, read on for the details.

img_9491

The idea is to design your own stranded colourwork using ‘Fingerless Mitts’ as the base for your explorations. There are two kit options for you to choose from, each one has been carefully thought out by Felicity and includes the pattern along with the corresponding 8 balls of our lovely 2ply Jumper Weight (a 4ply weight yarn).

The first theme is the Crofthouse Museum, situated in Dunrossness in the South Mainland of Shetland. It is set up as it would have been in the 1870s so you can get a real feel of what it was like to live in a typical Shetland home at that time.

The second theme is taken from knitting sheaths in the Shetland Museum & Archives. These were in use before knitting belts and were made with feathers to grip and hold a needle in place while working.

The Knitsonik Mitts-A-Long 2016 coincides with Shetland Wool Week 2016 starting on the 24th September. It will continue until the 24th October with lots of places to share and discuss your progress online – you can find other participants by following the hashtag #knitsonikmittsalong on Instagram and Twitter, and on the Knitsonik Ravelry forum.

We have a limited amount of kits in stock so if you would like to knit your Shetland inspired mitts with wool all packed up by us in Shetland, this is your chance!

J&S Staff Profile: Ella Gordon

Welcome to the first post in a new series about the people behind Jamieson & Smith

Ella2

(Ella Gordon)

We’ll start by introducing Ella Gordon, who I’m sure many of you will already know as she is the 2016 Shetland Wool Week patron! From her early days at J&S as a Saturday ‘shop girl’ in 2012, while studying textile design at Shetland College, Ella has continued to develop her creative skills and passion for knitting. We are so lucky to have her working with us as our main blog writer, as well as the everyday busy shop duties of making up orders and assisting customers with their projects. Ella is also great at the graphic design side of things and coming up with ideas for KALs and other fun woolly stuff!

What’s the best thing about working at J&S?

“My favourite thing about working at J&S is meeting so many people from all over the world passionate about Shetland Wool and Knitting. Through things like Wool Week, Ravelry, tours and our blog I feel like I’ve met lots of people with the same interests as me. I also really enjoy being in the shop and helping people choose colours and patterns. I’m very thankful for being able to have a job in the industry I am interested in which not everyone can say.”

Do you have a favourite place in Shetland?

“I love lots of places up north like Uyea and Fethaland and I recently walked to Lang Ayre but it was such a trek I don’t know if I’d do it again! I like walking around the Town as well and I love the south end of Lerwick where the Lodberries are.”

Ella Uyea(big)

Uyea (Ella Gordon)

Lodberries

South End of Lerwick (Ella Gordon)

How do you like to spend your time when you’re not at work?

“Knitting.. haha! I do spend most my time either thinking about knitting, looking at Ravelry about knitting, reading about knitting and a little bit of time actually knitting! I also like all the usual things like spending time with my boyfriend and family, reading and walking.”

What’s your favourite J&S yarn?

“I would say my favourite yarn is probably 2ply Jumper Weight, the longer I work at J&S the more different colours I like. I love greys so 203, 54 and 81 are up there in my faves but I really love FC11 and FC58 – two of the shades I decided to use in my Crofthoose hat!”

ella yarn

(Jamieson & Smith)

You can follow Ella on:

Instagram

Ravelry

WordPress

Pinterest

Save

Save

Save

The First Minister of Scotland and the First Minister of Shetland Wool

410A9229

We are proud to represent one of Shetlands traditional industries, this means occasionally we get some unusual visitors to our shop, yesterday this was the case when we got a visit from the First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon!

410A9154

For our international readers the First Minister is Scotland’s head of government, Nicola Sturgeon is also the leader of the SNP party so she was in Shetland on the Campaign trail for the upcoming election. Its always important to show these kinds of visitors what we do here at J&S and the effort we make to sustain the Shetland Wool Clip, we can feel a bit isolated sometimes from the effects of Mainland Politics but Nicola was very interested to see the kinds of things we make up here.

410A9213

410A9158

410A9194

Of course Oliver gave her a tour of the Woolstore and Showroom as well as the Shop, we forget as we are here everyday but the first time you come in the shop and see the walls full of Shetland wool it really is like a sweetie shop! As always we felt proud of what we do here at J&S and no matter your political views it was exciting to have a visit from our First Minister.

All photos here by Scott Goudie, our resident photographer (oh and he works in the wool store)

winter jobs

IMG_7607

During the winter (and its feeling wintery today in Shetland!) of course things slow down a bit on the Wool side of J&S but we carry on with the job of sorting the graded fleeces, white and coloured. Shetland Wool is known for having different grades in one fleece and it is this time of year we can take the time to separate out the best of them.

IMG_7582

Oliver is taking each fleece and looking for certain things within them – the handle, the character and fibre fineness to name a few. You often find spinners looking for the crimp of a Shetland fleece and this is one of the things we are looking for.  The best of all these things together make for the finest results in Spinning.

collage3

The finest fleeces have a lack of Guard Hair, the courser fibres which bring down the grade. By hand sorting you can remove and ensure the overall fineness of the fleeces. This exquisite Shawl of Sandra’s shows an example of how fine Shetland Yarn can be hand spun.

IMG_7610

As well as the white fleeces, which is obviously the most common in Shetland, we are also lucky to have many of Shetland’s crofters come to us with their coloured fleeces. (I did a post a while ago about the Natural Colours which you can see here) These are crucial because they allow us to have a number of ranges using only the Natural Shades. 1 and 2ply Supreme Lace and Shetland Supreme Jumper Weight. We also have something new coming soon using the Undyed colours so keep an eye out for that..

IMG_7602

So although the green doors are shut there are plenty of things going on behind them! And if your interested in Olivers hat there will be a pattern coming soon..

IMG_7596

Happy Knitting!

Christmas Posting Dates

12311941_10153376796265939_1870283639_o

As things begin to cool down get a bit more wintry we always see the orders getting more and more, all our yarns are made from 100% Shetland Wool so they make the perfect projects for this cold weather! You might also be thinking about yarns for presents so I thought I would give you a breakdown of the Royal Mails recommended posting dates for Christmas:

Friday 4th December: Africa, Middle East

Monday 7th December: Asia, Far East, Cyprus, Japan, Eastern Europe

Tuesday 8th December: Caribbean, Central and South America

Thursday 10th December: Australia, Greece, New Zealand

Monday 14th December: Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Poland

Tuesday 15th December: Canada, Finland, Sweden, USA

Wednesday 16th December: Austria, Iceland, Ireland, Portugal, Spain

Thursday 17th December: France

Friday 18th December: United Kingdom, Belgium, Denmark, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Slovakia, Switzerland

As we are located approximately 200 miles off the coast of the Scottish Mainland (you’d be amazed how many people don’t realise!) and we are susceptible to the wild weather there are delays with boats and planes that are outwith our control. We try our best to get everything out as soon as we can but its worth ordering a few days before the limit to be sure. For more information on how we send out our orders see here

12311553_10153376797090939_2016673339_o

We have got our tree and lights up so its looking very Christmassy in the Shop, that goes along well with the wintry showers we’ve been having!

Happy Knitting!

 

wool week wednesday and thursday

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

IMG_6685

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.

IMG_6694

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

IMG_6690

IMG_6688

IMG_6687

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

IMG_6691

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

IMG_6698

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

IMG_6706

Lots of concentration, scribbling and knitting followed..

IMG_6704

IMG_6707

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

IMG_6693

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

IMG_6713

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

IMG_6708

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

IMG_6718

IMG_6720

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

IMG_6722

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.

IMG_6725

IMG_6728

IMG_6727

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 saturday and sunday

IMG_6579

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.

IMG_6590

IMG_6591

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.

IMG_6613

As always there was a lovely Fair Isle Cake!

IMG_6612

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

IMG_6625

Wool Week Patron Donna Smith cut the Cake

IMG_6631

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

IMG_6641

As well as a speech from Oliver..

IMG_6627

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

opening

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

Til then.. happy knitting!