A Couple More Cones..

Hello Everyone, just a quick post today! We are constantly getting in more yarn of course but lately it feels we have been getting in even more than usual – this means lots of cones in the 2ply Jumper Weight. When we order a shade we get a certain amount on cone and the rest on ball, this means that we don’t always have all the shades on cone and if we don’t have a certain shade it may be a bit of a wait until we get it again on cone BUT at the moment we have a good selection. We are always updating the cone page so if there is a shade you are looking for keep checking!

new recent cones: 1a, 1, FC43, 72, 125, 93, FC15, FC37 and 36

A cone is extremely economical if you are making any kind of 4ply yoke jumper like the Puffin Sweater, Crofthoose Yoke, Stasis, Scalloway Yoke, Hairst Cardigan.. the list goes on. It also means less ends which is always a good thing! The cones are oiled for machine knitting but don’t let that put you off, you just have to wash the garment when you’re finished – we would always advise that for Shetland Wool anyway as it looks the best once washed and blocked.

Finally we are open as normal this Easter Friday and Monday but there is no post so any orders wont get posted out until Tuesday, happy knitting!

J&S Staff Profile: Kharis Leggate

This is the third post in the series about the people who work at J&S, Kharis has been doing the series so today its me (Ella) who gets to introduce her! Kharis has been working at J&S for nearly two years now and we don’t know what we did without her, she manages and organises all the Wholesale and trade customers and orders – a big task when you look now at our stockists page! You might think to work at J&S you need to be a knitter – which Kharis is – but she is also a weaver which is great as it means there is another craft we can give advice on, Kharis makes beautiful cushions using J&S yarns which you can see in the links at the bottom of the post.

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

“There are so many things I love but the main one is getting to work with my creative and hilarious colleagues every day!”

Do you have a favourite place in Shetland?

“Probably my most favourite place is Westsandwick on Yell, one of the North Isles. My Mam is from here and it’s where we spent all our holidays growing up, it’s like a second home.”

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Sooth Toon, Westsandwick (Kharis Leggate)

“Other places on the Westside like Clousta and East Burrafirth, and up North like Eshaness and Hillswick I love too.”

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Hillswick (Kharis Leggate)

How do you like to spend your time when you’re not working at J&S?

“I like combining walking, photography and writing. I use my camera, pen and notebook to capture atmosphere, colour and texture ideas for weaving inspiration as well as for use in my blog. My handweaving work is mainly interior fabrics for cushions and blankets. I’m planning to develop upholstery designs as well as try out some pieces incorporating botanical dye techniques.”

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“I also love yoga! Vinyasa Flow and Kundalini are the styles I practice most online through Yogaglo, a few of my favourite teachers are Tiffany Cruikshank, Jo Tastula, Amy Ippoliti and Kia Miller. And, of course, I knit!”

What’s your favourite J&S yarn?

“It has to be 2ply Jumper Weight, preferably on cone as that makes winding a warp for weaving a lot easier. I tend to gravitate towards the marled and more muted shades. Favourites at the moment are 1280, 2, 1284, FC61 and FC62.”

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You can follow Kharis on:

Instagram

Home is an Island blog

Home is an Island shop

Ravelry

Twitter

Facebook

 

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Fire Festival KAL finished objects

Hello! We had our last Up Helly Aa of 2017 on Friday so that marks the end of our Fire Festival Knit a Long, we have been so pleased with the amount of people who have knit something with the colours we chose, due to the number of entries I decided to try something different and have you guys vote for your favourite, I have broken it down into Garments and Accessories/Others.

I couldn’t do a poll with the images in it so you might have to make a note of your favourite piece and then put it in the poll for the two categories. For more information have a look here which list all the entries and you can go into each project to find out more from the knitter.

Garments

Ready For Lerwick by Claudiajano
Fire Festival KAL by DottyBev
Up Helly Aa by Auchnagaoith
Peat Hill Wasitcoat by Braemberi
Little Winter Star Fire Festival by Torirot
Fire Festival KAL by Rubin

Accessory/Other

Fire Festival KAL by alysmith
American Fire by bdegar
Fire Festival KAL by EvaL8
Up Helly Aa scarf by Hadewychs
Fire Festival Bousta Beanie by JaneKAL
Up Helly Aa by JConklin
Ragnorok by Jelibet
Up Helly Aa by Jensknits
Up Helly Aa Hat by jn1982
Fire Scatness by KnitMomWi
Up Helly Aa hat by KTMaine
Fire Wind Water Cowl by kyspinner
Up Helly Aa Mitts by Laknits
Fair Isle Mitts by lav
2017 J&S Fire Festival KAL by LKLawsonknits
Fire KAL mitts by MaureeninFargo
Fire Festival KAL by meigsview
Fire Festival KAL by merelide
Shetland KAL by namihn
Spritely SMUHA by socksprite
Norse Fire Socks by tinygiraffe
Fire Festival KAL by tjitshere
Fire Festival KAL by torirtot
Saudade by woolyeyes

The poll will be open until next week when we will reveal the winners in the two categories, good luck to everyone and thank you so much for taking part in the Knit A Long – we love doing them and seeing all the different things people make from the same selection of colours!

Happy Choosing!

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Fire Festival KAL inspiration

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Sometimes choosing colours for a Knit-a-Long can be quite daunting, but after quite a number of years of choosing shades for the Colourbox Challenges with the Country Shows in Shetland and a couple for our online KAL’s we are always pleased and surprised with the colour and pattern combinations people come up with. The Fire Festival KAL, inspired by Shetland’s Up Helly Aa festivals has been running for a little while now and more projects are beginning to emerge so I thought it was time to take a look at some of the knitting..

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clockwise from top right: one, two, three
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clockwise from top left: one, two, three, four

I always find it very inspiring to see how people have put colours together, and how to colours change when put next to others – it’s my favourite part of the KAL! it runs until the 20th of March so there is still plenty of time to get involved and knit yourself (or someone else a firey inspired garment or accessory) We have already had the first of Shetlands Up Helly Aa’s for 2017 with the Scalloway Fire Festival on the 13th of January, you can see some great pictures here. Lerwick Up Helly Aa is on Tuesday 31st of January and it is a public Holiday in the town on the day after (some of us need time to recover..) so we will be closed Wednesday 1st of February opening as normal on Thursday. If you would like to watch any of the live broadcast of Lerwick UHA on Tuesday you can do so here.

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I hope this has inspired you if you were thinking to join the KAL, you can find the shades here on the website, there has been some confusion about adding in other colours but to be entered in the KAL you can only use the 8 shades chosen and you must use at least 5 of them. Your project must also include some Fair Isle/stranded colourwork, don’t forget to share your projects in our Ravelry group and on Instagram with #firefestivalkal

Happy Knitting!

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J&S Staff Profile: Jan Robertson

Second post in a series about the people behind Jamieson & Smith.

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photo courtesy Felicity Ford

Jan works in the wool store all year round. Between July to October she grades wool which comes in from over 600 local crofters and farmers. It’s a busy time and there’s never a dull moment! Over the winter Jan continues to sort fleeces as well as carry out any maintenance that needs to be done around the buildings.

It’s great to have Jan as such an integral part of the J&S team as she’s also a crofter and a beautiful knitter! When Ella and Sandra aren’t around in the shop for colour advice for a customer I have often asked for Jan’s help.

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

“Meeting all the people who come through the big green doors who have as great a passion as I do for the Shetland breed and about what we are doing here at Jamieson & Smith. I also love telling the J&S story.”

Do you have a favourite place in Shetland?

“Shetland as a whole, all of Shetland! I am so lucky to live in such a beautiful place. It never ceases to amaze me, even through the wind and the rain. In the summer it’s mesmerising.”

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Watsness with Foula in distance. Photo courtesy Oliver Henry
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Smiths Knowe, Walls. Photo courtesy Oliver Henry

How do you like to spend your time when you’re not working at J&S?

“At home with the animals in Walls – ‘Waas’ in dialect; knitting (there are always at least two things on the wires at any one time!) whether it’s lace or colourwork. I also like to be out and about when I can find the time away from croft work but I do love lambing time (March to May) and clipping (July to August).”

 

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Jan, her niece, Keiva and Dad, Alistair with their fleckit Shetland sheep

What’s your favourite J&S yarn?

Natural Heritage at the moment but all the yarns are amazing to work with.”

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Shetland Heritage Naturals

Fire Festival KAL 2016-2017

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Hello! Many of you have asked if we would be doing another Knit A Long this winter and the answer is yes!

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This year we have decided to take inspiration from something unique to Shetland and that is Up Helly Aa, there are a number of these fire-festivals all over Shetland from the Scalloway one in the second week of January up to the Delting Up Helly Aa in March.

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Without going into too much detail Up Helly Aa is held all over Shetland throughout the beginning of the year and they all feature a Guizer Jarl (chief Viking) and their Jarls Squad, a number of Squads dressed up, a torchlight procession and the burning of a Galley. It is something which cheers up and brightens many Shetlanders during the darkest time of the year here and I have always found the colours inspiring!

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So you can see from the shades chosen we have mainly been inspired by Fire! we have chosen a number of fiery shades (91, FC38, 125 and 9113) but also some darker shades to represent the dark winter skies (36, 81, 54) we have thrown in the bright blue shade 132 as when I was looking through photos for inspirations I kept seeing a brighter blue either in the sky or shadows like the photo above.

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Although we have taken our inspirations from the Vikings this Knit A Long is totally open to your interpretation of the colours, all you have to do is knit something (garment, accessory, whatever you feel!) using at least 5 of the 8 shades and it must feature some Fair Isle knitting (two colours in a row)

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Fire Festival Knit A Long Shades: 132, 54, 9113, 81, 36, 125, FC38 and 91

You can put together your own patterns or use a pattern that’s already out and work with putting the colours into it, we know there is still a lot of Christmas knitting going on so to coincide with the last Up Helly Aa we will have the Knit A Long running From now until 20th March 2017

I have put together a mood board of pictures on Pinterest so feel free to have a look and enjoy the Knit A Long, you can see the colours here on the online shop. If you take part and would like to Share pictures please post in our Ravelry Group and tag your pictures on instagram with #firefestivalkal

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J&S Weekend in Harrogate

Sandra and I arrived back home to Shetland on Monday afternoon after a great four days at the Knitting & Stitching Show in Harrogate. You can read my round up of our first two days here. The weekend was just as successful so again I’d like to share a bit about the people we met over Saturday and Sunday.

Just across from us was 3 Bags Wool, based in Aberlour, who had a stunning display of thrum hanks which are a by-product from Scottish weaving mills. They can be used in lots of ways including sewing and knitting. The colour combinations were so nice!

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Also available on the stand were giant wooden knitting needles which, as well as being perfect for the thrums, were great for knitting with our combed tops (knitted sample courtesy of 3 Bags Wool – thank you!)

We had a number of customers buying tops for this purpose and also for arm-knitting – we were told that about 2kg of tops was enough for a blanket. We’d love to see some examples so if anyone would like to share and tag us on Twitter or Facebook that would be great!

Over the other side of the hall was Woolaballoo. Lovely people and lovely yarns! I really liked these handmade yarn bowls and I always love a good Herdy mug 🙂 You can find Woolaballoo in Langley Park, Durham.

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One of the really fun things about being at the Knitting & Stitching Show was meeting so many amazing people, chatting with them, hearing all their stories about making with wool and seeing their wonderful knitwear! This is Brian and Margaret who I had to grab for a photo with their super pattern and colour combinations. We chatted quite a bit with Margaret, she was brilliant! The grey/orange Fair Isle jumper she’s wearing is an old Jaeger design.

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Of course there were some beautiful yarns (other than our inimitable J&S Shetland!) which were very tempting … and yes I did buy some…

A stand overflowing with the most amazing array of colour was The Knitting Goddess. Here is just a small selection of her hand-dyed yarns. A couple of gradient mini-skein bundles came home with me. So excited to get knitting with them over the winter!

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Now, I’ve been looking for the perfect pattern since last winter to replace a very old cabled jumper of mine but nothing I came across was quite right. Until… Purl Alpaca Designs ‘Mayan Jumper’ found me! Bear in mind that this was Sunday, the last day of the show, and I was VERY tired when taking photos so unfortunately forgot to take one of my perfect jumper but you can see it here.

I did buy the pattern and yarn which made me happy, yay!

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Finally, we get to the Latvian mittens! They’re knit on tiny needles, around 1.5mm. Hobby Wool have a wonderful selection of patterned kits to choose from, not just mittens but socks too. They were traditionally given as special gifts and the symbols mostly derive from deities and gods. They had a beautiful book too – Mittens of Latvia which was incredibly inspiring, I can’t wait to have a proper look through my copy!

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Ok, I’ll finish there, possibly rather abruptly I know. Apologies if my writing is not the best in this post, I’m really in need of a proper sleep! We’ve had a super time and would like to thank everyone at the show – visitors, fellow exhibitors, the fudge guy (can’t remember the name of his stand, sorry) and the sweetie man aka Henleys, all the porters, oh yeah the lady who came around with the tea trolley and brilliant cakes on the day we were setting up! She had perfect timing! Aaah, everybody, thanks!

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