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Shetland College Project 2020

Hello everyone,

You may know that every year we work with the Shetland College and their Fine Art and Contemporary Textiles students on a project in which the students create a piece of work inspired by J&S and its buildings and yarns, even though things have been very different this year we did manage to have the usual visits with the students at the beginning of the year before everything shut down so they were able to continue the project and last week I (Ella) headed to the college to see the results of the project.

As always we will go through the students work and I’ll write a little bit about their inspirations:

Shannon Leslie

Shannon was inspired from her visit to us and hearing Oliver speak about the importance of Shetland sheep and their colours, marking and existence – She created this collection of beautiful ‘lugs’ – ears in Shetland dialect from raw wool and combed tops.

She said ‘We never want these ears to become mere ‘specimens’ of what ‘once was’’. I found the ears very tactile and cute, and I could see links to Museums and Taxidermy which was very effective.

Elouise Spooner

Elouise was inspired by the markings on the floor in the Woolstore and the colours and textures in the woolstore from the walls, floors and wool. She worked into a sheet using sewing, painting and distressing.

She said: ‘The phrase ‘Common Land’ took a whole different meaning when put into the context of today, as before it just meant a field used by many crofters for sheep, but in the context of COVID-19 it stands for how people have had to come together in the ‘Common Land’ of the internet and how people have had to become more empathetic with each other as this virus affects everyone. This piece was not what I expected when I first stepped into Jamieson & Smith, but I’m very happy with the outcome.’

It was a really effective piece and I liked how it linked into the present as well as the every day in the Woolstore.

Jean Urquhart

Jean created a selection of sculptural pieces and painting in her work as well as small art book containing samples of fleece paintings which she then took out onto bigger scale wall pieces.

She was inspired by the textures and colours of the woolstore which I think translated well into her use of natural colours in the Heritage and Tops.

She said: ‘I really enjoyed discovering the wool shed, loved the untreated wool, the atmosphere, the history: found it inspirational. The natural yarn is very beautiufl and makes me want to learn to knit’

Elaine Thomason

Elaine was inspired by visiting J&S and its buildings to create a ‘Taatit Rug’ which incorporated lots of elements of what we do – including our logo and bannisters!

She said:

For the last sixty years, J&S have bought fleeces from the Shetland crofters…who graze their hardy peerie sheep on the stark hillsides. In the 1960s the old United Free Kirk was purchased to be used as a grading shed…it is now the Wool Shop. In the 1900s this part of Lerwick was a hive of activity with numerous fishing stations spread along its shores. The shore being the work-place of the Herring girl’s as they gutted and salted fish. The kirk was a place of worship and relaxation for them. The herring girls had a restroom and knitted in any free time. Marriages also took place and even a Post Office made use of the building. This colourful history inspired me. I thought of the poverty of material things and how nothing was wasted. From conception to creation the coming together of the Tattit rug, historical a wedding gift to the bride and groom from both families.’

I found Elaine’s rug really moving and could totally see all the inspiratrions and how they had translated into the piece.

Cilla Robertson

Cilla was inspired by the textures in the woolstore and decided to work with crochet and balls to represent the reach of Shetland Wool all over the world. She combined these into hanging almost ‘mobiles’

Shet said ‘I wanted my final work to highlight the environment that supports the production of wool. I used peat, clay, heather and rams’ horns.’

I loved the use of different materials withing the work and found them very beautiufl to look at and stand under.

Jane Ridland

 

Jane worked with audio and visuals to represent her visits to J&S and what that ignited within her and she made her film from a Grandaughters perspective.

She said ‘I used film to recreate the rhythmic movement and sound of my grandmother’s knitting needles and highlight the importance of yarn quality, and the essential knitting belt. Finally, to remember a small flock of twenty sheep.’

I think the work the students produced considering everything that’s happened this year was really great and it’s always amazing to see what is produced and how others see coming into J&S and we love seeing work from so many different perspectives.

To find out more about the creative courses at the Shetland College click here, we hope you’ve enjoyed seeing the students work.

Gentle Reopening

Hello everyone, just a quick post today to give you a run-through of our situation as Scotland enters the new phase of relaxing Lockdown. Scotland has different rules than England so we are following the current guidelines which mean as of Monday 29th of June we are now in working 5 days a week and our shop is open to the public! We are however still offering free Shetland Delivery for phone and online orders and we would encourage locals to take advantage of this service, and only coming into the shop if completely necessary. We want to keep our customers and staff as safe as possible. We are of course adhering to social distancing in the shop and offering hand sanitiser as well as cleaning regularly.

This also means we are back posting 5 days a week, this should hopefully mean you getting your orders a bit quicker but we are still seeing delays in orders arriving and unfortunately coupled with rising costs we will be raising our postage costs for European and Rest of the World orders as of 1st July 2020. European orders will now cost £8.95 up to 2kg and Rest of the World £10.95, we are working on new systems and hope to offer more options for posting in the near future but for the moment this is the current situation.

Again we would like to thank all our customers and friends for their support and business during this crazy time, we know how lucky we are to have such a strong and reliable customer base that has kept us all working and kept you knitting!

Happy Knitting x

An Update

Olivers Coloured Sheep 025

Hello everyone, this is just a quick post to update you about what is happening at J&S during the UK lockdown thanks to the Coronavirus Pandemic. We posted an update at the beginning of the week which came before Prime Minister Boris Johnson made his address to the UK. From Monday night we are now in a lockdown situation which affects how businesses are able to be run during this time.

We have had to close our physical shop meaning no customers can come in and shop because as per the government’s instructions we are a non-essestional business, we are able however to continue selling online, we have made changes to our staff schedules so that we are not all in at the same time and we are able to work at the appropriate distances from each other. This means however that we cannot dispatch orders every day because there are fewer of us in and there will be delays in orders and with emails being answered. We will try and post out 2 or 3 times a week, we are used to posting out every day so it is a change for us too and we appreciate your patience.

We will not be able to accept as many phone orders and would prefer if possible that you place your order online, we will be checking the answerphone when we are in but it will be dispatched earlier if placed online. We also ask that you double-check your order is completely correct before finalising it, as we cant easily make changes or add things at this time and it will delay your order further – this also applies to ensure you select the correct delivery option for your area. We have had an uptake in Shetland orders too through the online shop and we have added a Shetland Delivery option to the checkout so please make use of that if you are in Shetland.

If there are any changes we will post again here or on our social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Ravelry) If you have questions we are contactable on all those channels so you may find we can get back to you quicker than by email.

It is a scary period for us all so thank you for your patience and understanding during this time, keep safe and happy knitting xx

Sale!

Hello everyone, just a quick post to tell you about a little online only sale we are having for the next couple of weeks! we’ve reduced a selection of shades all over the ranges and added some other bits and pieces.

You can get 20% off the following shades of 2ply Jumper Weight:

top row: FC9, 1284, 132, 95. bottom row: 90, 79, 32 and 16

20% of these shades of 2ply Lace and 1ply/Supreme 1ply:

top: L136, L95, L78. middle: L68, L53, L15. bottom: L5, 1ply Cobweb Black and 1ply Shetland Supreme Shetland Black

These shades of 2ply Supreme Lace, Heritage Naturals and Aran Worsted:

top: 2ply Supreme Lace in Shetland Balck and Moorit. bottom: Shetland Heritage Naturals in Dark Fawn and Aran in Saxon Blue

We’ve added a discount on our bags:

And we’ve put together some packs of different yarns – some are old stock or test runs so there are a limited quantity but they are a good deal!

We’ve recently received more stock of our Shetland Chunky which we have discontinued and we thought was finished but we’ve found more so its available for £3.50 a ball instead of £7.50:

We’ve also put some packs together containing 7 balls of Shetland Heritage in a selection of Shades:

1 ball of Auld Gold, Indigo, Peat, Coll Black, Berry Wine, Madder and Fluggy White

We have also reduced the Calendars, Cushions and some needles. Its a great chance to get a good deal on some shades and we might be adding some more things over the weeks – it’s on from now (18th February) until the 3rd of March. Happy knitting and shopping!!

just a note: this doesn’t include yarn in kits, it’s only available at the discounted price if bought from the sale page.

Lerwick Up Helly Aa 2020

Hello everyone, today is Lerwick Up Helly Aa day! this is just a reminder that we will be closed tomorrow Wednesday 29th January as it is a public holiday here. If you would like to know more about the event see here and if you would like to watch the event live today and tonight there is a live stream which can be seen here. If you’re on Instagram it’s worth looking at the #uphellyaa2020 and #uphellyaa as lots of people will be adding photos as the day goes on!

This Weeks Patterns

Hello Everyone, thanks for the feedback on our post last week, we have added more patterns to be available on loveknitting as PDF’s and now also on Ravelry!

So you can find the Roadside, Antartica set and Allover and the Hairst on Ravelry here.

This week’s patterns are:

The Guizers Toorie, although we are out with Up Helly Aa season now there is plenty of time to knit one for next year! Sandra originally designed this hat for me (Ella) to wear while watching UHA and we were often asked for the pattern, earlier this year we finally got it done and out. Knit in fiery shades of 2ply Jumper Weight it features rows of Guizers (torchbearers) making they’re way up to the burning galley/pompom!

Christina Christening Gown was designed by Sandra to commemorate the birth of Prince George and the pattern was originally available in Women’s Weekly. We wanted to have the pattern available in a charted format so thanks to Heather we were able to do that, we would class this as an advanced lace project, it is knit in 1ply Shetland Supreme Lace.

Aran Harpa is another reincarnation of a pattern we previously had, Sandra reworked the chunky version of this pattern in our Shetland Aran Worsted which makes for a very soft yet warm interpretation of this Icelandic style yoke. The yarn had excellent stitch definition and the solid shades make for a very stand out yoke!

The Gremista Gansey was knitted from a jumper in the collection of the Shetland Textile Museum, a number of years ago we were approached by the museum with a selection of garments. This was the one Sandra chose to recreate as we felt it was an excellent introduction to Gansey style knitting. Its worked in the round to the oxters then back and forth, its also knit in Shetland Aran Worsted.

There will be more patterns added over the next few weeks, again if there is any specific patterns from our pattern archive you would like let us know, Happy Knitting!

Shetland College Project 2019

Every year for the last few years we have taken part in a Professional Practise module with the Textile Students and now also featuring the Fine Art students of the Shetland College. Last week me (Ella) and Oliver went over to the college to see this year’s final projects, there were six students work in total and as always we were impressed with the results.

Rebecca was inspired by the history of J&S and our former managers Eva and Jim Smith – she read into the history of the family and they’re interests from our book, Jamieson & Smith: A Shetland Story. She took inspiration from the photos of Jim with his plane and Evas jacket to adorn a Jacket featuring embroidery, crochet patches and felted applique which she also dyed and altered.

Tomas took his inspiration from the lines and textures of the Woolstore to create a range of knitwear to appeal to different and perhaps younger market. From his home country of Slovakia, he took colour and use inspiration forward in his hat, balaclava and headbands which can be worn in a mix and match way.

Rachel was inspired by elements in the Woolstore – the story, materials and abbreviations we use on Wool bags were some things she took forward into her art piece. There is a use of mixed media, screenprinting, felting and embroidery onto Hessian and use of the raw wool too.

Rosalynd took inspiration from the colour and texture of raw fleece into her garment, the panelling of different weights of yarn together with fringing which is reminiscent of the raw fleece. The large stitches also reminded us of the way bales are sewn together.

Kirsty was inspired by the lightness of the 1ply Shetland Supreme and with the idea of using the wool as a drawing tool. Knotting, tieing and draping the wool into words reminded her of fish nets – another strong shetland pastime, combined with photography of the croft she was interested in the journey of the wool and the process from croft to wool.

Sue took her inspiration from the Global reach of Shetland Wool week and how the history and culture of Shetland textiles bring so many people to us.  This led her to look into Navajo weaving and this is where she took her colour inspiration from along with the linear aspect and block patterns. Her final scarf included a textured weave with triangular and wavy motifs in the Shetland Heritage yarns.

Me and Oliver enjoyed our visit as always and it was inspiring to see the way the Students used our yarns in different and unusual ways. To see more work from the Shetland College you can follow both the Fine Art programme and Textiles course on Instagram.

Harriets Hat

Hello everyone, Happy Friday! Just a quick post today to tell you about a local charity pattern which has just been released. Harriets Hat has been designed by Harriet Middleton to raise money for the Shetland MRI Scanner Appeal. Annually over 600 people have to travel to the Scottish Mainland for an MRI scan as we don’t have one here in Shetland – this places a big impact on people as there can be many issues with travel disruptions, weather and the general stress on having to make the trip and what it could be for.

An MRI scan can be used to diagnose and monitor such conditions as:

  • Cancer
  • Heart conditions
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Arthritis bone and joint damage
  • Stroke
  • Dementia
  • Fertility issues
  • Heart defects
  • Liver problems
  • Infection
  • Internal bleeding

So you can see it would really benefit the Shetland community for us to have access to one.

To raise money Harriet (who had to have MRI scans herself over a two year period) has designed a traditional Fair Isle hat in the appeal colours. The pattern is available to download as a PDF here and we are offering yarn packs of the J&S colourway with all the yarn needed here. (If you purchase a yarn pack it will not include the pattern – make sure to download it)

We have paper copies of the pattern available to purchase in the shop and we will also be donating all the cost of the yarn purchased in the shop here in Shetland.

For more information about the appeal and to donate you can see the website here. Many people all over the world have already purchased the pattern and we know Harriet is very proud of how well the hat is being received so if you have benefitted from the skills of Shetlanders, our knitting and our wool it would mean a lot if you either downloaded the pattern, bought the wool to knit one or donated to the appeal. Thanks and happy knitting xx

Cobweb White Cones

Hello everyone, just a quick post today for the lace knitters, our 1ply Cobweb Wool has been a staple of our yarn collection since the 1970’s, its a woollen spun 1ply (obviously) 50% Shetland 50% Lambswool mix which is commonly used for shawls and scarfs like the Gibbie, Sheelagh, Rosemary etc. It has a crisp finish when knitted up and it was used often by Gladys Amedro in her Lace designs.

You might have noticed we often have cones of our 1 ply Shetland Supreme but we recently took in some cones of the 1 ply Cobweb which we’ve never had before.. so they are online now at £40, they are appox 600g which is about 8400 metres! This is equivalent to about 24 balls which if you are a shawl knitter means a big saving on the price of the balls. You should be able to get 4 or 5 shawls out of it.

So if you would like a cones of 1ply cobweb you can find it on the website here! PS: We also just took back 3 shades of 2ply Lace.. L125, L69 and L28 which can be seen here..

Happy Knitting!

January Special Offers

hello everyone, we shared this on our Social Media the other day but I thought i’d also share here on the blog some of the items we have on offer at the moment:

  • All our discontinued BSS Aran yarns are now £2.00 a ball each, this is a lovely woollen spun Aran weight perfect for cabled or warmer garments and accessories.
  • A few Jumper Weight shades: 47, 66 and 95 are only £2.00 a ball – that’s about a 30% saving on the £2.85 usual price.
  • two shades of our Shetland Chunky yarns: Raan (bright pink) and Olnafirth (bright blue) are now £3.50 per 100g ball which is better than half price. This Worsted Spun chunky is a lovely soft wool due to how its been spun.
  • A couple of shades of 2ply Lace are £1.90 a ball, L3, L93 and Lfc17.
  • We have a selection of 11 different shades of Jumper Weight 500g cones which are now £21 each, if you like pinks, oranges, yellow and turquoise there will be one for you.
  •  We have some Fair Isle for Beginners and Lace for Beginners kits which we have reduced, the pattern is free and the kit just costs the yarn price.
  • Finally we have some Faulty Optic White 1 ply Shetland Supreme. This yarn came to us from the spinners with some issues in that when it was balled onto the cardboard core some were getting caught on machinery and the yarn was breaking. We had them all checked and because we cannot be sure there are no breaks within the yarn we are offering it for only £1.50 per 25g ball which is a big saving on the usual £5.00 price.

You can find the offers on our website here.

Happy knitting!

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