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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The Knitting & Stitching Show – Harrogate

We’re halfway into the Harrogate Knitting & Stitching Show so I thought this would be a good time to share with you how it’s going.

As you may know, this is the first show we’ve attended for quite a few years. We weren’t sure exactly how it would go or what people would be looking for so we took a mixture of kits with samples, combed tops, jumper boards, glove boards… a lot of different items!

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It’s been great so far, many beautiful stands and we’ve met some wonderful people. Here are a few visitors who stopped by to see us and a small selection of exhibitors we love (more in next post!).

Knitwear designer and tutor, Graeme Knowles-Miller, brought along some of his designs made using our 2ply Jumper Weight. It was so lovely chatting with him! You can see beautiful images of his work on his website.

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While Helen (AntyHelenInspires on Ravelry) was looking at yarn I couldn’t help but notice a wonderfully coloured something peeping out of her bag… she was happy to show us her handspun(!) Stephen West Mistery Building Blocks Shawl.

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Amazing colours!

Another customer had a beautiful shawl she’d knitted several years ago using our 1ply Cobweb Yarn. Wow!

Catherine (africandaffodil on Ravelry) was wearing a really lovely crescent-shaped shawl which I just had to ask about as I loved the colours! It turned out to be her own design – The Sheperdess. I didn’t get a photo at the time but here’s one of Catherine’s own images.

 

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The Sheperdess – image Copyright Catherine Holmes

 

Next up are two of my favourite exhibitors. Both will be at Edinburgh Yarn Festival 2017 so keep a look out for them.

Beyond Measure is Grace Whowell who has the most beautiful collection of textile-making accessories and notions. Love!

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The last wonderful person I’ll mention today is Sue Stratford of The Knitting Hut. She’s an author of some seriously cute knitting books! At the show she also had knitting kits for different birds, my favourites were the Chunky Blackbird and Chunky Robin!

I’ve still not made it all the way around the whole show, a lot more to see. I’d like to get some photos of a couple of stands I’ve already seen so I’ll tell you about them in the next post.

If you’re yet to make it along to the show at the Harrogate International Centre it’s on today and tomorrow from 10am until 5pm. We have some limited edition coloured combed tops as well as all our natural shades, lots of kits which could be perfect Christmas presents, we have special prices on our Knit Real Shetland and Gladys Amedro Vintage Lace books, and also free postage on any orders placed at the show.

For those of you who can’t make the show I’ll be writing up another post after Sunday x

 

 

 

 

 

 

Harrogate – The Knitting & Stitching Show

We’re beginning to get back to normal after Wool Week which was amazing as ever!

However, there’s no slowing down in the shop as we’re beginning to pack up for going to The Knitting & Stitching Show (24-27 November). If you’ve read the earlier post I wrote then you’ll be familiar with the type of products we’re planning to have on the stand.

Living and working in Shetland means travel and delivery of all the items we want to take to the show takes a bit of figuring out! Flights (two of these and pretty much a whole day to get us down to Harrogate) and accommodation for Sandra and myself were booked a couple of months ago so that leaves all the lovely Jamieson & Smith things for the stand.

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Just a taster of the kit selection we’ll have available! You’ll have the option of adding in one of our beautiful new gift boxes…

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Our ‘Every Week is Wool Week’ printed canvas bag has been so popular over the past year that we’ve added a new design which we really love! We’ll also have our two books – Knit Real Shetland which has patterns using a range of our yarns, and Gladys Amedro Vintage Lace Collection 1. For anyone who makes cushions or similar items then our Peerie Project Bags full of Shetland Wool stuffing are perfect!

All of the above will be available to buy at the show but if there’s anything else you’d like then you can place an order with us. We will have examples of all our yarn types and colours, like a giant shade card! We think this is important so you can really get a feel of the different yarns and see the true colour.

That’s about all for now, got to get back to packing up all those kits! You can find out more about our stand in the show Exhibitor List. I’ll be back again soon to let you know of offers and special products so watch this space!

Last Few Days of Wool Week 2016

I hope you liked our post last week about the classes at J&S during Wool Week, again I’m sorry it was so brief, I still can’t get over how busy it was! We were still working on Saturday but I nipped out quickly to visit the Makers Market at Islesburgh – which was pinned! Its a great chance for local makers and small yarn producers to show what they make to a very appreciative public.

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My (Ella’s) Dad Smirk was there with Cartoons
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Foula Wool
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Students from the Textiles Course at the Shetland College
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Kathy Coull was there with Fair Isle Yarn
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The always bright and cheerful Neilanell knitwear
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busy busy!

I came back from the Makers Market and me and Sandra headed up for a quick look at the Marts, every year the Flock Book have the sale of Pure Shetland Sheep and Lambs, its always good to see the Sheep (reminds you what Wool Week is all about!) Scott who works in the Woolstore had been there all morning as Oliver and Jan were judging the wool on the hoof so the next photos are all taken by him

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Vispring always provides the sponsorship for the Fine Wool and I was asked to present it to the winners:

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Me with the White Lamb and Coloured Lamb winners
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l-r: Lamb White winner and Overall Champion, Coloured Lamb winner, Adult White winner and Coloured Adult Winner.

On Sunday after a bit of a lie in I headed out to Tingwall for the Sunday Teas held by the Guild, its one of my favourite bits of Wool Week..

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As well as the lovely food there are brilliant displays of the Work of the Guild which is always so inspiring!

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Sue Arthurs Handspun Handknitted Jumper
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Kathleen Andersons Lovely Lace
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Hazel Tindall’s beautiful Fair Isle

I hope you’ve enjoyed this more relaxed look at the last few days of Wool Week, we are just about recovered, but already looking forward to next year.

Happy Knitting!

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Wool Week at J&S

Hello! I’m so sorry we haven’t been able to update you this week of all the happenings at J&S for Shetland Wool Week, I’m afraid it has just been so busy!!! A great problem to have of course, We have just about managed to get some snaps here and there during the week so this post is all about what we had going on in the shop

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fair isle knitting with Hazel
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lace with Elizabeth Johnston

On Monday we had a Fair Isle Class with Hazel Tindall in the Morning and Shetland Lace with Elizabeth in the Afternoon, we always have these classes and they are always some of the first to sell out, Hazel and Elizabeths years of experience make them excellent teachers!

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Drop Spindling with Deborah

On Tuesday Morning we had a Drop Spindle class with Deborah Gray, I always think this looks like a really fun class to do!

Tuesday night we had a trunk show for Monique Boonstra, Monique is a fabulous lace knitter and she had samples of her lovely patterns and knittingtuesmon

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Haps with Gudrun

Wednesday led to more lace knitting, Haps with Gudrun in the Morning and more lace with Elizabeth in the afternoon. Gudruns Hap class is always very popular and she has the students make a mini version of her Hansel hap, it’s very manageable for the length of time of the class and gives everyone a taste of all the elements of this traditional Shetland garment.

img_9798This is the only photo I got on Wednesday of Elizabeths second lace class but it looks like they are learning a lot! Elizabeth is always great to have at Wool Week and she teaches lots of classes in Hoswick also.

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Of course, we have spent the week spotting crofthoose hats too! It’s great to see all the different colours people have chosen.thurshaz

Thursday morning had Hazels second Fair Isle class, she had the ladies knit in the round and then steek! Everyone seemed to have a great time and I loved the samples at the end.

Friday morning we had no classes so we got caught up on our post and then in the afternoon Monique Boonstra was back with a class using 1ply Shetland Suprememonfri

Oliver has been doing his tour this week too, and yesterday was the last day of that, he has it down to a fine art and we always get lots of people coming for the tour.

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photo by Scott Goudie

Today is the Makers Market and Flock Book and tomorrow is the fabulous Sunday Teas hosted by the Guild so I’ll be back next week with a few photos from that. It’s been a great week and as always we are so proud to be involved in Shetland Wool Week!Save

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Shetland Wool Week 2016

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Can you believe it? Shetland Wool Week 2016 began today!!!

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Shelves have been filled and the shops as tidy as it will be for the next week!img_9752-2 img_9745-2

We are hoping orders and email disruptions will be kept to a minimum but we might be a bit delayed in getting back to you, just know we are working as hard as we can to keep getting orders out as fast as we can.

This is our busiest week of the year and we love seeing all the people who have come to Shetland for the event. We have classes every day and three tours on so lots to do!

We will be blogging throughout the week so keep an eye out for out posts about Shetland Wool Week at J&S.