The Croft – Shetland Tweed

Hello everyone, something which arrived just before Shetland Wool Week was a new yarn which was launched a couple of months ago. The Croft Shetland Tweed is an Aran weight wool made from 100% Shetland Wool from us!

We worked in association with West Yorkshire Spinners who developed this wool which is very different to anything that we have here at J&S so we were very excited to see the yarn in the flesh and it doesn’t disappoint. It comes in a range of 8 different speckled shades and each colour has lots of different shades within it, this is the Stonybrek colourway ..

the shades available in the range are:

The yarn is sold in 100g hanks and contains 166m/182yds, I think it would work best in something quite plain or with an all over texture pattern. It is certainly coolling down in Shetland now and a hat would be great in this yarn – something like this, this or this!

You can find The Croft Shetland Tweed on the website here, happy knitting!

J&S and Dries Van Noten

You may have heard about a recent Instagram post linking Jamieson & Smith with hip hop artist, Lil Uzi Vert. Funny how these things come about!

We had been in communication with design house Dries Van Noten since around this time last year when they ordered some 2ply Jumper Weight for sampling. They were great with asking us about using our original logo, designed by Oliver Henry, on the sweaters they were planning to knit using our yarn.

old logoInitially, we thought they wanted to use this in the garment care label, inside the sweater, so we explained that maybe they would prefer to have our current J&S star logo. A reply by email confirmed that because they were interested in heritage brands the original logo suited their design better. That was fine by us, then we noticed the attached image – our logo in HUGE print directly on the front of a sweater! Not what we were expecting at all but brilliant for us!

So the big yarn orders, in a selection of 2ply Jumper Weight shades, came in over last winter from DVN and to be honest it was a little difficult to keep up. Especially at that time of year when the previous clip had mostly been sorted and allocated for yarn or other customers. But we got there and the final cones were sent out to Belgium in the spring of this year.

We had seen photos from Paris Fashion Week in January, our main contact at Dries Van Noten kept us updated which was really lovely.

dvn fall 2017 paris show jan 17
Dries van Noten at Paris fashion week last winter

Occasionally, we’d be tagged in a post during the process of the collection coming together, for example, the photographer Jonnie Craig working on Selfridges look-book.

dvn lookbook
Photograph: Jonnie Craig for Selfridges

We also had a visit from Milou van Rossum, fashion director at Netherlands publication, NRC. She contacted us as she was writing an article on Shetland wool based around the Dries Van Noten collection. The day she arrived was cold, dull and rainy, not ideal conditions for being in the hill attempting to photograph Shetland sheep who will run to a safe distance just as soon as you think you’ve got the perfect shot! She asked lots of questions and was able to get a feel for the wildness of the landscape where Shetland sheep thrive best as our manager Derek, and myself (Kharis), took her on a tour up north to crofts at Collafirth.

I guess none of Milou’s photos turned out too well because of the weather as she chose to use a photo by Tom Barr (below) in her final article!

tom barr sheep

Then just a couple of weeks ago Celebrity_Vice tagged us in an image on Instagram… and so it began…

dvn celebrity vice

A bit of Googling was in order… we will readily admit, we had no idea who Lil Uzi was! Anyway, it was great that our name, that of Shetland and Shetland wool was getting out to a different audience. A few shares on social media later and we had quite a few comments – customers, Shetlanders, friends and family – some asking, ‘Where can I buy one?!’, others concerned that this may be another example of a big designer misappropriating another’s design.

Chris Cope, for Shetland News, gave us an opportunity to put Shetlanders minds at rest and explain a little bit about it when he contacted Ella asking for a quote after seeing the social media (peerie)storm. You can read his article and Ella’s quote here.

If you’re interested in purchasing a Real Shetland Wool jumper by Dries Van Noten you can do so at Selfridges or Barneys. Thanks to Fashion Cost for a pretty nice schematic of Lil Uzi’s outfit…

fashion cost

 

 

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!

Woolfest 2017

Hello everyone, happy Friday! So we are getting organised and packing together what we will be bringing down to Woolfest next week!

We are taking a wide range of our yarns – including every shade of 2ply Jumper Weight and a selection of books, kits and we will also be able to take orders for anything else people would like that we dont have with us – any orders placed at the show we have free postage, So on Tuesday night me (Ella) and Kharis will be heading on the boat and making the drive down!  Woolfest is an award winning event which takes place in a auction mart in Cockermouth in Cumbria, its a big celebration of Wool and the event also includes animals and fleece sales so we are looking forward to seeing that.

Its is open Friday 23rd (10am – 6pm) Saturday 24th (10am – 5pm) and the tickets are £10 each day or £15 for a two day ticket, you can find us on stand J197 and 242. So if you are coming we look forward to seeing you and we will do a blog once we are back all about our trip.

Happy Knitting!

British Knitting Awards 2017

Yippeee! We have been nominated again (for the 4th year running!!) in the Best Brand For British Yarn category in the British Knitting Awards! When you think about how small Shetland is geographically we are always extremely pleased to be nominated in this category, and we are in great company – We would love it if you would vote for us, so if you would like you you can do so here (by entering you also get entered into a competition to win lots of prizes!!)

So thank you again for nominating us! it really means a lot, happy knitting!

 

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!

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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!