Voe Show 2018

Hello everyone, this past Saturday saw our annual visit to the Voe Show – the first agricultural show of the year in Shetland. I (Ella) headed up to judge the Colourbox Competition. Every year we choose a selection of 8 shades of Jumper Weight which are used by people in a category on its own in the knitwear section of the show. The entrants must use at least 5 of the 8 colours – this year the shades were: 3, 53, 66, 72, 87, 366, fc37 and FC56.

The allover on the left was the Trophy winner for this year.

It is always very difficult to choose the winners as the standard is extremely high but I was really pleased with the entries. This is the Show where I have the most time so I helped the other ladies with laying out the rest of the knitwear and as a judge I got to help with choosing the trophy winners. There is everything from lace, handspun and machine knitting to yokes, all overs and hats.

This 1ply Shawl by Kathleen Anderson won lots of prizes – very well deserved! It was beautiful.

I then spent the rest of my time at the show looking at all the other entries. At Voe there are Cows, Sheep, Horses, Chickens, Ducks, Goats, Dogs… the list goes on.

The sheep are probably my favourite as the amount and variety of breeds is always so interesting but I also like to have a look at the flowers and vegetables too…

I didnt get any photos of the baking or other handicrafts but I can assure you it all looked great too! The rain came on just as I was leaving but I had a great day at the Voe Show, this week sees Cunningsburgh on Wednesday and Waas on Saturday so we will be back with more photos from those shows too, happy knitting!

Brora Black Cobweb Shawl

hello everyone, a quick post today about a new version we have of one of our classic patterns, the Brora Black Cobweb Shawl is another one of Gladys Amedro many Shetland 1ply Shawls which Jamieson & Smith released in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. This pattern was released in 1991 and like all of Gladys patterns was written rather than charted – but recently we had a customer, Heather, who had re charted the pattern for herself and allowed us to use her charts for a charted version of the pattern.

It features lots of tree motif’s – you see a lot of trees in Shetland knitting considering we don’t have very many..! They are often seen in Fair Isle in yokes as you can decrease incredibly successfully around them as you can see here in the Hairst Yoke:

For the type of shawls that this one is the tree motif is quite apt as it is often known as the Tree of Life. There are a number of similar motif’s in Heirloom Knitting by Sharon Miller and they are described as such, a 1ply shawl is also used as a christening shawl and they were/are given to a new baby as a present or to be wrapped around them at their Christening.

This shawl is quite unusual as it was knit in Black, most are made in white but this was also seen to be able to be used as an evening shawl. Regarding the construction you first knit the border to create the scallops then pick up the stitches and work each triangle 4 times at the same time gradually decreasing as you get towards the centre. This means at the end there is no sewing to be done except your ends!

If you would like to knit your own Brora Black we have added the charted pattern kit to the online shop – you can choose to knit it in Cobweb 1 ply available in White and Black or Shetland Supreme 1 ply Available in 5 natural shades and Optic White (Optic is currently out of stock but we are hoping to have it mid August) if you want to know more about the merits of choosing a woollen spun yarn versus a worsted have a look at this post.

1ply supreme optic, white, fawn and moorit
1ply grey, 1ply shetland black, cobweb white and cobweb black

We are planning to work our way through many of our written patterns and translate them to also be available as a charted one too, so we hope you like it!

PS.. we recently got some new peerie project bags you can see them here

Dark Fawn Shetland Heritage

Hello everyone, we have been having some lovely weather in Shetland the past couple of weeks. Not quite the heatwave which the rest of the UK has been having but we are used to that!

You will know that we are lucky to have a number of yarn ranges which use the Coloured Shetland Wool – from the Combed Tops to Shetland Supreme 1 and 2 ply Lace, Shetland Supreme Jumper Weight and our most recent yarn – Shetland Heritage Naturals which we launched in 2016.

The tricky part about working with Natural shades is that of course they are different every time depending on the amount and colours of a Shade we take in the Woolstore. I thought the below picture sums it up quite well – I found this fleece in the woolstore and you can see the 4 different colours which are all found in it!

l-r: light grey, grey, dark fawn and fawn

We try to keep the shades as similar as we can but Nature is as Nature does so they can be quite different so for a limited time we are welcoming Dark Fawn into the Heritage Naturals range – it bridges the gap between Fawn and Moorit so well we have decided to get it on ball as well as on cone. It also has a grey undertone so works well with the grey shades too – the coloured Shetland Wool is so precious we couldn’t let this colour go to waste!

You can see here it alongside Fawn and together with the other shades:

This means they are more blending possibilities within the Shetland Heritage Naturals range and we cant wait to see what people do with it! The possibilities for lace and fair isle are endless when you add it in with our Dyed Heritage range…

You can find it on our website here

Happy Knitting!

 

Our Trip to Woolfest 2018

Hello everyone, just a quick post today. You may have seen on our social media we were down in Cockermouth last weekend for Woolfest. We had a great weekend seeing lots of you and selling our woolly wares. As well as all the stalls there are lots of animals to see too which is always a treat, its mainly sheep but there were also alpacas and angora rabbits!

We saw our lovely sheepy statue friends in Lockerbie again!

back home before we knew it!

We got back just before the Heatwave started in the UK (basically everywhere but Shetland) which is fine by us, we are not made for the heat! I hope you enjoyed these pictures of our trip away to Woolfest, you can see more about the event here.

Happy Knitting!!

PS. While we were away there was a couple of issues with the online shop – they should all be fixed now but if you placed an order between the 21st and 25th of June and paid by card but have received no order confirmation please contact us, we have emailed everyone but have a few which haven’t come back.

Shetland College Vision 18

On Saturday after closing the shop I headed to the Shetland College to see this years end of year show titled Vision 18. This was a display of all the Textile and Fine Art students work over this year and as always it was an inspiring visit! As well as the Degree courses they also offer Vocational Pathway courses to students at high school and Eric Gray classes to students with disabilities and life long conditions. This makes for a very wide ranging and varied display.

We are big supporters of the College, two of us who work at J&S (Ella and Kharis) both studied textiles there and we have projects with them most years, so I thought I’d share some pictures of the displays.

This years project we were involved in was with some of the fine art students to create an artwork which could be used to promote J&S, you might have seen our picture on Instagram of one of the students work – which was the portrait of Oliver you can see below

There were two students graduating from the Contemporary Textiles BA Hons Degree so their work was in a room on its own, Rhea Kay (the first two pictures) and Megan Smith’s (the last two pictures) work was very different but its was so interesting how they were both inspired by growing up in Shetland and how this has inspired their final collections.

I think you can agree the quality and quantity of talented people in Shetland is quite amazing considering our small population. If you want more information about studying at Shetland College see the website here and you can follow the Textile department on instagram here

Shetland Textile Museum Snippets

Hello everyone, today I thought I’d share some pictures from a quick visit I had a the Shetland Textile Museum last week. Also known as the Bod of Gremista the textile museum is a surprising building tucked into an industrial landscape on the outskirts of Lerwick. It was built in 1780 and since 2015 it has existed in its current form hosting exhibitions and a shop every summer season.

Downstairs there is a room with a large weaving loom and information about weaving and taatit rugs. The history’s of these crafts is Shetland is much less well known that that of knitting but there is a very good book about Taatit Rugs which came out a few years ago to tie in with an exhibition at the big Museum.

Upstairs I really enjoyed the ‘Fae the Laft’ exhibtion – its described on the Museums Facebook page as ‘treasured possessions of local residents, which might have been lying around “I’da laft” (in the attic), or at the back of a cupboard, unseen for some time. Many have an interesting story to them, so do come along and have a look’ There was a folder which told you about each item, this made for a fascinating read and I could have stayed much longer!

In the main room upstairs there was a display of both Fair Isle and Lace knitting, the Museum has a fabulous collection built up over many years and its fascinating to see what they have chosen to display. People also donate items for the exhibitions which really add to them.

Every day the Bod is open they have volunteers knitting, spinning or just available to chat through the items on display. If you are intrigued by knitting belts or Shetland knitting styles I would highly suggest visiting the Textile Museum to see them in action.

You might recognise the beret and scarf in the photo above which were chosen to be featured in the Vintage Shetland Project and named as the Helen Tait pattern. The book features mainly items from the Shetland Museum but this was one of the items from the Textile Museum.

Back downstairs there is also a shop which is filled with all kinds of textile items available for sale. It really has some of the best knitting and you can be guaranteed to find something very unique, knitters from all over Shetland put their items to the shop – many who don’t sell anywhere else!

And then when you come out – this greets you at the other side of the road, what could be better!

The textile museum is open:

Tues-Sat 12pm-5pm
The entrance fee is £3. A season ticket which gives unlimited access to the Museum for the season costs £5.

I hope you enjoyed these photos which offer you a glance into whats on offer at the Shetland Textile Museum. Happy Knitting!

Woolfest 2018

photo from woolfest.co.uk

Hello everyone! we hope your enjoying your Monday, just a quick post today to remind you about Woolfest! we have had lots of lovely weather the past couple of weeks here in Shetland but we have started organising all the lovely Shetland Wool we will be taking down with us to Cockermouth.

Ella and Kharis on our stall last year

We will of course have all our ranges of yarn – from 1ply up to Chunky including the full palette of 2ply Jumper Weight and a small selection of kits for things like the Merrie Dancers Toorie. If there is anything in particular you think we should take with us please leave it in the comments below and we will try to make room in the van.

So you can find us on stall J210 and J211, for more information about the event have a look at the show website here

We had a great time last year so we are looking forward to our trip again and seeing lots of you in Cumbria in a couple of weeks!