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Posts tagged ‘New Patterns’

New Patterns for the Shetland Lambing Season 2013

The Shetland lambing season is in full swing at the moment so there are thousands of little lambs running around the somewhat chilly countryside just now. At home on my own croft we stared lambing 2 weeks ago tomorrow and almost all our breeding ewes have lambed already, so it has been a busy couple of weeks! To celebrate the coming of the next generation of wool providers, we at J&S are releasing 3 new woolly patterns dedicated to them.


All these patterns have been designed by Sandra Manson, our knitter-designer extraordinaire here at J&S.  They are fun little knits perfect for this time of year as you grab any knitting time you can in between all the little jobs that spring brings. They all use loop stitch and garter stitch and are good projects for a beginner or should only take a few days for the more experienced knitter to make.

Monster Muff

Monster Muff1

The Monster Muff came to Sandra around Halloween last year, inspired by the spooky holiday and a desire to create a nice little phone protector. Although it sounds scary it actually turned out quite cute with its pom-pom nose and button eyes. It was designed as a phone protector but can easily be adapted into a little bag, perfect for children, through simply adding on a strap made from leftover yarn. My mam tried this out for my niece; she loves it and has been taking it everywhere and putting all her things in it. 

You can find the Monster Muff here and can choose any shade you want to make it in here.

Monster Muff2

Monster Mitts

Monster Mitts2

The Monster Mitts developed from the Monster Muff as we noticed how cosy this type of knitting is and how amazing looking a pair of gloves made in it would be! At first they just look like a rather woolly pair of gloves until you see the flap on the cuff which makes it look like a little monster has eaten your hand. They’re great fun and also a pleasure to knit.

You can find the Monster Mitts here and can choose any shade you want to make it in here.

Monster Mitts1

Sheep Cushion

Sheep Cushion1

The Sheep Cushion is personally one of my favourite patterns that we’ve ever released! It was the idea of Derek Goudie, one of the ‘wool men’ here at J&S and was developed into this unique cushion by Sandra. Its loop-stitch body emphasises the warm, woolly nature of our Shetland Aran yarn and the garter stitch head, body and legs gives it a beautiful finish. It is also stuffed with our wool cushion filling, a perfect – and eco-friendly – way to finish off this little Shetland Sheep.

We purposefully simply called the pattern ‘Sheep Cushion’ so that you can name your own one anything you wish. As with all our other patterns we would love to see pictures of them when you’ve finished, as well as hearing what you’ve named your own little sheep and where they are living now. My mam is currently working on one now in very special colours which I think we’re going to call Jeemie Smith. More to come soon…

You can find the Sheep Cushion here and can choose any shades you want to make it in here.

Sheep Cushion2

For most crofters the Shetland lambing season begins a few months later than mainland Britain, at the end of April or start of May, when the weather has hopefully calmed down and is warm enough for the newborn lambs. This includes a mix of breeds including Suffolk, Cheviot, Texel and of course Shetland. Some yarns that claim to be Shetland wool are a mixture of breeds such as these, meaning you don’t get the quality of Real Shetland Wool yarns. Most of the wool from Shetland’s sheep comes in to us here at J&S where it is hand graded and sorted to make sure only the best Real Shetland Wool is made into our yarns, making sure they are soft, bouncy and beautiful to handle.

Sheep Cushion3

New patterns in J&S yarn

It has been a crazy couple of weeks at J&S getting some exciting new projects up and running or to the final stages. More about that later. But now we finally have time to share a couple of new designs that are out there that use our yarns with you.


Firstly is the Alcott slipover that is highlighted on the front page of The Knitter magazine, where it is featured, as a ‘Fair Isle tank top in candy colours’. It is designed by Mary Henderson who is a designer and knitter from Somerset.  Mary has a great skill in combining colours in Fair Isle designs. She will be here for Shetland Wool Week giving a class in our shop on using the steeking method, in which participants will be able to  knit, finish and take away their very own mug hug in an afternoon. You can find out more about Wool Week classes and events here


Photo: Jesse Wild

The following is from the lady herself on the inspiration for the Alcott and looking forward to her Wool Week class:

Inspiration comes from many places and happens in unexpected ways. Since the age of 8 I have been in love with Fair Isle knitting – I saw a photograph of a jumper in the Lady’s Home Journal (US publication) and wanted to learn how to knit it. It was the start of a lifelong journey. I have been knitting and learning ever since. In 2009 I realised a lifetime dream and travelled to Shetland for the In the Loop conference and finally visited Jamieson and Smith Woolbrokers (having ordered from them many times over the years). I was able to see all the colours and play around with colour combinations: traditional ones plus some unlikely ones. It is great to see how colours work together: how the colours ‘in between’ change and enhance the main colours and how a single, strong contrast in the horizon line can pull a colourway together and make it sing. Luckily the staff are very tolerant! I put together various colourways and organised for it to be posted home to Somerset.
Roll on 18 months. I was very fortunate to be part of the commissioning process for The Knitter – one of the possible samples was entitled Fruit Salad. I worked on a traditional OXO pattern with the colourway based on cross sections of citrus fruit – oranges, strawberries, blueberries – it was based on a colourway I had played with on the counter of the Woolbrokers. I wanted a bright colourway- it is a summer take on the traditional blue, red, yellow, white colourway – pinks and orange with red, shades of blue (towards the green side) with natural white as the background to lift the other colours. I wanted the colours in the 1×1 rib to shimmer as well as mirror the colour sequence in the main body.
A word about steeking: after decades of knitting Fair Isle designs – it was time to give steeking a go. It was a revelation! Placing the steeks at armholes and the neck made keeping track of decrease sequences really easy. As a knitting teacher I want to spread the word that it is a useful technique, easy to do with the right materials – Jumper Weight wool is perfect. I will be teaching how to steek during Wool Week in October – participants will be making a Mug Hug in a traditional OXO pattern. It should be great fun.

You can order the Alcott kit in a variety of sizes from our website here. This will come with all the yarn required to knit the kit in your specified size but please note that we cannot supply the pattern. You can find that in Issue 56 of The Knitter magazine or purchase it from Ravelry here or The Making Spot here.


Photo: Jesse Wild

The second of these two new designs done with our yarns is the Damaress jumper by Liz Lovick. This beautiful contemporary garment is done in a classic design which lends itself well as an ‘everyday favourite’ jumper or one for showing off at a special occasions. 

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Photo: Liz Lovick

Liz is a knitter and designer who lives in North Ronaldsay in Orkney and has been a friend of J&S for many years. She has done a number of patterns for us in the past, some of which are being made ready to print to be released soon. Quoting from the Yarn Review in the feature on the Damaress jumper in Yarnwise, Issue 59, she states that “J&S’s 2ply jumper weight has been the best yarn for Fair Isle work for generations! The shades blend well with each other, and the yarn is ‘sticky’ enough to make steeking easy”, which is a great compliment for us!

You can order the Damaress kit from our online shop here. This will come with all the yarn required to knit the kit to the size you select but please note that we cannot supply the pattern. You can find that in Issue 59 of Yarnwise magazine or purchase it from Ravelry here.

YW138 Damaress

Photo: Liz Lovick

Sandra’s visit to Wool House

Sandra has arrived back to J&S safe and sound after her busy little trip to Wool House over the past weekend. Not only did she get to look around the fantastic woolly exhibition but she was also a star attraction herself, giving Masterclasses on Fair Isle and Shetland Lace knitting which proved to be extremely popular with even more participants than we were expecting!


One of Sandra's Masterclasses in the Events Room at Wool House

Sandra had made up a little exercise for each class that the participating knitters could try out, some attempting Fair Isle and Shetland Lace for the first time. She was really impressed by how quickly everyone got into it and really enjoyed both classes. Judging by the comments we have had back the participants very much enjoyed it as well. Some have sent photos of their finished articles which we love! It is great to hear that everyone enjoyed their day out.

Imke Himstedt's knitted pouch from the Fair Isle Masterclass

Imke Himstedt’s knitted pouch from the Fair Isle Masterclass

Joanne Clements' knitted pouch from the Fair Isle Masterclass

Joanne Clements’ knitted pouch from the Fair Isle Masterclass

Another little treat for those who attended the classes was a sneak preview of some new patterns designed by Sandra that we are working on. They seemed to go down really well, particularly a lovely yoke cardigan in sage green,  so we can’t wait to get them out to you soon. 

New Pattern Samples

Tom of Holland, who many of you may know, also popped along to the class to meet up with Sandra. Tom is a self-taught knitter who prefers to use wool – particularly from British breeds –  in his projects and specialises in the mending of garments and promoting this as a more sensible alternative for our throw-away society. We are excited that Tom will be working with us on a few things in the near future as we have shared opinions, many of which are integral to J&S and Shetland knitwear as a whole. You can read more about Tom on his blog here.

Tom and Sandra

Wool House is billed by the Campaign for Wool as ‘the world’s biggest ever celebration of Wool’ where ‘all aspects of our favourite natural fibre will be explored’ and judging by the following images Sandra took as she looked around the exhibition in Somerset House it is quite spectacular. There really is a huge range of applications for this beautiful fibre and we  at J&S are lucky to work with the softest and bounciest one of the lot: Real Shetland Wool!

Exhibition 1

Exhibition 2

Exhibition 3

Exhibition 4

Exhibition 5

Exhibition 6

Exhibition 7

Exhibition 8

Exhibition 9

Rooms 1

Rooms 2

Rooms 3

Rooms 4

Rooms 5

Rooms 6

Rooms 7

Rooms 8

The Campaign for Wool’s Wool House runs until 24th March so you still have a chance to pop along and experience it for yourself if you can. Read more about it here.

Campaign for Wool Logo