Friday, 29 July 2011

A Jamieson & Smith wedding

1 Old Shetland Wedding 2 Shetland Lace Wedding Veil

Derek (wool man, crofter and creator of the soon to be released Jeannie) got married last Friday. Cue a last hour of cake and presents and cups of tea  (and no doubt some whiskey and beer) round at J&S HQ.

Thursday, 28 July 2011


A while back, we mentioned that we'd be putting a kit together for Kate Davies' lovely Warriston. Well it's here. At last.

We mentioned quickly that the patterns come with Kate's new digital magazine, Textisles. This was before we'd had a chance to look through it properly, but now we have and my goodness it is good. Seriously worth a read. It's wonderfully researched, beautifully written and presented and is just generally one of those things that will make you want to curl on the couch and lose yourself - with a cup of tea, of course.

Also, there is an ultra creative collective of contemporary textile artists in Shetland who go by the name Text-isles. In fact, the group includes the Emma Blain of Aamos Designs who is a part of the J&S Cooperative and Andrea Williamson, who designed the Whalsay Aran. We're working with the group on a little project at the moment, and can't wait to see the results.

Also reminds me that we've got two new additions to the J&S Cooperative, which should be up shortly. Yoohay!

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Gulden Leeuw

 So we left off on Friday on our way to the Gulden Leeuw for breakfast. It was docked just below our stores, and was very lovely. So lovely, in fact, that Oliver and I briefly discussed how amazing it would be to have a kind of floating extension to the yarn store, in the form of a beautiful Tall Ship. Brilliant plan.

Anyhow, back to reality. All the ships left for Norway yesterday after being delayed for a day due to bad weather (shocker). The skyline looks strangely empty.

But... there are still lots of visitors around, including Varian Brandon who popped in to see us with her current projects this morning. 


Friday, 22 July 2011

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Tall Ships

The Tall Ships Races kick off in Lerwick today. We can hear the sound checks from the stages along the harbour ahead of the first concerts this afternoon, and there are lots of visitors and sailors milling around. It's all a little bit exciting!

Truth be told, we've been looking forward to this weekend for a little while, and Sandra couldn't help but design a special edition Tall Ships Toorie pattern featuring sea, sky, sails, boats, anchors and the obligatory Shetland flag!

PS. This post is also a warning that this woolly blog is going to turn into a blog full of sails for a couple of days. You can spy on all the ships arriving in real time (and this morning's well timed rain shower) with Promote Shetland's  harbour webcam (hint: town centre cam is probably quite amusing from mid afternoon into the wee small hours).

Monday, 18 July 2011

The loveliest 50 things you ever did see!

We just got a (late) delivery of Lucinda Guy's new book 'Knitting Motifs for Babies and Kids' and oh my goodness, we're totally smitten. The book of 50 charted designs, in Jamieson & Smith yarn, are just so lovely. The first section has ridiculously helpful advice on choosing colours and yarn, and placing motifs. The designs are then split into sections, and are followed by helpful instructions on finishing and using different stitches and techniques.

Although these motifs have been developed for little ones, I think they can work just as well on adults garments. I'd like a kitsch cardigan with little kettles and flowers. Well, actually... I'd like  one with carrots and radishes, one with elephants and hearts, one with birds and cats, and a big sloppy jumper with robots... I could go on and on, there are so many combinations and oh, have a look for yourself.


Friday, 15 July 2011

Handmade by Rosalynn

We just had a visit from Rosalynn Fraser, of RoLo, who has been hand-making these cute (and exceptionally well made) brooches and necklaces at her home in Tingwall. She brought us some lovely pieces to have a look at, all needle felted from Jamieson & Smith Combed Tops.

Keep and eye out for RoLo at local craft fairs and online, and at the Craft Fair later this year.We can't wait to see what she does next...


Thursday, 14 July 2011

Real Shetland

We launched an amazing new competition last week...

Real Shetland Stories Competition. Capturing Shetland’s history.
Vi-Spring Shetland Superb Kingsize Bed, made with the finest Real Shetland Wool, worth £11,000.

A handcrafted Vi-Spring Shetland Superb bed will be specially made and gifted to the author of the Real Shetland Story that best captures an experience or memory of Shetland life in relation to wool.

Your story could be about

A long connection to something wool related - a life spent crofting or keeping warm at the fishing, or making and selling knitwear.  
A person who wore or worked with wool - a brother who lived in his favourite jumper, a granny who knitted constantly, or a dad who came home from the fishing with his jumper smelling of salt and sea and cigarettes. It might even be about an individual sheep.
A single garment - a favourite sloppy jumper worn in the 80s with a pair of DMs, a pair of work socks that have been darned hundreds of times, a Fair Isle allover that sticks in your mind, or the first pair of gloves you ever sold. 
Your story, memory or experience may be about a place – the bustle on the pier when wool came in and jumpers went out, a spot where shearing was done, winding wool in the kitchen, or a whole community’s connection to wool.
Entries will be judged by Shetland Museum and Archives Curator, Dr Ian Tait, along with local storyteller, Davy Cooper, and the Museum’s Textile Curator, Dr. Carol Christiansen.

The Project

The Real Shetland project brings together the islands’ main wool brokers, Jamieson & Smith, their parent company, Curtis Wool Direct, and Vi-Spring, who are a major customer of Shetland Wool, with Shetland Museum and Archives, Shetland Amenity Trust and Promote Shetland. 
The project highlights the importance of textiles and crofting to Shetland’s heritage, culture and economic development, and focuses on remembering and preserving knowledge and skills to ensure the future of our wool and textiles industry. 
These pieces of history will be kept to provide a rich source of information on Shetland life for future generations. Finalist entries will appear in a special edition book. 
Judge, Dr. Ian Tait said “we’re looking for personal recollections and photos that that bring back strong memories of woollens.  The idea is that we gather these evocative stories into a lasting record of wool-related memories.  It’ll be a collective “wirsit memory bank!”  We aren’t looking for the next world-class author or expert photographer; it is the story of ordinary folk and the part Shetland wool played in their lives that judges will be looking for.”
As the world’s finest bedmaker, Vi-Spring knows that real luxury depends on the best natural materials. That’s why their master craftspeople carefully fill each top of the range bed with Real Shetland Wool. 
Vi-Spring understand that the unpredictable Shetland weather and the largely natural diet of our sheep means that the properties of resilience, warmth, softness, fire retardancy and temperature control are carried right through to their luxurious beds. Vi-Spring also recognises that Real Shetland Wool is special because of the way it is and has always been closely intertwined with daily life in Shetland.


Entries should include a small written piece, roughly 100 - 300 words, illustrated with a photograph or drawing. The photograph can be of a person, a place, or depict an event. Include any known names, dates and locations. Photographs can be from a personal collection, or taken from the Shetland Museum and Archives Photo Library ( You might even want to show us a garment, a swatch, a piece of art, or even a stick drawing. The emphasis is on capturing the story. 

Winners will be announced at a special event during Shetland Wool Week, which runs from 10th – 16th October 2011. 
Entries should be submitted with name, address and telephone number to:
Real Shetland Stories Competition
Shetland Museum and Archives, Hay’s Dock, Lerwick, ZE1 0WP
or Jamieson & Smith, 90 North Road, Lerwick, ZE1 0PQ (where you can view a replica of the prize).
For more information or to follow the project:

Closing date:
15th September 2011
Terms and Conditions:
By submitting an entry you agree to your story and image being published as a book. All entries may be used for publicity and promotional purposes by competition organisers. Intellectual property rights remain with the author.  Judges decisions are final.

Real Shetland Stories, in association with Jamieson & Smith, Curtis Wool Direct, Vi-Spring, Shetland Museum and Archives, Shetland Amenity Trust, Promote Shetland. 

And here's a replica of the prize in our Lerwick wool store (the winner will have one made to their exact specifications). It is seriously the most amazing thing you've ever felt. No kidding.

Want one. More pictures to come...