Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Scotland Journey Part 3: Jamieson's of Shetland, Beach Knitting + Shetland Sheep!

Next in Shetland, we trekked west to visit the Jamieson's of Shetland mill. Shetland is home to two producers of Shetland yarn: Jamieson's, and Jamieson + Smith (not confusing at all). Jamieson's is located in Sandness on Shetland's west coast. Jamieson's is a family owned mill that produces Shetland wool yarn as well as manufactures garments - all of this is done in their facility in Sandness which is open to the public. 

Ysolda looking cute in Jamieson cardigan on vest action
We had more fun trying on (and buying) knitwear. We also were able to shop for yarn! Jamieson's Shetland Spindrift is their fingering weight Shetland yarn and it comes in tons of great colors. Fair Isle colorwork demands having access to tons of colors (sometimes upwards of 10 colors will be used in one design) so both Shetland yarn companies cater to this type of knitting with extensive color palettes. They also sell their yarn in smaller put ups, because you usually just need a little of some colors, so this way you can use more colors in a project, without buying tons of yarn.

Malia and Amber in Christmas sweaters!

Malia is shopping for the perfect colors

Stephen is trying on more knitwear
After we tried on knitwear and purchased yarn, we toured the factory. All the Jamieson's yarn is made right there in Sandness. We were able to follow the yarn from fleecy fluff to finished product. On this particular day, a buttery yellow was in production.

On of the wool experts of Jamieson's shows us the milling process

Seeing the steps of milling wool into yarn was pretty amazing. Jamieson's also produces their own knitwear so we were able to see workers making garments on seaming machines from knit fabric that had been knit on knitting machines. Amazing!

After Jamieson's  we had to take a break for some beach knitting on the beautiful, rocky shores of Sandness. A lovely way to spend the afternoon on a rare sunny day in Shetland.

Beach knitting break on Sandness

Shetland is full of sheep. Throughout our time there, we were constantly surrounded by sheep. The sheep were in all the pastures, on the sides of the roads and sometimes in the roads.

Most of the sheep are Shetland sheep. Shetland sheep are a hardy, small breed of sheep who produce fine wool. All the yarns produced on Shetland are from these sheep. Shetland sheep come in 11 recognized colors ranging from white to grey to brown to black. Both yarn companies stock yarn in 9 un-dyed colors from the naturally colored sheep. We explored the island with sheep accompanying on all our adventures!

We traveled north, not really knowing where we were headed, and ended up at the epic cliffs of Eshaness.

Ysola, Malia, Amber and Jaime in Eshaness

Jaime and Amber at Eshaness

Ysolda on a cliff...she didn't fall.
One of the purposes of our trip was to photograph a new collection of patterns that Amber, Malia and Stephen designed for an upcoming collaboration. Ysolda did the photography in some beautiful spots on Shetland when the sun was going down. Stay tuned for the release of these awesome new patterns later this fall!

Ysolda, Jaime, Stephen with sheep

Ysolda fixes Stephen's hat during a photoshoot

Next up: Jamieson and Smith with Shetland ponies!

1 comment:

Lori ann said...

wow such fantastic posts on your journey to scotland! all the wool! the knits! the puffins! your beautiful photos, sigh. i hope to do this someday, oh wow!