grey yoke



IMG_5197When I took the photos for my baa-ble hat post I realised the jumper I was wearing matched it perfectly! I bought this yoke jumper from eBay a few months ago and since I did I have worn it a lot. I have fancier and brighter jumpers in my wardrobe but I often find myself reaching for this jumper.


The jumper has a a simple but very effective lace yoke. I love grey (we know, we know) and I love the subtle shading with the bright white through the middle. If you are aware of the construction of the yoke in Kates Puffin jumper (Ive made two.. see here and here) this is quite similar. In the Puffin every second row is a purl row which gives you more of a textured effect but the decreasing is the same for the zig zags.


Unfortunately as times changed in Shetland many textile businesses stopped producing knitwear, I’ve never head of this brand and perhaps they were quite small, a ‘cottage’ industry but that’s quite a nice label so I’m not sure. If you ever come across something described as hand-framed or hand-framed knitted that means most of the jumper is machine knitted and in this case the yoke has been handknitted.


time is ticking on and I head to Iceland a week on wednesday, I cant wait! hopefully I’ll be back with another post before I go, til then, happy knitting. xx

half hansel



This picture pleases me greatly, those hanks and that tiny little triangle is now this:


My first hap!! Haps are everywhere just now, Gudrun had a hap knitalong in her group on Ravelry and then Louise from Knitbritish organised the hapalong. I have been planning to try and knit one for ages but there is nothing like a knitalong to spur you along.

hap2If your wondering what I’m talking about, a hap is a traditional Shetland shawl which ladies used to wear almost like a jacket. They have a centre panel knit in garter stitch or sometimes patterned lace, a feather and fan border with a knitted on edging. For more information about Haps have a look at Louise’s post, Kates post or even the one I wrote for the J&S blog a few weeks ago. I decided to knit a Half Hansel designed by Gudrun Johnston. The construction of this shawl is a centre triangle worked up from one single stitch which is then picked up down the sides with the border knitted on, in the pattern you can also knit on an edging which I decided not to do. I wanted a more casual hap that I could wear as a scarf.



I am really pleased with how it came out. I used Jamieson & Smith 2ply Jumper Weight. (of course) The main shade is 54 which I knit off one of my many cones, all my contrast shades were from old hanks so the modern versions of the shades are a bit different but the two greys and 27 and 203 and the oranges are FC38 and FC8 (now discontinued) It was very addictive taking photos of the shawl today, I really like the way my shading came out.. if I so say so myself.. being humble is an overrated trait you know.



I don’t do a lot of lace knitting so feather and fan is about the height of my skill level, It is so effective and yet pretty easy, so I’m quite proud of my first hap even if it is just a half hap! I would love to knit a full hap but by the time I reached my stitch count for the centre triangle I was ready to start the border!



When I made my first yoke jumper I said it was like a rite of passage for a Shetland knitter and I think a hap is a similar thing, you really feel a connection to your culture when you make something that people from your home have been making for centuries.. cant you just see me walking over the hills with my kishie on my back??? Maybe not.



Thanks for all your comments on my baa-ble hat! much appreciated as always. I’ve had a few people asking about the jumper I was wearing in my photos so I’ll be back later this week with a post about that, til then..

Happy knitting! ella xxx

my baa-ble hat

I do love a quick knit and if you’re looking for something to knock up in a few nights or even less if you are also trying to knit a hap.. I would definitely suggest this years free Shetland Wool Week pattern – The Baa-ble Hat. Designed by Donna Smith, this years patron for Wool Week, this hat contains everything I like: pom poms (big fan) thick wirsit (cant go wrong) and sheep motifs (love sheep)


I decided to go for more of a grey colour scheme than the original hat but I think it still represents how Shetlands outdoors look a majority of the year (sorry folks) I obviously have quite a short head so I did the last few decreases a bit more rapidly than the pattern, Instead of every other row I decreased every row for my flat head.


My stash has begun to get out of control due to a few recent acquisitions of quite a lot of old Shetland Wool from the saleroom, charity shops and that huge amount I was given by a family friend. I used to be horrendous for buying clothes, I have replaced that with buying wool so I really wanted to use stash yarn so I used Shetland Aran, sadly now discontinued but you can still get the darker grey and black that I used, the second colourway Donna designed is using the new Worsted Shetland Aran from my work which is really nice too so I might make another one..!


The pattern is available free from the Shetland Wool Week website here, it makes a great introduction to Fair Isle knitting but also knits up nice and quickly, Its addictive seeing the sheep emerge which I think is the sign of a good Fair Isle pattern.. you need to see more!

Speak soon, X



as I mentioned a few posts ago I had begun to knit a riddari jumper. Well after a late night knitting on Saturday night I finished it and got it boarded on Sunday. I knitted the body and sleeves on my chunky machine and hand knit the yoke.. (as usual) I used Shetland Aran BSS13 for the main colour and 3 shades of Quince & Co Lark for the yoke. This was my first time knitting with Quince yarn, I love their aesthetic and branding so I got in my head I had to try it.. and I really liked it! I don’t know if I would like the whole jumper in it because its so soft but for the yoke it is really effective.


As the pattern is written more for a man I would say the sleeves are a bit wider than I would have liked so although I made the smallest size I could have been even smaller, especially around the top of the arms. So that’s something to think about if I was to make it again, which I think I would! I bought quite a lot of Lark to choose my yoke colours so I definitely have enough yarn.. har har.. we knew that anyway..


I actually started this a while ago but it took me a bit to get into the groove with it, once I did though I rattled through the yoke in a few nights. There are a few rows using three colours which is not my favourite.. My Fair Isle technique isn’t that efficient anyway so I ended up just picking up and dropping the third colour as and when it was needed.


Rather appropriately it is now less than one month til I head to Iceland! I will definitely be packing my Riddari jumper. :)

Speak soon. x

natures colours


as you know, well maybe you don’t but, I work at Jamieson & Smith and I do all the blogging over there. As you can imagine it is a very busy place to work so blogging has to come quite low on the agenda sometimes after, you know, sending orders and serving people BUT this past couple of weeks I have been doing a lot of work on them with my boss Oliver and I’m enjoying it.. what you really need for blog posts is good photos so I often take my camera to work and take lots of pictures just in case they would work for a post. Anyway.. I find the raw wool in the woolstore very photogenic, especially at this time of year since we are not overrun with crofters and wool but that time is nearly upon us again! I thought I’d share some pictures of the raw wool I’ve taken alongside some of my collection of natural coloured knitwear.

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I am quite busy at the moment but not stressed-busy so thats good! I’m working on lots of stuff but its all kind of secret so I cant really show you BUT last night I finished my riddari and since we are crawling out of winter and it doesn’t get dark at 3pm anymore (woohoo) I might even get photos taken this week!! I am really pleased with how its come out so I cant wait to show you more.

til then, hope your all fine and happy knitting. x

a few new yokes


as we know, one of my favourite things to knit is yoke jumpers. My most favourite way to knit them of course is to machine knit the body and sleeves on my machine. In most ways (fit especially) I feel each time I am getting better and finding the best way to make them, but in other ways (finishing and tidiness) i feel I still have a way to go. Today I have two recently finished yokes made in this way to show, both are made from Brooklyn Tweed patterns.. which I love despite their price..!


This yoke I finished in February is Sundottir by Dianna Walla, I remember seeing Dianna’s prototype on Ravelry ages ago so I was so glad to see it as a pattern, it gives the effect of Norwegian Marius sweaters but with a more contemporary feel.


the original jumper is of course knit in Brooklyn Tweed Shelter, which I would love to knit a whole jumper with but A. i have much too much wool and B. I cant afford it.. anyway Shetler is a worsted weight yarn which we don’t really have in the UK and Aran weight is the nearest so I decided to go with Lett Lopi in this lovely orange and natural shades.


I do actually have a chunky machine, but I thought I would try knitting this on my standard gauge machine using every other needle which worked great although it is a bit fiddly trying to remember your not using every needles. I’m really pleased with how this yoke came out apart from one thing. Since I couldn’t do the rib on my machine (well you can by hand tooling but its tedious!) You need to pick up the stitches and knit down, I struggle to find a cast off which is not far too tight or too loose, this one is a bit loose for my liking but not too terrible. I love the colours and would definitely make this again.. perhaps when I come back from Iceland, no doubt with a larger stash???


The next yoke I finished this past weekend is Stasis by Leila Raabe. I have loved this pattern since it was released, I think its a really subtle but effective version of a yoke. Again I knitted the body and sleeves on my machine, I entered the cuff and hem chart into my DesignAKnit software and machine knitted the bottom Fair Isle. Usually with all the yokes I hybrid-knit I just knit to the oxters, join all the pieces and carry on as if I’m hand knitting but for this I sat and worked out the raglan shaping for each piece and machine knitted that also. I am really pleased with how that went because it meant I could go straight into the fair isle in the yoke.


I decided to go for Shetland Supreme Jumper Weight in 2009 and I actually used Brooklyn Tweed Loft for the contrast. I have bought bits and pieces of Loft (ahem) but this was my first time knitting with it. I had read that it was a very fragile yarn and that is true but I was amazed how well it went through the machine for the cuff and hem. I have come to realise that from the get go of my hand knitting rediscovery a few years ago I have basically only knit with real wool, be that from Jamieson & Smith or others I have used. This has made me a hardy creature because to me Loft feels so so soft, as it was quite fragile I wasn’t as rough with it in the yoke as I would usually be with J&S yarns which I know inside out. So although it looks good in the photos the yoke is a bit bumpy because I was reluctant to block it as hard as I would. I even boarded it inside out because I was scared in case a float in the yoke got caught on my jumper board!


I love the finished Jumper and I think I would knit one again, closer to the original colours, maybe Jumper Weight 203 and 81? This colour scheme is quite muted, but I do like it and I loved working with the Loft. The only negative is that usually with a yoke you strategically decrease in certain points so the knit begins to go quicker as you go, with this though the yoke has no decreasing and you do it all after the Fair Isle along with short rows to raise the back neck. Lots of the finished projects on Ravelry complained of the neck being to high so I did a bit of fudging based on some of the modifications (more details on my rav project page) I have read and I’m really pleased with how it came out.


My next machine knit hybrid project is well under way, I am making a Riddari using J&S Aran and Quince & Co Lark in the yoke, today I joined all the pieces and started the yoke so hopefully Ill be back shortly with another to show you!

(perhaps I need a yoke intervention? haha)

speak soon xxxxxx

a good saturday

I usually spent my weekends knitting as you know, but this week I had Thursday and Friday off and I was able to finish and post off 6 cushions so yesterday I decided to NOT feel guilty about having a day of from knitting. My Mam grew up in Ollaberry which is in Northmavine, about 45 minutes drive from Lerwick. I saw on Facebook the other week they were organising a knitting and spinning day in the Ollaberry Hall full of examples of Shetland knitting from Northmavine..

Im there.

So me, Mam, my sister and my neice and nephew headed up to Ollaberry for a look and I thought I’d share some of the brilliant examples on display. Also we arrived just as the teas were started. Hall Teas are amazing, Ollaberry Hall especially.. those little pancakes. Yum. Anyway, there were ladies spinning and knitting away and it was great to see what a strong tradition we still have all over Shetland.



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this jumper is the one on the boy on the right of the photograph



I love the neckline on this lace jumper, I’ve never seen one like it before!



a book of samples much like the ones I showed in this post



interestingly this cardigan is a fawn version of one of my lace cardigans seen in this post



Magnie enjoying playing with the knitted squares



I loved this Crofthouse motif on this Lace Stole, its the same (but reversed) in Donna’s Hap

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I hope you enjoyed this look at some of the things on show, I had an excellent afternoon which was made even better by the fact I was given a black bag FULL of old cloos of Shetland Wool by an old family friend.. a great day all round!

speak soon,

Ella xx