We are continuing on with the Shetland theme for this Episode. We interview Elizabeth Johnston, Shetland’s expert spinner, lace knitter and weaver. In the interview you will see Elizabeth spin and it will take your breath away. Elizabeth also talks about Shetland lace knitting and weaving with the warp weighted loom, which is an ancient loom dating back to the stone age. Donna Smith shows you her new yarn Langsoond which comes from her very own Shetland sheep. Donna also gives Andrew a fleece sorting lesson, which is a lot of fun. We show you around Jamieson and Smith’s store and you will hear a little bit of Oliver Henry’s fleece sorting demonstration. There is a short tutorial from Andrea on inserting your armhole steeks and more talk about our #fruitysteekedkal which has just started.
Interview – Elizabeth Johnston
Elizabeth has highly developed skills in spinning, dying, knitting and weaving. She has also done a lot of research into the history of these crafts. Elizabeth was earning money at the age of eight through selling her knitted mittens. In her teenage years she was selling knitted yolks. Finally when she was in her 20s she didn’t need to knit for money, so she pursued her love of spinning. Over the last 30 years, Elizabeth has been teaching workshops, selling her homespun, hand dyed yarns and writing patterns.
Elizabeth tells us about the particular qualities of Shetland fleece for spinning and how best to prepare the fleece for the different ways of spinning and plying.
Here is a wonderful example of how fine, Shetland fine lace can be – no more than 5 -6 fibres thick!
Elizabeth co-authored the resource book ‘ The Warp-Weighted Loom. In the interview she talks about its prehistoric use in Shetland and its use today.
Elizabeth and Hazel share their wonderful accumulated knowledge of Shetland knitting tips and tricks. The DVD can be purchased from Jamieson’s of Shetland, Jamieson & Smith, Shetland Museum and Archives
Finding Elizabeth Johnston
Langsoond Yarn by Donna Smith – New Releases
We had a lovely afternoon with Donna when we were in Shetland. Donna lives in a beautiful spot on the island of Burra. The house is on top of a hill with stunning views looking down over her family’s croft to the strip of water below called Langsoond. Donna shows us in New Releases her beautiful DK weight yarn in four natural shades and 3 new patterns she has design especially for her new yarn.
While we were there, Donna and Andrew put on boiler suits (because fleece is surprisingly oily) and Donna gave Andrew a quick fleece sorting demonstration.
Finding Donna Smith and Langsoond Yarn
Jamieson & Smith
Jamieson and Smith started the Shetland Wool Week back in 2010. It’s a snug little shop and the wooden floors and beams gives it a Scandinavian feel. They held classes here during the wool week, Fair Isle with Hazel Tindall, lace knitting with Elizabeth Johnston, a trunk show for Jen Arnall Culliford’s new book – A year of Techniques and Felicity Ford’s new book, Knitsonik Stranded Colourwork Playbook.
Ella Gordon, last year’s patron took us through to the shed where the wool from the farmers comes in and gets sorted and stored. Oliver Henry also does his sorting and grading demonstration here.
Finding Jamieson & Smith
#Fruity Steeked Kal
Jenny at the Fair by Mary Jane Mucklestone
Patrons can get a 25 % discount on the steeked design Jenny at the Fair by Mary Jane Mucklestone until November 30th. This is a great first steeking project. Full details of the discount are available for Patrons at Patreon.
Andrew is working on a pair of socks, roughly based on a design by Susan B Anderson, but adapted by Andrea to fit her own tastes. Andrew’s next project is continuing the brioche and double knitting work on Paris’ Scarf by Nancy Marchant.
Andrea is working on Mother Åse’s Jacket by Sidsel Høivik. She gives us a short tutorial on how to insert the armhole steeks.
We were wearing
- Andrew was wearing the Hiking Jacket, which Andrea designed and Andrew made. (Except for one sleeve which Madeleine knitted as a Christmas present.)
- Andrea was wearing Amaryllis by Marie Wallin. Andrea talks about this cardigan in Episode 9.
- Sláinte, Album: Cup of Tea
- She Moved Through The Fair
- Denis Murphy’s Polka. I’ll Tell Me Ma. John Ryan’s Polka.
- The Crosses of Annagh. The Humors of Tulla. The Cup Of Tea.
- Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0
- J. S. Bach, The Well Tempered Klavier, Prelude No. 3 in C-Sharp major, BWV 848, performed by Kimiko Ishizaka, used under Creative Commons Attribution License
- Beethoven, Symphony No. 3 in E Flat Major Eroica, Op. 55 – IV. Finale Allegro molto, Public Domain Mark 1.0
- Niccoló Paganini, 24 Caprices for Solo Violin, Op. 1, Nr. 20, Caprice in D Major, Allegretto, performed by Jonathan Vered, used under Creative Commons Public Domain License
- Photography of designs by Sidsel Hoivik by Anne Helene Gjelstad