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Jamieson's of Shetland Brand Spotlight

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March has had us dreaming in green and (mentally) traveling to the picturesque Shetland Islands. We are honored to carry a wide array of Jamieson’s of Shetland Spindrift yarn which comes in over 220 colors! Jamieson’s is a family-owned business - now in its fifth generation! - with a rich history and beautiful heart. We hope you enjoy learning more about this special company!

© Jamieson’s of Shetland

Jamieson’s of Shetland specializes in 100% pure Shetland wool, grown and spun on the Shetland Islands in the North Sea near Scotland. Shetland has a rich tradition of hand knitting that produces some of the most exquisite and iconic examples of Fair Isle garments and accessories. Each generation of the Jamieson family has been dedicated to preserving and promoting this fiber and craft.

© Jamieson’s of Shetland

Created by Robert Jamieson in 1893, the business began in Sandness on the west coast of the islands as a way to sell the very popular Shetland knitwear beyond the islands. Robert’s son, Andrew, became one of the islands' first wool brokers, but at that time, “Shetland wool” was still only 60% Shetland as it wasn’t thought to be strong enough on its own. 

© Jamieson’s of Shetland

Bertie, Andrew’s son, expanded the business in 1952 with a shop in Shetland’s capital of Lerwick which is where the family's specialized Shetland-made knitwear line was first sold. It was Bertie and his son, Peter, who pushed the envelope and developed a successful 100% Shetland yarn in 1978. Within three years, in 1981, the Jamiesons had opened a mill in Sandness that completed all phases of yarn production in one place. This includes: grading, scouring and dyeing fleece, color blending, carding, spinning, twisting and balling.

© Jamieson’s of Shetland

As demand and interest rose, there was a sharp decline in the number of available hand knitters to keep up with production. Continuing the tradition of innovation, the Jamiesons were some of the area’s pioneers of the computerized knitting industry. Installing and operating knitting machines and weaving looms at their mill has allowed the family to produce traditional Fair Isle garments more efficiently while also expand their offerings to include fabrics and blankets.

© Jamieson’s of Shetland

Peter and his son, Garry, still manage the company today and have extended the reach of their prized 100% Shetland products across the globe.

© Jamieson’s of Shetland

We recently shared the Yell sweater pattern by Marie Wallin which was done in Jamieson’s Spindrift, but there are infinite possibilities with this versatile yarn. For sweaters with less intense colorwork, Wallin’s Muckle Roe and the Otra sweater by Eli of Skeindeer Knits both use traditional motifs but over a smaller area. If you’re looking for a smaller project, the Helleborus Fingerless Mitts by Marion Schlenzka and Katie’s Kep by Wilma Malcolmson feature traditional colorwork in modern colors.

You can find all of the Spindrift yarn we carry here!

© Jamieson’s of Shetland

Spindrift has had a moment of late, but Jamieson’s produces other yarns in addition to their knitwear line. Here’s a brief overview of their fiber offerings: 

  • Spindrift (a fingering weight) - ideal for colorwork
  • Double Knitting (a DK weight) - slightly heavier version of Spindrift
  • Shetland Heather (an aran weight) - creates wonderful texture
  • Shetland Marl (a chunky weight) - thicker version of Heather, includes tweed options
  • Ultra (a fine weight) - 50% shetland/50% lambswool ideal for lace
  • Cobweb Ultra (a super fine weight) - 50% Shetland/50% lambswool for the finest lace

If you are interested in learning more about Jamieson’s of Shetland knitwear, you can view their gorgeous products here.

© Jamieson’s of Shetland

The Jamieson’s of Shetland creativity doesn’t stop there though...while we may not be able to browse the shop in person, we adore looking through their artistic window displays!

© Jamieson’s of Shetland

To learn more and engage with Jamieson’s of Shetland, please visit their website at www.jamiesonsofshetland.co.uk and follow them on Instagram and Facebook.

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