Monday, July 8, 2013

Lerwick and Jamison & Smith

After a day of exploring and learning about Shetland sheep I'm sitting in a cafe enjoying a latte and listening to Fleet Foxes of all bands, in Scotland, go figure :) Went to bed at midnight last night to a sky not quite dark, not quite light, and to what is referred to as "simmer dim". It was completely light again at 4:00 AM. So what exactly goes on at 60*North? The 60th parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 60 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane. At this latitude the sun is visible for almost 19 hours during the summer solstice and almost 6 hours during the winter solstice.On 21 June, the sun is at 53.83 degrees up in the sky and 6.17 degrees on 21 December. Other cities this far north are Oslo, St. Petersburg, Stockholm, and Juneau. That's north! Highlight of the day was going to the famous Jamison&Smith yarn company. While I enjoyed choosing lovely Shetland yarn for a lace scarf that Jane (a very talented knitter in our group) designed and for a hat and blanket set, it was the tour of the fleece preparation I enjoyed most. First I have to say that, as a handspinner, I was in heaven! I have never been around such high quality fleece all in one place! Any one of the many fleeces would have won a blue ribbon at Common Ground Fair. And there were many of them! These Shetland fleeces were the softest I have ever felt! The crimp! The feel! The lanolin! The colors! Just perfection, quite amazing really. Here's the website: Here are a few of my favorite photos: Oliver, who has worked at Jamison&Smith for 40+ years explaining the different characteristics of the different Shetland fleeces. A very small sampling of a few of the fleeces A close up of heaven; I wish you could feel how soft this fleece is and the wonderful lanolin. Something neat about this is not only their lovely yarns, the new line of wool rugs and mattresses but they send 0 waste to landfills! They use everything. The really good wool is used to make yarn and sell to handspinners. The so so fleece is used to make their very nice rugs. And the not so good fleece is used to stuff their amazing mattresses. The washing waste is used on the fields to fertilize. (lets hope no toxic cleansers are used in the washing) the grease from the washing is processed into lanolin. Now it's off to dinner with the group. Tomorrow morning - Fair Isle Knitting instruction. Then to meet some island knitters including the knitter and designer of the Fair Isle "jumpers" for the 2 famous Shetland Ponies. Cheers! Mary


  1. Found your great blog from CL's directions. Just read all the entries thru today. Feel as if we are walking with you both! Great pics and descriptions! Thanks for the postings. love, Mary M.

  2. Hi Mary!!! How cool you are able to "travel" with us. You put a smile on my face and in my heart. Take care! Mary D.