Jamieson & Smith Knitting Wools

kiwiknitter's picture

For those of you who knit the 4-ply stranded patterns, where do you source your knitting wools? I have been using Jamieson & Smith from the Shetland Islands but the service has declined to unacceptable levels. Every time I order there are delays, excuses and worst of all, no communications about same. I like their colourways and wool but certainly can switch to something else. Maybe someone purchases the J&S product from another source rather than directly from their shop in the UK? Even though we have millions of sheep in New Zealand and their fleece is high quality, most of our wool goes overseas for the garment factory (especially for the Italian fashion industry) and very little remains here for hand knitting. You would be shocked to see the sorry state of our knitting shops; my only option is to purchase from overseas. I hope someone can help me here!


rmbm612's picture

Jesse, Have you tried

Have you tried dealing with schoolhouse press? Its owned and run by Meg Swanson, Elizabeth Zimmerman's daughter? Schoolhouse press has a website and they carry every one of the Jamieson wool weights and every color. If you need help getting your wools in your colors I'd be happy to help you out. I've ordered from them if my LYS can't fill my needs. I've never had an issue with a delay or an out-of-stock color. If they don't ship internationally let me know........we can work something out.


kiwiknitter's picture

Hi Bill, Yes, I considered

Hi Bill, Yes, I considered school house press. I ended up with sheeweknits because Anne promotes that she will do the substitutions beween the two companies for you. I noticed that on school house press, they mention that J&S are discontinuing the very lines I need for the Feitelson and the Starmore books! I guess that at the end of the day I was trying to give other fair isle knitters options other than Jamieson & Smith in Lerwick. If, like me, you live in a remote part of the globe, you can use all the advice and tips you can get. Just the postage costs for a poor product can hurt. Thanks for sharing this with me! Jesse

Knit like the wind!

kiwiknitter's picture

Another update. I gave J&S

Another update. I gave J&S one more chance and true to form, they mucked up both times. Poor communication and then terrible colour substitutions. It was like a bad dream.

On the advice of other stranded knitters (mostly Fair Isle), I left the dark side and went to sheeweknits.com and dealt with Anne, the owner. She is wonderful! Tremendous customer service, quick and reliable. Lots of friendly communications with no delays. She will do a colourways substitution between J&S (which was in my pattern book) and Jamiesons. I am 100% delighted with her product. In fact, I've ordered another jumper's worth of knitting wools from her. The shipping was no more costly although the knitting wools were a bit dearer. But, I don't mind paying for the excellend customer service and timely shipment of my orders.

The great part of working with Anne is that she can make a good choice of colour substitutions, something I'm hopeless at doing.

I can highly recommend sheeweknits if you are looking for authentic Shetlands knitting wool. And, no, I'm not affiliated in any way this these people except as a totally satisfied customer.

Knit like the wind!

kiwiknitter's picture

An update on this: I

An update on this: I ordered my knitting wools on 22 October and received them on 01 December. This after several promises of shipping dates which never materialised, no communications about why the promise to ship wasn't kept so I would have to email constantly to find out anything about my order, complaints to the manager who elected to reply only once and then abruptly stopped emails without fixing the problem, emailing over and over to get any kind of response and terse emails from J&S which degenerated to omitting my name and being just rude. I don't know about you , but I find this service just isn't good enough. Yes, I love the colourways but I am looking for alternative sources. I've ordered 3 times from this firm and only the first order went without any problems. I had the same problems with order #2.

I know that some of the MWK members have had no problems with Jamieson & Smith but this has not been the case for me. There is another jumper I want to knit and the pattern calls for their knitting wools and I may give them one more try but only if I can't source the same colourway elsewhere. If you decide to use them, be forewarned. I can't recommend them at all.

drmel94's picture

Actually, Simply Shetland is

Actually, Simply Shetland is the US distributor for Jamieson's Shetland, *not* J & S. They are two different companies, though the names do lead to confusion. J & S ship their Shetland clip over to England for processing and spinning, while Jamieson's does all their processing there on the Shetland mainland. Knowing that the island economy needs whatever it can get, I like supporting the latter for that reason alone. That they have nice wool makes it even better.

I've only ordered Jamieson's from a US supplier, Two Swans Yarns, and Karen is fantastic. I did e-mail Jamieson's directly with a question about their wool, though, and got a prompt response back directly from Peter Jamieson. They do have an online store for non-US customers, so I assume they would probably ship directly to NZ.

kiwiknitter's picture

Thank you for this

Thank you for this information. I am going to check out the Jamieson's site. I have been in touch with the general manager of J&S who has apologised for the problems and said that the problems I've had are unacceptable. I look forward to hearing his solution to them as I'm about out of patience with their shoddy customer service.

albert's picture

Jesse, Have you considered


Have you considered taking up spinning? I know that there are spinning fleece and rovings available in New Zealand. I have an old friend living in Dunedin. I have visited twice and did not want to leave-so beautiful and so many sheep! Living in a wool wonderland as you do spinning would seem a good option.

kiwiknitter's picture

Actually, I've had a serious

Actually, I've had a serious fascination with spinning for the past 25 years. I go to the county fairs and spend hours watching the carding and spinning. But, I've never taken it up and now I'm too old to spend precious knitting time on *anything* else!

ronhuber's picture

I also order directly from

I also order directly from Jamieson and Smith and have never had a problem.

Aaronknits's picture

Jesse, if I end up being

Jesse, if I end up being your Secret Santa this year, would you like me to send you some nice New Zealand wool?

Speaking of Secret Santa, does anyone know if we are doing this again this year? I'm all for it again and as with last year I'm willing to ship internationally! I

kiwiknitter's picture

I hope we do the Secret

I hope we do the Secret Santa thing again this year. Last year you were my SS and sent me lovely knitting wools! As an aside, I find it rather pathetic that you can get the beautiful NZ knitting wools that are not available here! I guess it's like trying to find high quality apples in Washington State.

purlyman's picture

Secret Santa?! What a great

Secret Santa?! What a great idea!! I hope we do something like that. I'm all for it!

Kerry's picture

Jesse, I always get mine

Jesse, I always get mine from J&S in Lerwick, Scotland and have had no problems so far, delivery to Sydney comes through in a week. I've only had one delay when they were out of a colour a couple of months ago.

kiwiknitter's picture

I wish I could say the same.

I wish I could say the same. The only order they filled properly was my first one. Since then, there are nothing but promised delivery dates, delays and no communication. They just did the same again to me yesterday and I've had a guts-full of them. This time I've asked for an explanation from the manager as to why they stuffed it up again. I am very disappointed with the Lerwick store.

Jesse - check this

Jesse - check this site:


They have all the J&S yarns and the colour palette is much greater than the ones you can get buying direct from them. Sorry to hear J&S service has declined, but I heard they were taken over fairly recently.