Our modern Fair Isle jumper, the Shetland Smookie is a hybrid of two classic garments: the fisherman’s smock and the Fair Isle sweater.
They say design what you love...well, I simply love smocks! This is my interpretation in knit of the canvas smock, worn by generations of seafarers, artists, and Sunday potterers.
A really wearable sweater, with special Nielanell details: a stand-up neck and inset storm cuffs. Because the fabric is double-sided, some of our customers wear these seams-out!
Pattern & colour
The all-over pattern is inspired by the colourwork traditions of Fair Isle, Shetland, and Nordic knitting. We make Smookies in very small edition colourways: once sold out they're unlikely to be available again.
Materials & manufacture
- 100% premium lambswool
- Reverse jacquard (double-sided fabric for extra-snuggliness)
- Knitted and hand-finished by skilled local craftspeople in the village of Hoswick, Shetland Islands, Scotland.
Smookies are a very local production, being knitted in Hoswick by Laurence Odie Knitwear—just a few buildings down from the Nielanell studio.
Sizing & fit
- A (underarm-underarm): 56cm
- B (back length): 60cm
- C (sleeve length): 55cm including cuff
On smaller figures the Smookie is a wee bit more tunic-like.
The pattern is ‘all-over’ (like traditional-style Shetland and Fair Isle sweaters), but the gentle trapeze shape of the Smookie gives a flattering fit.
NB measurements are approximate.
What you say
I have worn my Smookie almost every day of the pandemic lockdown. SO COZY! I will need another one just in case I wear this one out.
Tradition and modern Shetland knitting
Inspiration & design process
Like many seafarers, Shetland fishermen wore smocks or ‘smookies’ made from sacking or canvas. I started wondering how that shape would translate into knit.
‘Just a simple smock...’, I said. Of course there’s more to it than that!
I couldn’t have made these without the team at Laurence Odie who are all ultra-talented. Special thanks to Sarah and Tracy, the programmer and linker who helped me with prototyping.
- UK P&P: £8 per order.
- International (EU deliveries currently suspended) P&P: £20 per order.
- Please note: customers outside the UK are responsible for any customs or tax charges applicable within their own country.
- Collection from Nielanell, Hoswick: free of charge (choose this option at checkout).
Suspension of deliveries to the EU and EEA
From January 2021
Due to the uncertainty regarding the end of Britain's transition period with the EU, we are now suspending deliveries to countries in the EU and the EEA. We are so sorry for this inconvenience and will update the information when we have it.
- Most items should be available. If not, we will contact you to tell when the item will be available.
- We aim to send out your order just as soon as possible and within a week of ordering (at the moment we are shipping once a week). If you need an item sent immediately, just let us know and we will be delighted to try to help you.
- We send out UK items using Royal Mail, items over a value of £100 will be sent by way of special delivery. This is a signed for, insured service.
- Please note, you can also choose to collect your order from Nielanell, Hoswick, using the click-and-collect option. This option is not available during holiday periods.
Nielanell knitwear is designed to last
Here are a few recommendations to help ensure your garment lives a long and happy life:
- Less is more when it comes to washing, many people find quality knitwear can be worn without washing for a long time (feel free to use our advice as a reason to do less laundry!).
- Handwashing your garment is recommended.
- We suggest that you hand-wash your garment using liquid for woollens, or flakes at 30 degrees or less. Harsh detergents are likely to ruin your knitwear.
- You may wish to wash in the machine on a very gentle hand-wash wool cycle at 30 degrees or less, using a small quantity of detergent specifically designed for delicate/wool items—but you need to ensure your washing machine uses a very gentle cycle. You must be confident in using your washing machine for woollens. We will not be responsible for items which shrink or felt by inappropriate machine washing or are damaged through use of regular detergents.
- Do not wring.
- Do not tumble dry.
- Dry flat on a rack or in the fresh air, and steam/press very lightly*.
- Alternatively, you can dry clean the garment.
*Don’t iron Rigg pieces. We also recommend that you do not stretch out the textile when drying. Lie the piece flat, but with a bit of a crumple to allow for the natural spring in the fabric to contract. No need to steam or press.
Each piece of Nielanell knitwear is individually knitted by local manufacturers here in Shetland, and then finished by hand in-house.
Many of our collections are made in very small edition colourways, with a constantly changing selection.
If you’re looking for something in particular, that you can’t see on the website, please do get in touch—we often have more colourways in stock that don’t make it onto the website!
NB Please treat garment measurements as approximate, knitwear can be difficult to measure and each item will differ slightly.