A woman from Edinburgh has been hailed "the Usain Bolt of knitting" after wowing audiences on her TV debut.

Jess James earned the unusual praise from presenter Kirstie Allsopp after racing through a challenge on Channel 4 show Kirstie's Handmade Christmas.

The down-to-earth 33-year-old put her skills down to a 20-year dedication to her craft.

She was taught to knit by her grandmother Betty Sander, now 90, in her native Oregon, US, when she was 12.

The Herald:

And Jess puts her speed down to a "combined continental" technique, honed with a German friend years ago.

For the TV challenge, Jess took just 30 hours to knit an intricate festive jumper and less than an hour-and-a-half to make a bobble hat.

Jess, who runs yarn shop Ginger Twist in the Scottish Capital was so quick that she even had time to help a fellow competitor to knit some pom-poms.

She said: "I knit all the time, it's always with me.

"I was totally confident at first. I picked my pattern that was a friend's design, but then everybody else panicked before the speed knit challenge.

"I thought if everybody else was nervous then I wouldn't finish in time."

Jess was one of a select group of four UK knitting specialists chosen to feature on the jumpers episode of the series.

Judge Jade Harwood, founder of fashion brand Wool And The Gang, praised Jess for the ribbing technique in her cropped jumper.

For the speed challenge, Jess produced a complex mohair bobble hat - before helping her fellow knitter who was struggling against the clock.

She founded Ginger Twist four years ago, with the business becoming renowned as Edinburgh's only commercial hand-dyed yarn specialist.

The Herald:

Jess added: "I was so excited to be part of this year's show as it was such an interesting experience - the knitting challenge had me shaking in my boots as 90 minutes is not a lot of time.

"I've designed garments for myself in the past but had never written a formal knitting pattern with multiple sizes before.

"Not only did being on the show motivate me to make my ultimate Christmas jumper but I've now published my first sweater challenge called Vintage Winter.

"I actually have kits available in Ginger Twist Studios which include the wool, pattern and tote bag for those interested in recreating my Christmas jumper from the show at home."