It has been an up-and-down sort of couple of weeks here. On the down side, I have not been feeling my best; there have been many more bad days than usual, and, most frustratingly, I’ve had to cancel several occasions to which I was really looking forward. I suppose some sort of energy-fallout was inevitable after the eventful and fun-packed few days of Shetland Wool Week, but still, there is nothing that dampens ones spirits more than weighing up activities in terms of their toll on ones reserves. On the up side — and it is a massive up — I appear to have almost made a book. Entering ‘Kate Davies Designs’ in the empty box that asked for ‘Publisher Name’ on several forms has made me foolishly excited, and I am really enjoying this stage of the process, which is involving some contextual writing, and the singular pleasure of seeing my patterns, photographs, and essays all laid out on the page. Some great people have been integral to this project, and every day I find myself more happy to have the opportunity to work with them, more and more amazed that this is what I actually DO. So, despite the fact that I have found myself cursing the stroke more than usual of late, really, its all good.

I’ve not been talking here much about what’s been involved in designing this new collection or in developing the book (I suppose part of me has been concerned – not unreasonably – that something was going to occur to scupper the process) but I think you’ll all soon find that I won’t be able to shut up about it. In the meantime, here are five images which give you a wee taster of each of the books five sections, each of which contains an exploratory essay, photographic lookbook, and a pair of Shetland-inspired designs.


In other news, having found myself in the singularly odd position of not currently working on one of my own patterns, I have signed up for Woolly Wormhead’s Mystery Hat Knitalong. Woolly’s designs are so innovative and stylish, and her patterns so well written that I know I will enjoy the process, and end up with something amazing to stick on my heid! The only issue is that, having successfully applied a rigorous ‘work-only’ policy to my stash for the past couple of years, I find myself without any suitable yarn. It might be time to treat myself to a tasty new skein . . .

49 thoughts on “busy-ness

  1. I am looking forward to your new book as well! Rest if and when you can but I am sure this book project is extremely exciting. The photos are great. I love the light house post card photo. When I saw that photo I thought, “How cold and damp was that location?” Followed by: “Was there enough wool to keep one warm there?”

  2. Hope you feel better soon, just take care of yourself! Can’t wait for your book! I always love your photographs, makes me want to cross the ocean and see all the beautiful places you go and the incredible scenery, and birds, etc. Last but not least, I really enjoy the pictures of Bruce.

  3. oh, how lovely for you and us that you have a books in the works! Not so lovely of course that you’ve been exhausted — here’s hoping to this passing very soon. But thank you so much for always keeping us up to date with your passions, Wool Week and more. A true gift you give to us!

  4. The photos you’ve chosen to entice us and tease us are wonderful. I hope your book endeavor proceeds smoothly and it will be in our hands soon—really, really SOON!

  5. Dear Kate, I don’t think it’s foolish to be excited about this project which seems to be the next logical step of your evolution as a designer. I love looking forward to the manifestation in all it’s glory.

  6. I have also signed up for the Mystery KAL…I’ve always wanted to do one, and a hat seemed very do-able and gift-able. Really looking forward to it.

  7. Can’t wait to see your book! You sound happier than the last few times you were in the dumps. I’m hoping that means things are only going to get better!!! :)

  8. I look forward with great anticipation to the book. Many people comment on your designs and your photography. Both are great; however, I am equally, if not more so, chuffed by your grammar. “I’ve had to cancel several occasions to which I was really looking forward “. I was beginning to think that I was the only person wedded to using that construction(lol).

  9. Delighted about the book, and thank you for not breaking the news until after I had ordered the yarn (and button) for Wooly Wormhead’s knit along. I can now push away yarn based temptation with the mantra “You have to clear the WIPs and use the stash, Kate’s book will need the space and cash.” Your work is a delight and an inspiration, it would give pleasure to many if you just wrote or just designed, that you do both so well is wonderful, thank you for being you. Rest well.

  10. woof, a new book!!!!!! I am as excited as everyone else and will ‘present’ myself with it immediately it becomes available and YES, you deserve a ‘tasty’ new skein or two of yarn. the hunt is as much fun as the purchase. Stay well……..

  11. Love the colors in all the pictures & can’t wait to see how you tie them into the new designs. Glad you’re coming out the other side of the Wool Week exhaustion. Take it easy.

  12. I can’t wait to see what yarn you choose for the Mystery KAL. Woolly’s designs are fabulous! (And I can’t wait for the unveiling of The Book – it has been such a delight to work on it with you!)

  13. Ah, yes, the little puffin chapter – I can just imagine the colours! Three cheers to you for nearly completing a book – not just any book either – a book that will cheer the knitting shelves of so many. Here’s to you Kate!

  14. I’m sorry to hear you’ve been feeling poorly again, but as you say, the fallout from a busy week. Can’t say how excited I am about yr book though! I’ve long thought you should produce one – it will be stunning…. I can’t wait! xxx

  15. I feel your frustration. Nothing like a new skein for pleasure to help the mood though!
    Your pics are very intriguing…the puffin, again I am taken aback by this bird, just can’t be real, can it!!
    Can’t wait to see the book!

  16. Can’t wait to see the book! You know, I already have the yarn :-) You should definietely treat yourself with some new yummy yarn for some selfish knitting.
    Greetings from Tori in Lillehammer, where we woke up to 15 cm of snow this morning.

  17. The book looks gorgeous – mmm, must save some stash (ho ho, like I’m going to use the Great Stash Mountain in the next few weeks. Or lifetimes, come to that). Trust your health swings more towards the up, soon, to match things like the book….

  18. Oooooh! How I wish I knew how to knit…!!! But then I guess it’d be worth having the book “only” for your photographs! Looking forward to reading and seeing more of it! Get better soon!

  19. I had to laugh when I saw the photo of the puffin. It became a catchphrase to us after a holiday in Orkney when we didnt see a single one, but there was one on every tourist brochure. Husband and I actually made Puffin costumes for a Halloween party. (Finally saw some on a boat trip to the Skelligs off the west coast of Ireland.)

    Anyway, looking forward to seeing more of your book! Take care and be well.

  20. Oh you are killing me! I adore puffins, so much so that I’ve given the DH anniversary cards featuring these birds. I’d just about come round to the idea of making Rams & Yows, now I’ll put that to the back burner to see what the puffins have inspired! Feel better soon, marshal your strength — have a good cuppa,with honey for energy.

  21. i’m very excited about your book, and also the color of the water in the muckle whatsis postcard and the halved stone.
    i hope you’ll be able to count your down days as creative ones; as i’ve mentioned, virginia woolf in On Being Ill broached that subject. she said she conceived all her modernist books lying insane in bed at hogarth house, seeing the ghost of her mother.
    here’s an excerpt from Hermione Lee’s into to OBI:


  22. I’m keenly anticipating your new books. I already know that the designs will delight me, and, for a change, I know that your essays will be (almost) equally pleasurable. Feel better soon; I too know how frustrating it is to have to cancel things I was eager to do as a consequence of earlier exertions. But, Shetland Wool Week was likely well worth the exertions and more opportunities will arise, such is the breadth of your great talents.

  23. Sorry you haven’t been feeling great, there are times when it just stinks and you wish you could just get on and do things without having to worry about payback etc. The book sounds most exciting though, look forward to that. Enjoy your lovely skein and mystery hat

  24. Beautiful pictures of wonderful places. I imagine I will buy your book even though I do not know whether my knitting abilities will allow me to knit any of those beautiful patterns of yours. Anyway, just looking at the photographs of that beautiful country and reading you will do. How exciting!! enjoy it all

  25. Hope you are feeling recuperated! If only I could channel the right amount of (the former Hurricane) tropical cyclone Sandy’s power your way.

    Looking forward to your book!

  26. When I was a kid I had a puffin soft toy that looked just like the real one on the picture. So I am really looking forward to the puffin inspired design… I send you good wishes from Hamburg – take your time to relax!

  27. I so enjoy reading your blog and admiring your beautiful talents. I am sorry to hear that you’re not feeling 100% and hope you’re feeling better soon. Can’t wait to meet your book in person!

  28. Know how you feel on the busy-ness front and the (following) crash and feeling unwell. I hope you are feeling better soon, and – no pressure- I am really looking forward to the book. Who doesn’t love puffins?

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About Kate Davies

writer, designer and creator of Buachaille (100% Scottish wool)