Stevenson sweater and gauntlets

Ahoy there! I have two complementary designs to show you today — the Stevenson Sweater and Gauntlets.

These designs were inspired by Shetland’s iconic lighthouses . . .

. . . such as the Bressay light, which provides the dramatic backdrop to these photographs.

Seven of Shetland’s lighthouses, including the one at Bressay, were designed and constructed by a pioneering family of engineers — the Stevensons (about whom you can read more in the book).

The golden paintwork that distinguishes a Stevenson lighthouse, together with classic matelot stripes, inspired this pair of quintessentially nautical designs.

With simple shaping, and a single round of colourwork per repeat, these are incredibly easy patterns to knit.

The gauntlets will keep your hands and wrists cosy in chill sea breezes . . .

. . .and the sweater is just the ticket for a windy cliffside walk.

Because I know you like to see my styling assistant — here he is, supervising the progress of the shoot.

And having a nice sit down while I gamely attempt to hug a lighthouse . . .(can you spot the Bonxie / Arctic Skua in this shot?)

Yarn requirements and sizing information for the Stevenson Sweater and Stevenson Gauntlets are now listed on Ravelry.

And I just have to let you know that the books have now left the printers and are actually on their way to me. Nic, my amazing art and production editor, has just shown me a copy of the book on Skype, and, though I do say so myself, it really does look bloody amazing. I’m sure you are getting a sense now of the aesthetic structure of the book — that is — how each of my ‘colour stories’ has its own distinctive palette and theme. In the book, these individual palettes distinguish each section, through the patterns, charts, essays and photography right down to the level of fonts and layout. It looks like it is the truly lovely object I always wanted it to be!! I foresee a very busy weekend signing books (each copy purchased from my online shop will be signed) and then we will be ready to put them on sale on Monday.

Book deliveries permitting, I’ll be back tomorrow to show you the book’s final pair of colourful designs. . . .

Until then . . .

a walk around the lighthouse

Outside the lighthouse, the ground rises steadily and steeply. Bressay Sound reveals its spectacular arch.

We are climbing up toward the cliffs. Every ledge has its own maalie (fulmar). We are prepared for spitting, but they don’t seem to mind us. Sitting there at the edge, everything is quiet except for the soft whoooosh of their wings as they ride the thermals.

If you think of the landscape of Shetland as bare, then you just haven’t looked properly. The heathland around the cliffside is a glorious haze of colour.

Poking out among the grasses are exquisite, tiny jewels.


Spring Squill


Tormentil


Butterwort

Lousewort


Bird’s-foot Trefoil


Bog Cotton


Heath Milkwort


Heath Spotted Orchid

Turning inland, the land becomes more peaty. Marauding bonxies (great skuas) patrol the moor.

We keep well away from the lochan which, from the numbers circling above, we assume to be their nest site. But these birds aren’t keen on two-legged intruders, even at a distance.


. . . this is their landscape . . .

. . .and they aren’t afraid to remind you . .

. . . time to duck again!

Rounding back toward the headland, Lerwick looks like a toytown in the distance.

The road verges are pink with campion. . .

. . . and the gates of the lighthouse reflect the hazy evening sun.

We make pizza for supper.

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