One of the very great pleasures of living here is that the West Highland Way is on our doorstep. I walk out of our steading, and about a hundred yards up the way is a glorious landscape, at the far edges of which (on a really clear day) Ben Lomond and the Trossachs and the Arrochar Alps are all visible. I walk here every day, and enjoy these walks tremendously. Today I took my camera so you can see it too.
We have just returned from a photoshoot. It is a very hot day and Tom couldn’t stop taking photographs of Bruce’s monumental panting tongue. (Don’t worry, he was supplied with plenty of water). In between the hot dog shots, he was photographing my new pattern – a cardigan, which is due for release toward the end of the month. I am very pleased with this design, and couldn’t resist showing you a couple of outtakes from the shoot.
This will be the first of three designs, all inspired by my favourite Edinburgh places. More soon!
2012 was really a pretty good year. Here are some highlights.
My first time as a Woolfest trader.
My sister, Martin Curtis and me, meeting Sophie, Countess of Wessex (note: Helen is wearing a Manu and knitting a Betty Mouat Cowl, I am wearing a Deco and knitting a puffin sweater, and Sophie is looking at a copy of Knit Real Shetland).
Travelling with Tom and Bruce to our favourite Hebridean spots . . .
Working with my favourite folk . . .
. . .to make a book!
But if you asked me what was my biggest achievement in 2012, then I would say . . .
. . . learning to ride a trike, and inspiring a few other people with brain injuries, balance issues and similar disabilities to give it a go as well. In 2013, I intend to try moving things up a gear, and am about to begin learning to drive again. My aim is to be pootling about in our van by June. If I say it here, then it has to happen!!
Most of all:
I am so grateful to all of you for stopping by here, for continuing to read this blog, for leaving so many lovely comments, and for supporting me in all sorts of ways in 2012.
THANKYOU, ALL OF YOU! x
I’ll be back shortly with a couple of related posts about my favourite books and yarns of 2012. . . .
In the meantime:
My pal Jen is having a New Year pattern sale. This includes a 3 for 2 deal on some of her super newly-available designs (I particularly like the Porlock socks with their gansey-inspired stitch patterns and personalised lettering) and 25% off the lovely Cloudy Apples accessories collection. Pop over to Jen’s blog to find out more.
And finally, if you are knocking about Pittenweem this Saturday and fancy meeting me and the samples from Colours of Shetland, then pop down to The Woolly Brew between 12-2pm. I’ll be signing books, too, if you’d like a copy.
We got up early, and drove down to the Borders. It was a beautiful crisp morning.
When we arrived in Lauder, the sun was already turning the frost into a magical, dewy haze.
Today, the Autumn colours seemed even more deeply saturated. I want to knit everything in these tapestry blues and golds.
While Bruce and I were enjoying our morning walk, Tom was making preparations. . .
Off he goes!
Ah, Cross Country season . . .
I am working hard. The designs for my new collection are in all in process, and I have spent the past few weeks writing patterns and knitting . . . lots of pattern writing, and lots and lots of knitting.
This sort of work requires the kind of concentrated focus I haven’t felt for quite a while, and I find myself in a place that is familiar from the experience of producing different kinds of book: holding the pieces of a gigantic puzzle and waiting for them all to slot neatly into place. So far the right things are slotting into the right places, which is pleasing. It is really rather nice to be working hard again. That said, at this stage of a project I am probably at my most antisocial and my hermit-ty tendencies are only exacerbated by the fact that I can’t, as yet, talk about the work I’m doing here. There is something of the season about this hermit-ty feeling, too. Everything has that blown-out, approaching-end-of-Summer look to it, and at this time of year I always find myself want to grasp things before they disappear, to just hurry up and do something before it is all over. I am doing my best.
Meanwhile, August is slipping away. I walk outside every day, and watch the wildflowers in the undergrowth change . . .
. . . and go to seed.
I’d better get a move on.
The light on Islay is truly amazing. I am often struck by how, particularly when there is very little wind, the golden light from the West on the machair and dunes brings objects to life in what I can only think of as their own unique haecceitas. I have only just returned, but looking at these pictures I long to be back there again.
The weather is biblical. Again.
A beautiful moth appeared in the kitchen.
I prepared a gigantic slow-cooked curry. My preparations would have been more efficient had I not kept stopping to photograph the moth.
I crunched all the numbers for one of my new patterns (whoot!).
And, for those of you who were asking, my BMC kit, in the muted colourway above, is now back in stock over at Jamieson and Smith