So, I suspect it won’t be hard for you to guess what provided the inspiration for the last pair of designs in the collection . . .

©John Moncrief Photography

These two designs really were an awful lot of fun to work on . . .


For what is more fun than a puffin?

©John Moncrief Photography

Um, garments inspired by puffins, that’s what!


Here we have a puffin sweater . . .


. . . and a puffin mantle . . .


Both of which feature the same six-shade garter stitch chevron pattern. . .


. . . which echoes the colours and texture of the beaks of Shetland’s most beloved summer visitor.

©John Moncrief Photography

In Colours of Shetland you’ll find several puffin-related treats . . .

©John Moncrief Photography

Including talented Shetland photographer, John Moncrieff’s, fabulous puffin portraits . . .

©John Moncrief Photography

. . . and an intriguing, puffin-related MAP that has been specifically designed to accompany my essay in the book. All will be revealed as you turn the pages . . .


These designs are simple and fun and I love, love, love both of them. Pardon my hubris, but I have to mention that when I’ve worn the Puffin Sweater in Shetland, it is the design that has drawn most comment, from airport security staff who complemented me on my ‘blendin’, to local knitters and designers whose positive remarks really mean the world to me.


The mantle incorporates further decreases into the pattern to create a neatly-fitting and dramatic-looking wrap.


We shot the mantle photographs around Lerwick’s lodberries on a quiet, grey sort of day.


But I love the way the bright colours of the chevron pattern stand out against the stone.


Yarn and sizing information for the Puffin Sweater and Puffin Mantle can now be found on Ravelry.


69 thoughts on “puffins!

  1. Having not long ago finished knitting the Blaithin, it is with great excitement that I look forward to knitting many of the patterns from this book when it arrives, knowing full well they will be not only beautiful, but well-written, nearly foolproof instructions; resulting in garments that I will wear with pride and joy!


  2. An amazing range of wonderful patterns, I am reading Ursula’s book at the moment and looking forward to your essays and the photos. Bruce has done a wonderful job as your stylist. Now I cannot decide which to knit first. Going to Shetland, Fair Isle and Orkney next June. Can’t wait.


  3. Oh Kate, just wonderful! Your book will be sitting on my coffee table for others to admire, not just knitters. Kudos to the photographer and the wardrobe/stage assistant as well. Bruce looks like he is having the most wonderful day …


  4. Since I’m in the US, I’m going to have to stay up very late on Sunday so I can order your wonderful book on Monday, and be sure to get a copy….can’t wait; the designs are amazing!


  5. Gah! It’s just too good! What a fantastic idea. I could go on gushing, but I think you get the idea. Awesome, awesome, awesome patterns. Going in my queue now.


  6. I’ve always been enchanted by puffins, but only this morning have I connected that I also like goldeneyes, buffleheads, and Border collies. Not that I’m a black-and-white person myself: your color use here brings the black-and-white within range of what I’d actually wear. Lovely work.


  7. Thanks, Kate, for giving us a sneak peek at all of the wonderful designs in your new book. They are all going in my que for sure.


  8. Oh, Kate. These are fabulous! I love how you managed to use such a wide range of colours and shapes in your design, all the while keeping them cohesive. I cannot wait to buy your book (three more days!)


  9. I was going to order your book, but wasn’t sure when… This just changed my mind! I’ll be ordering it ASAP! I just LOVE the mantle! Beautiful. (Frankly, all the designs you’ve shown are wonderful…)


  10. These designs are simple stunning, Kate. xo Each time you post a new one I’m like, “No…I love THIS one the best.” Wow…they’ve all been so incredible. I can’t talk myself out of your book now. It’s definitely a must have. Congrats on a most beautiful and unique collection of designs. xoxo


  11. FUN FUN FUN, well that woke me up this AM on a rainy morning. that sweater is Total fun and I agree with all the comments above, love the “Nuffin is more fun than a Puffin” :)
    Again thank you for your brilliance.


  12. I honestly think that’s the most beautiful sweater I’ve ever seen. Congratulations on your book – I loved the other designs but this one in particular has sold it to me.


  13. I love those birds—and I love the joy you are finding in knitting and designing! I’ve googled “blendin'”, but it can’t possibly mean anything I’ve found. It’s a word for sweater? Any more information on that intriguing word ?


  14. Kate, your amazing play on colours, strength of mind, and beautiful work never cease to amaze me. Three cheers for a stunning pattern! I’m so excited about your collection.


  15. Lovely, lovely, lovely…the mantle and the sweater. But the mantle is perfect for cold winter mornings here in the mountains…the anticipation is just too much this time :) m.


  16. Gorgeous Kate!! Going to have to order this wonderful book of yours! Would love to cast on any of your designs . . . and I have lots of Shetland wool to cast on! Might be startlingly in black, moorit, grey, fawn, and white. But may also want to dye some yarn in those puffin colors!


  17. I’ve loved watching all the patterns from your new book go up – the rich denseness of the colours and the ‘blendin’ (I’m totally with the airport security people there!). But it’s absolutely the strong clear (indeed) modernist colours of the puffin jersey that speak to me the most! Curiously I can also imagine the yoke giving the jersey a kind of Fair Isle effect in other colourways.

    As a novice knitter, only just wrangling my first adult size garment into shape, would it be possible to say a little more on Ravelry about the skills involved? So far the Puffin also looks closest (- aspirable to, at least!) my skill set, but I could be being optimistic here. And this may be a cheeky question, but is it likely that these patterns will be published separately at all, on Ravelry?


  18. So much fun. Puffins are hilarious! The sweater is beautiful, as always.

    So I know Puffin is sometimes seen in the dinner table in Iceland, is that the case in Shetland too?


  19. Wonderful colours! We spent hours on Westray (Orkney) watching Puffin antics. I couldn’t believe how small they are. This is (yet another) design I can’t wait to start.


    1. I’m taking my que from Nature, too. My next sweater will be in the colors of the bohemian waxwing. Have seen picture of them recently on Shetland’s websites.


      1. They too are beautiful birds! We see a lot of them around our house in winter, and the coulors are really amazing, in sunny days they seem to be glowing.

        Are you on Ravelry? I would really enjoy to see you bohemian waxwing sweater.


  20. Absolutely beautiful! These designs are as delightful as those bright little birds….. You are so incredibly talented, and your sheer joy in your work is such a gift…. I can’t wait to order this book – thank you so very much xx


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