Inspired by Islay was released a couple of months ago, and it has been making me very happy to see so many new projects from the book springing up on Ravelry, and so many beautiful garments appearing.

As you know, I particularly enjoy designing and knitting colourwork, and The Oa is one of my favourite patterns from the book. I did wonder, as I was making it, whether everyone else would love knitting a garment with an allover pattern and a steek quite as much as I did . . . and am really thrilled that has turned out to be the case! There are well over a hundred Oas completed or in progress, and some really beautiful finished sweaters among them to be admired. Above is Fiona’s fabulous version, and this is Sara’s:

I met Sara at Edinburgh Yarn Fest this year, where I was able to admire her Oa in person. I love the way she’s worked the raglans, and her modified neckline without the hood.

Like a few knitters who’ve enjoyed this design, Jennifer has made the Oa more than once. I particularly like the the short sleeves and the use of Yaffle green for contrast on her Moonlicht Nicht version of the sweater.

Barbara has made herself a couple of beautifully knitted garments from the Islay book. Here’s her Kildalton, in Moonlicht Nicht, making a spectacular contrast with her garden foliage:

And here’s her Port Charlotte, using haar as the main colour.

I love the way that Port Charlotte’s yoke pattern creates a necklace of bright, summery pops of colour to frame the face of the wearer. Angelika looks fabulous in hers!

Port Charlotte is one of several patterns Kristel has made from the Islay collection, having whipped up an Oa . . .

and a beautiful Ardmore Gansey, as well as a Birlinn Blanket.

Finlaggan was the first pattern I designed for the Islay collection (as well as for my own wedding) and I’ve particularly enjoyed seeing the way that knitters have made this design their own. I really like Gunhild’s version of the cardigan, from which she’s removed the pockets, and added buttons and and buttonholes:

and Michelle looks truly lovely in her Finlaggan, which she’s knitted in the Islay shade.

Making a large, modular blanket can be something of an undertaking, and many knitters are working on their Birlinn Blankets together in the knitalong that’s currently running in my Ravelry group. Some, like Beverley, have finished their beautiful blankets already!

. . . but many others are taking things at a much more leisurely pace. The KAL runs until next February, there will be exciting prizes for finished blankets, and you can join in here.

Finally, because I find myself gripped with a familiar urge to knit allover fairisle at the moment, I had to finish with two beautiful projects which made me gasp when I first saw them.

I absolutely love Linda’s modified Miss Rachel and really want one for myself.

And I was blown away by Dianna’s incredible Sandneskofte, which she chose to knit in Buachaille.

Dianna knitted this work of art with shades Islay and Haar, and you can read more about it here.



I hope these amazing knitters and their beautiful sweaters have inspired you as much as they have me! I’m feeling particularly full of ideas at the moment as we firm up the plans for my next collection (new yarn! new designs!) and I’m already excited to tell you more about this (soon!).

Happy knitting, everyone! x

20 thoughts on “fabulous projects

  1. Wow, thanks Kate for this compilation! I love all the personal variations, the way that each made the garment their own. Plus some wonderful garden viewing! I finally/just posted my Finallagan, in progress. It’s pretty nice to think that you check out our posts! On Ravelry, I am susabelle@me.com. I am loving your precise pattern writing, your wonderful yarn! Thanks for your wonderful work!

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  2. Thank you for the inspiration! I’m on the home stretch with my Oa, which I’m planning to have done for a visit to Ireland in June (giving a paper on knitting and well-being, and it seems to me I should be wearing handknits as much as possible, right?). Soon!

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  3. These are SO lovely. How have they managed to knit their Oas so fast? Well, I just frogged mine today. I’d got to the top of the body, tried it on and it was too tight. I’ve been wondering what to do and seeing all these beauties made me take action. I’ve started again on 4mm needles and already it just feels much more pleasant to knit. For me, the 3.5mm needles were making a tight fabric that wasn’t slipping through my hands in an enticing way (if that makes sense). I’ve already got it cast on and one repeat knitted. Much happier with how it feels.

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  4. What gorgeous projects – I’ve put my Oa on hold to make way for summer knits but am really encouraged by looking at all the other projects, especially the variety of female figures (mine is a fuller one)!
    Much as I love the blue/white/red combo, I’m very very taken with those using green… perhaps in my future lol

    And then promise of new things – – –

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  5. Beautiful job knitters! The modifications made to so many designs are inspiring. I love the Ardmore picture in the pub! Nicely done.

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  6. So lovely… great designs and I love seeing the interpretations by different knitters.

    Hmmm…. a book of designs for men… is that in your future some time?

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  7. Drooling! Thanks for sharing these beauties.
    Also just have to add how much I love your yarn. A delight to knit!
    New yarn? You have me on the edge of my seat!!! Made my day ;)

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  8. These all look great. I have all the patterns but have yet to get started. Have been a bit afraid of the round knitting as now I have more curves than I had I am hesitant that the knitting won’t work with a larger busy size but these have proven my doubts are very wrong so I shall get on with it. Many thanks for showing these. Well done. Barbara

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  9. The projects are so inspirational. And beautiful. Thank you Kate for designs, and knitters for your interpretations of Kate’s designs. Jennifer

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