1. I’m now over half way through writing my new book. I’ve been enjoying the project immensely. Being able to just explore ideas and try out different ways of putting things across feels like a complete luxury. I genuinely love writing (which is probably the key to being any sort of writer, I think) and I’ve found myself wondering a lot about how other writers like to work. I find I’m most efficient when I get up early, start the day with no distractions, and aim towards a daily word-count goal. I am continually aware how my personal circumstances make my writing possible at all: I’m only able to find the time to write because I work with two brilliant people (Mel and Tom) who have lifted much of my admin burden from my shoulders. Here’s to running businesses collaboratively! (If you are a writer, how do you like to organise your writing day?)

(Tom, mum, and dad, a few years ago in St Annes)

2. My parents are moving to Scotland! The whole time I’ve lived here, north of the border, they have been over 300 miles away in Lancashire. I speak to them on the phone all the time, but it is really not the same. Soon they will be just over half an hour’s drive away, and we are all very excited about the move, especially Bruce!

3. I’m going to Sweden. You may remember that in this post I mentioned Etac, the company who designed the turning device with which I first learned to stand and transfer following my stroke? Well, thanks to the wonderful folk at Etac, I’m going to be able to visit the factory where the turner is produced, and interview some of the innovative people who designed it and other ground-breaking adaptive aids. In my book, I’ve been writing about the transformative effect of thoughtful design, such as that produced by Etac. I love Sweden and I’m very much looking forward to my trip.

4. I’ve planned out my new design collection, and Mel and I are already hard at work knitting samples. The collection will be run as a club, along similar lines to Inspired by Islay (with weekly pattern releases, treats along the way, and a nicely produced book at the end) and I think I can now mention that the collection will feature some designs with Buachaille, as well as others knitted in a completely new, and very different KD yarn (which we are producing especially for the club).

5. Tom is about to launch a really exciting new project in which he’s documented the people, animals, and work involved in the 200 year old local institution that is the Drymen show. I’ve written the introduction to the first issue of Ootlier Zine, whose publication is now imminent. In the meantime, you might like to have a look at Tom’s beautiful new website, where his work is now displayed.

The bigger picture of my life is one in which I’m able to work towards, and make, things which I enjoy and I believe in. You’ve no idea how grateful I am for this, nor how often I remind myself of it when I wake up and turn on my phone to another day of anger and sorrow.

I feel it is important to keep on making the good things.

36 thoughts on “in progress

  1. I think we’re grateful that you share with us a thoughtful life and positive outlook that can act as lighthouse; guiding us away from the rocks of divisiveness and anger. Thank you.


  2. Hurrah for all your amazing projects and absolutely – we must continue to make the good things ESPECIALLY when there is such a lot of bad news every day; making the good things is the place of hope and the margin at which positive change and transformation can take place. Looking forward as ever to seeing how the vast talents and synergies of KDD develop into Tom’s new zine, the new KDD club and your book, and also very happy at the prospect of Bruce being nearer to his doting grandparents xxx


  3. Loved so many things about reading this post. So happy to hear that progress on the book is going well, that there’s to be a new collection and new yarn (!!!), and that Tom’s ventures seem to be coming along so well. You two have built so many good things!

    It is good to hear about your writing process. I am working toward finishing my PhD thesis. I know the things that work well for me for writing, but for some reason, knowing what works and doing what works are too different things. I find, like you, that it’s good if I can have an early start. If I make a solid start writing in the morning, I am more likely to have a decent writing afternoon. And I usually get a final burst of energy when I know the day is almost over … so often 4-5 is my best writing time (and on particularly good days, I’ll stay at my desk past my usual time … but that hasn’t happened for quite awhile) And deadlines help me tremendously. Without them, I struggle!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I think that anyone who has the good fortune to be doing what they enjoy doing is so lucky. And to know you are fortunate – well, that’s special. It takes hard work and a great ability to make good friends and work colleagues. Thank you for inspiring me too – to think positively as much as is possible in this time.
    William Dalrymple wrote about his working day in the Saturday 17th June Guardian. He has a thinking path – like Darwin.


  5. Hi Kate,

    Congratulations on winning the Microbusiness of the Year Award for 2016. I live in Calgary, Alberta Canada and love your blog. I recently finished knitting your Owligan cardigan for my sister. She just loves it as it’s so nice and cozy and made great use of it when she was in Scotland for a holiday last month. She loved your country.

    There is a wonderful little knit shop here that sells beautiful yarns and I wondered if I gave you the name if you could approach them to ship some of your beautiful wool. I will also mention it to the owner. I will attach their website for your perusal. The owner’s name is Veronica and she hails from Newfoundland. She has made a real success of her shop and as you well know, knit stores aren’t easy to run. Many have come and gone here in Calgary.

    You are doing such interesting things along with your book. Sounds like a work of love and I think it’s just wonderful. Keep it up!


    Doris Fishman



  6. Heartiest thanks for such an encouraging post. I love the last two paragraphs, especially the phrase “…important to keep on making the good things” — I shall repeat this to myself often. It will remind me to stay on track and not despair about the plague of frightening events and scary people in our world.

    I am very glad you have lots of good things going on now — and I am very much looking forward to your new yarn! It is also good to have some great anticipations in our lives — helps keep dread at bay.


  7. Totally agree with the need for making good things. And you do make very good things. Thank you for sharing your talent with us and for sharing your thoughts and challenges. I have learned much from your posts and the essays in your books. I very much enjoyed Islay club and cannot wait for the next one.


  8. Creating good things (as you do so well) is more important than ever right now. If only all the world would stop and knit a hat or a sweater, we would have peace for a few hours at a time.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi Kate – I’m so happy your folks are moving closer to you. I would be lost without my mom, as an only child – we’re extremely close and always have been. the older we get – the more I want to do with them, the 4 of us vacation together and do lots of things together, she is not a knitter but she and my dad both do cross stitch so we all have that in common as well.
    Glad to hear you are excited about your trip to Sweden and the new book is going swimmingly! yes so much to be thankful for. World news and news in general is so negative – I just turn up the knitting. Cheers Mel


  10. sounds interesting, can’t wait to see what comes up , great news that your parents are going to be nearer to you , and that Tom now has his own page , hope you enjoy your trip to Sweden and thanks once again for sharing your life with us , It makes my day when I receive a post from you in my e-mail folder , best wishes George x x


  11. “I feel it is important to keep on making the good things.”

    One of those good things is definitely writing your blog posts. Every time a notification pops up in my mail account I’m happy and save the reading for some quiet minutes as I love your writing and the pictures so much.

    The news of the new collection and the club are wonderful, I really look forward to that.


  12. How intriguing! And I’ve already found Tom’s new website, via Twitter – it’s rather lovely.

    New yarn….


  13. I am writing my Bachelor Thesis, which is due this Month. I am tired, and all the sorts of exhausted but I like the writing a lot. I did like the research more, but it has to be done, and here we are. I do write in the night, because I am a Mother of four, and there is a awful lot of work and needs and care which has to happen during the day. I would like the experience only doing this important milestone, but on the other hand: I am privileged, to be able to finish my studies (for now). I take it as it is, and turn it our best.
    There is no knitting time for now, but knowing there is a club coming up, lifts my senses!

    Liked by 3 people

  14. Gosh, you don’t waste time, do you?! Half-way through your book? A new design
    collection? An interesting trip and interview? A new KD yarn?
    And Tom’s new web site and gorgeous photography?
    (Do you sleep? ha!) Cute picture of your family.
    All of you at KDD are such pros. It’s a joy to read and look at your quality work.


  15. Writing: at any given moment, I figure out which writing-related task my energy and available time permit me to take on, and that’s what I do. My best “thinking” times are morning and then again a spell in the evening. Afternoons are for items on the “need to be done but don’t require my best skills” list. That stuff can actually be fun–hunting down stock photos, picking colors for a layout, and so on. But the most satisfying hours are those I spend reading and thinking about research materials and writing and/or drawing my way into understanding them.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Thanks for the good things. Uplifting the positive things is so important. Your blog is so inspiring. I’m looking forward to your new designs and your writing.


  17. You and Tom amaze me in the way you have turned your inspiration and ideas (via hard work and determination) from a fledgling start up to what looks like a long term sustainable business. It is a pleasure being able to share in the twists and turns as things evolve.
    I admire and envy your grit.
    Oh! and Mel deserves a big mention as a pivotal member of the team.


  18. Hi Kate,
    I am currently writing a dissertation and as I am not a natural writer like you I’m finding it a bit of a slog. Thank you for this post, I found it very inspiring and I will try the daily word count thing.


  19. Dear Kate,
    To be able to do what you love and with those you love is such a gift. Happy for you that you will soon have your parents close by. Now that my children are older I hope to find the time to write. I am aiming for morning when my thoughts come quickly and the promise of the day is upon me.
    Take care and keep creating and sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I find your writing very uplifting, especially today! Reminds me of why I value knitting, sewing, cooking (all the “slow” joys of life) and the communities surrounding them.

    Thank you!


  21. We’re going to Scotland this summer and i can’t wait! Especially to see the Highlands! I’m looking even more forward to it now that i’ve discovered your work! I can’t find your knitting books here in Norway, so i’m defenently going to look for them on my vecation!


  22. “I feel it is important to keep on making the good things.” Yes, now more than ever. Thank you for this reminder today.


  23. FIVE fabulous things! Halfway thru the book, parents moving closer, Sweden, a new knitting collection and a new web site from Tom….I love the goat picture I bought! I am pleased you will be visiting Etac and getting the word out, I have been sending it to PT/OT folk that I know. Thank you again………Happy days!


  24. It’s very important to keep on making the good things and good for you for doing it and sharing it!
    I’m really looking forward to the new yarn and designs! :)
    So pleased for you too having your parents so much nearer.
    V x


  25. Thanks for such a positive post! With so many tragic events and worrying developments in the news it’s important to reflect on the good stuff.
    My other half writes detective fiction, and does much of his best work whilst commuting to London on the train!


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