I’m particularly excited about this year’s club and design collection. This is because it takes its inspiration from my home landscape and daily stomping ground: the West Highland Way.

The West Highland Way is a long distance walking route of just under a hundred miles that travels from Milngavie in the south to Fort William in the north. Around fifteen thousand people complete the route each year, and walkers come from all over the world to experience it, in whole or part. The route gives a wonderful introduction to this part of Scotland, and allows you to experience a wide variety of stunning landscapes on foot, from gentle lochsides to boggy moors, from the picturesque environments of lush woodlands to the sublime drama of rocky highland peaks. I live right here and every day feel lucky to walk around these landscape: how could I not want to design a collection inspired by the West Highland Way?

If you participated in last year’s club, you’ll have a sense of the sort of thing that we have planned: each week you’ll receive a pattern, together with an essay introducing you to an area or theme. The themes range from poetry to geology, from social history to the natural or built environment. Please be aware that this club is emphatically NOT peddling some sort of shortbread, Outlander fantasy of Scotland: the West Highland Way is a place of great beauty, but not one of romance. The themes the club will be exploring have their basis in the ordinary realities of my home landscape.

Because this is where we live, and because we’ve been planning this club for the past twelve months, we’ve been able to think about some interesting ways of documenting and communicating what’s so special about the West Highland Way. You will discover several places that you are unlikely to find in many guidebooks and can expect to see stunning photography from Tom, as well as some innovative footage and short films.

So how will the club be structured? The club begins at the start of the West Highland Way, with a trio of accessory patterns that I’ve designed for our new yarn, Milarrochy Tweed, in several different colourways. These patterns have been created specifically to enable club members to creatively explore the new tweedy palette. Everyone will be encouraged to play with colour, and to develop their own ideas, and there will also be a competition (and prizes). Make sure you join my Ravelry group (if you’ve not done so already) to participate!

We’ll spend the next three weeks travelling along the West Highland Way to Loch Lomond, exploring my local landscape, together with three further designs for Milarrochy Tweed, two of which are garments. I’m particularly proud of one of these designs, but all I can really say about it at this point is that I think of it as this year’s Oa. I hope this means something to some of you.

The next group of designs take us along the north shore of Loch Lomond, and into the West Highlands, past the iconic mount of Beinn Dorain. These designs all feature Buachaille (my sport / DK weight yarn), and again there is a balance between garments and accessories. The textured elements of these designs reflect the surrounding environment as we explore the relationship between loch and mountain, together with the human presence in the landscape.

The final design group carries us over the vast expanse of Rannoch Moor, down into Glencoe, up the Devil’s Staircase near Altnafeadh (so named by the English soldiers who clearly did not enjoy its challenges), down into Kinlochleven (the Highlands’ first “electric village”) and around the foot of Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain, where the West Highland Way concludes. Forming a contrast with this increasingly rugged landscape, the designs in this part of the club all feature openwork, and use Fyberspates Cumulus. This beautiful light, soft yarn has a wonderful new colour range (not yet publicly released) whose design potential I’ve recently been enjoying. If you’ve not yet come across it: Cumulus is sort of like Kidsilk Haze, only better. This section of the club features two garments and two accessories, including a hap design.

So what does a club subscription involve? How much does it cost?

The club has two options: one for those of you who would like to sample Milarrochy Tweed (subscription numbers for this option are limited), and one for those who would just like to participate in the weekly pattern element and receive the West Highland Way book at the end (subscription numbers for this option are unlimited).

In more detail, then:

Option 1: yarn sample pack / weekly patterns / West Highland Way book – £80.
12 balls of Milarrochy Tweed, exclusive 8oz canvas Milarrochy tweed project bag (posted prior to club commencing).
Access to all patterns, newsletters, videos, other extras
10% discount on all items in KDD shop for the duration of the club, including Milarrochy Tweed (January through March)
120 page print book (posted out at the club’s conclusion)
2 x shipping (yarn pack and book) anywhere in the world.
The number of available subscriptions for this option is limited.

Option 2: weekly patterns / West Highland Way book – £30
Access to all patterns, newsletters, videos, other extras
10% discount on all items in KDD shop for the duration of the club, including Milarrochy Tweed (January through March)
120 page book (posted out at the club’s conclusion)
1 x shipping (book only) anywhere in the world
The number of available subscriptions for this option is unlimited.

For those who would prefer option 2, but who are keen to try a skein or two of Milarrochy Tweed, you will be able to purchase the yarn upon its general release separately later in January 2018.

I hope this has answered any questions you might have. If there is anything else you’d like to know, please leave me a note in the comments and I’ll try to respond tomorrow . . .when I’ll also be able to show you one of the special multi-colourway patterns I’ve created with Milarrochy Tweed (for those who are interested in participating in the yarn element of the club). I’ll also let you know about the timing and full arrangements for subscriptions (opening in the shop on Friday, November 17th).

56 thoughts on “Introducing the West Highland Way club

  1. Heartbroken that I missed this as I was on vacation last week and just returned. Hopefully this will open again and I will be able to join in. Beautiful, as always!!

    Like

  2. When is the deadline for signing up? Can I still sign up for the book only in january 2018? I am hinting my DH and kids that this would be a nice Xmas present, but if they do not get the hint, I would like to buy it anyway…

    Like

  3. Wow. I can’t seem to find the web site to sign up for option 1 on the west highland way club. Please,I want to do this. Help please.

    Get Outlook for Android

    ________________________________

    Like

    1. I got in!! So excited to be a part of the club, receiving the yarn and book! Even though I am in the states, i will proudly knit up and show up your beautiful projects💕

      Like

  4. I just want to thank you all for the behind the scenes work that made signing up this morning so stress-free. There were difficulties with the Buachaille club but this was brilliant. I look forward to the club starting – your designs, yarn and photos are always inspiring and will bring a much need optimism to life. Thank you to the whole team again. I hope you are not too exhausted.

    Like

  5. Received the announcement e-mail yesterday. Spent the day pondering which club to join. I missed out last year.
    As I awoke this morning my first thought was a quote from Oscar Wilde, ” I have never regretted my extravagances,
    only my economies!”.
    Decision made. Payment (gulp) sent. Awaiting yarn, patterns and all……

    Like

    1. LOVE that citation – but decided for the book only option… I am not able to knit at the moment because of an elbow injury (the mere thought hurts…), but Kate’s designs are always sooo stunning I could not resist. Besides, I plan to walk the West Highland Way next year with my daughter, quite apart from this new book. I am really looking forward to the addtional information about this beautful part of Scotland from the club.

      Many greetings from Germany to you all, especially to Kate, Tom and Bruce!
      Susanne

      Like

  6. I am as excited about this new club as anyone else. Really looking forward to learning about the Highland Way, week by week, and to exploring new patterns for a new yarn. I’ve signed up to get the yarn as well as patterns, but realise I dont know how much yarn there is in each ball.
    Can you tell us please, Kate?

    Like

  7. I’m so excited for this club! I walked the WHW with my husband and kids this past June, and it was spectacular. Your picture of the “Tuck Shop” at the top of Devil’s Staircase brought a smile to my face. It was such an amusing thing to find an unmanned “shop” right there, (and frankly was greatly appreciated). I can’t wait to receive your fabulous patterns and see the stunning photography in the book. It will let me relive our trip all over again!

    Like

  8. Hi Kate, I love your patterns and writing. I enjoyed the inspired by Islay club so much I hope to sign up for option 1 but also sign up for a gift subscription for my sister. Are gift subscriptions possible?

    Like

  9. So excited, I walked the Wets Highland Way this summer for the first time and had such a great time. What a bonus that it’s the club’s theme now! Can’t wait :)

    Like

  10. Hi Kate, I always like to read your letters and also take a look in your beautiful country by Tom s fotos. Now I will like to participate very much to the first the first option.
    Thanks a lot for your inspiring ideas,
    Theresia

    Like

  11. Hi! It looks gorgeous all of it! And I really enjoy your written stories as well as the patterns and yarns. I’m really looking forward to this year’s club!
    I have a question about your new tweed yarn;: where does the wool come from? Which country? And from which sort of sheep ?( I understand that the mohairgoats isn’t so common in the UK …)
    Thanks
    Erika

    Like

  12. WOW ! Many thanks to you for everything Kate  We all love your writing, designing and knitting. I’m looking forward to try your lovely yarns on my needles and I’m ready to embark with you and so many of your fans on this second travelling and knitting adventure. Merci à vous, à Tom et à Bruce for sharing with us the magic of your beautiful country.

    Like

  13. So torn! I really don’t need to buy more yarn – I need to use more of my handspun, and spin more. There is no shortage of fleece and dyed wool in this househould.

    On the other hand, that Millarochy looks wonderful. And perhaps a bit more my thing than Buachaille (wonderful though it is) which I find a tad heavy for colourwork which is what stymied me on The Oa, though I’m so pleased with Ardmore.

    Like

  14. I’m in! I walked the WHW in June, and had to skip a few bits in the middle due to a severe blister situation. Now I can catch up by knitting those… how convenient.

    Like

  15. Just happen to have some Cumulus sitting in my stash so very excited to see your patterns! And try the new Milarrochy tweed of course. For many years I used the train to travel to Mallaig for short breaks through the area you describe – it is utterly captivating. I’m no longer able to do so due to my husband’s stroke but will delight in travelling that way through your patterns and club.

    Like

  16. Oh how exciting! As I’ll be walking the West Highland way in 2018 participation in the club is a no brainer for me. And “this year’s Oa” is just the icing on the cake! Thanks Kate, I know I’ll enjoy this a much as last year!

    Like

  17. Hi Kate, looking forward to the new book. I’m interested on option 2, will there be an option to purchase a sheep with small selection of samples to be able to get a feel for the colours and wool when the orders open on Friday?

    Many thanks
    Anne

    Like

  18. I am looking forward to signing up for the West Highland Club while on holiday here on Maui. I loved being part of being Inspired by Islay and look forward to being similarly transfixed by your and Tom’s combined efforts on the West Highland Way.

    Like

  19. Looking forward to this so much! And I agree with the other comments, I hope limited means lots! Thanks for all the work and attention to details that you put into your designs and yarn.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mary, I looked at todays exchange rates and 80 British Pounds = $105.30 US dollars.
      30 British Pounds = $39.48 US dollars. The rate may be different when the club is open. At least this gives you a ballpark idea.

      Like

  20. I’m so excited about your new club. Last year it was such a joy to receive the weekly patterns. Especially I like the combination of knitting beautiful patterns with interesting background stories of a famous way which I’ve not travelled so far.

    Like

  21. Fabulous. Last year it was a joy and surprise to receive the weekly patterns. It will be so exciting to follow your journey, especially I’m interested in the background stories of a famous way which I’ve still not travelled. The combination of knitting beautiful designs with the historical background of the West Highland Way will be so delightful.

    Like

  22. I was wondering if early sign up was going to be offered for newsletter folks but apparently not. Hmmmm. As a US Pacific Time knitter, seems like it might be tough to get in on the yarn club but I’ll be sure to give it a try!

    Like

  23. I too am wondering about the limited part. But I suppose we shall see.You mentioned the WHY (and club) is not one of romance, leaning more towards the history and local culture of the people and places of this region. But as someone who is not from there, who hiked the West Highland Way on our honeymoon, the misty, cool, empty walk over Rannoch Moor was lovely..and romantic. The Kingy, Glencoe, Devils Staircase, Whiskey in Ft William (is that part of the club?:)….I cannot wait to see what lies in store for those weeks.

    Like

    1. I have no issue with your personal experience of the ‘romance’ of the highlands (it is without doubt a beautiful and atmospheric landscape) – who could possibly deny just how amazing that section of the WHW is? But I do have concerns over the pipes in the glens, shortbread tin and yes – Outlander – fantasies which have very little to do with the real history of this landscape, and often indeed do it a disservice by glossing over its discontinuities. I’m sure you know exactly where I am coming from . . .

      Liked by 2 people

  24. I am so excited about the Option One Yarn Option West Highland Way Club and am so hoping (hoping, hoping, hoping…..) to get a spot this year!! Can I ask what time the subscriptions will be open USA Eastern Standard Time? What a wonderful way to travel through Scotland through your narratives; new yarn and colours; and patterns; and through Tom’s photography!
    Best regards,
    Celia Edwards

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Oh my!! Here we go again!!! I have always wanted to “do” the West Highland Way – but, would have loved to have shared it with late dh. So, this is brilliant. Kate, you are a genius, I can “do” the Way – in way that combines love of Scotland, things woolly, knitting, wonderful writing, beautiful designs, evocative photography, and wonderful memories …………and I can sit by my fire the whole time. Magic

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Thank you, Kate, for what looks like another fine adventure, I do hope there will be a map included along the way. I am already standing in line for this one. Cheers, Anna :-)

    Like

  27. I have re-read this post several times, lingering over the images, the descriptions, the details, the yarn and the photography. I can’t wait to begin the journey. Will Friday EVER come?? Think I will be getting up with the stars, here on the west coast– an appropriate beginning for a new adventure.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. I’m a newbie and have fallen in love with your new color palette of yarn. I have loved your patterns for several years and am now getting into more 100% wool and color work. Fingers crossed I can sign up for the yarn version of the club. My question is do I sign up on your shop site? Typically when does the sign up open? 9am Scotland time?
    Tom’s photo’s are exquisite.
    Thank you for your time.
    Kind regards
    Jenny Knott

    Like

leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s