I’m not sure whether my approach to design is not a bit . . . unusual?

Because rather than thinking about texture or pattern or shape or colour first, I often begin with a finished look in mind – in which all of those foregoing elements are considerations – and work backwards from there.

This is what happened with this week’s West Highland Way club pattern – Highland Rogue.

I’ve had the coat (vintage Cabbages and Roses) for quite a while. It’s their signature style, and is one of my favourites.

For a long time I’ve thought just how damn good the monochrome check of this coat would look coupled with a deep, generous scarf or snood in a rich shade of orange-y red.

So I just knitted one up.

This snood is one of those fun projects which (if you are me) you can knit while paying close attention to a subtitled Swedish film, or or while travelling on a train – not too much thought is required. It’s basically a long loop, with a simple mock-cable pattern made up of knits and purls. The snood is completely reversible, and an integrated i-cord edging lends the edges a neat, sleek finish.

Happily, a cosy woolly snood in a rich shade of orangey-red spoke perfectly to this week’s club focus: the Highland Rogue himself, Rob Roy MacGregor. The Roy of Rob’s name, of course, means red – a reference to his gingery colouring. So there was definitely no other shade for Rob’s snood than Highland Coo.

This week’s essay – exploring Rob’s historic representation, and misrepresentation – was a fun one for me to write.

Each of the pieces accompanying each design speaks to a particular theme I think its interesting to consider in relation to the highland landscape. Taken together, they might be read as a cumulative cultural and social history of the West Highland Way. I’ve found writing these pieces one of the most enjoyable aspects of a very enjoyable project!

The West Highland Way book is now at the layout stage (always exciting) and will be published later in the spring. Meanwhile, if you’d like to, you can still join the club to receive all patterns and essays released so far, as well as those to come, and the book shipped to you anywhere in the world, on publication date. I can’t give too many hints, but there are two garments to be released in the next fortnight, one of which has proved to be my surprise favourite from the whole collection.

Hope you are enjoying your weekend!

Kate x

22 thoughts on “Highland Rogue

  1. You and Tom have captured the perfect lighting to show off your beautiful coo snood! Between your gorgeous knitting and Tom’s amazing photography, you have affirmed my longing to return to Scotland. I am sooooo looking forward to our trip – we were vacillating about doing the WHW – but no more…it’s now a must do!! Thank you!!

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  2. Your approach to design seems fine to me. I usually start with a mental image and have to be dragged back to reality by someone wanting to know how I designed something. I also like themed work, so I enjoy reading your posts.

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  3. Just gorgeous Kate, and that colour with your wonderful coat is fabulous. Your approach to design works so well for you, there can be no ‘right way’, we are all individuals. Keep your wonderful designs coming …… I don’t think you have ever designed anything that I don’t like!

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  4. I love your comments about your design process.
    I covet your coat (and the cooler weather that enables you to wear it). I think your range of designs, from
    simple for beginning knitters (or those who want a relaxing project) to complex is great.

    And you look marvelous! That orange-red is a great
    color choice!

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  5. Don’t think that way of designing is unusual – I usually work ‘backwards’ from a vision of a completed look. I often ‘see’ a design in a particular colourway. So if that makes us both unusual………!! Each to his or her own way of getting to the end product.

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  6. Definitely a sidebar.. but would you have some recommendations for Swedish films with subtitles? I’m learning Swedish at the moment and hearing a language always helps. :-)

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    1. Can we assume you already know about the Kammebornia podcast on YouTube? It’s not film, per se, but Swedish with English subtitles and definitely worth watching.

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    2. Laser Hallström’s 1987 “My Life as a Dog” is one of my all-time favorite movies. I hope you can find it. I have a thrift store VHS copy.

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