in progress

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… Read More

an open letter to Shetland Islands Council

Dear Shetland Islands Council, I write to express my dismay at the decision of the council not to renew the Promote Shetland contract, thereby discontinuing the important work of this organisation, and removing three people from their jobs. The minutes of your decision — effectively arrived at during the brief adjournment in which councillors were… Read More

summer shawls

We are gradually adding a range of different kits, books, and other products to the KDD shop, and the latest to arrive are kits for two of my most popular shawl designs – Fantoosh, and A Hap for Harriet. Both shawls are great for summer knitting, and I think both also make ideal accessories for… Read More

a walk to the lightning tree

Yesterday Tom produced a short time lapse of a short walk to and from the apple tree, and I thought you might like to see it. The walk takes you from where the top of our garden meets the west Highland way, and up the hill, to the edge of the Auchengillan estate. On the… Read More

apple blossom time

A week or so ago, I was thinking about colour (as one does when one is developing a new palette), and had a sudden yen to look at Cicely Mary Barker’s Flower Fairies. When I was very young, I had a cased set of Barker’s eight small volumes, and looking back, I really think that… Read More

Ottar (hap)

I have been so inspired by Ottar (see yesterday’s post) that I decided to name my latest design for her – the Ottar hap. This is a hap I’ve had a notion to knit since I started working on The Book of Haps about eighteen months ago. As I researched Shetland hap construction, I became… Read More

Ottar

Working on a book can be full of surprises. I did not think, when I set out to write a chapter about tools and objects and the way my attitude to the material world changed after my stroke, that I would end up being inspired by an amazing feminist anarcho-syndicalist . . . but weirdly… Read More

fabulous projects

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… Read More

working hands

I’ve recently been writing about teaching my left hand to work again following my stroke. Because of this, I’ve been thinking very carefully about braiding hair, and knitting socks, about how it felt, and what it meant to re-instruct my hand (whose memory of habitual movement had been completely lost) in those activities. I’ve also… Read More

sight lines

Tom has been teaching himself to work with a drone camera, in preparation for a really exciting project (which I’ll tell you more about another time), and I’ve been rather enjoying the results of his practice. It is very interesting seeing our familiar landscape from new angles. I’ve found myself thinking a lot about how… Read More