One of the many things I really like about the communities and cultures of crofting is their distinctive effect on the way people work. What I mean is this: in towns and cities, jobs tend to become more and more specialised, people do what they do within smaller and smaller categories, individual work occurs in… Read More
One thing you can say about knitting: it really makes you think about the many different processes that producing textiles involve. For example, prior to becoming an obsessive knitter, I had never really considered blocking a woollen garment (with water or with steam) . . . . . . nor had I understood what a… Read More
If you’ve read my introduction to The Book of Haps then you’ll already have come across Helen Robertson – a Shetland artist and craftswoman whose work I deeply admire. Working with silver wire and other precious materials, Helen has developed a uniquely thoughtful aesthetic which celebrates, commemorates and reflects upon Shetland’s history and heritage –… Read More
Are you in Edinburgh this weekend? If so, can I encourage you to pop along to the pop-up fair which is being held by my friends at the Royal Edinburgh Repository and Self Aid Society on Saturday? I’ve mentioned the Society here many times, and as you know, it exists to provide financial support to… Read More
After some exciting developments on the relocation front, Tom and I went to view a house just outside Balfron yesterday. As we drove about the outskirts, I began to notice a few pompoms hanging from the trees and bushes outside people’s houses….then I spotted a whole jolly array of them along a hedge by the… Read More
Can I put away the pompom makers now? Merry Christmas, everyone!
This is Knit has its home in the Powerscourt Centre – a place that strongly reminded me of what the Corn Exchange in Manchester used to be like in the 1980s (ie, when it was a happy mecca of independent retailing, rather than just another anonymous mall). In the English North, such places tend to… Read More
I have flu. But I also have this wee feller to cheer me up. He is lovingly fashioned from Shetland wool and looks great on my lapel. Thanks, Liz!
There has been much talk over the past few days about the general handsomeness, and nobility of the ovine. Here is a supreme example. Just look at that marvellous phizog! So calm, so gentle, so self-contained, so . . .sheepy! I spent a long time admiring this fine herdwick at woolfest the other day, and… Read More
When I was back in Lancashire, I did some screen printing with my sister and Mr Steve — the brain and hands behind a number of great community arts projects in Rochdale. Neither Helen or I had tried screen printing techniques before, and the usual insane excitement that accompanies any craft activity we undertake was… Read More
Yesterday Mel and I had the pleasure of taking a dyeing workshop with Lilith of Old Maiden Aunt Yarns. Lilith’s studio is in West Kilbride, also known as Craft Town Scotland, because of its fantastic local initiative to house and support talented craftspeople in the town’s once-empty shops. Lilith’s studio is one of several great… Read More
When thinking about process, there is nothing more instructive than unpicking someone else’s stitches. I found a beautiful hand-embroidered cloth on ebay. I have plans for it. The plans involve deconstructing and transforming it into something else. I began by undoing the slip stitches of its heavy, worn cord edging. Then I started to unpick… Read More