Etac and me

One of Handywoman’s central themes is the importance of tools and made-things in everyday life. I have a different, and much more nuanced, understanding of well-designed tools and objects post-stroke simply because my own physical deficits forced me to notice, and to reflect upon, how such objects addressed (or often failed to address) my body… Read More

two-shade Strathendrick

This sweater has been getting a lot of comments and requests for information – so I thought I’d tell you a bit about it. It’s a simplified two-shade version of my Strathendrick design, which I produced for my West Highland Way book. This sweater says quite a lot about my design process, and the integrality… Read More

St Catherines

In recent months, I’ve been enjoying developing a small collection of lighter knits in Milarrochy Tweed. I’ve just published the final design in this collection – St Catherines. I seem to be exploring dolman and batwing-esque sleeves a lot in my design work at the moment. With St Catherines, I wanted to design a really… Read More

a question of proportion

I’m working on new designs and have found myself musing upon questions of proportion. (please don’t laugh at my shoddy sketching. I am useless with a pencil and Fashionary is a genuine godsend for me!) It recently occurred to me just how much, over the past twelve months or so, I have been enjoying experimenting… Read More

Balmaha

I’ve made a new yoke jumper! This is Balmaha Ever since our new Milarrochy Tweed shades arrived I’ve had a yen to make a Còinneach yoke using Tarbet as the main colour . . . So I matched the beautiful marine blue of Tarbet together with the subtle duns of Hare, the rich chocolatey hues… Read More

West Highland Way book

Our new West Highland Way book has just been published! I’m rather proud of this collection of thirteen patterns, five of which use our wonderful new Milarrochy Tweed yarn The Craigallian Hat and Mittens The Strathendrick pullover The Còinneach Cardigan and the Shieling blanket The collection also includes four patterns in our original own-brand yarn,… Read More

winners!

During our West Highland Way club, we ran a couple of competitions: the first for interesting / creative uses of colour, using my Craigallian hat as a template . . . . . . and the second for an original hat design in our new Milarrochy Tweed. This first time I’ve arranged this kind of… Read More

when the work is done

A book like our recent West Highland Way project involves many different kinds of work for me: when producing a collection I spend time coming up with the design ideas, swatching, knitting, re-knitting, pattern writing, working with Mel (who tests the pattern and produces many samples), working with tech editors (who check my patterns and… Read More

Carbeth swan dance

For a few months now, I have been riffing off the same idea (which really is one of my favourite activities as a designer). I’ve knit four Carbeth jumpers and two cardigans (for the tale of woe involving number 5 see here) . . . but Carbeth’s interesting gauge-related ratios and simple geometric shaping weren’t… Read More

Highland Rogue

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… Read More