The Inspired by Islay club

The Inspired by Islay club is now open for pre-order! I’m really excited to finally be able to share this project, which has occupied the majority of my knitting and designing year thus far. If you have been wondering about the distinct lack of knitting content around here recently, it is because all of the… Read More

Estonian Knitting I: Traditions and Techniques

Years ago, I wrote the occasional piece for Selvedge. I pitched a few ideas to them for short features which combined the history of knitted textiles with some account of how they were actually made, but was told that any sort of technical instruction was verboten “we aren’t interested in how-tos.” But why not, I… Read More

Hornsea and me

Among the miscellaneous objects on my rather messy desk is a brown mug, with a broken handle, decorated with a frieze of dancing rabbits. This mug has sat on every desk I’ve ever sat at: I appropriated it for a pen-holder (in its already broken state) when I was a teenager, and it has travelled… Read More

Seven Scottish Shades

Its time to tell you about my yarn colours! I’ve created seven new shades for Buachaille, and all have been inspired by different aspects of the landscape in which I live and love to walk: its flora, its fauna, and of course its weather. Here’s what inspired Buchaille’s seven Scottish shades! 1. Highland Coo These… Read More

at Haworth Scouring

As we have discovered over the past few months, there is an awful lot to think about when designing and manufacturing a new yarn for hand knitting! There are many stages to consider, and many decisions to be made. It occurred to me that one of the processes that’s least visible to hand knitters is… Read More

a trip to London

Hello! I’m just home again after a fantastic trip to London. I was there to attend the opening of the Sonia Delaunay retrospective (of which more shortly), but I also . . . . . . had a wonderfully jolly time in Fortum and Mason with top wool comrade, Felix. We drank posh tea, talked… Read More

Scottish bluebells

I am currently working on a bluebell-inspired design for my forthcoming YOKES collection. I am certainly not short of inspiration, as you currently can’t move for bluebells round here. Discovering these lovely flowers blooming in the woods and hills around me this Spring has really been an unexpected delight. On every walk, I seem to… Read More

A Hap for Harriet

I have a new pattern out today! This is A Hap for Harriet. I recently heard that my friend, former colleague, and doctoral supervisor, Professor Harriet Guest, was about to retire, and I thought it might be nice to produce and name a design in her honour. Before I began, I had some discussion with… Read More

Gawthorpe, encore

In between developing kits and other designs, I’ve been working on my Gawthorpe project (which you may remember is a commission to produce a pattern inspired by the wonderful textile collections of Rachel Kay Shuttleworth). The piece on which I’ve decided to base my design is a large coverlet, featuring deep teal-coloured woollen embroidery on… Read More

Pteridomania

I’m working on my Gawthorpe design. Here’s what I’ve been thinking about. Charles Sillem Lidderdale, The Fern Gatherer (1877) Fern-decorated Mauchlinware Wardian Case Jane Hoodless “Pteridomania Contained” (©Jane Hoodless, 2012) Victorian Fern-fashion Gucci, A/W 2013 For more, see Sarah Whittingham, Fern Fever: The Story of Pteridomania (2012)

Sontag

I have a design published in the new Rowan Magazine! It is a simple triangular shawl or “Sontag” knit up in three tasty shades of Rowan Fine Tweed. (shades Wensley, Bedale, and Dent) The garment is named after Henriette Sontag — a German singer, who brought this kind of shallow, front-crossing shawl to the attention… Read More

Eno

I have been thinking about Brian Eno since a half-remembered lyric led Tom and I to listen again to our Roxy Music albums this weekend. Genius! This morning I rediscovered these photographs of Eno in some incredible knitwear and was reminded of his fabulously singular sartorial style. “We got the usual strange looks in airports,”… Read More