making things “locally”

As my business has grown over the past few years I have learned a lot about making things locally. Working with Scottish, Irish, and English producers, I’ve made my own books, and yarn, and knitwear. I’ve collaborated with many different types of manufacturers, from printers and spinners to dyers and wool producers. Being able to… 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

making Handywoman

I initially decided to write Handywoman after being interviewed on BBC Woman’s Hour, which led to a discussion with a literary agent. This agent was really smart, interesting, incredibly professional and represented other writers of what the book trade describes as “intelligent non-fiction” whose work I really admired. I’d had no thought of writing something… Read More

en-able

I was recently having a chat with an academic pal of mine, who is working on a project looking at changes in the hand-knitting industry over the past few decades. She asked me about how I thought the industry had changed, and what I felt the major differences might be in establishing and running a… Read More

carbeth joy

I’ve said it before – but really – the best and most rewarding thing about doing what I do is seeing knitters enjoying the stuff that I create. Over the past few weeks, it has been a huge pleasure for me to see women all over the world making and wearing their Carbeth jumpers. The… Read More

making stuff (at Lockies)

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

Jenny Jones

Over the years I’ve gathered a small collection of knitting ephemera. This includes a few different styles of the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century sticks, wisps and sheaths (used throughout Britain for supported knitting) and different kinds of representations–largely photographs or prints–of knitting all over Britain. Such representations do not afford some sort of transparent window onto… 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

Oa 2

Morning! As we are well ahead of ourselves with the preparation of the Inspired by Islay book, Tom and I took yesterday afternoon off and went out to Glen Etive. On the way I got Tom to stop above the Bridge of Orchy, so I could take some photos of his Oa Hoody — I… Read More

Fair Isle in Whalsay

Are you going to Shetland Wool Week this year? If so, can I strongly suggest you set aside a day in your itinerary for a trip to the wonderful island of Whalsay?. The Whalsay Heritage Centre is currently hosting an exhibition of the island’s fair isle knitting that will, I assure you, really blow your… Read More