Ootlier 2018 Calendar

The turn of October is generally the moment when all of the projects we have been working on throughout the year really start to come together. This year seems to be a particularly busy one: KDD Originals have just been released; our new yarn is in the final stages of scouring and skeining (hurrah); I’m… 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

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

Jane Hunter

Yesterday Tom and I took a drive down the road to West Kilbride. Known as Craft Town Scotland, the thriving main street hosts the studios of talented local artists, designers and craftspeople, such as my friends and compatriots Lillith (Old Maiden Aunt) and Ange (Weftblown). Jane Hunter’s studio is there too, and this was the… Read More

Shetland Oo: making a book

Hello – it’s Tom here – for a change. Kate is busy working on her Islay project, and I’m taking a break today from shipping out orders. I wanted to say thanks so much for your interest in our Shetland Oo book. Apart from being my first major project as a photographer, Oo is the… Read More

Helen Robertson

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

a handmade wedding

Thankyou, all of you, for your lovely comments and congratulations! I thought you might appreciate hearing a little more about the handmade elements of our wedding. A few years ago, Tom decided to have a kilt made. His surname is Barr, and the tartan of that name is also associated with a popular Scottish soft-drinks… Read More

a treasured gift

What’s this? A handknitted hoose? With flowers in the garden . . . . . . and a wee gate . . . . . leading to a horse-shoe adorned front door . . . . . . there are flowers in the windows too . . . . . . shrubs round the side… Read More

Great Tapestry of Scotland 1-23

On Sunday I finally got to see the Great Tapestry of Scotland. I was completely blown away by the vision of Alistair Moffat (who produced the tapestry’s historical content and context), Andrew Crummy (the superb artist who designed these 160 panels) and perhaps especially by the skill and beauty of the work of the thousand… Read More

Made things

Since returning from Iceland, and absorbing myself in the novels of Halldór Laxness, I have found myself constantly musing on the resourcefulness and ingenuity of the Icelandic people. In contemporary terms, geothermal energy might lead us to regard Iceland as relatively resource-rich, but until recently it has been in many other respects, incredibly resource-poor. Growing… Read More

Milano

This is my first project of 2014. I don’t mind admitting that it was an entirely selfish knit, just for me. A few months ago, I noticed that Jean was knitting Carol Sunday’s Milano. Ye gods, what a gorgeous thing it was! Those stripes killed me! I had to copy Jean and knit those stripes!… Read More