new paths

I’m currently working on a couple of chapters for my book. The first chapter looks at learning to walk (which, unless you’ve experienced injury or disability most of us will never engage in as an acquired skill) and the second chapter explores some thoughts I have about walking itself (one of my favourite activities, which… Read More

in progress

1. I’m now over half way through writing my new book. I’ve been enjoying the project immensely. Being able to just explore ideas and try out different ways of putting things across feels like a complete luxury. I genuinely love writing (which is probably the key to being any sort of writer, I think) and… Read More

Ottar

Working on a book can be full of surprises. I did not think, when I set out to write a chapter about tools and objects and the way my attitude to the material world changed after my stroke, that I would end up being inspired by an amazing feminist anarcho-syndicalist . . . but weirdly… Read More

working hands

I’ve recently been writing about teaching my left hand to work again following my stroke. Because of this, I’ve been thinking very carefully about braiding hair, and knitting socks, about how it felt, and what it meant to re-instruct my hand (whose memory of habitual movement had been completely lost) in those activities. I’ve also… Read More

are you domesticated?

Without doubt the best thing about this whole blogging thing is the dialogue it enables. Under its first name of “needled”, I started this blog ten years ago, and over the past decade I’ve met some of my best friends and colleagues through this online space. Many of you correspond with me, and though it… Read More

paying attention

Tom and I are currently working hard on separate projects. Tom is developing some of his studio techniques, exploring different ways of depicting the textural qualities of vegetables and flowers. I’m writing about my recovery from stroke, and for the past fortnight have been working on a chapter specifically about my left hand, and the… Read More

patients and doctors

I have been doing a lot of reading and writing of late. It feels like a total luxury to be spending my days with books and words and I am enjoying it immensely. As well as writing a good chunk of my own book, I have enjoyed reading a lot of other people’s work. I’ve… Read More

seven years

Today is the seven year anniversary of my stroke. Seven years ago this morning I lay terrified in a hospital bed, unable to move the left side of my body. Today I’m here, releasing a new design, about to finish one book and start another, able to walk, to drive, and to swim again. I… Read More

Hat 101

Good morning! I’m feeling festive today and have released a new pattern – the 101st that I’ve designed and published. Its name is Hat 101, and appropriately, it is a sort of sampler of many of the things I enjoy about making and designing hats. Hat 101 involves simple, rhythmic two-colour knitting and small, interconnected… Read More

return to the water

Prior to my stroke, I was an enthusiastic swimmer. I found swimming both invigorating and relaxing: a great form of exercise and a useful way to wind down when I was busy and stressed out at work. My body and balance changed radically following my stroke, but I’ve attempted (and enjoyed) the occasional swim, mostly… Read More

I’m having one of those reflective mornings. I got up early to start knitting (I am making something special). With a cup of tea I watched for the hare that comes by our window at first light, and listened to the final chapters of Helen Macdonald’s H is for Hawk (worth reading). I think I… Read More