at Uist Wool

When you get involved in manufacturing yarn for hand knitters, one of the first things you learn about is just how bloody difficult it is just to get some elements of wool production done. I’m talking about the messy, dirty, non-glamorous things; the things like wool sorting, grading, and scouring (washing) or things that involve… Read More

croft, craft, creativity

One of the many things I really like about the communities and cultures of crofting is their distinctive effect on the way people work. What I mean is this: in towns and cities, jobs tend to become more and more specialised, people do what they do within smaller and smaller categories, individual work occurs in… 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

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

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