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

August thoughts

High summer in Scotland. Days of rain, and days of grey, and weird, unseasonably chilly days, and then the occasional jewel comes along. A day of warm sunshine and breezes when, after work, we pick chard or courgettes from the garden, lament the woeful state of the tomatoes, and sit outside to eat with swallows… Read More

lookout

I had a sudden desire the other day to go and find the “lookout” – an intriguing mirrored cabin designed a couple of years ago by architects Angus Ritchie and Daniel Tyler as part of the Scottish Scenic Routes initiative. We live on the edge of the Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park and, on our… Read More

pink fish

Last year, energetic and inspiring Dorothy Widmann kindly invited me to attend a wonderful event she’d organised in her home town of Cordova, Alaska. Like Scotland, Alaska is one of those places where the activities of fishing and knitting are interestingly intertwined, and Dotty’s Cordova Gansey Project provided occasion for exploring those important connections. The… Read More

hap stretcher tutorial

As you know, I photographed my Moder Dy design on a beautiful vintage hap stretcher that I borrowed from my friend Anne Eunson. In Shetland, such stretchers have been used for well over a century to block haps and shawls ready for sale, as well as for their knitters’ own domestic use. (washing and dressing… Read More

Shore Hap

Martina Behm will be well known to all of you as the creator of many beautiful shawls that have been made and enjoyed by thousands of knitters all over the world. Often working with garter stitch and using innovative techniques to create interesting shapes that wrap in multiple ways about the body, Martina’s designs seem,… Read More

Hapisk

There are so many things I admire about talented Hélène Magnusson, but perhaps most particularly her completely joined-up approach to sheep, wool, yarn production, textile history, and contemporary knitwear design. All these elements are to the fore in the very special hap Hélène has created for our collection, a Hapisk – whose name as well… Read More