yoke in a bag!

What’s this? Some “Shetland” yarn of very vintage hue, spun and branded here in Scotland? . . .and an accompanying pattern? But wait! There’s more . . . . Yes, this is a kit to knit your own yoked cardigan or jumper! Having heard of the existence of these kits (from your comments and elsewhere)… Read More

stitched up

Though I love the Gainsborough films, Tony Richardson’s Tom Jones and Michael Winterbottom’s A Cock and Bull Story, I am not generally a fan of contemporary cinematic takes on eighteenth- and nineteenth century literature. This is probably because of what I do: a generation of students who have grown up with the unshakeable idea that… Read More

more on mauds

(photo from J.G. Martindale, The Scottish Woollen Industry, (1954)) You may remember that a while ago I got all excited about the maud — the traditional shepherd’s plaid that’s woven and worn in the Scottish Borders. You can see one above being used for its original function — protecting the shepherd and his lambs from… Read More

tweed frock

In a couple of weeks time, I shall be going to the US for some work-related events, chief among which is delivering a talk in this public lecture series. I don’t mind admitting that I’m the sort of person who thinks about what they will wear some time in advance of such an occasion. My… Read More


from Neckclothitania, (1818) Most of my evenings this week have been given over to cutting, folding, and carefully stitching neckties. Young or old, smart or casual, all the blokes in my family this year will be receiving a handmade tie. I can share this information with you because with one exception (my Dad) these blokes… Read More


John Watson Gordon, James Hogg (1830). © National Galleries of Scotland. I’ve been working on a piece for Yarn Forward about tweed. In the course of my research, I’ve been reading a lot about the Maud: the shepherd’s plaid traditionally worn in the Scottish Borders. This is John Watson Gordon’s portrait of James Hogg, best… Read More

all change

Today I put away my summer clothes, and removed the winter ones from storage. I always find it a bit depressing having to encounter the berloody tights again . . . but it is nice to see warm winter dresses, sweaters, and coats. Anyway, before I pack the summer stuff away, I thought I’d show… Read More

sewing mania

My attempts to refresh my summer wardrobe without buying anything are reaching interesting lengths. I seem to be spending all moments when not working, eating, or snoozing at the sewing machine. If my maniacal dressmaking activities are boring you, look away now (I fear that the thrill of my new clothes is certainly wearing thin… Read More