Lang Ayre

Today’s hap is Lang Ayre by Gudrun Johnston, who is interviewed over on Jen’s blog today. As you probably know, Gudrun was born in, and has close family ties to Shetland. She’s very well-known for her beautiful hap designs, and she was top of my list of must-ask contributors for this book! One of the… Read More

Miss Rachel’s yoke and gauntlets (a closer look!)

As discussed in the previous post, this design is inspired by an early nineteenth-century shawl, collected by Rachel Kay Shuttleworth, and now part of Gawthorpe Textile Collection. The colourful, ribbon-like bands of the shawl immediately reminded me of one of my favourite colourwork motifs, a small, simple pattern which resembles an interlocking vine. The pattern… Read More

Seven Scottish Shades

Its time to tell you about my yarn colours! I’ve created seven new shades for Buachaille, and all have been inspired by different aspects of the landscape in which I live and love to walk: its flora, its fauna, and of course its weather. Here’s what inspired Buchaille’s seven Scottish shades! 1. Highland Coo These… Read More

designing & publishing: part 3

From Folly Cove by Julia Farwell Clay and Celtic Cable Shawls by Lucy Hague Today I’m looking at another couple of recently-published books, from two very different independent designers, who both took completely different routes to publication. What these two books share, however, is an intelligent engagement with two specific aesthetic contexts, as both were… Read More

Puffin Post

One of the many things that makes me very happy as a designer is seeing different interpretations of a sweater I’ve created. I often learn a lot from the modifications knitters make to my patterns, and sometimes a simple change of shade can make a design look like a completely different garment. The Puffin sweater… Read More

Gawthorpe, encore

In between developing kits and other designs, I’ve been working on my Gawthorpe project (which you may remember is a commission to produce a pattern inspired by the wonderful textile collections of Rachel Kay Shuttleworth). The piece on which I’ve decided to base my design is a large coverlet, featuring deep teal-coloured woollen embroidery on… Read More

Pteridomania

I’m working on my Gawthorpe design. Here’s what I’ve been thinking about. Charles Sillem Lidderdale, The Fern Gatherer (1877) Fern-decorated Mauchlinware Wardian Case Jane Hoodless “Pteridomania Contained” (©Jane Hoodless, 2012) Victorian Fern-fashion Gucci, A/W 2013 For more, see Sarah Whittingham, Fern Fever: The Story of Pteridomania (2012)

a day at Gawthorpe

Some days I wake up and I feel massively, incredibly lucky to have somehow landed here, in this curious new life, as a designer of hand-knits. Last Thursday was one of those days. Because I had been invited — along with Debbie Bliss , Jane Ellison, Claire Montgomerie, and Emma Varnam — to visit Gawthorpe… Read More

Sontag

I have a design published in the new Rowan Magazine! It is a simple triangular shawl or “Sontag” knit up in three tasty shades of Rowan Fine Tweed. (shades Wensley, Bedale, and Dent) The garment is named after Henriette Sontag — a German singer, who brought this kind of shallow, front-crossing shawl to the attention… Read More

Eno

I have been thinking about Brian Eno since a half-remembered lyric led Tom and I to listen again to our Roxy Music albums this weekend. Genius! This morning I rediscovered these photographs of Eno in some incredible knitwear and was reminded of his fabulously singular sartorial style. “We got the usual strange looks in airports,”… Read More

Islay inspiration

I love camping: I suppose there is just something about taking the time to simply be in the outdoors that allows the world to insinuate itself upon you in the most pleasing way. And I find Islay a particularly inspiring landscape. I like to potter about just looking at stuff, and always come home with… Read More