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

carbeth joy

I’ve said it before – but really – the best and most rewarding thing about doing what I do is seeing knitters enjoying the stuff that I create. Over the past few weeks, it has been a huge pleasure for me to see women all over the world making and wearing their Carbeth jumpers. The… Read More

fabulous projects

Inspired by Islay was released a couple of months ago, and it has been making me very happy to see so many new projects from the book springing up on Ravelry, and so many beautiful garments appearing. As you know, I particularly enjoy designing and knitting colourwork, and The Oa is one of my favourite… 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

generosity

What an amazing week I had in Shetland! It was a complete privilege to see and talk to so many amazing knitters, who generously shared their work and thoughts with me. Mary Kay, at the Shetland Guild of Spinners, Weavers and Dyers, shows us an incredibly fine lace shawl, knitted in Unst around 1930. Joan… Read More

Shetland days

It is Wool Week in Shetland, and I began it in this cottage out at Vementry. What a spot! It was lovely to take some time out to visit my friend Hazel Tindall. I just love the part of Shetland where Hazel lives, and it was a real privilege to potter about her garden, and… Read More

designing & publishing: part 2

Well, I sat down a couple of days ago and thought I’d write a quick post about the great new books I’d come across, all of which had been either produced completely independently, or had been commissioned from an independent designer. As I reflected on recent directions in hand-knit design, and digressed into my own… Read More

a treasured gift

What’s this? A handknitted hoose? With flowers in the garden . . . . . . and a wee gate . . . . . leading to a horse-shoe adorned front door . . . . . . there are flowers in the windows too . . . . . . shrubs round the side… Read More

Thinking of Shetland

It was this time of year when I first visited Shetland. How well I recall that crazy drive across Unst in a blizzard! The weird half-light at midday! My first feeling of the profound difference of the place, but my immediate sensation that it was somewhere I could easily feel at home. . . Anyway… Read More