our current projects

Thanks so much for your feedback on yesterday’s poll! I found the results really interesting and illuminating, but also somewhat troubling, as I wasn’t completely sure that all respondents had a full sense of what Lives in Oo is actually about. We are currently working on two projects. The first, Lives in Oo, marks an… Read More

Home and away

It’s been an interesting (and busy) couple of weeks. Tom has been travelling around Shetland, finalising the photography for our new book, and I’ve been here, at home, working. Without Tom, I’ve a tendency to go a bit feral. I eat whatever happens to be in the cupboard, I leave things lying around with no… Read More

Fair Isle in Whalsay

Are you going to Shetland Wool Week this year? If so, can I strongly suggest you set aside a day in your itinerary for a trip to the wonderful island of Whalsay?. The Whalsay Heritage Centre is currently hosting an exhibition of the island’s fair isle knitting that will, I assure you, really blow your… Read More

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

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

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


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


Today’s hap is a rather special one. It is the work of Shetland designer, Donna Smith, who you may know as the patron of Shetland Wool Week, 2015, and the creator of the famous Baa-ble hat. Donna’s hap was inspired by her great auntie Emma Isbister, a wonderful knitter, who has been making Shetland haps… Read More