working hands

I’ve recently been writing about teaching my left hand to work again following my stroke. Because of this, I’ve been thinking very carefully about braiding hair, and knitting socks, about how it felt, and what it meant to re-instruct my hand (whose memory of habitual movement had been completely lost) in those activities. I’ve also… Read More

mapping Islay

I wanted to say a little more about working on our Islay book. This a project which from the beginning has meant a great deal to me, perhaps because it emerged from a very personal place: the place in which Tom and I were married. The project began as the context for two designs I’d… Read More

Rainbow shades

It’s the final week of the Inspired by Islay club, and we’ve released the final group of patterns. This grouping is is inspired by the beautiful Rhinns of Islay, where the fast-moving skies are never the same from one moment to the next, and are frequently lit up by rainbows. Each of the patterns in… Read More

Oa 2

Morning! As we are well ahead of ourselves with the preparation of the Inspired by Islay book, Tom and I took yesterday afternoon off and went out to Glen Etive. On the way I got Tom to stop above the Bridge of Orchy, so I could take some photos of his Oa Hoody — I… Read More

Designing the Ardmore gansey

I can’t believe we are in the ninth week of the Inspired by Islay club! I’ve spent such a long time with these designs, and the thoughts about these designs, and it is very satisfying to finally send them out into the world. One of the things I rather miss is writing more about process.… Read More

Islay colourwork

Good morning! We’ve now reached the half-way point in the Inspired by Islay club and I thought I’d catch up here by showing you the last three patterns I’ve designed. The collection has been created in four groups of three (each of which features a different style of knitting, and is inspired by a different… Read More

An Islay trio

I’m having such fun with our Islay club! I’ve been working on these ideas and designs for so long it feels fantastic to finally share them. The first three designs from the collection are a trio inspired by Finlaggan (Islay’s ancient administrative centre), each of which has different celebratory associations. The first pattern is the… Read More

Hat 101

Good morning! I’m feeling festive today and have released a new pattern – the 101st that I’ve designed and published. Its name is Hat 101, and appropriately, it is a sort of sampler of many of the things I enjoy about making and designing hats. Hat 101 involves simple, rhythmic two-colour knitting and small, interconnected… Read More

Gudrun Johnston & Mary Jane Mucklestone

One of the best things about working in the field of hand-knit design is that it really is an industry which abounds with good eggs. In my view, two of the very best eggs around are Gudrun Johnston and Mary-Jane Mucklestone: great friends, talented designers, and Shetland enthusiasts. Gudrun spent her early years in Shetland,… Read More

sound and vision

My good friend Felicity Ford (aka Felix) is as enthusiastic as I am about Shetland and its wool industry. In 2013 (when she was patron of Shetland Wool Week) Felix worked on a number of field recordings for her important project, Listening to Shetland Wool. From the baas of lambs caught on the breeze, to… Read More