Helen Robertson

If you’ve read my introduction to The Book of Haps then you’ll already have come across Helen Robertson – a Shetland artist and craftswoman whose work I deeply admire. Working with silver wire and other precious materials, Helen has developed a uniquely thoughtful aesthetic which celebrates, commemorates and reflects upon Shetland’s history and heritage –… Read More

happenstance

Today I have the very great pleasure of introducing one of my favourite designers. Rosemary (Romi) Hill is someone whose work I have admired for a very long time, and towards whom I feel one of those interesting affinities that are the happy consequence of working online in the digital age. Romi’s medium is lace,… 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

Fantoosh!

FANTOOSH! – my new spring shawl – is now available. Fantoosh is a top-down triangular shawl featuring a tesselating allover motif defined by centred double decreases and twisted stitches. Its a lovely rhythmic knit with a pleasing end result! In Scots, fantoosh means “fancy”, or a wee bit “over the top”. When I was at… Read More

in which I discover Scottish Madras

The other day Brenda, my lovely neighbour, appeared with a piece of paper in her hand, a gift for me. When I unfolded it, the piece of paper turned out to be a rather interesting and very beautiful hand-painted floral design, which I could immediately tell was some sort of pattern repeat. But what sort… Read More

A Hap for Harriet

I have a new pattern out today! This is A Hap for Harriet. I recently heard that my friend, former colleague, and doctoral supervisor, Professor Harriet Guest, was about to retire, and I thought it might be nice to produce and name a design in her honour. Before I began, I had some discussion with… Read More

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

Anne Eunson’s artistry

What’s this? A fence? A fence and a flowerbed? Take a closer look . . . for this is no ordinary fence. . . . . .this is a knitted fence . . . . . . a Shetland lace fence, no less. This beautiful and imaginative creation is the work of Anne Eunson of… Read More

112, Jermyn Street

I was going through my photographs of our London trip last night, and remembered I hadn’t told you about 112, Jermyn Street. One of the things I enjoy about London is the way that, simply wandering about, one encounters places with interesting associations. Inevitably, my touchstones are eighteenth- and nineteenth-century ones, but I’m sure it… Read More

bordado Madeira

Madeira has distinctive textile traditions. I had a vague sense of these from my grandma (who taught me to knit), who visited Portugal several times, and who owned several beautiful pieces of Madeiran table-linen. I particularly remember a very fine cloth, decorated with Richlieu-style cut work in pale brown against white. The Madeiran traditions of… Read More