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

yoke in a bag!

What’s this? Some “Shetland” yarn of very vintage hue, spun and branded here in Scotland? . . .and an accompanying pattern? But wait! There’s more . . . . Yes, this is a kit to knit your own yoked cardigan or jumper! Having heard of the existence of these kits (from your comments and elsewhere)… Read More

A chat with Tom of Holland

I am sure that many of you may be familiar with the work of my good friend and woolly comrade Tom van Deijnen, also known as Tom of Holland. Tom is perhaps best known for his expertise in, and celebration of, darning, which he puts into practice in his classes and workshops, as well as… Read More

finishing a steek

I have recently been designing and knitting a thing with steeks, which required finishing. This project is part of an exciting collaboration, and I’ll be able to tell you (and show you) more about it in a couple of weeks. When working on the steeks, it occurred to me how many different ways there are… Read More

my handmade childhood

Various things have been prompting me to think a lot recently about the role that sewing and knitting and other handmade things can play in the shape of ones life. Like many crafty folk in the UK, I enjoyed watching the Great British Sewing Bee. Unlike so many of these competitive TV formats, this programme… Read More

Buttons of Dreams

Several of you left comments or sent me messages regarding my button dilemma (for which many thanks). But the biggest thanks must go to Jayne, who told me about the amazing buttons of Lionel Nichols. (Warning! Prepare yourselves! The link takes you directly to button heaven!) Sixty years ago, Nichols fashioned beautiful glass buttons by… Read More

racy mending

I have been playing around with ideas about mending and darning for a forthcoming article, and have been turning up some interesting tangential things in various digital collections. Pictured above are “Chicago’s top models for 1922” who have been co-opted to advertise the novel innovation of the seam ripper. The caption reads “Ripping is a… Read More

stitched up

Though I love the Gainsborough films, Tony Richardson’s Tom Jones and Michael Winterbottom’s A Cock and Bull Story, I am not generally a fan of contemporary cinematic takes on eighteenth- and nineteenth century literature. This is probably because of what I do: a generation of students who have grown up with the unshakeable idea that… Read More