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

thankyou, KCG

A few weeks ago, I visited the home of the UK Knitting and Crochet Guild – a fantastic organisation that exists to support and promote the crafts of knitting and crochet. The KCG is supported entirely by charitable donation, and is staffed by a group of wonderful volunteers, who administer a growing international membership; organise… Read More


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


(image courtesy Shetland Museum and Archives) I am a great fan of haps (which form the focus of one of my long-term projects) and I’m very happ-y indeed to see increasing interest in these simple and timeless shawls: Gudrun has a wonderful Craftsy class on haps, and has been running a knit-along for her full… Read More

A conversation with Gudrun Johnston

Gudrun I recently had a chat with one of my favourite designers, Gudrun Johnston, and thought I’d bring this to you today. I just love Gudrun’s work. She has this knack of producing designs that are are always classic, timeless and wearable, often using stitch patterns (particularly those originating from Shetland) in really innovative and… Read More

yoke collection

One of the many fun elements of researching my book has been seeking out yoked sweaters on eBay and in charity shops. I have learned a lot from these garments, which are often a hybrid of machine and hand-knitting, and thought I’d share a few of them with you today. I think I showed you… Read More

Shetland Textiles: 800 BC to the Present

Writing of the worn and mended Fair Isle sweater that Shetland knitter, Doris Hunter created for her fiancé, Ralph Patterson, who spent four years in a Japanese POW camp during the Second World War, editor Sarah Laurenson states: “Ralph’s sweater is much more than a physical object. It is a site of personal and political… Read More

a spencer dress

It is a grey and murky day, but I thought I’d take the opportunity to show you my amazing Spencer dress! You’ll have probably seen that my Shetland friend, Ella, first scored one of these a few weeks ago in the Lerwick saleroom. She was then put in touch with Margaret Stuart, who originally designed… Read More

A Legacy of Shetland Lace

I encountered many knitting books in 2012, but this was my favourite by far. Unlike so many books that have recently been written about Shetland, and Shetland knitting (my own included) this one has been produced by Shetlanders themselves. And not just by any Shetlanders. I don’t think it is going too far to say… Read More

Shetland knitting in Edinburgh

I have been doing some research about various knitterly connections between Shetland and Edinburgh, and came across this amazing photograph which I just had to show you. This float was the prize winning “trade tableau” contribution of the Edinburgh and District Shetland Association to the the Royal Infirmary and Leith Hospital annual pageant in 1931.… Read More