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


(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

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 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

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


(Orkney and Shetland in Blaeu’s 1654 Atlas.) I am not a Shetlander. I love Shetland, and I feel a connection to those islands and their culture that is (for me) profound and meaningful, but I am not a Shetlander. I think it is important for me to remember that, particularly as I am currently working… Read More

60 North

Just dropping in quickly to say that the new issue of 60 North is out! What? You’ve never heard of 60 North? The name refers, of course, to Shetland’s line of latitude, and is a really well-produced magazine put out by my friends at Promote Shetland. Features in the magazine explore many different aspects of… Read More

Sunday at Mel’s

It has been a quiet few days round here. Perhaps inevitably, my burst of hat-related energy was followed by an evil bout of post-stroke fatigue that has been all the more galling because I had been so looking forward to this week. Felix is in Edinburgh, and we had some fun things planned, none of… Read More

shetland lace

Excitement! Unable to wait for my copy to turn up in the post, I just popped up to John Lewis to pick up the new Rowan Magazine. Rowan (who will soon be bringing out a new laceweight yarn) wanted a substantial piece on the history of lace knitting and this is what I came up… Read More

she swatch sea shells

(photo by me, courtesy Shetland Amenity Trust) I’ve been swatching sea shells on-and-off for a few months now. To explain: when I visited Shetland in January, I fell in love with this stole, shown to me by the wonderful Carol Christiansen at the Shetland Museum and Archives (it is seen here from the wrong side).… 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