Elizabeth’s hands

We’ve just heard that one of Tom’s photographs has been shortlisted in this year’s EEF Manufacturing Photo Competition! The theme of the competition this year is “Made by Britain, Loved by the World” and surely few manufactured products speak better to that theme than Shetland wool? A fibre raised and processed in a particular locale;… Read More

Making Milarrochy Tweed: part 1

We are all busy here behind the scenes – putting the finishing touches to the pattern collection that will be released as part of our forthcoming club, and awaiting the arrival of our new and much-anticipated yarn – Milarrochy Tweed. Milarrochy Tweed is produced for us by our friends at Donegal Yarns – a company… Read More

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

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

Ístex

This is Álafoss — foss being Icelandic for waterfall. Álafoss is situated on the river Varmá in the small town of Mosfellsbær, a short bus ride from Reykjavik. In 1896, an enterprising farmer imported some machinery, and harnessed the power of Álafoss to operate it. From that day to this, Icelandic wool has always been… Read More

Puffin Post

One of the many things that makes me very happy as a designer is seeing different interpretations of a sweater I’ve created. I often learn a lot from the modifications knitters make to my patterns, and sometimes a simple change of shade can make a design look like a completely different garment. The Puffin sweater… Read More

Shepherd hoody

You may remember that, last year, I mentioned how thrilled I was to be invited, along with Kirsten Kapur, to design a sweater for Susan Gibbs and Emily Chamelin’s project The Shepherd and The Shearer. Well, the sheep have been shorn, the yarn has been spun, the patterns have been written, and a lovely booklet… Read More

preparations

Shetland Wool Week is almost upon us! I have much to do in preparation — one pleasing task involves knitting with this lovely stuff. This is Shetland Heritage yarn. It is the result of an exciting collaboration between the Shetland Museum and Archives, the Shetland Amenity Trust, Curtis Wool Direct, and Jamieson & Smith —… Read More

Two days in Donegal

I am designing a few things at the moment with a yarn that is new to me. I really like this yarn – and surely the best way to find out some more about it was to visit the place where it is made? So, on Friday, Mel and I took a trip to Donegal.… Read More

best fest

There has been much talk over the past few days about the general handsomeness, and nobility of the ovine. Here is a supreme example. Just look at that marvellous phizog! So calm, so gentle, so self-contained, so . . .sheepy! I spent a long time admiring this fine herdwick at woolfest the other day, and… Read More

spinning further

(Several Hamiltons. By George Romney) I so enjoyed the discussion on the last post, I thought I’d continue the theme. Above you see a few more of Romney’s Hamiltons. I think you can see how Kirsty’s point — about the essential kinkiness of the spinning portrait — is reinforced in most of these paintings of… Read More

spun

(first handspun. Mock not.) I’ve been thinking about spinning since . . . well, since I had a go at it the other day. I took a lovely trip to Twist Fibrecraft with my knitting buddies, and the inevitable happened – – I returned home with a drop spindle and some satisfying packets of what… Read More