Blidö weekend

What would your ideal weekend involve? Picking and eating delicious wild strawberries? Discovering a beautiful landscape on foot? And getting to spend some quality time with its inhabitants? (The Roslagsfår sheep are so sweet . . . as are their characterful piggy neighbours!) Visiting an exceptionally well cared-for wee museum and hearing all about island… Read More

all aboard!

Hello! I’ve just returned from a fantastic week in Sweden. I was primarily there to conduct some research for my new book. This went very well indeed, and I’ll say more about it another time, but, thanks entirely to the warmth and hospitality of my new friend Kristin, the week turned out to contain so… Read More

Ottar

Working on a book can be full of surprises. I did not think, when I set out to write a chapter about tools and objects and the way my attitude to the material world changed after my stroke, that I would end up being inspired by an amazing feminist anarcho-syndicalist . . . but weirdly… Read More

Hornsea and me

Among the miscellaneous objects on my rather messy desk is a brown mug, with a broken handle, decorated with a frieze of dancing rabbits. This mug has sat on every desk I’ve ever sat at: I appropriated it for a pen-holder (in its already broken state) when I was a teenager, and it has travelled… Read More

Brilliant women

Hello! I’m back again after a fantastic (and productive) couple of weeks research. I’ve had an amazing time in Sweden and Shetland, but what has really stood out to me about this past fortnight is the number of brilliant women whose company and conversation I’ve enjoyed. It has been a very long time since I’ve… Read More

. . .to meet a yoke hero

I have been excited about this for weeks – and can’t quite believe that tomorrow I am going to Göteborg to meet with Kerstin Olsson. For those of you who don’t know, Olsson was one of the group of talented and accomplished women who designed for Bohus Stickning, and the Wild Apple (above) is perhaps… Read More

YOKES! Have your say

As you know, I’ve been working on a new book / design collection for most of this year. My work has involved . . . . . . examining a huge amount of yoke patterns . . . . . . thinking about the differences in styles, proportion, shaping, and fit of yokes over the… Read More

Svenska Folkdräkter

Thank you all so much for the wealth of information you provided in your comments on the last post. I am now happily at the trip-planning stage, and am really looking forward to visiting Sweden in the early Summer. And as if to provide a colourful antidote to this January’s rather relentless grey, today this… Read More

Swedish inspiration

I have of late been developing an obsession with Swedish textiles, and, it now appears, with all things Swedish. This began at the end of last Summer, when I discovered that several Swedish Etsy sellers had some interesting vintage embroidery on offer . . . . . . I had to limit my exposure to… Read More