making Handywoman

I initially decided to write Handywoman after being interviewed on BBC Woman’s Hour, which led to a discussion with a literary agent. This agent was really smart, interesting, incredibly professional and represented other writers of what the book trade describes as “intelligent non-fiction” whose work I really admired. I’d had no thought of writing something… Read More

Handywoman – preorder!

We are now preparing for the publication of my new book, Handywoman! I’ve been working on this book (in between my other projects) for a couple of years now. I am more proud of, and happy about, completing this book than any other I’ve ever written. Probably the best way to understand what Handywoman is… Read More

West Highland Way book

Our new West Highland Way book has just been published! I’m rather proud of this collection of thirteen patterns, five of which use our wonderful new Milarrochy Tweed yarn The Craigallian Hat and Mittens The Strathendrick pullover The Còinneach Cardigan and the Shieling blanket The collection also includes four patterns in our original own-brand yarn,… Read More

when the work is done

A book like our recent West Highland Way project involves many different kinds of work for me: when producing a collection I spend time coming up with the design ideas, swatching, knitting, re-knitting, pattern writing, working with Mel (who tests the pattern and produces many samples), working with tech editors (who check my patterns and… Read More

new paths

I’m currently working on a couple of chapters for my book. The first chapter looks at learning to walk (which, unless you’ve experienced injury or disability most of us will never engage in as an acquired skill) and the second chapter explores some thoughts I have about walking itself (one of my favourite activities, which… Read More

surfacing

Hello! sorry its been a wee bit quiet around here of late. I have just been working really hard. Since I got back from Sweden I’ve been writing about the research I conducted during my trip. The chapter I’ve been working on draws together a number of threads, including my own experience of an extraordinarily… Read More

in progress

1. I’m now over half way through writing my new book. I’ve been enjoying the project immensely. Being able to just explore ideas and try out different ways of putting things across feels like a complete luxury. I genuinely love writing (which is probably the key to being any sort of writer, I think) and… Read More

paying attention

Tom and I are currently working hard on separate projects. Tom is developing some of his studio techniques, exploring different ways of depicting the textural qualities of vegetables and flowers. I’m writing about my recovery from stroke, and for the past fortnight have been working on a chapter specifically about my left hand, and the… Read More

seven years

Today is the seven year anniversary of my stroke. Seven years ago this morning I lay terrified in a hospital bed, unable to move the left side of my body. Today I’m here, releasing a new design, about to finish one book and start another, able to walk, to drive, and to swim again. I… Read More

Home and away

It’s been an interesting (and busy) couple of weeks. Tom has been travelling around Shetland, finalising the photography for our new book, and I’ve been here, at home, working. Without Tom, I’ve a tendency to go a bit feral. I eat whatever happens to be in the cupboard, I leave things lying around with no… Read More

generosity

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