Here is the next design from Colours of Shetland — the Scatness Tunic

This design was the last in the collection to be completed. For many reasons, it is one of my favourites in the book.

Here is some behind the scenes footage from the day that my friends at Old Scatness kindly allowed us to shoot some photographs around the site.

Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t the best that day, and the photographs we managed to take in between the squally rain showers were a little grey . . .

. . .but there was a peat fire blazing in the reconstruction Pictish wheelhouse, which meant that we had somewhere to get dry and stay warm, just like Shetland’s early inhabitants.

The following day, in typical Shetland fashion, the weather and the light were totally amazing, and we were able to get out to take these pictures.

The two Scatness designs are all about circles. In the case of the tunic, this means that you knit everything in the round, cut a steek up the middle, and complete the edges with corrugated rib, icord, and neat, lined facings.

The finishing touch to the tunic is created with a set of signature wheelhouse buttons, whose colours pick up the rich shades used in the yoke and ribbing, and whose shape echoes the concentric spoked structure of the Pictish wheelhouses at Old Scatness.

The book includes a tutorial to enable you to make your own wheelhouse buttons. When I was producing this part of the book, I might have got a little obsessed with making buttons . . . they are somewhat addictive.

I love everything about this tunic inordinately: it is a very versatile garment, equally at home as an outdoor windcheater, or taking the chill off one’s shoulders in an air conditioned office. I love the rich autumnal hues of the yoke and the shifting colours in the rib, and for me, there is always something uniquely satisfying in the construction of a yoked garment.

I’ve now added the Scatness Tunic it to the Colours of Shetland collection on Ravelry, and if I get my skates on, I might be able to share another design with you later today.

See you again shortly!

59 thoughts on “Scatness Tunic

  1. Dear Kate,
    I discovered your blog a few months ago and have been admiring the simplicity, refinement, intelligence and authenticity reflected in all your designs since. What a pleasure to feel the love for your cultural heritage, you succeed in transforming it into very personal and contemporary designs without making something “fashionable to be fashionable”, I like that! Personality and authenticity are so scarce these days…
    The pictures of the landscapes make me want to travel too…
    Good luck with everything, Julie
    NB. I’m a textile designer and I have a project of opening a fabric and accessories shop some time soon, I would love to stay in touch with you and see if you’d be interested in selling your designs abroad. (I’m from Belgium)


  2. I love, love, love this tunic! And I cannot wait for the book to come available.
    The photos of you in the tunic are beautiful. You look Joyful!


  3. Kate Davies, you are genius. You are killing me with all of these MUST KNIT NOW designs. I have been completely obsessed with the Scatness Tam and now this cardi and the Northmavin Hoody. Complete genius. I cannot wait for your book to be available. Bravo.


  4. What a beautiful sweater this is! And I’m always so impressed with your romantic dresses which just happen to work so well with all your lovely knitted garments. Gorgeous work.


  5. I love the wheelhouse buttons. They look very similar to Grindles, which are often mistaken for a Dorset button. I’m a little obsessed with buttons as well. I started a shop so I could make them.


  6. Each design you share increase the anticipation to have your lovely book….It seems like 2013 is going to need to be a year of knitting the Colours of Shetland…..


  7. I love your designs for your new book! I really like all of your designs! really!! and I have knit quite a few of them, but lately, I seem to have fallen down the rabbit hole of luxury yarn. I do want to get back to using good wool. Your new book will lead the way for me. I have two small daughters that I have trained from birth to wear wool – you know – start with the softest baby wool and increase the dosage, but they are still on mostly merinos and bfl. I am looking forward to the colour stories and mulling over the colour possibilities of Shetland wool with you.


  8. i haven’t done any fair isle knitting for over ten years. that will have to change!
    both the tam and the tunic are an enticing preview. looking forward to perusing your book.


  9. I can’t help repeating what everyone else has said – oh, the buttons. Really lovely work all round. I’m looking forward to the book.


  10. Love the choice of colors which match the hat. Also love the combining of flowers and stripes. I don’t know why but I am so drawn to stripes. I understand why this is a favorite of yours.


  11. Oh, I was laughing with excitement, each picture was better than the last! One thought was……….OH the BUTTONS, where will I ever get buttons like that and then, BINGO, you came to our rescue once again! I have made buttons for garments and had forgotten all about it. what a treasure of a tunic!
    And the weather? Same as I remember, lovely in all it’s incantations:) Good on you!!!


  12. the colors of this wool, and the effect of the tunic over the cinnamon-colored flowy silk dress are especially fetching, as are the motifs in both scatness tam and tunic. the wheelhouse buttons are to die for. i think this may be….your finest design so far. (facing on tunic!!! oh so pretty!!!) how very exciting.


  13. Oh no – it’s all too much! I had already decided that when my rams and yowes blanket is finished I’d move straight to the northmavine hooded cardi … then I had to make mental space for the scatness tam … now I need to squeeze in the scatness tunic. You’ve got me stitched up for the next year at least.


  14. Every time you post a design I am more and more in awe of your artistry. The colours and shapes are so exciting! I love this tunic. I can see it on me, and working into my lifestyle. Your designs are very wearable. I love them.


  15. Just darling! I’m a scaredy cat when it comes to steeking, though. Guess I’ll need to visit Anne of Milton, one of your frequent commenters. Oh, Anne . . . .


      1. Anne, I’m in London, ON, Canada. Great to have a couple of ON’s who follow Kate.
        Kate, you make my day and though my hands are not able to knit very much, I look forward to you book and the (almost) daily e-mails. Keep them coming…..


  16. Absolutely wonderful. I can’t wait to order the book an December 3rd. And I do have a question: Can you pay the book via paypal or only by credit card?

    Have a great day!


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