2014 has been very busy and productive year for me. In many ways, the past twelve months have been dominated by the creation of this book – designing and knitting the garments, researching and writing the essays, then working with my comrades on editing and production. Yokes has been a wonderful project to work on and I confess to feeling proud, in all respects, of the end result.

My work took me to some amazing places . . .


like Iceland


and Sweden

. . . and meant I got to meet some really inspiring people


such as Kirsten Olsson


and Hélène Magunusson

As well as the eleven garment designs included in Yokes, I also published several other patterns in 2014 . . .

Ecclefechan Mitts


Richard the Roundhead tam (part of the wonderful Gawthorpe project)

A hap for Harriet



. . .and made a tea towel with my creative comrade, Felicity Ford


There were some difficult things about 2014 — Tom spent several months working away from home, and lost his appendix in a Dublin hospital. My parents also had their own health issues to deal with, but my mum is now making a great recovery from her successful hip operation.

On a personal level, 2014 has been notable in a few other respects as well


I put down roots.


I learned to drive. (HUZZAH! WHOOOT! YAY!)


I also spent as much time as I possibly could, during the Spring and Summer, working and walking outdoors. For five months of the year I looked pretty much like this. As a result, I really have felt healthier of late than I have done for many years. This can only be a good thing.

Most of all, then, in 2014, I have felt the benefit of living where I do – in our wee house in this lovely landscape – and I honestly feel incredibly blessed in enjoying my work so much. Having had jobs, in the past, that were not very good for the soul, I can tell you that it makes me really happy to be able to create, and research, and design, and write, and to simply be able to support myself through my endeavours. Thankyou for supporting them too.


I’m looking forward to next year. Enjoy your Hogmanay, and see you all in 2015!

Love to you all
Kate x

89 thoughts on “fore and aft

  1. I can̓t tell you how much your blog, designs and Yokes have meant to me this year. I finally took the plunge and started learning to knit in October of this year, in part because I was so inspired by your lovely work. I could never find anything like what you do here in a readymade shop, so if I wanted to have some of it for myself, I̓’d have to learn how to make it.

    Your writing and the photos on this blog have opened my life up to a whole new world–not to mention introduced me to wonderful, stretchy, sticky Shetland wool. Thanks again!


  2. Thanks for sharing your knitting and other adventures with us, I like the spirit of it all and wish you and your loved ones a Happy New Year from Switzerland.


  3. I do like having a peek at your blog from time to time, for creative inspiration and the love of Scorland. I got YOKES for Christmas and am just enjoying reading the essays and dithering over which pattern to knit. The Cockatoo Brae has a special appeal as my grandma used to knit these! Thank you and best wishes for a happy 2015.


  4. Please keep on doing what you love and being passionate about it. It shows beautifully in everything you create, and inspires us to strive for the same beauty in our lives. Happy new year.


  5. Lovely post to read, as usual, I’ll dive into the New Year by reading a few chapters of Yokes that I ordered for Xmas : ) Thanks for sharing on this blog and very happy new year to you!


  6. Your lifestyle is admirable from my perspective as a PhD student – I can only hope that when I hit postdoctoral life, I can have the part time position I want to allow me to have a healthy work-life balance – and if it doesn’t allow me that, I won’t hesitate in prioritising the life part of that. Your blog has in part shown me why I’m not wrong in wanting this, so here’s to an excellent 2015 for you.


  7. ΧΡΟΝΙΑ ΠΟΛΛΑ! from Greece. Happy New Year to you, Tom and Bruce. You are an inspiration to us all! May 2015 bring health and happiness.


  8. ΚΑΛΗ ΧΡΟΝΙΑ from Greece or Happy New Year to you, Tom and Bruce. You are an inspiration to us all! May 2015 bring you everything you desire!


  9. Wow, you have achieved so much! Great to hear you re feeling good too. Looking forward to seeing what you produce in 2015 and hopefully will catch up with you again this year. Happy New Year and here’s to another productive one! X


  10. Happy New Year to you too, Kate! It is a mark of your multitalentedness that even though I barely knit these days, your blog is one of the few I read whenever a new post appears. And one day, in the dim and distant future, when there is time for knitting, I will relish the opportunity to work my way through your wonderful designs.


  11. How lovely to hear you counting your blessings. You are one of ours. Have now read all the text of Yokes – love your research. Planning to CO for Epistropheid this week. Happy Hogmanny


  12. I bought your Ecclefechan pattern earlier this year ….my first foray into Fairisle knitting,I was so proud of them and now I’m well and truly hooked :)
    I love your blog,love the amazing photos you post of your beautiful surroundings,rekindling memories for me of wonderful holidays in the West Highlands…my husband was born on Bute,we now live in then Charente,SW France….so “Bonne Année ” and wishing you,Tom and Bruce a very happy 2015


  13. Kate, you’re amazing. Wishing you the best of everything in 2015… and looking forward to knitting/completing at least 3 of your beautiful designs this year. Thank you, you’re a true inspiration xx


  14. Enjoy your blog, and share your joy in all accomplishments. Your sense of humor on Bruce blogs (glove love) is so fun. All the best in 2015.


  15. One of my favorite parts of “Yokes” is simply seeing how happy you look in the photographs. After the challenges of the past years, you deserve it. The other part is the “omigosh I want to knit them all right this instant” patterns. :D


  16. Thank you so much for your inspiring blog. I just discovered it this year and read it from beginning to end. It gave me courage to face my husband’s bone marrow transplant this month after seeing how you have forged on with your life. I have both of your books and knit two pairs of the mitts for Christmas presents and have yarn to make several sweaters. I do so look forward to each installment of your blog and wonderful photography. I want so bad to go to Scotland now and find my Galbraith forbears. Kate you have so much style and joie de vivre, keep up the wonderful work, and I look forward to keeping up with you in the coming year.


  17. Not sure how I can top all the wonderful things that have been said but I CONCUR!! The ‘best’ is seeing you in trews and out and about with the fur-fur! Health IS the starter of all things.
    Happy Hogmanay!!! to all of you.


  18. I bought your Ecclefechan kit…it was my first foray into Fairisle knitting and I am so proud of them :)
    Love your blog and the beautiful pictures you post…rekindles many happy memories of holidays in the West Highlands ( my husband is from Bute).
    Living in Charente,SW France now….so Bonne Anneé….and all good wishes to you ,Tom and Bruce for 2015


  19. A big thank you for your inspirational work, the lovely Yokes book and your interesting blogs, Kate. I love reading about and seeing pictures of the Loch Lomond area. I send many good wishes for a Happy and Healthy New Year.


  20. Wishing you and Tom a wonderful 2015! Thanks a million times over for sharing your work and wealth of knowledge with us all. It is always a treat to see a new post from you and tweets! Thanks again for your work and letting me see a part of Scotland that I to visit one day! Happy Knitting and to good health in 2015!


  21. And thank you for all of the inspiration and creative thoughts, and gorgeous patterns! May 2015 be one of the Best Years Ever for You and Yours, and Bruce, too, of course! Happy Hogmanay!


  22. Thank you for your lovely Hap for Harriet pattern – I made it for a friend going through breast cancer treatment. She is a knitter, and I thought it would be a good thing to wrap around herself while sitting through treatments and waiting in doctor’s offices. She was delighted with the gift, and amazed I loved her enough to knit her a gift on size 3 needles!


  23. Happy New Year, Kate, Tom & Bruce!
    Thank you for inspiring, teaching, and sharing.
    It is always a good day when a new post arrives in my email, best wishes for 2015.


  24. Thank you Kate, for sharing your gifts with us. I am enjoying reading Yokes and also looking forwards to my next Kate Davies project. I am glad that 2014 has been such a good year and hope that 2015 is even better!


  25. I’ve loved your designs for ages now, so it it’s a bit silly that I’m finally now following your blog. Best wishes to you for a Happy New Year.


  26. learning how to drive is huge! i learned when i was 38 and i was so proud of myself. i get the sense that you are too.
    i look forward to seeing what you create in 2015. i hope it’s a happy one for you.


  27. Hi Kate,

    I read three blogs, one of which is yours. Thanks for your thoughtful writing, for your beautiful designs and your sincerity. Happy New Year and may 2015 be a healthy and happy year for you and yours. From Toronto, Canada. Nicole


  28. Thank you, Kate! I check your blog often to see your beautiful pictures and projects. I’m glad that this has been a good and healthy year for you. I received YOKES for a Christmas gift and have a good start on Asta Sollilja. Best wishes for 2015!


  29. Dear Kate, your accomplishments for 2014 are astounding!! I love all your patterns, but Yokes is simply amazing. I am astonished that your incredible work in Scotland last year means that my sweet knitting friend and I are spending this winter in our little town in America ordering yarn and knitting all your beautiful sweaters. And I mean ALL. Each one is so beautiful. May I also say that the garments you choose to wear with your sweaters are an inspiration and the way you share your beautiful home with us through your amazing photography is a gift beyond compare. Thank you very much! Your work is spreading joy across the globe!


  30. May 2015 be another wonderful year for you! I have followed your posts and work this past year and am continually amazed and impressed with what you are achieving and how much better your health appears to be. Being happy and fulfilled is definitely health-giving for body and soul!


  31. Best wishes for 2015 to you and yours! I am currently working on Epistrophe and my second BraidHills, enjoying them both very much


  32. What the other two commenters said, in spades! Love your blog, Kate, and that you share it all with us. My order for Yokes will follow as soon as all the holiday bills are paid!


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