Good morning, everyone! It is Friday, which means its time for another pattern for Seven Skeins club members. This week I’ve created another wee project which is brilliant for using up scraps of yarn – its name is Cairngorm.


Strictly speaking, a cairngorm is a piece of smoky quartz from the famous mountain region that forms Britain’s largest national park. More generally in Scotland though, “cairngorm” is a word that refers to any large jewelled brooch serving as a fastening for a plaid, maud, or great kilt. Much beloved by the Victorians, cairngorm brooches usually featured large semi-precious stones—garnets and citrines as well as quartz—in a silver setting that was often richly decorated.


My woolly cairngorm, made up from odds and ends of yarn, recalls its jewelled namesakes in its large size and colourful appearance. The brooch is made by weaving lengths of wool in simple concentric circles, using a method that was popularly used to create small buttons during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. If you possess a button 3 inches or more in diameter this will work to stabilise the brooch, and if not, you will need to cut a disc from a piece of plastic (such as an empty ice cream tub or similar).

As you can see, I’m wearing my cairngorm with a plaid, but it would look equally jolly and decorative on the lapel of a tweed jacket or contemporary winter coat.


Cairngorm’s basic construction follows a weaving method that I’ve used for the buttons that feature on a couple of previous designs (such as the Scatness tam and tunic). I thought it would be interesting to extend the dimensions of these buttons, and experiment with using different shades. The results are striking, but the method is really simple!


I’ve put together a tutorial that illustrates the stages of constructing the brooch.


Because this isn’t knitting, its not listed in Ravelry as a separate pattern. But the tutorial can still be accessed and downloaded from Ravelry via the e-book, the full content of which has been made available today for club members.


So if you fancy making crowdie, or cranachan, or lavender shortbread, from one of Tom’s recipes you can try those out this weekend.


There has unfortunately been a bit of a delay with the book at the printers, so we aren’t able to ship out physical copies just yet. As soon as we have the books in hand we will let you know.


We are hoping for some decent weather so we can get out for a walk. Hope you all have a lovely weekend, however you are spending it!