It has been an extraordinarily busy year for us here at KDD!

We began the year working on, and producing the Inspired by Islay book. This collection includes some of my all-time favourite designs . .

. . . as well as the wonderful work of some of my other creative friends.

I’m proud of this book.

Just after EYF I sat down to write a rather different kind of book. I wrote about my handmade childhood, about my direct experience of stroke, about how disability radically (and importantly) changes one’s perspective on the world, about understanding my self and my body differently; about the human significance of acts of making and design; about the contemporary knitting community; about places like Shetland and my creative relationship to them. I read more, thought more, wrote more, this year than I’ve done in any year since my stroke. . . perhaps more than in any year full stop. At my desk, I travelled from the paleolithic origins of plaiting, via the mechanics of the human hand, through debates on neuroplasticity, to a knitting class in Eshaness. I also travelled in person to Sweden, where I met the people who design and produce the innovative device which enabled me to stand and transfer between wheelchair and toilet after my stroke: a humbling and thought-provoking experience. This book has without doubt been one of the most rewarding projects I’ve ever worked on, as well as the most intellectually and personally demanding. While I was writing, I thought of little else, and this made the months between Spring and Autumn particularly intense ones for me.

I’m pleased to say that Handywoman is now out with readers, and will be published in the coming Spring.

While I was working on Handywoman, other things were going on. Tom produced some brilliant photographic projects

. . . and we created another nice wee book

We designed, developed and launched a small range of ready-made lambswool accessories – a completely new venture, with which I’m very pleased (and of which there will be more to come in 2018).

We developed Milarrochy Tweed — a completely new yarn line . . .

And I also developed and created another new collection of twelve designs, which will form the West Highland Way club and book.

I consider the group of West Highland Way designs together, and think they are probably the most interesting collection I’ve yet produced. Perhaps I think this kind of thing every time I complete work on a collection … but I really am genuinely excited by this group of designs and am so looking forward to revealing them to club members in a couple of weeks time (there’s still time to join us if you fancy it!)

All told, 2017 has been an extraordinarily intense and productive year around here. One obvious reason it has been so is because the brilliant and resourceful Mel is now working with us full time.

Thanks Mel!

2017 has also been a really difficult year politically and culturally (indeed I can hardly think of a worse one since the Thatcher era of my childhood). The best way I’ve found to deal with 2017s relentless torrent of shite has been to focus on making good things that I believe in, and do what I can from my small corner to effect change (such as working with policy groups as part of the Scottish business community).

But the best thing about 2017 for me is that my mum and dad decided to move house. They now live just a short drive away, have settled in to their new home, and are really enjoying life here in Scotland.

All of us are very happy they are nearby, especially Bruce!

Whew! What a year!

A massive thanks to all of you, as ever, for stopping by here, for knitting my designs, reading my words, appreciating Tom’s photography, and generally supporting our endeavours. If you didn’t like what we do, we wouldn’t be doing it. Thank you.

Here’s to a healthy and happy 2018 for us all.

Kate x