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, Buachaille

Rowchoish – a bobble and cable shrug

The Stronachlachar cabled tee

Highland Rogue, a textured, circular snood

and my favourite spring cardigan Oran do Chaora

And the final four patterns in the collection feature Cumulus – a light-as-air silk/ alpaca blend.

The delicate Myrtle pullover

The Altnafeadh gauntlets

A graphic wrap, Electric Village

and an elegant shawl, The Observatory

All of these patterns are available individually on Ravelry, collectively as an e-book, or – for exactly the same price – as the print + ebook, which is now available from our shop.

I honestly think West Highland Way is the most interesting collection I’ve yet produced. Because of the simple fact that there are now more of us (Mel began working with us full time last spring) I’ve had more time, space and leeway to take a few new directions when creating my designs. Mel and I work on the sample-knitting together, so when we are developing a new construction (such as the nifty seamless saddle-shoulder shaping of Oran do Chaora) there’s two of us checking the clarity of the instructions and the efficacy of the method. Because I’ve been spending less time on the non-creative work involved in running my business, and because Mel and I now have a collaborative system of pattern development that works so very well, I’ve felt more free to explore new shapes and construction methods, and have produced designs that, to my mind at least, are a little bolder. (Thanks, Mel).

Strathendrick is one of my favourite designs from the collection, and I feel particularly happy to see knitters taking on this undeniably epic project, and looking fabulous in their finished knits.

But there is more to this book than the patterns.

I know I’m biased, being married to him and all that, but I think Tom’s landscape photography for this book is just amazing (as are the videos he produced especially for the West Highland Way club)

Tom’s images are, in themselves, breathtakingly beautiful, but I love them all the more because their general point is often to illustrate how the West Highland Way is as social and cultural as much as it is “natural”.

And this is very much the emphasis of the twelve essays I’ve written for the book as well.

In my essays you can read about the associations of this landscape with the Scottish outdoor movement (Craigallian; Rowchoish); with matters of public health and public ownership (Stronachlachar); with clearance and cultural conflict (The Shieling); with Gaelic song (Oran do Chaora); with political and imperial control (Altnafeadh); with Romantic tourism and (mis)representation (Highland Rogue); with modern industrial development and decline (Electric Village) and with scientific curiosity about that most British of topics, the weather (The Observatory). There’s also essays in which I explore my own personal connections to the West Highland Way as well (Strathendrick; Rannoch Moor).

This written material is more substantial and wide-ranging than that which I’ve produced for previous books. And again, I think these sections work so well because they were produced collaboratively, as Tom and I shared our ideas about what we wanted the book to discuss and depict.

The West Highland Way book also benefits from the collaborative expertise of several of our friends: Gordon Anderson (additional photography and general inspiration); Ivor Normand (copy editing); Rachel Atkinson and Jemima Bicknell (technical editing); Anna MacQuarrie (Gaelic editing) and Nic Blackmore (book design and layout).

And Bruce would like to point out that his role clocking up many hundreds of Highland Way miles during the production of this book was absolutely crucial.

This is the ninth title we’ve published under our own imprint with the help of our fantastic Glasgow printers, Bell and Bain. It’s a project we’ve loved working on, and feel proud to have produced. All of us here at KDD very much hope that you enjoy this book!

Happy knitting, reading and walking from us all!

PS if you are a yarn or bookstore interested in stocking West Highland Way or any other of our knitting titles, they are available for worldwide distribution from Fyberspates

35 thoughts on “West Highland Way book

  1. I have purchased your wonderful West Highland Way book and samples of each wool and now ready to knit but Ravelry on line shows out of stock for colours I need. Is this the end of the line or is there a waiting list?Hard to order quickly from New Zealand. HELP


  2. My book has just turned up in the post here on the other side of the world. Wonderful. I think the images in the book are even better than those on the blog. Congratulations.


  3. I just returned home from a particularly grueling work trip, to find that your book had arrived. I forced myself to wait until
    I had unpacked essentials, and then the reward of opening the package. Kate, it is so beautiful that it brings tears to my eyes, thank-you so much for this! I hiked the WHW in October 2016 and was so delighted when you did this club and were able to fit me in. The photography and writing (and patterns) in the club and book have been such a thrill to me; I can’t even describe to you how much I have loved this. Thank-you again!


  4. Congratulations, Kate, Tom, Mel and the team on this absolutely beautiful book! It’s gorgeous, filled with amazing photography, lovely patterns, and local information that will keep me busy reading and making for many enjoyable months. You have completely outdone yourselves ~ WAY TO GO!!!


  5. Just received my copy of The West Highland Way — Well Done, You! Lovely patterns, photos, and commentary. Thank you, and Tom, for all your hard work. It is very much appreciated. I am ready to pack my needles and my hiking boots and hop on the next jet to Scotland.


  6. Hi Kate – although I have several of your books and the patterns are always fabulous – I agree with you this is your best yet. Everything from the patterns, Tom’s photography and the overall layout, look and feel are beautiful. I’ll enjoy using this. Well done. 💕


  7. WHW did not disappoint (neither have your other publications). I am trying to get my knitting group to choose patterns from it and come hike and knit along the WHW.
    PS. We live in Pennsylvania!


  8. Wowza..Even though I saw the unveiling photo’s/patterns/essays each week, seeing in book form is just fabulous. My favorites? That lone thistle on pg 76. The close up of The Shieling on pg 46. I feel as if I can cover myself with it from the page. And lastly, the tent photo on pg 29-Coinneach. Being a percher, coined by Frank Lloyd Wright, is absolutely where I would feel at home. Wearing my Carbeth to keep me warm. :) Wonderful wonderful.


  9. I love your book clubs (I guess not in the usual meaning of the phrase – but it works!)!! I have enjoyed reading every one of these essays and am looking forward to reading them again. And the patterns! My daughter has asked for Shieling as her college blanket – I have a year and a bit, so I’d better get cooking. Thank you for sharing this part of Scotland with all of us.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Arrived home to find the West Highland Way book peeping out of the letter box. Yipee THANK YOU so much Kate and ALL the team involved in this fantastic journey but which design to start first as we are really spoilt with such choice.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. My needles are at the ready to make Oran do Chaora. Still have to get some KDD yarn for it.

    ‘S théid mi dh’iarraidh na faoighe-chlòimhe,
    Air mnahan còire an fhearainn.

    I’ll go and the thigged wool demand,
    From the good ladies of this land.

    from Oran do Chaora
    Donnchadh Macantsaoir ‘Duncan Ban’

    Tapadh leat, a Chait!


    Liked by 1 person

  12. Thank you Kate,Tom and of course Bruce and all your team for this wonderful book. It is a joy to read. I don’t do much walking these days and not a lot of knitting, though wish I could. However I will try some of the smaller patterns and my husband and sons will walk another bit of the West Highland Way or maybe climb a Munro or two this summer. You are an inspiration to us all.


  13. Congratulations KDD! It seems a notch has been cranked up! I love that the book is a genuine collaboration. I find inclusive projects have a depth and optimism to them. I love these wearable knitted designs! Fabulous photographs, great writing and as always thoughtful styling. It feels like a positive direction to me.
    Thank you too Bruce your contribution is of course most vital not only to the direction of events on a daily basis but also to the spirit and energy required to undertake every task. My girls would join you in all activities to crank up any exploration needed, particularly involving water!
    Well done everyone!


    1. Jillybean! Kate,, sorry to hijack the thread, but Jillybean gatekeepered me into the world of hand dyed, spun, local breed yarn 10 years ago , Jillybean I hope you and yours are cresting the wave. Godspeed you.


  14. Yes, looking foreward to my copy. And being able to read from a book in my hands instead of eyes on a screen!
    great job and thanks to ALL, that’s for you too Bruce :)


  15. Is your book available wholesale and if so how can I purchase copies for the store. Thank you Kind regards, Dotty

    Dotty Widmann

    The Net Loft 140 Adams Street P O Box 880 Cordova, Alaska 99574

    907 317-2819 907 424-7337

    …by the beautiful shores of Prince William Sound http://www.thenetloftak.com

    “Follow the fish, Follow the knitting.”

    Sent from my iPhonel



  16. I’m so looking forward to my copy coming in the mail! I’ve loved seeing a new pattern every week and haven’t quite decided what I’m going to do first. Bruce is such a beautiful dog!


  17. BEAUTIFUL! Photos and essays always bring fond memories of my hike along WHW. Hope to do it again in next year wearing one of your designs!!
    XOXOXo to you all!


  18. Every time I receive one of your publications, my knitting group oooohs and aaaahs over it so much that I have to wrest it away from them. We are all so looking forward to admiring Tom’s photography and your beautifully detailed designs. You have a special spot on my bookshelf and my heart, Kate. Congratulations on another venture well done.


  19. As always, Im in awe :) i havent got a copy yet, but this book looks like the accomplishment of everything you have all been working so hard for over the last 7 years. Some people believe that there are 7 years cycles in a human’s life. I dont wether it s true or not, but this book feels to me like the accomplishment of a 7 year cycle. It looks like it depicts the harmony, the balance, between life and work, photography, exploring the outdoors, researching their history, creative work – designing and knitting & writing… It looks like you have achieved a perfect balance with all the ingredients you have been working on for the last few years, and now you have the measurements just right! :) to the west highland way book, to everyone involved – Bruce included – and to your next adventures :)


  20. I have loved everything about the WHW club (I miss my Wednesday and Friday emails), it got me out walking again in earnest and I’m determined to tackle those steeks!! I’m now looking forward to the arrival of my book!!
    Thanks Kate and team (including you Bruce, I’ve no doubt of your huge imput) !!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I have loved everything about the West Highland Way club, all the patterns are fabulous and your essays and Tom’s photography are stunning. I cannot wait for my book to arrive. My children (working adults now) bought me the subscription for Christmas and I’m so glad they did. Thank you all at KDD for doing such a fine job x

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Congrats on your journey to make this lovely wonderful book!
    I’m looking forward to receive it in the mailbox :-)
    And I agree with Bruce :-))
    Take good care of yourself Kate!
    A big hug!


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