Scottish knitwear, Irish yarn

It’s a very busy week here at KDD! On top of our usual work on a new book and collection, we are launching our seasonal product range before the recommencement of Knitting Season on September 6th. Whew!

You may remember that last year we began producing new pullovers using fantastic Shetland yarns spun by Scotland’s JC Rennie. Thanks to everyone who supported us, this venture into small-scale, sustainable knitwear production has been really successful. So alongside our development of the Coracle pullover this year, we decided to mix things up a little and create some new designs using an Irish tweedy yarn we really love: a yarn that’s spun especially for us by our friends in Donegal.

First up: the Gartness pullover.

The soft, neppy, beautifully complex yarn of which the Gartness pullover is composed is produced in exactly the same way as our Milarrochy Tweed, but using 100% wool (rather than a wool / mohair blend). You can read all about the making of Milarrochy Tweed in the same mill here.

We chose two of our most popular tweedy shades for the first style of pullover: Tarbet (marine blue) and Birkin (soft grey).

The Birkin colourway has flecks of darker browns and greys, while Tarbet features bright multi-coloured neps

Gartness is a garment which is all about just celebrating the tweed: beautifully simple, classic, wearable

We’ve produced Gartness in 5 sizes, to fit UK8 to UK18. Fenella’s a UK 8 and is wearing the first size, Jane’s a 12 and is wearing the second.

(You’ll find a sizing table with detailed garment measurements on the Gartness product page)

This simple saddle-shouldered style is constructed entirely seamlessly, on the innovative knitting machines pioneered by Harley of Scotland (who produced last years Duntreath and Finnich pullovers). You can read about the production of pullovers at Harley here.

No seams means that Gartness fits the body really comfortably while retaining an appealing “knitterly” quality that’s untypical of much machine-produced knitwear, and which I particularly like.

Gartness unites a distinctively Irish yarn with a distinctively Scottish way of knitting – and the same might be said for our second tweedy design – Croftamie.

Croftamie is a circular, seamless yoke, that uses rich, seasonal shades of Donegal tweed to showcase Scottish stranded knitting.

Like Gartness, Croftamie comes in five sizes and two shades. Fenella’s wearing “autumn” . . .

And Jane’s in “winter.”

You know I love a yoke, and Croftamie makes me happy for so many reasons:

I love being able to play with colour . . .

. . . to create a palette in which different shades address and compliment each other . . .

. . .in a way that really celebrates the nubbly rustic potential of my favourite Donegal tweed!

And if you are wondering about the names of these designs, Croftamie and Gartness are both villages close to our home, near Loch Lomond.

With Gartness, Croftamie and Coracle we’ve created a small, coherent and thoughtfully produced knitwear collection at three differently tiered price points: £80, £100 and £120. These prices reflect the high quality of materials, the important value of the labour and the care that’s been taken with all the processeses these pullovers involve – from initial design to skilled steam finishing. Yet, because we sell to you directly, and there’s no wholesale margin to factor in, these prices are still very reasonable. And remember – if you are a Knitting Season club member, you can also take advantage of your additional 10% discount on all products in the KDD shop – including our knitwear – until the club’s conclusion.

I’ll be back on Friday with the first new pattern from Knitting Season – it’s one of my favourites!


The Coracle project
Knitting Season club (you can join at any time!)
Making pullovers with Harley of Scotland
Making tweed yarn in Donegal
Reflections on making things ‘locally’