a few nice things

There is a lot going on here behind the scenes (I’ve been writing a book and designing a new collection with our brand new yarn) and I’ve not found myself with much spare time for blog posting . . . but in amongst all the hard work I’ve been enjoying some nice things, such as . . .

1. The work of brilliant designer colleagues

©Elysa Weitala

Have you seen the Open Field Guide that Jeanette Sloan has produced with Modern Daily Knitting? This lovely little book features five gorgeous lace patterns, including the beautifully relaxed Mood cardigan (top) and the pleasingly rhythmic Clerestory shawl (above), designed for two different weights of yarn. I’m a huge fan of Jeanette’s work, and of the MDK field guides generally and this wee book is truly a match made in heaven!

Another pattern that recently caught my eye is Mary Henderson’s Suthen – a fabulously innovative back-to-front fairisle throwover, inspired by Japanese workwear. I’ve been an admirer of Mary’s distinctive colourwork for many years, and think this design (produced like many of her patterns for The Knitter Magazine) is particularly stunning.

© The Knitter Magazine
© The Knitter Magazine

And while we are on the subject of stunning colourwork, have you seen Sylvia Watts-Cherry’s Tortoiseshell pullover for the latest Pom Pom?

© Shingi Rice

Sylvia designed the graphic Amaka gauntlets for our Warm Hands collection (co-edited with Jeanette Sloan), and like that design, this new pullover deploys Sylvia’s signature bold colourwork to truly brilliant effect. I really think Sylvia is one of the most interesting designers around right now.

© Claudia Fiocchetti

Finally, who could argue with Claudia Fiocchetti’s comfy new ridged beanie? Having worked closely with Claudia on Warm Hands and her own Colour Moves collection, I know Claudia writes great patterns, and this hat which shares her name looks like a lot of fun to knit! (I’m about to cast on another of Claudia’s hats for myself: Gradient Mesh)

2. Scotland’s Tree of the Year
These photos of Fenella by Milarrochy Bay remind me that the Milarrochy oak has been nominated for Scotland’s Tree of the Year. There are some strong contenders, but as one of my favourite trees (and friend of many a KDD walk and photoshoot) it definitely has my vote! (you can place yours here)

3. A productive garden

This has been an great year for our vegetable garden and we have been happily consuming a bumper harvest of green beans, cucumbers, onions, potatoes, spinach, chard, broccoli, strawberries, salad leaves and – for the first year ever – cherry tomatoes! I am particularly happy with the ripe fruit of my single tomato plant, and will try the one-tomato approach again in 2021.

4. Wot the Dickens?

I like to listen to audiobooks while I knit, and as there’s been quite a lot of knitting lately, I’ve been really enjoying working my way through some Dickens novels which I last read (ye gods) more than a quarter of a century ago. Having rather enjoyed Armando Ianucci’s recent adaptation, I just finished David Copperfield (in a 34 hour version read by Martin Jarvis, which I heartily recommend) and it was an intense and thrilling experience (though I find myself with lot of thoughts about Dora in both the novel and the film). There are a couple of Dickens novels (Nicholas Nickelby, Martin Chuzzlewit) that I’ve never had the opportunity to read, and I now feel inspired to work my way through those along with my old favourites (Our Mutual Friend, Little Dorit) for a completist audio experience. I’ll keep you posted.

5. Crafting Futures film
Finally, I thought you might like to see this short film, put together by British Council Mexico, documenting the Crafting Futures residency I took part in with Pilar, Sol, Dalila and Fiona in Braemar, with the support of Applied Arts Scotland. What a brilliant time we had – I can’t believe its almost a year ago. . .

I’ll be back here tomorrow to reveal a brand new design – the last pattern release before our new club and collection – see you then!