inspiring women

I don’t know about you, but I have really enjoyed and appreciated my knitting over the past year. For many of us, knitting has provided solace, served as a useful focus, or sometimes a source of necessary distraction, and has brought countless opportunities for us to explore our own resourcefulness and creativity through projects large and small. I often look through the Ravelry galleries of KDD patterns, and in recent months I’ve been particularly struck by the range of truly stunning projects being created by inspiring women around the world.

Julie’s amazing handspun Dathan pullover

Julie’s Dathan pullover is a case in point. She wanted to knit the sweater with a really special yarn. She chose 16 different shades of cashmere from Inglenook Fibers and carefully spun each colour for her sweater by hand on her drop spindle.

Six months later, Julie had her yarn . . .

And six weeks later, she’d knit her sweater.

Ta Da!

A completely stunning garment, and a truly inspiring document of Julie’s creative use of her time over the past few months.

Marina in her Dathan

In Scalloway, Marina also enjoyed working on her Dathan pullover, which she describes as the “perfect lockdown project”

Knitted entirely from Marina’s stash of local Jamieson’s and Jamieson & Smith yarns, this Dathan is a glorious burst of Shetland colour!


Combining straightforward knitting with individual creative inclination, the Dathan patterns are great for exploring different yarns as well as different colours. In this spirit, Marianne’s recently knitted several Dathan haps, each very beautiful, each different from the last.

I particularly like this soft and subtle version, knitted in mill ends of heavier, bulky weight yarn.

Monique’s cardigan – “into the wild blue yonder”

Monique used KDD’s Buachaille yarn in the Between Weathers shade to knit this fabulous creative mash-up of Oran do Chaora and the Sinister Catdigan

I’ve admired Monique’s knitting for many years, and really enjoy the wide range of creative projects she shares on her frequently updated blog – pop over and take a look.

Lovely Deborah in her Orchle – and two very Good Dogs

Deborah looks fantastic in this Orchle knitted in exactly the same shade of Buachaille blue as Monique’s cardigan, which she modified with fewer pattern repeats around the hem than my original.

Deborah’s glorious pullover is just one of many blue projects I’ve found myself recently admiring . . .

Lina’s “Kurbits”

I love Lina’s beautiful blue modifications to the Green shoots mittens

Corinna’s Tree Tram Tro

And the cables of Corinna’s Tree Tram Tro look so crisp and well-defined in this iconic shade of Rowan Denim.

Irene’s Wryit, knitted in West Yorkshire Spinners ColourLab DK

Meanwhile, in nearby Gourock, Irene’s bold blue Wryit immediately speaks of Scottish west coast summers to me . . .

Dawn’s Wryit, knitted in a lovely shade of Felted Tweed

Dawn’s maritime landscape is at the other end of the country to myself and Irene – and perhaps she will enjoy wearing her blue Wryit around the Devon coast this year.

Dawn in her beautiful Horology

I seem to be enjoying everything Dawn knits of late, including this beautiful Horology in the soft pink of Doris – one of my favourite Schiehallion shades.

I love Doris!

But sometimes you can’t go wrong with a soft neutral shade for cables – such as Aranka’s Horology, knitted up in the wonderful Easan base of Uist Wool

Aranka’s wonderful Uist wool Horology

Aranka currently lives in Belgium, but has a deep connection to Scotland, and knits many beautiful projects with different Scottish woolly yarns. She ( like me) is in an at risk group, and recently had her first vaccine dose – hurrah! Hopefully it won’t be too long before she’s able to return to Scotland once again.

The Balance for Better Blanket at the International Women’s Day event at Glasgow University Law School last year

Tomorrow is International Women’s Day, which reminds me that it is a year ago since I took our Balance for Better Blanket to Glasgow University to celebrate a century of Women in Law. It was wonderful to spend that memorable day in March, 2020, meeting and listening to so many inspiring women of different ages, cultural backgrounds, and walks of life. Such physical gatherings are certainly something I’ve missed over the past year, but women around the world continue to inspire me with their creativity, strength and resourcefulness – and always with their knitting – as the projects shared in this post so clearly illustrate. And all of us involved in its production have been particularly inspired by how the Balance for Better Blanket has continued to find new life in the projects of other knitters over the past twelve months.

An original square from Jane’s blanket

Jane, for example, has been knitting her blanket using a combination of our squares and her own original designs, from the Square Share template we provided.

Jane’s Square Share blanket

Comprising 48 squares and now at last nearing completion, Jane’s blanket is a truly inspiring labour of love!

Happy International Women’s day to all of you inspiring knitters around the world.

Monique – beautiful in blue