Mood Indigo

(top illustration: William Simpson, An Indigo Factory in Bengal (1863) I am currently completing a design project using yarn that has been dyed with natural indigo by my friends at Shilasdair. As I’ve knitted, I’ve often found myself thinking about the links between Scotland and natural indigo dye. Indigo isn’t, of course, a Scottish plant…

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Shilasdair: isle of Skye natural dye company

On our way to North Uist and Berneray a few months ago, we stopped off in Skye to say hello to Kirsty, who now runs Shilasdair, the Isle of Skye natural dye company. I first visited Shilasdair – when it was run by natural-dyeing legend, Eva Lambert, in its old home on the Waternish peninsula…

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grey: not pregnant

Hello, here is my new hair, and my new cardigan. For quite a while it has been obvious (to me at least) that my hair was no longer naturally brown, but grey. I got to a point a few months ago when I was just tired of the continual touching up. What might my hair…

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kinds of blue

I’ve recently been enjoying designing blue things. This is my new shawl – Traigh – which works so well with Tarbet, one of our new shades of Milarrochy Tweed. Tarbet is a glorious mid blue with lots of colourful tweed neps, which make it really interesting. This rich, complex, maritime blue is my new obsession.…

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Balmaha

I’ve made a new yoke jumper! This is Balmaha Ever since our new Milarrochy Tweed shades arrived I’ve had a yen to make a Còinneach yoke using Tarbet as the main colour . . . So I matched the beautiful marine blue of Tarbet together with the subtle duns of Hare, the rich chocolatey hues…

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new shades

Today I’m excited to reveal our three new shades of Milarrochy Tweed. There’s Cranachan – a vibrant raspberry red – (named for the traditional Scottish dessert made with raspberries) . . . there’s Hare (named for the animal, with its soft dun-coloured coat) . . . and finally Tarbet: a complex, maritime blue named for…

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Milarrochy Tweed: developing a palette

There are many things to think about when putting together a palette of shades for hand knitting. Some schools of thought tend toward the representative: that there should always be, for example, a red or yellow. Others, meanwhile, might urge the wisdom of considering particular colour trends and preferences, of including “the colour of the moment”,…

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Oa 2

Morning! As we are well ahead of ourselves with the preparation of the Inspired by Islay book, Tom and I took yesterday afternoon off and went out to Glen Etive. On the way I got Tom to stop above the Bridge of Orchy, so I could take some photos of his Oa Hoody — I…

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Islay colourwork

Good morning! We’ve now reached the half-way point in the Inspired by Islay club and I thought I’d catch up here by showing you the last three patterns I’ve designed. The collection has been created in four groups of three (each of which features a different style of knitting, and is inspired by a different…

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Funyin!

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I was designing something inspired by my collection of John Clappison Hornsea pottery designs. This is the final pattern that I’ve prepared to launch at Edinburgh Yarn Fest. This is my favourite Hornsea piece. It is a cruet called “blue onion.” Clappison created it in 1963, and like…

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Braid Hills – reworked

Another new garment! Braid Hills is one of my favourite designs, and one I really wanted to return to. Some folk found the original pattern a bit tricky for a couple of reasons: I love the design, and really wanted to iron out these issues so that everyone could enjoy knitting and wearing this cardigan!…

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goats & yarn

As promised, here are Mel’s goats. She selected Buachaille shades Squall, Islay and Haar for her set, and the effect is quite different to the colours I chose for mine. Here’s a good shot of the top of her heid, where you can see the amorous goats, and the hearts at the centre of the…

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