sound and vision

My good friend Felicity Ford (aka Felix) is as enthusiastic as I am about Shetland and its wool industry. In 2013 (when she was patron of Shetland Wool Week) Felix worked on a number of field recordings for her important project, Listening to Shetland Wool. From the baas of lambs caught on the breeze, to… Read More

still here

Just checking in to let you know that I have turned a corner. I am now on a second round of antibiotics, the abscess is finally going down, and I am, at long last, starting to feel a little better. But it really has been a very odd time. I’ve been occupying an unpleasant sort… Read More

I want to bob my hair . . .

Stanley Cursiter The Fair Isle Jumper (1923) Edinburgh City Art Centre . . . just to wear this hat. I have 1920s accessories on the brain at the moment – we watched Anthony Asquith’s brilliant A Cottage on Dartmoor a few days ago, in which, between manicures, Norah Baring was sporting some fantastic hats in… Read More


Continuing the colour-related theme, here is a tank I made quite a while ago, as a sort of exercise in shading. At Woolfest last year, I bought four colours of some lovely Artisan Threads BFL. One was a soft rose, and the other three were slightly different shades of green/grey. As you can see, the… Read More

stitched up

Though I love the Gainsborough films, Tony Richardson’s Tom Jones and Michael Winterbottom’s A Cock and Bull Story, I am not generally a fan of contemporary cinematic takes on eighteenth- and nineteenth century literature. This is probably because of what I do: a generation of students who have grown up with the unshakeable idea that… Read More


We interrupt our regular proceedings with this cable. This is just to let readers of The Knitter know that I’ve a piece in the most recent issue of the magazine (no.13) — about the history and future of cable knitting. In the feature, I talk about Gladys Thompson, an old favourite inspiration of mine, and… Read More

Wool 100%

Needled reviews: Mai Tomangi, Wool, 100% (2006) Really, what’s not to like? In a Japanese cross between Bagpuss and the Wombles, two elderly sisters, armed with pokey sticks and shopping trolleys, collect furniture, toys, and other discarded items from surburban rubbish bins. Their house totters and teeters under the weight of their gathered spoils, and… Read More


These flickr memes have been doing the rounds in various incarnations. The movie one is my favourite so far. 1. Favourite Movie? (A Man Escaped) 2. Favourite movie genre? (Melodrama) 3. Favourite actor? (Mitchum) 4. Favourite acress? (Bette) 5. What movie always makes you cry? (Ikiru) 6. What movie have you watched over & over?… Read More


The postie has been bringing me a right bag of treats lately. Here’s a selection. Big thanks to Lara, Felix, Jesse, Annushka, and Philippa! The top pic shows some absolutely delicious Oxford Kitchen Yarn’s sock yarn in the plum colourway. The colour (which is not quite true in the photo) has a precise and very… Read More