Marianne North

Hello, it’s Michelle here, with a post about Marianne North (1830–1890), a Victorian traveller and nature artist who left an extraordinary legacy. Painting 684. North painted the sacred lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) from a garden specimen in Java. For almost 140 years North’s paintings have been on permanent display in the gallery she established at the…

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Carbeth: slavery in the landscape

Here, at Carbeth, we live in a landscape underwritten by many rich and complex human stories. Neolithic people lived and travelled through Carbeth many thousand of years ago and, since these early settlers, this landscape has many stories of passage to tell, from seventeenth-century cattle drovers, to nineteenth-century railway navvies, to the walkers on today’s…

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Float in the wind, flicker in the breeze

Hello! It’s Michelle here. Today I’d like to share some words and images about suffrage spectacle and visual identity, a topic that recently came back to my mind through Kate’s writing in her Wheesht essay ‘Elevate’ on Ann Macbeth’s collaborative suffrage quilt. Anne Macbeth’s suffrage quilt as a suffrage banner. © Museum of London The…

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Women Who Would Not Sit Still

The Five Sisters window in York Minster is dedicated to all 1,513 women of the British Empire who lost their lives serving in the First World War. The existing 13th century window was restored and rededicated with funds raised by public appeal, and unveiled on 24 June 1925. Image: © John Scurr (WMR-30648), Imperial War…

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Omnia Feminae Aequissimae

You may remember that last year at KDD, we celebrated International Women’s Day by designing and knitting a commemorative blanket together with our good friend, Felicity Ford. Celebrating 30 diverse creative women, our blanket was created with the central aim of using our crafty skills to educate each other about the many different ways in…

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Udal

In the spring of 2018, after a hard winter in which I’d been struggling with my depression, I spent some time in Berneray and North Uist. You can get a sense of how much I immediately loved the place, and how very much I enjoyed meeting Meg Rodger and learning more about her work –…

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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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The McCune Smith cafe

Hello, it’s Tom here. In today’s People Make Glasgow post I’d like to introduce the McCune Smith Cafe and Dr. James McCune Smith, the important 19th Century African-American abolitionist, physician, educator and intellectual, after whom the cafe is named. Glasgow’s remarkable nineteenth-century growth was due to imperial trade. That Glasgow was built on tobacco and…

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The work of water

This week’s West Highland Way club design is Stronachlachar – a loose-fitting tee, with, sinuous twisted stitches. The simple cables which twist over the surface of this design have a very direct inspiration in my local built environment, specifically the pipelines and waterworks of the Loch Katrine scheme, which runs from Stronachlachar all the way…

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Malin Head

We were in Ireland last week, to see our new tweed yarn being spun by our friends at Donegal Yarns (much more of which soon!). It’s been a while since we were in Ireland, and it was lovely to revisit a few of our favourite spots, including Malin Head. It has changed a wee bit…

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Jenny Jones

Over the years I’ve gathered a small collection of knitting ephemera. This includes a few different styles of the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century sticks, wisps and sheaths (used throughout Britain for supported knitting) and different kinds of representations–largely photographs or prints–of knitting all over Britain. Such representations do not afford some sort of transparent window onto…

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mapping Islay

I wanted to say a little more about working on our Islay book. This a project which from the beginning has meant a great deal to me, perhaps because it emerged from a very personal place: the place in which Tom and I were married. The project began as the context for two designs I’d…

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