“Being European, we are more than the sum of our parts” Melanie Berg

Today, I’m delighted to introduce Melanie Berg as the next participant in our European Yarn Community conversations. Melanie is a German designer whose work will, I’m sure, be already very much admired by many of you. Melanie is best known for her shawls, but she also creates gorgeous modern garments, and everything she makes is…

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croft, craft, creativity

One of the many things I really like about the communities and cultures of crofting is their distinctive effect on the way people work. What I mean is this: in towns and cities, jobs tend to become more and more specialised, people do what they do within smaller and smaller categories, individual work occurs in…

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Carbeth Colour

This spring has been very slow. And as yet a wee bit lacking in colour. But over the past few weeks I’ve been receiving cheer in many hues from the fabulous Carbeth Cardigans that have been springing up on Ravelry and Instagram. When I saw Susie’s amazing Carbeth Cardigan yesterday, I knew I had to…

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Ottar

Working on a book can be full of surprises. I did not think, when I set out to write a chapter about tools and objects and the way my attitude to the material world changed after my stroke, that I would end up being inspired by an amazing feminist anarcho-syndicalist . . . but weirdly…

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Jane Hunter

Yesterday Tom and I took a drive down the road to West Kilbride. Known as Craft Town Scotland, the thriving main street hosts the studios of talented local artists, designers and craftspeople, such as my friends and compatriots Lillith (Old Maiden Aunt) and Ange (Weftblown). Jane Hunter’s studio is there too, and this was the…

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The Inspired by Islay club

The Inspired by Islay club is now open for pre-order! I’m really excited to finally be able to share this project, which has occupied the majority of my knitting and designing year thus far. If you have been wondering about the distinct lack of knitting content around here recently, it is because all of the…

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Estonian Knitting I: Traditions and Techniques

Years ago, I wrote the occasional piece for Selvedge. I pitched a few ideas to them for short features which combined the history of knitted textiles with some account of how they were actually made, but was told that any sort of technical instruction was verboten “we aren’t interested in how-tos.” But why not, I…

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Hornsea and me

Among the miscellaneous objects on my rather messy desk is a brown mug, with a broken handle, decorated with a frieze of dancing rabbits. This mug has sat on every desk I’ve ever sat at: I appropriated it for a pen-holder (in its already broken state) when I was a teenager, and it has travelled…

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Seven Scottish Shades

Its time to tell you about my yarn colours! I’ve created seven new shades for Buachaille, and all have been inspired by different aspects of the landscape in which I live and love to walk: its flora, its fauna, and of course its weather. Here’s what inspired Buchaille’s seven Scottish shades! 1. Highland Coo These…

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at Haworth Scouring

As we have discovered over the past few months, there is an awful lot to think about when designing and manufacturing a new yarn for hand knitting! There are many stages to consider, and many decisions to be made. It occurred to me that one of the processes that’s least visible to hand knitters is…

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a trip to London

Hello! I’m just home again after a fantastic trip to London. I was there to attend the opening of the Sonia Delaunay retrospective (of which more shortly), but I also . . . . . . had a wonderfully jolly time in Fortum and Mason with top wool comrade, Felix. We drank posh tea, talked…

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Scottish bluebells

I am currently working on a bluebell-inspired design for my forthcoming YOKES collection. I am certainly not short of inspiration, as you currently can’t move for bluebells round here. Discovering these lovely flowers blooming in the woods and hills around me this Spring has really been an unexpected delight. On every walk, I seem to…

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