in the hills and at home

As anyone round these parts will tell you, it has not (so far) been a vintage Scottish summer. One must make most of the fine weather when it appears, so we headed out for the hills, and enjoyed a lovely day’s walking. A favourite tree Dog on log Falls of Falloch I love the rich…

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Bluebells

Good morning! Here is today’s yoke from my new book – Bluebells. In the 1950s and 60s, there was a particularly popular style of sweater featuring a rather narrow circular yoke. In such garments, the sleeve and body shaping tended to be a little more neatly tailored than other circular yokes, and the colourwork motifs…

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Foxglove

  Here is another yoke — this one’s name is self-explanatory — Foxglove. One of the things I’ve really enjoyed about my first year of rural living has been the wildflowers that grow around my home. Just a few yards from my front door are a wide variety of environments from heathland, bog and lochside…

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Islay snaps

1: Bruce loves the beach 2, 3: Great photoshoots in my favourite locations 4. tasty crabs claws at the Port Charlotte Hotel 5, 6, 7: Discovering Billy’s Bench near Bowmore, and a Scarlet Pimpernel growing through the shingle at Portnahaven 8. Fine weather for walking 9, 10: The first time in four and half years…

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foxglove

One of my great pleasures at the moment is observing, photographing and finding out more about, the wildflowers where I live. I’m surrounded by lots of different kinds of environments – hedgerow, water, woodland, heath, mountain – and these are full of so many wonderful flora, some of which I had never noticed or knew…

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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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some Spring weather

It is a lovely time of year, and, as the weather starts to change I am really appreciating our new situation. Our house is in the middle of the photo above – one of five properties on a small steading, situated at about 250m above sea level. In front of the steading, to the South,…

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Summer days

It is a while since I’ve known a spell of weather like it. The verges have bloomed into wildflower meadows. Everything seems sharper, brighter, a dappled world of light and shade. The evening air is soft and fragrant. Folk stroll about, bare-armed, leisurely. Inside, the new rooms are cool and clean and very pretty. Bruce…

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transititions

Winter really felt interminable this year. It seemed that, for weeks I passed the same corner every day looking in vain for the snowdrops that always appear there, heralding Spring. “I don’t know what I’d do if it wasn’t for those” said one of my neighbour-buddies, indicating a single patch of struggling crocuses that provided…

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Ursula Cardigan

Its time to show you another design, from the next of my Shetland ‘colour stories’. This is the Ursula Cardigan. This design is named for writer and naturalist, Ursula Venables, who lived and worked in Shetland during the 1940s and ’50s. (You can read more about her in my book.) Ursula’s writing about wildflowers, as…

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graft

I am working hard. The designs for my new collection are in all in process, and I have spent the past few weeks writing patterns and knitting . . . lots of pattern writing, and lots and lots of knitting. This sort of work requires the kind of concentrated focus I haven’t felt for quite…

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Islay light

The light on Islay is truly amazing. I am often struck by how, particularly when there is very little wind, the golden light from the West on the machair and dunes brings objects to life in what I can only think of as their own unique haecceitas. I have only just returned, but looking at…

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