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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Collective journaling

As we approach the start of Knitting Season, I thought I’d write a few posts about how I use (and have used) journals. I imagine many of us think about journals as deeply personal spaces, and yet my most formative experience of journal keeping was collective and not individual. (Because this story belongs to others…

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the working year

We’ve had a lot going on in 2018! We began the year with West Highland Way. (Myrtle) I created twelve designs for this book, and I also enjoyed the writing I produced for it. Together amounting to the same length as a novella, the West Highland Way essays cover a series of topics that you…

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heid haiku

A chance exchange on twitter last week (with a poet who shares my name) got me thinking about possible associations between hats and poetry – between heids and haiku. Couldn’t a heid be something like a haiku? Both are small things, of a certain structure. Both are created by human hands and brains, and both…

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to err is human

I’m really looking forward to our new knitting-related releases, but wanted to say a few quick words before they begin (yes, it’s tomorrow!) about Handywoman. I’ve had so many wonderful responses to the book – from those in their own situations of chronic ill-health or disability, from those who understand exactly what I’m saying about…

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making Handywoman

I initially decided to write Handywoman after being interviewed on BBC Woman’s Hour, which led to a discussion with a literary agent. This agent was really smart, interesting, incredibly professional and represented other writers of what the book trade describes as “intelligent non-fiction” whose work I really admired. I’d had no thought of writing something…

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Handywoman – preorder!

We are now preparing for the publication of my new book, Handywoman! I’ve been working on this book (in between my other projects) for a couple of years now. I am more proud of, and happy about, completing this book than any other I’ve ever written. Probably the best way to understand what Handywoman is…

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West Highland Way book

Our new West Highland Way book has just been published! I’m rather proud of this collection of thirteen patterns, five of which use our wonderful new Milarrochy Tweed yarn The Craigallian Hat and Mittens The Strathendrick pullover The Còinneach Cardigan and the Shieling blanket The collection also includes four patterns in our original own-brand yarn,…

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when the work is done

A book like our recent West Highland Way project involves many different kinds of work for me: when producing a collection I spend time coming up with the design ideas, swatching, knitting, re-knitting, pattern writing, working with Mel (who tests the pattern and produces many samples), working with tech editors (who check my patterns and…

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Highland Rogue

I’m not sure whether my approach to design is not a bit . . . unusual? Because rather than thinking about texture or pattern or shape or colour first, I often begin with a finished look in mind – in which all of those foregoing elements are considerations – and work backwards from there. This…

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2017

It has been an extraordinarily busy year for us here at KDD! We began the year working on, and producing the Inspired by Islay book. This collection includes some of my all-time favourite designs . . . . . as well as the wonderful work of some of my other creative friends. I’m proud of…

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planning ahead

Did you see that the Edinburgh Yarn Fest programme of classes and talks has been announced? As usual, Mica and Jo have put together an amazing programme, in which I’m really pleased to be included. I’ll be talking about my new book, Handywoman, on both the Friday afternoon and the Saturday morning. Handywoman covers a…

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