kinds of blue

I’ve recently been enjoying designing blue things. This is my new shawl – Traigh – which works so well with Tarbet, one of our new shades of Milarrochy Tweed. Tarbet is a glorious mid blue with lots of colourful tweed neps, which make it really interesting. This rich, complex, maritime blue is my new obsession.…

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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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Carbeth

Well, I wrote up the pattern for my Boxing Day jumper, and with hard work from all the team (Mel (test knitting) Tom (photography and layout) and Rachel and Jemima (tech editing) we’ve released it today! Thanks, everyone! I’ve named it Carbeth after our local loch where Tom took these extraordinary photos. The pattern is…

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Boxing day jumper

For the past six months I’ve been designing a collection. I have developed the ideas for six garments and six accessories, made swatches, knit prototypes, re-knit prototypes, re-knit again; drawn charts, produced grading spreadsheets, written patterns, re-written patterns, written patterns once again; edited the patterns, styled the designs, and, finally, modelled them myself. I’ve by…

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fabulous projects

Inspired by Islay was released a couple of months ago, and it has been making me very happy to see so many new projects from the book springing up on Ravelry, and so many beautiful garments appearing. As you know, I particularly enjoy designing and knitting colourwork, and The Oa is one of my favourite…

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Shade card sheep

As a small yarn producer, I am often asked whether I sell shade cards, but I’ve never been quite sure how to present them. When my dear pal Felix got married recently, some fabulous wool-wrapped sheep featured among her many woolly wedding favours. Those wee sheep rather took hold of my imagination and I just…

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Offbeat

Last March, at Edinburgh Yarn Fest, I spotted Anna Elliott wearing a great hat (Anna has many great hat designs). She’d knitted this particular hat in Buachaille shades squall and furze and it was really striking. In its bold, graphic simplicity it immediately reminded me of the mid-century ceramics that had inspired Anna to create…

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The Buachaille song by Felicity Ford

At the end of last September, I travelled to Shetland for Wool Week. I’d spent several previous months exploring a new-to-me world of yarn development, and the result – Buachaille – was about to be launched with the Seven Skeins Club. At home, so many boxes of yarn had arrived that the bathroom floor had…

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Braid Hills – reworked

Another new garment! Braid Hills is one of my favourite designs, and one I really wanted to return to. Some folk found the original pattern a bit tricky for a couple of reasons: I love the design, and really wanted to iron out these issues so that everyone could enjoy knitting and wearing this cardigan!…

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Miss Rachel’s yoke and gauntlets (a closer look!)

As discussed in the previous post, this design is inspired by an early nineteenth-century shawl, collected by Rachel Kay Shuttleworth, and now part of Gawthorpe Textile Collection. The colourful, ribbon-like bands of the shawl immediately reminded me of one of my favourite colourwork motifs, a small, simple pattern which resembles an interlocking vine. The pattern…

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A walk by Loch Ard

At last! A day without rain! A wintery-feeling day with frost and hanging mists! We had to get out and go for a walk. Bruce’s foot has still not healed sufficiently for him to be able to join us tramping about in the quagmire (not long to go now, thankfully) so this was a human-only…

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a first look

Here’s a first look at the new shades of Buachaille. Furze: a rich, deep, saturated yellow. furze is an old name for the fragrant, prickly gorse bushes that turn Scotland’s hills to gold in Spring. Hedder: mid-pink with purple undertones. Hedder is a Scots name for heather (calluna). For me, this shade of purple-y pink…

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food for thought

Wow! Thanks so much everyone for all your input! I promise I’ve read every comment, tweet and email and certainly have much food for thought. I’ve been musing on, and acting on many of your suggestions, however incidental (for example, remarks Kristine and Lou made about the typeface on this blog have now caused me…

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2015: in review

It has been a pretty big year for us all here at KDD. Here’s a selection of the new designs I published in 2015. Fantoosh Owligan Wowligan Jazz hands Wee Bluebells Murmuration Kokkeluri mittens The Goats of Inversnaid Much of my creative energy over the year was focused on the development and launch of my…

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