Birlinn Yarn love

Hello! Friday is project reveal day, and today I wanted to show you a new iteration of one of my favourite designs of 2019 – the Udal pullover, designed for and with Meg Rodger’s Birlinn Yarn Company. Inspired by one of my favourite Hebridean places, and using Meg’s own fabulously hardy and beautiful Hebridean wool…

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Crafting Futures: in the Hebrides

Today I’m sharing the first of series of images and recollections from the Applied Arts Scotland residency I was part of last September – which seems, for so many reasons, like a very long time ago. This residency was part of the British Council’s Crafting Futures programme, bringing makers from Scotland and Mexico together, to…

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Shilasdair: isle of Skye natural dye company

On our way to North Uist and Berneray a few months ago, we stopped off in Skye to say hello to Kirsty, who now runs Shilasdair, the Isle of Skye natural dye company. I first visited Shilasdair – when it was run by natural-dyeing legend, Eva Lambert, in its old home on the Waternish peninsula…

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Away to Berneray

Hello! Tom here. Kate and I spent all of last week away in Berneray and North Uist, where I’ve been working on a new photographic project (more of which later). Late spring and early summer is a truly beautiful time of year in the Outer Hebrides, and we feel very lucky to be able to…

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Light and lambs

Hello everyone, it’s Tom here. I thought I’d pop in to share some of my photos from our recent Hebridean trip to the isle of Berneray (Eilean Bhearnaraigh). As a photographer, I find the ever-changing weather and shifting quality of light in Scotland’s Western Isles really stimulating in my work. On this trip we were…

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at lamraig cottage

We’ve just returned from a very relaxing break in Berneray and North Uist, staying in lamraig cottage – a beautiful Hebridean blackhouse: carefully restored, formerly occupied, and now run as a holiday rental by our friend Meg (of Birlinn Yarn fame). If you’ve read the Shieling section of my West Highland Way book, you’ll know…

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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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back here

When something really major happens in your life there is always a before and after. And when that something is a massive transformation that alters your body and identity, when that something is a stroke that suddenly changes you from an able-bodied person to someone who will spend the rest of her life managing 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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vicarious

Lucky Tom has spent the past week cycling around the Outer Hebrides with our friend, Mool. I have so enjoyed the photos that he’s been sending me each evening that I thought I’d share a selection with you here. All of these photographs were taken with his phone.

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Islay inspiration

I love camping: I suppose there is just something about taking the time to simply be in the outdoors that allows the world to insinuate itself upon you in the most pleasing way. And I find Islay a particularly inspiring landscape. I like to potter about just looking at stuff, and always come home with…

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I am two

Hiya, it is I, Bruce. I was born on the 27th May, and now I am two years old. This weekend we celebrated my birthday at some very fun places called Inner Hebrides. To travel there, you have to get on noisyboat. As everybody knows, I am called Bruce. Yet apparently I have another name…

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the gardens at ardfin

Would you like to come for a short walk on Jura? Leave your money in the honesty box by the tree, and follow the path to Jura House garden. With its mix of Scottish wild flowers and victorian woodland planting, the surrounding landscape looks like a fairy glade. Then you open a door in the…

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mead magic

Last summer, when we were walking on Jura, we buried some home-brewed mead above the gulf of corryvreckan. Yesterday we retraced our steps, and returned to find it. I heart Jura. Seven miles and a very enjoyable walk later, we climbed up a cliffside on the remote and empty north-west of the island and wondered…

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whisky and women

Bunnahabhain. Monday morning. I’m a woman that likes whisky. Now, I know I don’t need to explain this to you. I know that you may like whisky too. And I’m sure that if you do like it, if you have any sort of taste or enthusiasm for any type of usquebah, that you will probably…

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pitch

(After the storm. Bowmore.) Is it possible to be a militant wild camper? If it is, I am one. Unlike the rest of the UK, where camping is currently legally restricted, in Scotland you can camp anywhere you like, as long as you are sensible, responsible, and follow the terms of the Outdoor Access Code.…

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