picturing Inveraray

looking at a made place

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a postcard from Argyll

how do we look at a landscape when there might seem to be nothing to see?

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twenty titles

It’s the launch day of our twentieth book!

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sock of the week no. 11

fashion, innovation and stripey socks

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sock of the week: no.10

the “everlasting stocking knitters” of Wales

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the fabric of memory

Do you dream in textiles?

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Glasgow’s atelier economy: then and now

Today I thought I’d share with you the introductory words I wrote for People MAKE Glasgow . For me – a former eighteenth-century specialist – the connections between Glasgow’s eighteenth-century past and its twenty-first century present have always been apparent, and I really enjoyed having the opportunity to write about those connections here. People MAKE…

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Lunardi in Campsie

The revival of my eighteenth-century balloon-o-mania was inspired after some recent walks around Clachan of Camspie and Milton of Campsie (just north and east of where we live) during which I discovered that that balloonist, Vincent Lunardi, landed in Campsie Glen at the conclusion of his second flight from Glasgow in November 1785. After wowing…

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balloons

I’ve a long-held fascination with late eighteenth-century hot air balloons and ballooning. In fact, I’ve even knitted an eighteenth-century balloon (in a square of our International Women’s Day blanket, which references the Montgolfier balloon that appears in the final lines of Anna Laetitia Barbauld’s brilliant poem, Washing Day) In the past few weeks, my historic…

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keeping shop

As part of my research for the introduction to our People Make Glasgow book, I’ve been doing some highly enjoyable work poking about the city’s eighteenth and nineteenth-century post office directories, which provide intriguing lists of Glasgow’s merchants, manufacturing and retail businesses (much like the yellow pages). Looking at these directories across a century or…

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over again

When do you read something over again? There are crime novels to which I frequently return (those of Josephine Tey and Marjorie Allingham are particular favourites) and, when I’m ill or low, I often pick up books enjoyed in childhood (Paul Gallico, Giovanni Guareschi). My main reading for pleasure now tends to be non-fiction, and…

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Float in the wind, flicker in the breeze

Hello! It’s Michelle here. Today I’d like to share some words and images about suffrage spectacle and visual identity, a topic that recently came back to my mind through Kate’s writing in her Wheesht essay ‘Elevate’ on Ann Macbeth’s collaborative suffrage quilt. Anne Macbeth’s suffrage quilt as a suffrage banner. © Museum of London The…

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Women Who Would Not Sit Still

The Five Sisters window in York Minster is dedicated to all 1,513 women of the British Empire who lost their lives serving in the First World War. The existing 13th century window was restored and rededicated with funds raised by public appeal, and unveiled on 24 June 1925. Image: © John Scurr (WMR-30648), Imperial War…

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Mood Indigo

(top illustration: William Simpson, An Indigo Factory in Bengal (1863) I am currently completing a design project using yarn that has been dyed with natural indigo by my friends at Shilasdair. As I’ve knitted, I’ve often found myself thinking about the links between Scotland and natural indigo dye. Indigo isn’t, of course, a Scottish plant…

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Helen Robertson

If you’ve read my introduction to The Book of Haps then you’ll already have come across Helen Robertson – a Shetland artist and craftswoman whose work I deeply admire. Working with silver wire and other precious materials, Helen has developed a uniquely thoughtful aesthetic which celebrates, commemorates and reflects upon Shetland’s history and heritage –…

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