end of summer knitting

note: links in this post refer back to Ravelry projects and profiles. Perhaps because I worked for so long in universities, September has always had a fresh start-of-a-new-year feel about it to me, and I suspect that might also be the case for anyone who works with (or just enjoys) yarn and knitting. Here at…

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Crafting Futures: at Braemar

This is the second in my series of posts about the Applied Arts Scotland / British Council residency I took part in last September, and the collaborative work I’m now developing as a result. After leaving Lewis, and returning to the mainland, our group met up with superlatively creative and enabling Lynne Hocking-Mennie, and with…

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remembering Walter Crane

Walter Crane, The Triumph of Labour (1891) ©The Trustees of the British Museum It was May Day a couple of days ago, an occasion that puts me immediately in mind of this wonderful image . . . Walter Crane, A Garland for May Day (1895) ©The Trustees of the British Museum . . . which…

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Inspiring projects, inspiring patterns

As the summer draws to a close, I thought I’d round up some of the many inspiring projects that have been knitted in recent months from KDD patterns, and show you a couple of new designs in our yarns. Last week, Melanie Berg revealed a stunning shawl in Àrd-Thìr, which reminded me of the beautiful…

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Carbeth Colour

This spring has been very slow. And as yet a wee bit lacking in colour. But over the past few weeks I’ve been receiving cheer in many hues from the fabulous Carbeth Cardigans that have been springing up on Ravelry and Instagram. When I saw Susie’s amazing Carbeth Cardigan yesterday, I knew I had to…

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Jane Hunter

Yesterday Tom and I took a drive down the road to West Kilbride. Known as Craft Town Scotland, the thriving main street hosts the studios of talented local artists, designers and craftspeople, such as my friends and compatriots Lillith (Old Maiden Aunt) and Ange (Weftblown). Jane Hunter’s studio is there too, and this was the…

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Lang Ayre

Today’s hap is Lang Ayre by Gudrun Johnston, who is interviewed over on Jen’s blog today. As you probably know, Gudrun was born in, and has close family ties to Shetland. She’s very well-known for her beautiful hap designs, and she was top of my list of must-ask contributors for this book! One of the…

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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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Seven Scottish Shades

Its time to tell you about my yarn colours! I’ve created seven new shades for Buachaille, and all have been inspired by different aspects of the landscape in which I live and love to walk: its flora, its fauna, and of course its weather. Here’s what inspired Buchaille’s seven Scottish shades! 1. Highland Coo These…

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designing & publishing: part 3

From Folly Cove by Julia Farwell Clay and Celtic Cable Shawls by Lucy Hague Today I’m looking at another couple of recently-published books, from two very different independent designers, who both took completely different routes to publication. What these two books share, however, is an intelligent engagement with two specific aesthetic contexts, as both were…

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Puffin Post

One of the many things that makes me very happy as a designer is seeing different interpretations of a sweater I’ve created. I often learn a lot from the modifications knitters make to my patterns, and sometimes a simple change of shade can make a design look like a completely different garment. The Puffin sweater…

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Gawthorpe, encore

In between developing kits and other designs, I’ve been working on my Gawthorpe project (which you may remember is a commission to produce a pattern inspired by the wonderful textile collections of Rachel Kay Shuttleworth). The piece on which I’ve decided to base my design is a large coverlet, featuring deep teal-coloured woollen embroidery on…

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