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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a reading week

Eric Ravilious, Cuckmere Haven (1939) Thinking about what I might write about here yesterday, it occurred to me that, despite the fact that reading takes up a fairly large proportion of my time, I’d never used this space all that much to talk about the different books that I enjoy. I think that part of…

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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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en-able

I was recently having a chat with an academic pal of mine, who is working on a project looking at changes in the hand-knitting industry over the past few decades. She asked me about how I thought the industry had changed, and what I felt the major differences might be in establishing and running a…

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Fair Isle in Whalsay

Are you going to Shetland Wool Week this year? If so, can I strongly suggest you set aside a day in your itinerary for a trip to the wonderful island of Whalsay?. The Whalsay Heritage Centre is currently hosting an exhibition of the island’s fair isle knitting that will, I assure you, really blow your…

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Estonian Knitting I: Traditions and Techniques

Years ago, I wrote the occasional piece for Selvedge. I pitched a few ideas to them for short features which combined the history of knitted textiles with some account of how they were actually made, but was told that any sort of technical instruction was verboten “we aren’t interested in how-tos.” But why not, I…

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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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designing & publishing: part 2

Well, I sat down a couple of days ago and thought I’d write a quick post about the great new books I’d come across, all of which had been either produced completely independently, or had been commissioned from an independent designer. As I reflected on recent directions in hand-knit design, and digressed into my own…

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The Fine Art of Fair Isle Knitting

You will have heard me mention distinguished Shetland designer, Hazel Tindall, many times on this blog. I first met Hazel three years ago, when I was lucky enough to take a workshop with her during Shetland Wool Week. Over the course of the class, Hazel shared her knitterly tips and techniques, talked us through some…

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two new books

It is always lovely to be sent copies of new books – particularly when they are inspirational tomes from folk I like and admire. Here are two I’ve recently received. This is Windswept by Marie Wallin. You’ll all know Marie from being, until last year, Rowan’s creative director. While continuing to work with Rowan as…

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Shetland Textiles: 800 BC to the Present

Writing of the worn and mended Fair Isle sweater that Shetland knitter, Doris Hunter created for her fiancĂ©, Ralph Patterson, who spent four years in a Japanese POW camp during the Second World War, editor Sarah Laurenson states: “Ralph’s sweater is much more than a physical object. It is a site of personal and political…

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Of Note

I’ve been really inspired by some fantastic knitting books which have turned up here recently, so I thought I’d give them a shout-out. First up is Rachel Coopey‘s much anticipated first collection. Rachel is truly the Queen of Socks — she has a distinctive feel for pattern and structure which suits her foot-shaped canvas perfectly.…

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