Category Archives: shop

spring

Without us even realising, spring has arrived! After all the preparation for Edinburgh Yarn Festival and then the joy of the actual weekend itself (more on that soon!), it feels like I’ve now stopped to look around and everything has changed… the daylight lasts two hours longer than it did a couple of months ago, we all have a spring in our step, the tiny birds are out collecting for their nests and calling at all hours and there are green shoots everywhere!

Buds

Buds

Fresh green leaves!

Fresh green leaves!

Tiny bundles of larch needles

Larix decidua: European Larch

Cercidophyllum magnficum: Katsura

Cercidophyllum magnficum: Katsura

japmaple

Acer palmatum ‘Sangu-kaku’: Coral-bark Maple

We recently moved and are lucky enough to now overlook the river Kelvin (just a ten-minute walk along the river to the Botanics!) so those shoots are whispering promises of the green cathedral that will be on our doorstep in just a few weeks… and, although we are so excited about the idea of all that green, we can’t quite believe it will actually happen! I’m wondering if that is just because we’ve only had one spring here or if it is another expression of the human capacity to forget all but the physical state we are currently in? Perhaps part of the reason that the ancients performed midwinter rituals to recall the sun back to them was because they didn’t quite believe that it would return of its own accord! We haven’t been ritualising but we certainly have been willing the sun to come… For those who’ve grown up in cold climates, te’ll me, do you begin to remember the seasons as you see years pass?

The early spring flowers are certainly nudging us to remember the colourful beauty of last year’s warmer months…

Salix sp: Willow

Salix sp: Willow

cornus

Cornus mas: Cornelian Cherry

Gold

Forsythia sp.

Narcissus pseudonarcissus: Daffodil

Narcissus pseudonarcissus: Daffodil

Flowering currant

Ribes sanguineum: Flowering Currant

We were lucky enough to head out on Good Friday with one of Scotland’s great foragers, Mark Williams, to learn about recognising and harvesting wild foods which shows that, even this early in the growing season, there is plenty of stuff out and about!

I hope you’re enjoying the swing of the seasons, wherever you live xx

shop update- Leona’s pouches

The shop has been quiet over the last couple of weeks while I worked through a number of custom orders and commissions… but I have a few beauties that I’ll be adding at 9am Glasgow time tomorrow (Tuesday November 10)!

These pouches were made from a length of beautiful vintage tweed that had been sitting in my very lovely friend Leona‘s granny’s stash for many years… Her family has recently been sorting through her belongings and, happily for me, Leona thought of me with this one. I think she thought it might be a bit too lairy for me but I actually love bright, clashy combinations, like pink and orange and green and red! And it was a lovely introduction to the traditional practice of buying pre-cut skirt lengths of tweed, complete with zip, from the local haberdashery. I’d never heard of these but, after posting about it on Instagram, a whole bunch of people chimed in with loads of stories about companies like Munrospun that paired the skirt length with a pre-knitted Fair Isle yoke and enough yarn to knit a matching jumper or cardigan (Kate Davies wrote a great post about these) and the abundance of similar pre-cut garment lengths in Australia, Japan and Thailand… I’m definitely going to be keeping my eyes peeled for these from now on!

So here they are in their beautiful, bright glory!

Leona's pouch

Leona’s pouches

Leona's pouch

Leona’s pouches

Working with what I had on hand, I paired the tweed, a tangerine, pink and eggplant check, with pale grey and charcoal zips and my natural Scottish linen and, given that my standard tweeds are much more muted, I think they play surprisingly well together!

Leona's pouch

Leona’s pouches

Leona's pouch

Leona’s pouches

Thank you so much for sharing your granny’s treasures, Leona! You are an astoundingly kind soul xx

cowl collaboration

Hello! I’m back from six weeks of travelling and all I can say this morning is phew! The last six weeks have been a whirlwind, mostly full of really wonderful stuff but also some that was challenging- I’ll share more of what I got up to as I download over the next week but I’m just so pleased to be home with Scotto… and am looking forward to a quiet late autumn and winter here, getting to know the winter face of this city, walking (and hopefully camping!) in snowy woods, making stock for some lovely spring festivals, working on a couple of knitting patterns….

But today I’m preparing for a shop update with a new cowl design inspired by conversations with Kate from A Playful Day. Kate and I met at the Edinburgh Yarn Festival and immediately connected over our love for plants and adventures in nature and the conversations that stemmed from that meeting led to the idea of creating a colourwork pattern from cow parsley, a favourite spring wildflower.

Cow Parsley

Cow Parsley

This lovely plant is part of the Apiaceae family, a large group of plants that includes many culinary and medicinal species, such as carrot, celery, parsnip, fennel, anise, lovage, parsley, coriander, caraway, centella, angelica and hogweed, as well as the deadly hemlock. The family is characterised by umbelliferous flowers- inflorescences consisting of a series of short flower stalks- and a distinctive scent from the presence of volatile oils. And a bonus- many of them are also dye plants, including cow parsley!

Cow Parsley is traditionally found as part of roadside hedgerows and is commonly seen in large swathes, such as in this inner-Edinburgh gardens:

Meadow of cow parsley, downtown Edinburgh

Meadow of cow parsley, Edinburgh

Meadow of cow parsley, downtown Edinburgh

Meadow of cow parsley, Edinburgh

But, as always, I’m always interested in what it looks like close up…

Cow Parsley

Cow Parsley

Cow Parsley

Cow Parsley

Cow Parsley

Cow Parsley

So I started looking at the form of the umbel flower and wondered how to capture both its curves and geometry, something that was not immediately easy since colourwork lends itself better to linear forms. But the little clusters of flowers enabled me to get around that by using them to create a curve and, after a series of false starts, I ended up with a umbel motif in six colourways that should evoke the Scottish landscape in all its beauty…

Cow Parsley Cowl

Cow Parsley Cowl

Cow Parsley Cowl in Straw

Cow Parsley Cowl in Straw

Cow Parsley Cowl in Willow/ Bleached White

Cow Parsley Cowl in Willow/ Bleached White

Cow Parsley Cowl in Sage Blue/ Bleached White

Cow Parsley Cowl in Sage Blue/ Bleached White

They’ll be up for sale in my shop at 8pm Glasgow time this evening but you can see a preview of them there in the meantime, in case you’re keen to look at the colours and have a think!

And you can find out more about Kate and her ace podcast covering creativity, community and a whole lot about things happening in the British knitting scene (including an interview with me as part of her month theme of Sustain) at A Playful Day. Thanks so much for the inspiration, Kate!

shop update: pouches

Hello! I hope you’re all well and life is mostly sweet… A little heads-up that I’ve just added 20 pouches to the shop, most of which are Harris tweed from a series of jackets I collected in Melbourne.

Pouches

Pouches

The incredible textures and colours found  in HT never cease to take my breath away, especially when I get in close- and, in this case, I had no choice as my main lens is broken so I had to use my macro lens- apologies for the even shallower depth of field than normal ; )

Pouch in rust Harris tweed

Pouch in rust Harris tweed

Pouch in earthy houndstooth Harris tweed

Pouch in earthy houndstooth Harris tweed

Pouch charcoal Harris tweed

Pouch charcoal Harris tweed

Pouch in teal/ rust Harris Tweed

Pouch in teal/ rust Harris Tweed

I’m also really excited to be using some beautiful, heavy linen produced locally in Fife to line my pouches! I’ll still use secondhand fabrics where I can but it’s not always easy to find the right ones and, this way, I get to support (in a very small way) the last major domestic producer of linen… and I can also avoid having to interface the tweeds, meaning that the only non-natural component is the zipper tape!

Enjoy xx