Finishing Details

There has been a bit of sampling for a new menswear design that I've been developing in fine soft wool going on in the studio recently. Finishing pieces off is always exciting and satisfying, and beautifully made tools help make it all go faster. 

Mens Luxury Wool Jumper Made in Scotland

It isn't quite ready yet, but will be launching soon. These knitted jumpers will be made to order in a range of colour ways, and we're considering adding some individual sizing options in too. 

New work coming soon....

Recently I've been working on some new ideas- so here's a sneaky peak of what I've been up to.... 

Colour trials- you can never have too many! 

Colour trials- you can never have too many! 

Testing colour ways- sometimes with very subtle differences. 

Testing colour ways- sometimes with very subtle differences. 

More sampling

More sampling

Mostly, as you can tell, I've been trying out different colour ways. It's always fun to play with colour in different combinations, and to see which ones work and which ones are less successful. I've also been making some up, but the pieces are still in the development stages.... so watch this space..... 

 
The first trial sample....  it's not perfect yet, so there's still some more development work to do, but I couldn't resist showing a little bit of it! 

The first trial sample....  it's not perfect yet, so there's still some more development work to do, but I couldn't resist showing a little bit of it! 

 

Islands Scarf Collection

Recently I’ve been developing a little range of scarves on my 12 gauge Dubied knitting machine.

 
An Iona scarf in progress, on V-bed knitting machine. 

An Iona scarf in progress, on V-bed knitting machine. 

 

They started out as scarves I played about with for Christmas presents, which I then developed a bit further after requests for more colour choices.

Details of the Staffa scarf

Details of the Staffa scarf

Iona Scarf detail

Iona Scarf detail

Inspired by trips to Iona and the vibrant colours found on the western isles of Scotland, the collection is made with fine Geelong lambswool that’s spun in Kinross, Scotland, to keep everything as local as possible. 

The exciting news is that scarves are currently on their way to the Iona Craft Shop, our very first stockists! They will be available on this website sometime soon.... 

Islands Scarf Collection. 

Islands Scarf Collection. 

2015 International Design and Make Challenge for Cambrian Mountains Wool

In January, I decided to enter the 2015 International Design and Make Challenge for Cambrian Mountains Wool, a challenge to design a product (either garments, accessories, furniture, art... anything really), made with their lovely Welsh wool, with sustainability and quality at the heart of it. I designed a crochet bomber jacket, and was selected from "an exceptionally high calibre of applications as one of the items to be made and showcased". As part of this process, I have been asked to write a bit about my making process, so here goes.... 

The Design Process and Fabric Development

All my projects start with design and fabric development. The drawing and creation of fabrics go hand-in-hand - each informs the other and this helps me develop the design idea. Then tension trials find the balance between getting a good handle and ensuring that the garment won’t pill too quickly or stretch too much. 

Next, I plan and size the garment to create the technical outline. For this jacket, I wanted to make the most of the crochet, and this meant letting it dictate the length and shaping as much as possible. 

Crocheting a Jacket

The first step in making the jacket was the crochet. I joined the crocheted motifs as I made them, so the shaping took place at the same time. The sleeves were the most complex - it was a case of trial and error, making and re-doing! I fitted and adjusted the jacket on a mannequin and myself at each stage (one of my favourite parts!).

I hand-knitted all the trims directly into the crochet to make the jacket as seamless as possible. Then the back of the zip was covered with strapping knitted on my V-bed machine, as a finer gauge was needed in order to avoid it being too bulky.

Finishing Processes for a Hand Made Jacket

After the crochet and knitting was finished and all the ends sewn in, the jacket was washed and pressed. Pressing has been crucial at each stage, for working out sizing and crochet placement, and after the wash to finish.

Lastly I put the zip in, and gave it a final press! 

This has been an exciting project for me, and a slightly daunting one as it is the first time I have created one of my own designs for Collingwood-Norris. A lot of love has gone into this, and as a result I would now like to focus on creating a small collection of high quality, environmentally friendly knitwear that is ethically made in Scotland. Surely nothing could be so luxurious! So watch this space... 

All the designs for the challenge will be exhibited at a number of locations over the next few months, and with such a huge range of ideas, they really show the wonderful possibilities of wool. I can't wait to see them all in person! 

Crochet Bomber Jacket, hand made in Scotland.