With Love from Glasgow

When you read this, I am currently on a much-needed break. The past year has been a whirlwind of activity and I was startled when I realised I hadn't had any time off since Christmas 2012 (when I had the flu so I am not sure it counts). I have spent some days on Aberdeen with family and now I am making my way towards London (where I'll be at the Pompom Magazine Christmas Party - hope to see you there?) and then Denmark. Hopefully I'll return with my batteries recharged and some major decisions made. I will be knitting whilst I am away - I am currently collaborating with Quail Books on an exciting project and I'm also working with Knit Now magazine on what promises to be their best issue yet - but I am not stressing about deadlines for once. But first I am really happy to unveil a collaboration with my original partner-in-crime, Ms Old Maiden Aunt. We had so much fun running our Sherlock-inspired project in 2012 that we wanted to do something similar this year. Instead of doing a three-month long club, we decided to do a one-off kit that combined our love of Scotland, local history, and Art Nouveau. We began working on this some eight months ago  so when Lilith received the small booklets last week, I whooped.

November 2013 144The Tenement Tiles pattern is inspired by the late 19th century tiles found throughout the Victorian apartment blocks ("tenements") in Glasgow. The pattern booklet includes a small essay about the tiles and Glasgow - the story of the tenement tiles is absolutely fascinating (it involves both cholera and false teeth!) and I have also included photographs of some of the tiles in my neighbourhood.

I see these late 19th century tiles every single time I leave my home - the entry way to my tenement is tiled with deep green titles depicting stylised lilies. Lilith and I began working on how to work the tiles into a design and the obvious solution was colourwork.

The Tenement Tiles gloves come in three sizes and the kit includes an exclusive Old Maiden Aunt colourway that won't be available anywhere else. We were really passionate about trying to capture a slightly weathered green-grey and Lilith came up with a colour that just blew me away. It is the exact shade I had in my head when I first started sketching all those months.

(An addendum: Glasgow's the first place I have really felt at home and it feels so very poignant to have worked on something so quintessentially Glaswegian at a time when Glasgow has been hit by tragedy.  It feels even stranger to be writing about my beloved home when I know this blog post will be posted when I am not here. Glasgow has a reputation of a hard, tough city but it is a city of beautiful architecture, amazing art and (most importantly) an incredible community spirit. )

Many thanks to the overwhelming response to my post about appreciating hand-knitting. I have much I want to say in response to your response but first I have some travelling to do. Also, in lieu of a big gift guide for the knitters in your life, I have compiled a small Pinterest board of some good gift ideas.