A Shetland Colour Story – Crofthoose Hat & Fingerless Gloves

When we visited Shetland in September 2015 we both took a huge number of photos. Since then I’ve been using my photos as colour inspiration for fair isle projects. Normally, I show photos of the finished items when I’m wearing them but the series A Shetland Colour Story will explore how I use my photos to help create a colour palette for the project I want to knit.

Shetland Colour Inspiration 1

I always start by creating a collage of photos that create a sense of place, colour and bring back memories of our visit. [Read more…]

Moodboard – The Colours of Scotland

I love how intricate the beautiful fair isle motifs look and yet I’m only ever knitting with 2 colours in a row. I think the darker colours really stand out against the paler background. This is shown wonderfully well in the photograph that I used to name the Moodboard – The Colours of Scotland.

Moodboard - Colours of Scotland

I also noticed that a repeating motif on these moodboards was the agapanthus flower in several different colours. When I was a child my mum used to buy me colouring books which I coloured in and would create kaleidoscopic patterns. I always remember these when I am creating patterns on squared paper. I think it is why I enjoy playing with fair isle motifs so much.

Moodboard – A Little Breathing Space

It amazes me how different the swatches and patterns can look using the same set of pale and dark colours. In the Moodboard – A Little Breathing Space I noticed that the pale blue looked quite purple beside the camel and turquoise colours. I was thinking about this when I was choosing the images that I wanted to work from.

Moodboard - Planning a Little Breathing Space

Moodboard – Discover Life’s Pleasures

In the Moodboard – Discover Life’s Pleasures I was interested to see how the swatches would look if they only used the paler coloured Alpaca 4ply yarns. In the larger swatch I wanted see the colours in graded stripes and then used the lightest colour for knitting the fair isle motif.

Moodboard - Discover Life's Pleasure

Moodboard – Dream Catching

The Moodboard – Dream Catching inspired the swatch that became the pair of Fair Isle Alpaca Fingerless Mittens that were gifted to my sister. I always find that the more I play with and experiment with a set of colours the more ideas that I get for new swatches.

Moodboard - Dream Catching

The Fair Isle Alpaca Fingerless Mitts were really beautiful when they were finished. I love this combination of colours.

Alpaca Fair Isle Fingerless Mitts

Moodboard – Now Don’t Miss Out

With this Moodboard – Now Don’t Miss Out, I was interested in the quality of light juxtaposed against the darker colours. With the dark berries I loved how the light made them look bluer. I also loved the exploding star shapes in the thistle and the white agapanthus flowers. I explored both of these elements in these knitted swatches.

Moodboard - Now Don't Miss Out

Moodboard – Iconic Treasures

This week is all about my moodboards. These ones all used the same colours of Artesano 4ply Alpaca. I did this series of moodboards some time ago. The first Moodboard – Iconic Treasures shows the 5 pale colours and 5 dark colours of 4ply Alpaca that I used for all the samples knitted for these moodboards…

Iconic Treasures

I collect images from magazines that inspire me. Whether it is because of the beautiful details such as the intricate cutout paper sculptures in the jewellery advert. The vibrant colours of the ocean in the seascape photograph. Or the subtle pastel colours in the photograph of the beach huts and the pebble beach.

I use paint colour strips from the hardware store as I find them great for picking out the colours I want to use.

Nepeta Colour Inspiration

I thought you might be interested in seeing some of the photographs for my Nepeta Colour Inspiration. I’ve been having a lot of fun dyeing a new range of sock yarn. I recently bought some gorgeous undyed skeins of Opal sock yarn which became the new KS Hand Dyed Opal Sock Yarn range available in the Knitting Squirrel Yarn Shop. I was inspired by the purple Nepeta Six Hills Giant and beautiful blue, pink and purple hardy geraniums in full bloom and found myself mixing these beautiful colours in dye. I find the beautiful summer colours around me so inspiring.

Nepeta Colour Inspiration

I love the colours in the Nepeta skein – pinks, sky blue, silvery green and teal – and couldn’t resist winding it into a ball as soon as it was dry. This soon became the lovely Nepeta Socks[Read more…]

Art of Swatching – Winter Warmth

Art of Swatching – Winter Warmth was inspired by the cold weather outside, venturing out for walks wrapped up in scarves, mittens and cosy coats. Snug indoors in woolly sweaters, sipping hot chocolate and sitting by cosy open fires toasting our toes…

The central colour theme for Winter Warmth was the image of witch hazel in its full autumn glory. This was inspirational because there was such an amazing range of colours from reds, plum, greens, golds, russet and brown. I loved swatching with these colours in my ideas book and ended up with 4 pages of swatches and ideas for the Winter Warmth collection. The Evergreen Collection also evolved from this set of ideas pages. These colours are a pleasure to work with.

Winter Warmth Sasha Collection

One of the pleasures of creating Winter Warmth was collecting the beautiful selection of wool, silk, tweed and bamboo yarns and the gorgeous cotton fabrics and corduroys. [Read more…]

Art of Swatching – Autumn Landscape

In the Art of Swatching I thought it would be great to share some of the knitting that I used to do for Sasha dolls on Sasha Doll Style. I am starting with the Autumn Landscape Collection that was completed a few years ago.

The colours of Autumn were the inspiration for the Autumn Landscape Collection that I designed for Sasha some years ago. I love to walk on the Cavehill in the early morning with the shadowy shapes of the trees still shrouded in mist.

The autumnal colours , deep russets, taupe, shades of green and brown, natural and sparkling frost glow against the blues and stormy greys of the Autumn sky.

“Autumn time, thy scenes and shades, Are pleasing to the tasteful eye.” Autumn by John Clare

Sasha Autumn Landscape Collection

I had great pleasure gathering the materials and wools for the Autumn Landscape Collection. The colours were a joy to work with. [Read more…]

Fair Isle Fingerless Mittens Moodboard

Have you ever considered whether you are a process or product knitter?

A couple of years ago, there was a lot of discussion on knitting blogs about product versus process knitting. Product knitters are the type of people who enjoy knitting so that they can enjoy the finished object. While a process knitter enjoys the process of the knitting more than actually having the finished object.

There isn’t really a question about this for me… I am a process knitter. Yes I really love having the finished object. I love seeing it completed and all the ends sewn in, blocked and sitting neatly, ready to be worn.


But ohhhhhh… the real joy comes from starting something new. A new knitting project to sink my teeth into. You know, that moment, as you open the bag of new yarns, in lots of yummy colours, and you lay them out on the table. Your mind starts whizzing at all the different things that could be made from this. (Yep, I suspect the more sensible product knitter may actually have bought their yarn with an actual knitting pattern in mind. But that isn’t really me.) [Read more…]

Fair Isle Beanie Moodboard

There is something incredibly moreish about the gorgeous soft Shetland wool.  I have a large stash of shetland wool in both jumper weight and lace weight because it comes in such a glorious collection of colours –  just like a knitter’s paintbox. But when you collect lots of single balls of different shades of shetland wool what do you then do with them?

How about a fair isle beanie?



If you are anything like me, you always find it interesting seeing where other knitter’s get their ideas for a colour scheme. I love creating the moodboard for a project. It is a wonderful way of seeing if I like how the colours are working together. My moodboard tends to grow along with the project. [Read more…]

Which Colours Make You Feel Amazing?

It is wonderful to hand knit a garment which looks beautiful on you.  So, how do you choose colours that enhance your skin tone and look attractive? I find that it is great fun finding which colours look wonderful on you.


It is particularly important to find out which colours look best on you when you are knitting a new scarf, hat or cowl which will be worn next to your face. There is nothing more disappointing than choosing a beautiful yarn in a fabulous colour, spending many hours knitting the new accessory, sewing in the final ends, washing and blocking the new scarf, standing in front of the mirror and putting the scarf on for the first time… and instead of making you feel wonderful… something just isn’t quite right… The new scarf joins your other unworn projects and is then given away as a gift. [Read more…]