By Kate Davies
Ìle ghorm an fheòir / green grassy Islay, is a beautiful and fascinating Hebridean island, and a place with a particularly special meaning for Kate Davies.
In this stunning new collection with her own Buachaille yarn, Kate takes inspiration from Islay’s landscape to create twelve new designs.
From modern haps to traditional kilt hose; from Fairisle hoodies to cabled cardigans; from a yoke pullover to a colourful modular blanket, the designs are arranged in four “stories” each of which explores a different island locale.
With their roots in Islay’s distinctive history and culture, Kate’s designs suggest the rich breadth and depth of inspiration the island affords, from the archaeological legacy of the Lords of the Isles to the poetry and song of the Islay bards.
In addition to Kate’s patterns, this book brings together beautiful photography of Islay by Tom Barr with essays by four contributors who share their varied local expertise. Gordon Yates introduces Islay’s wildlife, Anna MacQuarrie explores the important legacy of Gaelic in the island landscape, Jane Hunter explores Islay’s geology through the intriguing medium of tweed and stitches, while Susan Campbell tells us more about the island’s handcrafts.
Open the pages of this beautiful book, join Kate on a journey to the Hebrides, and you too will be Inspired by Islay.
My name is Kate Davies. I live by Scotland’s West Highland Way where I love writing, knitting walking, and swimming in the wonderful landscapes that surround me. I find that each of these activities has a creative and a critical dimension and the best of possible worlds is one in which I productively combine them all.
Knitting is one of my greatest loves, and in 2010 (when a stroke at the age of 36 ended my academic career) I began Kate Davies Designs (KDD) creating digital patterns for hand knitters. The business lent me a platform to combine my skills in research, writing and design, and rapidly grew into a small publishing company through which I began to produce my own books. In Colours of Shetland (2012), Yokes (2014), Buachaille: At Home in The Highlands (2015), The Book of Haps (2016), Shetland Oo (2016), Inspired by Islay(2017), Happit (2017), West Highland Way (2018) Shore (2018) and Milarrochy Heids (2018) I bring my passions for historical writing and practical creativity together. Nothing makes me happier than seeing knitters all over the world enjoying my books and making and wearing my designs.