Thursday, 21 November 2013

Yarn : spun and set

Oh its been so long ... my apologies.  
Lots of lots happening at the Bothy. 
So much to do, and gratefully all so exciting!  
Good time will introduce you to our news.  

So first mention 'here'... we wanted to say a little more about our new range of 100% Scottish Lambswool; Lalland.  Its been such a great and inspiring process, not without its challenges. However, we eventually managed to perfect a wool that has that subtle old fashioned look, and has that knitterly feel like the wool we so fondly remember using years ago.  We'll be following this up in the New Year with a new range of cashmere colours, once all at Di Gilpin Ltd are absolutely happy with it.  

Lalland is a 100 per cent lambswool which is spun in a unique way, which finely accentuates stitch definition, with a clear Scottish provenance, inspired by the landscape and memories within.

We wanted to develop a range of yarns from the Lowlands of Scotland that is distinct from those beautiful Shetland colours and look.  We also created it to reflect the type of knitting which we are doing a lot of, the Gansey knit, where you need a little more stitch definition to reveal all of the pattern detail. “

It has a double twist which is a two-two ply, and then twisted again which gives a subtle old fashioned feel.  Very crisp while also very soft.  It’s quite distinct from most of the contemporary yarns like the Merinos and the Shetlands, so it’s like creating a new Scottish fibre.

We wanted to use the natural world to describe the colours in the range by using words that describe colour to us.

It is now available at in 10 colours: Broch, Silver Birch, Coral, Jasper, Beechnut, Amethyst, Morion, Laggan, Storm Petrel and Agate, and there are stories attached to each name (also available from our Ravelry page)       

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Storm Petrel reminds me of when of when I read a wonderful little book by Fraser Darling called the Island Years.  It describes the life of these little birds which live in an Iron Age broch on the uninhabited island of Mousa.  I had the beautiful image of where the moonlight reaches the back of the graceful Storm Petrel as it sweeps and flits through the deep night skies;  such a deep and dark green, against thick layers of rich grey.

Silver Birch is connected to the tree which is a favourite native species. When I first moved to the Isle of Skye I planted many of these trees, as well as Rowan, around my home and studio so they have had a strong presence in life.  I’ve long been influenced by the great work of the John Muir Trust and the Reforestation of Scotland movement, in preserving the beautiful Scottish landscape which is so dear.  This colour is in respect of those.

Broch is based on the memory of an old restored broch which used to sit next to my studio in the Isle of Skye, the colour being a perfect match to that ancient stonework and those  aged and weathered raw stone walls. 

When we design pieces, we are always thinking in colour so this range was designed to reflect the narrative of our new range of patterns.  We have a created a new fibre that gives us the look and feel which we are after, and so love. Among the many distinctive patterns now available for the wool, there is the Moray Star Gansey, the Seol Gansey Mittens and the Tree of Life Mittens. All available on both and Ravelry.

The wool is spun in a mill near our Bothy studio in Fife that has produced yarns for more than a century.  We are also planning to make a new range of cashmere. We are currently sampling and hope to have it ready for sale in the new year. These will be earthier colours, created to sit calmly with the stronger look of the Lalland collection.    

What do you all think ... please let us see some images of any pieces that you've knitted with this wool in the future. It would be so wonderful to see it being brought to life and to hear how you all find knitting with it. x

Wednesday, 16 October 2013


Our first range of yarns will be available early next week!

As we've briefly introduced, it will be called:
suggestions of the Scottish Lowlands,
where we are now, 
resonant with colour
... in the rich East Neuk of Fife.  
Autumn skies, deep hedgerow and layers of rolling landscape.  

Sandstone - Lalland - 100% Scottish Lambswool by Di Gilpin 2013

Di has created a unique signature twist which accentuates the definition of stitch and pattern  It's composed by twisting together two double plies of single strands; a lengthy and careful process, which connects directly to traditional craft techniques.   
Every ball is set perfectly. 

Our landscape of colour - Lalland  

 Our new range of patterns mix so fittingly with these ... 
perfect for the season, and the changes in air, and light.  

What will you be creating?

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

The lovely Bell Wether.

We’ve changed our logo a little.  Refined it.  Using instead, the original wood engraving which was created for Di by a dear friend, rather a few years ago.  Truly beautifully made.  It signifies the Bell Wether, essentially the ram that would become a trusting guide of the flock.  Insightful, and at peace.  Also it remembers the many beautiful moments Di spent on the Isle of Skye where she was at the time it was made.

hand drawn
story - intention

Some beautiful words by Eleanor Farjeon, which just seemed to pair so well with the sentiment behind the image ... a lovely thought:

It marks a continuing time where hand crafted is living ... progress,
and a generous giver of peace.  

we hope you like it 

what do you think?

Monday, 7 October 2013

A little catch up. Ideal with tea.

It’s been so so long everyone … our dearest apologies.  Such a wealth of story to catch up with.  There have been such rich developments lately too.  Its so wonderful to see the complete process through of designing and creating a new piece… the Flourishing.  So special when Autumn seems to be in flow and colour becomes richer.  Feels fitting.  So …  Di and Sheila are in Shetland for the great event that is Shetland Wool Week.  An amazing experience and atmosphere it’s sure to be. The launch of our new collection patterns are being released... imminently   Which we’re greatly excited about.  They are quite definitive pieces;  they have come to so well symbolise a focused interpretation of the journey of the creations up to the now…  ‘Designs emerging from our path’.

Some visual snippets of the recent story with Di Gilpin … 
rich with ideas and time
a pattern of colour, now in Tokyo ... more insight to come about that greatness

the baskets are brimming
rich layers of Autumn 
labelled and tucked in
perfect leave imprinted earthenware buttons 
by local ceramicist Gareth Baglow
thoughts of Correyvreckan 

turns and snug
elements drawn together
 yarn samples ... joy
forever warming star  

Please let us know what you think, 
what knitwear means to you ...

Autumn and Winter collection for 2013 : Part One - Designs emerging from our path ...

We’re soon releasing the first of three collections for Autumn and Winter 2013.  The first is put together by two mitten patterns; Tree of Life, and Seol Gansey,  a Seol scarf and tunic, and the Moray Star Gansey.  A rich and definitive story.  Di’s incorporated symbolism with trees of life, abstract cabelling and intricate needlework.  The colours at home with the moment, mixed with our early placing in Autumn, suggestions of oaks, granite, and the travelling layers of landscape, sea and cloud.  
Here is some images of how they are: 

 ... patterns for these pieces, and our new yarn ... shortly. x

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

New work

We're sampling our next collection at the moment. The designing is done, as is the first round of samples. Now we're working on testing our patterns, sampling in other shades and yarns and planning photography and styling. It's a long process but we love nothing more than designing our own collections. These pieces will be available as ready-to-wear and as DIY knitting kits and patterns. Launch is due in time for Shetland Wool Week in October, so the race is on.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

The Story

In June 2013 we visited Ralph Lauren's design teams in New York. We arrived at their studios with a suitcase full of samples, and a beautifully handmade book telling the Di Gilpin story. These are the pages, which were styled by Sarah Laurenson and skillfully designed and put together by Jenny Laird. Jenny also bound the pages in a linen-covered artists' book that is a piece of craft in itself.

A lot of the work we do involves designing and hand knitting for international fashion houses. Take a peep at some of our clients over at the Di Gilpin website.