There must be something in the water as you head north out of England, up into Scotland and over to Ireland. Something that encourages excellence when it comes to knitted textiles and keeping craftsmanship alive. I was aware of both Donna Wilson and Claire-Anne O'Brien well before heading off to London and hadn't planned on visiting their work but as it happens I stumbled across both and was impressed by these two outstanding designers. Scottish born Donna Wilson has won a swathe of design awards and has recently ventured into furniture including the Frank Pouffe pictured above which is knitted in Scotland from 100% lambs wool using a traditional Fairisle knitting technique. 

Another design award winner, Irish born Claire-Anne O'Brien has a serious case of the clevers with her sculptural take on knitting in the form of footstools and pouffes. The wool her skilled cottage industry of knitters uses is spun by a mill in Leeds which is one of the oldest surviving spinners in the country. What a couple of corkers these two girls are...

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