On a recent visit to Scotland I made a point to spend some time with the amazingly talented, knitwear designer, Di Gilpin. I first met Di on the Isle of Skye several years ago where she had a lovely, rustic cottage shop in what seemed to be the middle of nowhere with spectacular views in every direction. I had one of the most wonderful afternoons chatting with her about knitwear, trying on some of her worked up designs, sitting by the fire and sipping tea. At the time she was working with transplanted American, Eva Lambert’s Shilasdair Yarns and every single sweater was stunning not only in patterning, but overall design and coloration. I couldn’t get enough of their collection.
A few years later, I caught up with her at a new location in St. Andrews which is the quintessential Scottish college town. If you haven’t been, you must go, even if you don’t golf. St. Andrews is a magical place and if I had to do my college years over again, I would definitely squeeze in a year at St. Andrew’s University. Di’s shop there was chock full of gorgeous yarn. I found inspiration in virtually everything that I touched.
Di is now working out of a bothy on her property in Fife, Scotland and in true Di Gilpin form it is a knitter’s paradise-a symphony of color, patterning, and design within a stone and wood cottage that made me want to move right in. Her casual, warm and calm demeanor makes it so easy to feel quite at home with her despite the fact that she is a design powerhouse, but then again, that’s the nature of knitters in my opinion-a pretty approachable group as a whole and one on one.