From Croft To Couture
My knitwear design studio has its origins in a semi-ruined croft on the Isle of Skye. I had settled there in 1983 with little more than a rucksack containing a tent, wool and knitting needles!
I have worked with many Yarn companies over the years and created the Rowan Scottish Tweed, which was made at the Harris Tweed mill in Carloway, Isle of Lewis. I wrote a book of designs in this amazing yarn, 'Shorelines" with patterns focused on intarsia, colourwork and gansey knitting. The really exciting news is that with Sheila Greenwell, my right (and left) hand woman, we have worked on a new book! It is a fabulous source book for Gansey Knitters with 10 new and exciting contemporary designs in a range of yarns including our special Lalland Lambswool, Frangipani Gansey 5ply and Rowan yarns. It became available in September 2021! If you have not already done so, you can order your copy now.
Moray Star Gansey inspired design.
From those early beginnings, I have had some incredible opportunities, working with leading designers including Graeme Black, Erdos 1436, Hancock VA, Mark Fast, Topshop Unique, Cabbages & Roses and Nike. Read more about our Collaborations.
Now based at Comielaw Farm on the Balcaskie Estate we have a beautiful showroom and design studio alongside a work room for classes. We welcome groups throughout the year for trunk shows, talks and workshops and once a year host a special retreat in Andalucia, Southern Spain. We also plan a weekend away at Uist Wool in the Outer Hebrides in 2021.
With Production Manager Sheila Greenwell, we have recruited a great team of skilled home-knitters based across Scotland. There is a core specialist team, who live within a 15-mile radius, to create the one-off pieces and special commissions desired by private clients, fashion designers and the catwalk.
A single Di Gilpin garment could take us as long as two months to create, hand-knitted in the finest Lalland lambswool, inspired by our rich cultural heritage and provenance, making it among the most intricate and show-stopping pieces of couture.
For the past few years we have been working in tandem with La Fetiche, a Paris Glasgow Fashion label founded by April Crichton and Orely Forestier, to produce beautiful collections for them too.
To create original and intensely beautiful pieces of hand knit which not only protect us and tell a story, but transport us in the wearing, into a dream time inspired by the ever-changing land and seascapes of Scotland. To have the wearer feel the spirit of the wild free mountains, and islands, wherever they may be.
Creating couture crafted pieces reflecting the knowledge and tradition of Scottish hand knitting in a contemporary way using the finest cashmere and wool that Scotland can produce. Continue our dedication to the authenticity of yarn, making and design; all of the one place.
We are dedicated to making with only the finest wools and Scottish Cashmere. Each piece is made by a small team of creative and skilled knitters in Scotland under the direction of Sheila Greenwell. Teaching and development of skills and education are at the heart of the company. We make, design and produce in Scotland.
We have also created our own Wool Label...Lalland Lambswool with a local Scottish cashmere mill, they yarn is twisted and plyed to our own special recipe at Laxtons in Yorkshire. Currently we have over 30 handknitting stores in the US, Europe and Scotland who stock this amazing range. Please enquire if you would like to become a stockist!