Dear Knitter,

It has been a very stormy start to 2024, with ice, snow, high winds and rain, so it seems the perfect month to bring out the next House of Feathers design – the Ruabhal Hat Set patterncard kit. This intricate textured design is a challenging project, ideal for stretching your knitting skills in the long winter evenings. When finished it is a stylish and eye-catching way of keeping warm. The Ruabhal Hat Set is a "choose your own colours" design which will look strikingly different depending on your chosen palette. I decided to make this set in Pebble Beach with contrasts of Driftwood, Spindrift and Golden Plover, inspired by the wintry Lewis shoreline. You can see Ruabhal here worn by Emma in low December sunshine caught in a brief but perfect window of weather between storms. You can find the new House of Feathers patterncard kit here.

Here are some colour palette ideas for different versions of the feathery-trimmed Ruabhal Gloves. Here the Summertide Ruabhal Gloves finish off a full St Kilda outfit of the Sulaire Spencer, Boreray Cardigan and a blue Raven Capelet.

A palette based around Red Rattle with warm-toned contrasts produces a glowing dramatic look.

A pair of Fulmar-based gloves is the perfect accessory for the bronze Raven Capelet.

Despite the challenging winter weather we managed to get out on two December photoshoots with model Emma. We photographed the Ruabhal Set at Traigh Mhòr on the eastern shoreline and we also took some old and new favourites to the Atlantic shoreline. The Lewisian Gniess cliffs are a perfect foil for the rock pool colours of the Marina Cardigan and hat set. The same cliffs also serve as a moody backdrop for an outfit comprising the Kimberley from Jade's A Collector's Item teamed with the Maud Hat Set and a Limpet-based hat from Creative Course 1.

We are, as ever, busy knitting. The Ruabhal has kept me engaged whilst Jade has been working on another Polaris. It is rarely possible to have only one project on the needles, and we are also both knitting new St Kilda designs to bring to you throughout the year. We will be back with another new  design from the House of Feathers next month,

Happy knitting,