By Eilidh Whiteford
A passion for knitting and crafts, and a gap in the supply market at home in North Uist, led Kirsty Macleod to establish Kirkibost Craft Hub – providing not only a wide range of materials and supplies, but also a variety of workshops and tuition opportunities to help islanders get creative.
Growing up with a mum from Harris, from a long line of Harris Tweed weavers, and a grandmother from Unst, Shetland, Kirsty learnt her knitting craft early, schooled in Fair Isle patterns particularly by her granny.
“I see these two connections I have with these islands and their traditional craft skills as an opportunity to combine and create a unique brand of craft products and knitwear,” she said.
Craft supplies, gifts and knitwear are plentiful in Kirkibost Craft Hub, but Kirsty wanted more from her business and, as such, presents a series of workshops and short courses for beginners to those more experienced.
“There was a real gap in the market for a craft supplies shop in the Uists, and I saw the workshop side of things as an opportunity to tackle social isolation in the area,” she said.
“It provides a place where people can meet regularly and have a good time, but also learn a new skill at the same time.”
Short courses at Kirkibost Craft Hub include 'An Introduction to Fair Isle Knitting'; 'Knitting for Beginners'; and Craft Parties for both adults and children
to help celebrate a special occasion in style.
And each month Kirsty delivers a different weekly workshop – with, for instance, May bringing the chance to make felt bead bracelets; personalised wall hangings; fabric clutch bags, and sewing wallets.