Celebrity status for island's jerseys

Completely hand-knitted by a select group of four island ladies, to own and wear an Eriskay Jersey really is something special.
Traditionally made and sold through the Eriskay Community Shop, Co-Chomunn Eirisgeidh, the jerseys hit international headlines in 2015 when one South Uist resident, teacher Marybell MacIntyre, travelled to the Vatican in Rome to personally present Pope Francis with an Eriskay jersey knitted by herself.
And self-confessed 'jumper junkie', adventurer, author, broadcaster and Taransay 'Castaway' Ben Fogle also boasts through blogs of his 'beautiful hand-knitted jumper from Eriskay in the Outer Hebrides'.

Read more: Celebrity status for island's jerseys

New catalogue from Hebridean Books

Catalogue from Hebridean Books – sellers of secondhand Scottish, Highlands and Islands, Gaelic, Football and Sport books at reasonable prices.

Catalogue 11                        December 2015

Hebridean Books
19 Eoropie, Ness
Isle of Lewis
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: 07810 448911

Postage will be charged at second class rate       Please allow 14 days for delivery.

If you are unhappy with any book/books I will fully refund the cost of the book and pay for any postage incurred.


1.Notes on the District of Menteith for Tourists and Others by R.B. Cunningham Graham. Illustrated with pen and ink drawings by Walter Bain.H.B Originally published in 1895. This 3rd edition published in 1907. £20

Read more: New catalogue from Hebridean Books

Gaelic author holds writing workshops in island schools

WRITER Catriona Lexy Campbell is holding a series of workshops in schools across the Uists and Barra this week as part of a project aimed at boosting young people’s writing skills by bringing arts practitioners into the classroom.
Catriona, who is also an actress, poet, dramatist and Associate Artist at Theatre gu Leor, is taking part in the islands-wide Gaelic education project known as Cèaird an Sgrìobhaiche, or The Writer’s Craft.
The project, which aims to bring writers and other artists into a close working partnership with teachers and school communities, is led by Gaelic educational resources organisation Stòrlann and also involves publisher Acair, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar’s multi-media unit and Gaelic arts agency Proiseact nan Ealan.

Read more: Gaelic author holds writing workshops in island schools

Corinna plans new studio

Pick up a book from Sollas Bookbinding and you hold in your hands a complete original. 

Owner, Corinna Krause, not only binds every book herself, she also creates her own unique paper for each cover.

 "I developed my own way of making decorative papers by adapting wax paper-making to suit what I need for my covers," she reveals. The result is that no two papers are ever the same! 

Corinna describes her technique, saying: "It starts off with a plain sugar paper, to which I add layers of ink and wax.  At the end, I iron out the wax and end up with a paper that has really warm and vibrant colours.  It is sturdy and tactile at the same time - people just love the feel of it."

Corinna's work will be showcased at the Aros Centre in Portree, where she is involved in The Skye Book Festival on the 4th and 5th of September.

"I am doing two separate workshops, but they work together as a series if people want to attend both," explains Corinna.  "The first workshop will show how to make a hand-sewn notebook using a very simple sewing technique.  People will be able to leave the workshop with a memorable but simple way of creating their own books."

The second day workshop will feature the oldest form of bookbinding - coptic binding.  "The beauty of this technique is that the books lie perfectly flat, so it's a brilliant structure for artists or writers," Corinna enthuses.   Corinna's studio is based in Sollas, North Uist - from there she creates books, makes boxes and works on commissions and book repairs.  

"Over the last couple of years, I also worked on several commissions for presentation boxes for artists, which I personalise by inlaying the artist's work into the lid."   Corinna's wide range of skills means she is very much in demand - as well as selling her work, she continues to offer workshops to pass on her skills to others.  

What is Corinna's favourite aspect of her craft?  "It's exciting that, out of something that's two-dimensional, like a piece of paper, you can create an object of aesthetic beauty.  I'm really excited about teaching - people can go away with something they've made themselves that they can put to their own creative use.  That's a wonderful thing."

Does Corinna have any plans for her business?  She replies: "We are building our new family home at the moment, where I plan to have my new studio.  I hope it will be ready by next Easter.  "the Outer Hebrides has such a wonderful potential for visitors to engage in a creative holiday - there are lots of artists and craft-makers.  And, with my new studio, I can get people to engage with me and other artists."

In the meantime, you can see Corinna's work in her studio in Sollas or find it available on her website (http://www.sollasbooks.com), where you can contact Corinna for your personal one-to-one bookbinding tuition. "If you would like to explore your own creativity and learn how to design your own bespoke books, visit the Aros Centre, Isle of Skye on the 4th and 5th of September from 10am.

Top author chats with audience

Although crowds turned up to visit Alexander McCall Smith at Lochmaddy Village Hall on Friday 24 July, his warm, conversational manner gave the impression that the renowned author was speaking directly to each one as an individual, writes Roz Skinner.

"I suffer from a condition, and it's called being a serial novelist," he revealed, confidingly.  "It manifests itself in a tendency to write novel after novel." 

According to Mr McCall Smith, this started with the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency and has moved him to write many best-selling series, such as the Isabel Dalhousie novels and 44 Scotland Street - the longest running serial novel in the world! 

During his talk, Mr McCall Smith discussed various subjects close to his heart, including how to silence people!  "I've just bought a concordance on Proust," he revealed, confidingly.  "Try quoting Proust to people.  They look awkward and start shuffling their feet.  If any of you are members of a book club, you'll know there's always one person who has read more or knows more than everybody else - quoting Proust will silence them quite effectively." 

The 44 Scotland Street books usually end with a poem, and Mr McCall Smith read the closing verses from The Importance of Being Seven to the audience, by way of ending his talk. 

In a voice that was both warm and melodic, Mr McCall Smith read about love of home, warmth of friendship and happiness of heart - all of which can be found in the world of his books.