2016 Archive: Highland History and Personal Passion


On the final countdown to Loch Ness Knit Fest, we are looking at some of the amazing events guests at the festival can book and enjoy – including our exclusive presentation on the History of Tartans in the Highlands. Here presenter Clare Campbell of Prickly Thistle explains her passion for textile history and tartans and how her designs help people to connect with her Highland home.


Name: Clare Campbell
Country of residence: Scotland
Craft speciality: Tartan Design and Tartan Textiles


Q: So, Clare Campbell of  Prickly Thistle,  how did you first get involved in yarn crafts?

A: A personal passion and interest in tartan, provenance and history play a large role, but equally fascinated about the challenges the future holds for this iconic Scottish cloth.

Q: When did you realise you had a talent?

A: Market research on designs and ideas, first with family, then friends and then my wider business network, to now running a business based on the a customised experience.

Q: What is the most pleasing thing you have ever made using your craft?

A: All of my designs that I create for clients involve research into their story, this is a pleasure and privilege. For product collections, to have a blank canvas everytime and create product that is relevant to them or their clients is always exciting – now two are the same.

Q: Who or what is your crafting inspiration?

A: Human emotion, how physical items and story connects people over generations around the world.

Q: What advice would you give to beginners and improver in your craft?

A: Find your passion, to do something you enjoy you will always excel at because it matters to you at a whole different level.

Q: What do you enjoy most about being competent in your craft?

A: The clients reaction and emotional connection, creating history is amazing, all of my designs become part of the National Records of Scotland.

Q: What will knit fest guests learn if they sign up for your events?

A: A look back into tartan creations in the Highlands specifically, where we are today and what the future may hold.

Q: What are YOU most looking forward to about being a part of Loch Ness Knit Fest in Inverness?

A: Being part of a Highland craft community, the gathering of people is essential when so many live in rural locations and of course showcasing talent to global audience.

Q: And finally… Do you believe in Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster?

A: Of course, I am a Highlander……….