Once upon a time in a universe far away (actually it was here in Scotland) there was a wee knitwear business called Blackhouse Knitwear run by myself, Ceci Alderton. Between 1986 and 2001 I designed made and sold around 100,000 bobble hats which appeared in around 150 retail outlets in Britain and were exported all over the world. One was even in the movies - Peter O'Toole wore one in the movie 'Venus'. More recently, Susan Calman has worn a Nessie hat on her 'Grand Day Out' series and will be wearing a specially-designed 'Helen' hat for series 2, which will air by the end of 2021.
In the early 2000s I moved on to other challenges. Time passed. After a sabbatical working at Benmore Botanic Garden managing the shop and ticket office and as a Countryside Ranger for Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park I took early retirement in 2012 to work as a self-employed Celebrant conducting legal wedding ceremonies, funerals and child namings (more details on www.ecospirit.co.uk), have a bash at self-sufficiency, and to get back to being more creative.
I have always been up for a challenge and in the past have turned my hands to a variety of occupations. I started off studying for a B.Sc. In Environmental Sciences at UEA, Norwich, moved up to Glasgow for a post-graduate Diploma in Land Surveying, and then when suitable employment was sadly lacking worked in the computer industry for a couple of years before starting the knitwear business in 1986. Since then I have studied and practiced holistic therapies, taught belly dancing, gained a Permaculture Design Certificate, an MA in Ancient Studies (archaeology, Egyptology and Classics) from Glasgow University and latterly, a Diploma in Funeral Celebrancy. I even wound up, with my travel buddy Denise, on Channel 4’s ‘Coach Trip’ with Brendan Sheerin until I got food poisoning in Perpignan and made a swift exit before they filmed me projectile vomiting (not a good look for a funeral celebrant).
I've also resurrected my skills in crochet that I learned in childhood and began developing a range of hats, scarves, shawls and other accessories using fabulous shades of an acrylic/wool blend of yarn which combines warmth as well as being very soft to wear. The hats are made in a variety of original wacky designs and have proved to be very popular at craft fairs and in craft outlets.
By popular request, I resumed making my 100% supersoft wool bobble hats in a range of designs. There are some based on traditional fairisle patterns, a selection of picture knits based on the landscapes of Scotland, a variety of Celtic designs and a new brighter range based on Turkish carpets and other 'ethnic' patterns. All are made in my workshop in Dunoon and are double thickness for warmth. They are available through this website, through local craft fairs, and a selection of retail shops (if you would like to become a trade customer then please do contact me for details of how to open an account).
More information is available on my Facebook page