Any visitors to the Woolmill, or even those who have only experienced it through photos on the internet, can’t help to have noticed “the Knockando Knot”. As you “Mind Yer Heid” and duck below the sluice, you’ll come across the green outside the weaving shop. Here you'll discover the Knockando Knot, a 10 foot long wooden carving depicting a knotted length of yarn. The sculpture was crafted by local sculptor, Stuart Murdoch, who created it specially and donated it to the Mill to celebrate the restoration of the site in 2013.
The Knot was carved from a single piece of local Scots Wych elm, and took several weeks to produce. On the face of the sculpture is a hand-carved excerpt from a poem called The Weaving of the Tartan by 19th century poet, Alice MacDonell. The poem was penned as a comment on the Scottish Highlanders who were shipped overseas to fight in the Crimean War, making up “the Thin Red Line”. MacDonell saw the binding of the tartan cloth the same as binding Scots to their native homeland. The word “woof” is an archaic word for weft.
The sculptor and the carving made an appearance in BBC’s Beechgrove Garden during an episode featuring the Mill in 2013.
The knot will be getting a spruce-up over the winter so keep an eye out for it in the New Year.
Alice MacDonell’s poem