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Thursday, December 28, 2006

Carolina Christmas

Just like the plumber who stays so busy he cannot fix the leaky pipes in his own home, so too does the busy kiltmaker (in this case, me) rarely have time to make a kilt for himself. Well, my Christmas gift to myself this year was to make an exception and add another kilt to my wardrobe.

In this case, it is the Carolina tartan -- a tartan I have long wanted to wear, as a native of North Carolina. This tartan was designed in 1981 by Peter MacDonald, and formally accepted as the state tartan of North Carolina in 1991 (South Carolina followed suit in 2002). The Museum took a bulk order of this cloth for a pipe band last year, and I had some extra woven for myself. I've been looking at it gathering dust in my sewing room for many months now. So while visiting family over the Christmas weekend I decided to treat myself and finally make my Carolina kilt.

I'm wearing it here with a blue Tattersall shirt that my mother got my for Christmas from L. L. Bean (thanks, Mom!). I have always thought that Tattersall shirts look especially nice worn with a tartan kilt. I think the blue in this shirt really tones well with the light azure blue in the Carolina tartan. I've also paired it with some lovat blue kilt hose and a pair of brick red traditional garter ties.

I'm also sporting a new (to me) sporran. It's a reproduction of an eighteenth century style, with a real working hinged cantle. One of my regular clients was looking to weed out some excess from his wardrobe and, well... he made me an offer I couldn't refuse! It just arrived in the post yesterday, so got to debut my new kilt and sporran on the same day.

I'm also very excited about my new kilt pin. When I first got the Carolina tartan cloth, I thought it would be especially nice to have a special kilt pin reflective of the state's heritage. The dogwood is one of my favorite flowers, and is also the state flower of North Carolina. I did a search on line for dogwood pins and found the web site of Stuart Nye of Asheville, NC. This jeweler has been making hand wrought jewelery since 1933, and specializes, of all things, in dogwood designs! You can see a close up of the pin below.

What a perfect compliment for this kilt, which I plan on giving good use this upcoming Games season in North and South Carolina.


Dave Parrott (Xmarks Dirk Skene) said...

That really looks good! I remember your postings about it some time ago. I saw the digital swatch, but this is a much better idea of the real thing. BTW you mentioned the plumber and his leaks. I am a certified locksmith. ... I still need to upgrade my home locks.

Glen said...

That dogwood pin is really sharp! Finding something so well made that complements the workmanship of your kilt must be rewarding.

(Xmarks Abax)

Anonymous said...

Looks great! I'm certainly looking into one myself. Love the idea of the pin. In fact I had a similar idea for mine except with the palmetto tree and cresent moon for the SC version of it! :)
(Xmarks Allenj)

Dee (Starbkjrus from XMarks) said...

Very nice pin Matt. It looks a bit like mother of pearl in the photo. Is it actually the silver shown on his website?

Matthew Newsome, FSA Scot, GTS said...


Yup, it's all silver. Any "mother-of-pearl" looking effects are just a result of my photography. It's the same pin as on their web site, and you can order one, too!

Anonymous said...

That is the most beautiful kilt pin I have ever seen. It is the perfect match with the Carolina tartan.

Todd (Xmarks Ialtog)

tattoobradley said...

You certainly should make yourself one now and again, Matt. That is a great tartan and you wear it well. Oh, and I'm a tattooist with a BUNCH of unfinished tattoos. It just goes with the territory.

Jennifer Hudson Taylor said...

Greetings from another fellow North Carolinian. I realize this post was written a while back, but I'm hoping you can help me.

I have written a Scottish Medieval that will be out Spring 2010. Since I'm a new, unknown author, I anticipate having to do much of the marketing on my own. I'd like to create a book trailer, but I'm having trouble locating images to use. Most of the Scottish related images I've found are of kilts that did not exist in 1473, the year of the setting of my book.

Could you direct me to a source with photos/images/colored illustrations for the MacPhearson and MacKenzie Clans? I need images of a dark-headed male and an auburn female. I'd be very grateful for any assistance you could provide.

Locksmith in Las vegas said...

That is the most beautiful kilt pin I have ever seen. It is the perfect match with the Carolina tartan