Edinburgh Yarn Festival 2015

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This past weekend I visited Edinburgh Yarn Festival, which was running for the whole weekend. I got some goodies and took a few pics to share with you. Thank you very much to everyone I met who was kind enough let me take a photo to put on the blog!

There were a huge number of booths to look through and quite an overwhelming choice of yarns, patterns and other products to pick from. Also some of mine and Deann’s favourite designers were there.

I so wish I could have taken Deann with me, but of course she’s over the pond in Georgia and it wasn’t possible this year, but maybe next year….! However, I did pick her up some special gifts which I hope she will be delighted with when she gets them!

 

 

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It was a long long day on my feet! But my first stop was the wonderful booth of Susan Crawford.

Readers will know that I am a massive vintage knitting fan (I’m working on a vintage knitalong project until June at the moment).

I love all that she’s done, all her books look fabulous, her designs and yarns looked so beautiful, as does the lady herself, who kindly let me take her photo amongst all the vintage loveliness on offer.

 

Here I bought a copy of the first volume of her “Stitch in Time” series. It’s a very hefty book, filled with beautiful old patterns which have been updated and sized for modern times. So many lovely designs. Now I am wishing that I had also bought volume two, but maybe next time!

Susan signed the book for me and even gave me a project bag to carry it home in. If you’re interested in her work, her website is here, where you can also order her books. You can see all the designs from the book I bought, here on Ravelry. I already have a copy of another one of Susan’s books, Vintage Gifts to Knit, which I got for Christmas from my parents, so now I have the beginnings of a collection 🙂

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My next stop was to one of Deann’s favourites. Emily Wessel from Tin Can Knits was there. So I just had to go and meet her and get something special for Deann!

I bought a copy of Handmade in the UK, which has a lot of lovely lace patterns in it, which I know Deann will enjoy looking through, and hopefully will knit some of them (when she’s not “procraftinating” as she calls it!). Emily was very friendly and sweet and pleased to know that I was buying a gift for a friend, she even signed the book and wrote a personal dedication in the front to Deann. I didn’t get a photo as I was a bit shy to ask because the booth was pretty busy.

To see more of Tin Can Knits, which is a collaboration between Emily Wessel and Alexa Ludeman, you can visit their website here, where all their patterns and books are available to buy as well as a great blog and fabulous tutorials.

After all this excitement of meeting designers, it was time for some yarn shopping. I looked at everything! There were booths full of brightly coloured hanks of everything. But one stand in particular caught my eye, due to the beautiful earthy and natural colours of the wool, it just reminded me of things like moss and heather and peaks and valleys and all the variety of things that come out of the British landscape (and I’ve lived in so very much of it, from Suffolk to Shetland!). This one called to me.

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Above is Laura, from Laura’s Loom, and the Bluefaced Leicester wool I bought, I’ve tried to take a close up so you can see it in all its loveliness. Thank you to Laura for letting me take this photo and helping me with my wool selection! You can find out all about her work, her wool and where everything is sourced (all from Britain, mainly direct from farmers) here on her website. It’s full of information! Her main focus is weaving, but there was wool aplenty to purchase which can be knit (but of course!), and she gave me a little instruction sheet which includes care tips for the wool specifically for knitters which was great. I picked this beautiful mix of natural green and purple, I think it is going to knit up beautifully and I have in mind to design a special shawl to use this one in.

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After that I wandered around a bit more, and popped into the Jamieson’s of Shetland booth. Shetland wool is always reliable, woolly, comes in a massive range of colours, and is extremely good value!

They were selling quite a few knitting kits and one of them was for a pattern I’ve had queued and on my wish list for quite some time but hadn’t bought yet. So it was the perfect opportunity to get both pattern and yarn, plus the particular purse frame that goes with this design.

The pattern is Macaron Purse by Kyoko Nakayoshi. The colours in my kit are purpley-blue (they look a little more blue in this pic due to my camera).

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Now I had bought yarn and books for myself, but only a book for Deann, of course she deserves yarn too! So I had a look around for something that she might like, and was drawn to the Purl Alpaca booth. I was pretty sure (and she has since confirmed) that she would like some alpaca.

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There were some beautiful knitted garments to look at in this big booth and a giant wall full of patterns as well as the yarn. Deann loves hats of course and this pattern was a little different, so I got it for her, along with enough pure alpaca yarn to be able to knit it up if she wants (photo on the left). The pattern is Ophira Hat . I also got just a pattern for myself, which is Venus Coat. But not the yarn for that one yet as it is a big quantity needed!

I have a couple more buys to show you that I got with my remaining pennies 🙂 But I’ll come to those at the end! The festival wasn’t only about buying yarn, there were workshops to participate in as well, and I had booked myself a place on a crochet workshop for the afternoon. So after a little break, and a very nice chat with a fellow lefty knitter I got talking to over coffee, I went to do my workshop.

The short workshops were run in aid of the Teapot Trust, a charity which provides art therapy for children with chronic ilnesses. All profits from these workshops went to them, and the volunteers were super lovely and welcoming I have to say!

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My workshop was to make a crochet owl badge, with tutor Carol Meldrum. The pattern is from her book “30 Minute Crochet“. However I did need the full hour and a half to make mine! I’m still learning lots. Carol was absolutely fantastic, really fun, encouraging, and helpful. She was able to show me anything I needed left handed and read my lefty stitches to help me when I lost my place. So I felt right at home with all the other students. And I managed to make this little chap. He has a slightly deformed beak which is entirely my fault, but it does give him character I’m told 🙂 Also my owl was about twice the size of most other people’s as I crochet quite loosely! I think he’s the Owlfather…

And now my final couple of bits to show you! There was a lovely stall in the main concourse area from Wendy Fowler Pottery. Selling beautiful handmade pottery yarn bowls, all shapes and sizes and colours, some with lids and some without!

However, my funds were running dry at that point! But she also had some small little things for sale, including ceramic buttons and totally snag free smooth metal stitch markers.

One can never have too many stitch markers, right?! And these are SQUARE! A little different. I was happy to find them. They are very small and light and I think will be good for knitting lace.

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Now…one last thing. I think my favourite bit of the day. I had come to the festival on my own, the people I knew who were going were both attending on the Saturday and I could only make it on the Sunday. Of course Deann was with me in spirit, ha ha! And I got chatting to a few people on the way there and at the venue and in the workshop, as everyone there is interested in the same things, but of course there were a lot of people who already knew each other and chatting together in groups, with me trundling around on my ownsome! Then I met someone who genuinely made my day and made me feel a real part of everything there.

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I went to the booth that was selling Stephen West books, and I had only a little money left to spare, just enough to afford his tiniest little book, which is a funny little photo book filled with pictures and his little “words of wisdom” about knitting. So I thought I would get that as it made me smile, and it happened that Stephen was there signing books (I think I was just there at the right time). So he told me it was his “loo book” (it’s meant to go in the bathroom!) and signed mine with my name in. And I asked him for a photo, but said I’d come on my own so had nobody to take it for me, and he insisted to take a selfie of us for me with my camera. So now I have a fabulous souvenir of my day out 🙂 You can find his work, well everywhere, but here is the WestKnits site. Maybe get a little amusing book for yourself too…!