This may be a very “gushy” blog post, with multiple instances of “lovely” and “fabulous”; please forgive me, I was overwhelmed by attending the first Edinburgh Yarn Festival on Saturday.
You know how we all sit about and say ” wouldn’t it be lovely if…?” Three women, Jo, Mica and Linda, from my knitting group – Tea Tree Tea Knitters in Edinburgh, finished and fulfilled the wish, “Wouldn’t it be lovely to have a Yarn Festival in Edinburgh, and invite some of the best fibre/knitting people in Scotland and beyond to come along?” It really happened, and I was there.
It was very busy, right from the start, I heard they’d had 1500 people come through the door. As this was the first festival, we had no idea just how much interest there would be, and it was quite a risk for the organisers.
Maybe it was a little too busy? Look at the queue for the café:
For anyone who is interested in knitting/crochet spinning etc., a Yarn Festival is a pretty exciting event; but for me it was more exciting than usual as I knew the organisers, the volunteers, many of the stall holders, and other knitting friends were there too. I felt like I was included in a huge family party, and there was yarn there too!
I guess I should introduce you to the family:
Wearing her newly finished Levenwick cardigan.
Like me, she likes her bright colours, and I always find her goodies hard to resist. Here are her handspun yarns and embellishment kits:
I managed to catch Ysolda (Ravelry: ysolda) later in the afternoon, having a bit of a knit with Becca (Ravelry: bleideag); Sarah (Ravelry: saz), who works with them must have disappeared when she saw me coming with my camera.
Some of the other friends I had chats and cuppas with were Jackie (Ravelry: beshabar), who was on the yarn winding service table, and wearing a lovely soft colourway of the Betty Mouat Cowl, a shorter version of the one I made:
Jo from local crafting group Craft Reactor (she also works with me at the National Museum of Scotland) who was helping turn a cow into a sheep with donated pompoms, knitting and crochet:
and look at their cute fox and badger purses:
Susan Crawford and her husband were lovely, shame the photo I took of them didn’t come out; but here is their stall.
Susan specialises in re-writing vintage knitting patterns for modern knitters. I think she is the best designer doing this, and I really want that book on the right – A Stitch in Time, Vol 2. She has also brought out her own line of vintage inspired yarn, Excelana, which I enjoyed “squidging”. Great to meet a bit of a knitting hero of mine.
Other inspiring stalls were Old Maiden Aunt yarns:
Beautiful jewel-like colours, it was a real struggle to elbow my way into that stall.
I never really managed to get a good look at the Skein Queen stall, you can see how busy they are re-stocking here:
Afterwards, I remembered seeing a cute fox toy behind the stall, it caught my eye as I was struggling to get though a bottle-neck between two stalls. It was the Not-So-Intrepid fox, from the Intrepid Fox pattern; Debbie from Skein Queen said, “he has many adventures throughout the country, so is indeed intrepid after all!”
The other stall caught in the bottleneck was the button stall, Textile Garden, which I think is the best online button shop.
I eventually managed to get my hands on some buttons.
It was good day for people watching too. I loved this lady in her stripy hat being shown a Scottie Dog cushion on the Strathern Fleece and Fibre stall:
It was interesting to see what knitting patterns you recognised people wearing. There’s Ysolda’s Chickadee on the right, and can anyone recognise that striped shawl in the middle? – (Shawl has been identified by the owner, see comments below, Daybreak by Stephen West)
I did partake in a bit of retail therapy – it was impossible to resist:
Gorgeous glowing green 50% merino/silk 4 ply from Old Maiden Aunt, so soft and squidgy. Sophie project bag from Ysolda. An Inspired by India goodie bag of Indian fabrics and trimmings from the Border Tart:
Snake buttons from Textile Garden, and skull stitch marker from Spin Pretty:
Golden yellow yarn from YarnPony to combine with violet yarn, previously bought from the Yarn Yard, to make some colourwork socks, based on this Spilly Jane mittens pattern – Mystery and Manners.
There were many other people I enjoyed spending time with on the day, including – Laura, Alison, Kersti, Emma, Naomi, Rachel, Janet, Margaret, Laura, Louisa, Imogene, Kristen, Michele, Muriel. How lucky I am to be surrounded by such a creative and supportive community. It was a very inspiring and joyous day.