I am just surfacing from volunteering at Edinburgh Yarn Festival 2016. What a fabulous time I had. I took quite few photos, but my camera was playing up, so my apologies for the poor quality, but you still get a great feel of the event.
I was checking people into workshops for most of my volunteer time, but on Thursday I help with the marketplace set up, and thought you might like to see some behind-the scenes-photos. I was acting as a runner essentially, and was dipping in and out of the marketplace; it was exciting to see people unpacking and all the colours of the yarn emerging.
This is the Pompom Quarterly stand unpacking:
And this is Weft Blown, with some of their beautiful weaving hanging up:
Friday was the start of the Festival proper, and I was there bright and early to check people into their workshops at the Water of Leith Centre. However I had plenty of time to explore the marketplace for real, after my sneak peek the day before.
I loved how Emma Lamb had decorated her stall and displayed her crochet, it all looked very cosy:
I love the way she puts colours together, those crochet flower garlands are exquisite.
Joe’s Toes stall was very eye-catching, they had created a felt fireplace:
They sell their own components to make your own felted slippers: great idea, and great colours.
Every time I walked past the Wollmeise yarn stall, the vivid colours made my mouth water – I seem to have a synesthetic reaction to colour. However once the marketplace opened I could barely see the yarn through the crowds of customers:
Here’s what the fuss was about:
I was chatting to Wollmeise owner, and she was saying she no longer sees the colours as everyone else does, she just sees imperfections as she strives for newer better colourways.
Lindsay Roberts did me proud displaying both my shawl designs, Gujarati Diamond and Dreaming Daisy, prominently on her stall. I headed around there regularly in case anyone needed any pattern support:
Jess at Ginger Twist kindly had my new sock design, Fair Flooer, displayed with her sock yarns on here stall. Lots of lovely bright colours on her stall including Jess and a customer – Redheads unite!!
More bright colours in abundance on the Rainbow Heirloom stall:
Which you can buy in kits in their clever colourways.
One of the new discoveries of the festival for me was the daughter of a shepherd stall. It was the first stall with a queue on Friday morning, and a lot of the people queuing were designers and other stallholders. This is all because of the story behind the stall, from Rachel Atkinson, whose Father was offered a pittance for the wool from his flock by the Wool Marketing Board, and decided to get the wool spun and sell it directly to knitters. This was the first blog post she wrote about it, read the whole story in these posts.
On Friday night there was a ceiligh:
It was a good opportunity to relax and kick up our heels:
Edinburgh Yarn Festival organiser, Mica and knitting pattern designer, Ysolda led the way:
So we were all ready to do it all again on Saturday. Time to consolidate and complete purchases, and chat to old and new friends.
Sigi, one of my fellow volunteers, proudly showed my her Style Award ribbon bestowed on her by the knitting pattern designer, Stephen West. She is wearing a Stephen West Shawl and jacket.
Alison and Laura in matching Carnaby skirts:
I was introduced to the Sockmatician, Nathan Taylor, in his beautiful shawl, one of his unpublished designs:
Although the festival was very much an international affair, I felt there was a strong emphasis on British wool. I got to chat with Louise Scollay, who does the Knit British podcast, and Isla Davison, from Brit Yarns, and Carol Christiansen, from Shetland Museum, all of them passionate about British wool and our knitting traditions, techniques and culture.
Of course, I did some shopping. I was fairly restrained.
I wanted to make a Utilitarian Sweater in Tunisian Crochet, it’s a 2 colour design, and I had just been given 2 skeins of Baa Ram Ewe Titus in the Wesley Bob colourway (red), and I was looking for a second colour. I found it on Easy Knits stall, Big Boy, in a lovely hand dyed burnt orange. I bought a crochet hook while I was there, and started the project during the festival:
I had a yearning for an unusual self-striping sock yarn, and was also keen on some of the new splashy dyed yarns, and found a lovely hand-painted Colour Scroll sock yarn on Skein Queen’s stall. This is it unrolled:
I eventually succumbed to the pull of Wollmeise and bought a vivid blue/green mermaidy sock yarn. I also bought a purple Alpaca Tweed from The Border Mill, good to support a local company, and I wanted to replace my own pair of Camellia wristwarmers, as I have worn them out by wearing them so much.
Roll on next year!! 10-11 March 2017