Last year I went to Edinburgh yarn festival for the first time. It was an awesome event to see to knitters, adore knitwear, see people’s interpretations and just get inspired by the lovely stores and wares on show.
The thing that I was missing last year was actually exploring Edinburgh a bit as well, so this year, Katja and I made it a holiday. We attended a class each on Thursday, had Friday to explore, did another class Saturday and then had a bit of Sunday to mill about.
Overall the event was well organised and as much as I did see 200 knitters queue outside in the early morning by 11:30 at the latest everyone was in.
This year saw the addition of another tent with 500 seats. This was an amazing idea as it led to mingling and we got to meet knitters from Bangalore, Philadelphia, Georgia and Norway to name but a few. I love how international this event is and am really grateful for all the nice people I have met.
Selection wise, we felt it was a bit less varied this year or maybe I just know more yarns now. Last year I felt like I found some gems such as Uist and Daughter of a shepherd, but I did not find any hidden gems such as single origin type yarns that I did not know about already. There was a lot of super wash merino and speckles on show. Which don’t get me wrong were looking beautiful and enticing. I think we wanted a few more gambles of less commercial yarns maybe. And more fibre choice as well.
But nevertheless we shopped, learned, mingled, knitted and had a lot of fun.
Our first day started with doors at 9am and I made a beeline for Daughter of a shepherd and collected her awesome new book called Beginnings. I then do not remember in what order things happened but I attended a beginners drop spindle class which I thoroughly enjoyed. We were ten people and most of us had never spun before and by the end of the three hours we all had some plied yarn! How cool is that!? The teacher was lovely and answered all my questions and clarifications.
Of course this meant that I now needed to hunt down a drop spindle and some extra fibre to spin. I found the fibre at John Arbon’s stand and the spindle at the Threshing barn.
Other purchases included some lovely socks from Baa Ram Ewe and yarn from Rauwerk, and from Ysolda’s stand. I also collected the Traverse collection from Myak.
Thanks to the lovely lady living in Surrey I met during my class, as she made me feel really welcome in the knitting community and I liked how she said she suddenly felt super normal being the one with the knitting among a sea of knitters which stuck with me.
The next day we took it easy and then had a tour booked at The Real Mary Close. I can highly recommend this tour. We followed it with food from Devil’s Advocate and as the weather started to turn cold, we took pictures of the castle and meandered our way between Galleries, coffee shops and cathedrals. It was a lovely if very cold day.
We spent the evening practicing spinning and I got a much improved yarn already. yay!
Saturday was our final festival day. We decided to head over to the venue at lunch and have something to eat there, make any last minute purchases and then head to our afternoon classes. I had chosen Pattern Writing skills with Kate Atherley. I loved her teaching style and she is so knowledgeable it is amazing. Again all my questions were considered and answered and I got a lot from the class. Definitely some things to think about and consider.
“Life is too short for bad instructions”
A couple of unrelated highlights were meeting the lady with the traveling scarf and knitting a small section on it as well as running into 2 lovely knitters from Atlanta at dinner and chatting about life while eating Chinese food.
It was a pretty great wrap up to our yarn experience. Purchases included a Wollmeise skein of yarn at 300g for 1700 yards this was an amazing find and I got yarn to hypothetically make this design by Ysolda.
If you can make it to this event I highly recommend it, but make sure to take snacks, water and some knitting of course and wear all your knits! You will make amazing friends and will feel so normal in a sea of knitters. I am sure you will feel like you found your wooly tribe! 🙂