Edinburgh Part 1 – The Yarn Festival

2015-03-15 10.19.52-2I’ve wanted to go to Edinburgh for as long as I can remember and The Edinburgh Yarn Festival provided the perfect excuse to finally pay the place a visit 🙂

The first thing to mention about the yarn festival is how many ‘stars’ of the industry offered classes, there were definitely more in attendance then I’ve seen at any other yarn show.  Unfortunately, I’d missed the ones that interested me most as demand was incredibly high and most booked up very quickly.  Who can blame them too, with names like Stephen West, Ysolda Teague, Rachel Coopey, Carol Feller, Hélène Magnússon, Nancy Marchant, Veera Välimäki, Emily Wessel and Karie Westermann to name but a few.

I arrived at The Edinburgh Corn Exchange bright and early on Sunday morning to try and avoid some of the crowds, heading straight for the Baa Ram Ewe stall in order to purchase a present for a good friend.  Saturday had been such a productive day with their Titus yarn that certain shades had sold out, including the one I was after.  Undeterred, I had a great time playing with colours and trying to decide on the right colour combination for Stephen West’s Daybreak Shawl.

My plan of action when attending any yarn festival is to walk round all of the vendors once without purchasing and make a mental note of any ‘favourites’ before walking round for a second time to spend time investigating further and making any purchases.  This ‘purchase’ round can in practice, lead to a 3rd and possibly even a 4th lap of the stalls, depending on how strong the ‘pull’ of some yarn is 😉

With over 75 stalls to peruse I was a little spoilt for choice when it came to selecting goodies to bring home.

So what did I buy?

Too much as per usual including

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Well, I couldn’t resist the Edinburgh Yarn Festival cotton shopper.  You can never have too many project bags can you?

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I actually only bought the Tin Can Knits 9 Months of knitting book at the show, finding the other ones in a bargain book shop in the city.  I also purchased a couple of books on spinning and weaving in order to work on my ability in these areas.

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I was spoilt for choice with sock yarns, but was rather smitten by this hand dyed 4ply Blue Faced Leicester loveliness, from The Threshing Barn

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Hélène Magnússon’s class was the one I’d hoped to be able to attend, having missed the opportunity this time round it seemed only fair that I bought one of her beautiful knitting kits.  I opted for the Icelandic Spring Shawl in beautiful blues and greens.  The lace weight yarn is a rougher texture than we’re probably use to now and there was another softer option available, I wanted Icelandic authenticity and I’m sure it’ll soften with washing.

Scary lace weight it may be, but the pattern I’m happy to report, is knitted on 5mm’s

I did purchase a few more interesting items including more yarn, but you’ll have to wait until I’ve made the projects up.

Of course no short break is complete without taking in the sights, including Edinburgh Castle and a few of the yarn shops more on that in part 2.

Happy knitting!

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Look what My Children Bought Me

It was my birthday last week and to be honest I don’t handle them particularly well.  I’m not really sure why, I’d just sooner do the whole present thing without the pressure????

My children were on time as far as ordering me a gift (a couple of days before the unmentionable event), however the said gift only arrived today.  For me this is better, it means I have something to look forward to although my husband believes this is unacceptable (?????).

023So today I happily ripped the packaging off my gift to discover a beautiful hank of Malabrigo Sock Yarn in Ravelry Red and a beautiful book called Handmade in the UK with designs from Emily Wessel.

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Usually, I’m pretty up to date on newly published books but I had yet to see this one so it was a complete suprise.  There are 10 designs in the book all with an element of lace in the knitting and if I were to be completely honest I think I’d like to make all but one of them.

I thought you might like a little look at my favourites.

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Rosewater

Rosewater is this beautiful little, double knit hat.  Made in the round, the pattern includes 5 sizes from baby to large adult.

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Windswept Adult
Windswept child
Windswept child

Windswept is a double knit, v neck jumper with a lace panel running down the centre.  Again the pattern includes an incredible range of sizes, this time from baby to 4XL (16 sizes).  I love the use of garter stitch to make the knit look contemporary.  It’s used on the deep cuffs, the bottom bands and runs up in between the middle of the lace panel and splits to form the neck shaping.

 

Estuary
Estuary

Estuary is a gently shaped 4ply shawl/scarf with 2 lace patterns and is very like something I’ve been designing recently.

Vivid
Vivid

The last pattern in the book is Vivid and there’s no denying it’s beauty.  The instructions include yarn amounts for 1 square knitted in either 4ply, dk or aran weight meaning you can use your favourite yarn.  All day I’ve been jumping from this to my final pattern and back.  Obviously, though I shall have to begin with Winding Way as I have the perfect yarn already, don’t I?

Winding Way
Winding Way

Happy knitting!