Friday, 25 March 2016

Edinburgh Yarn Festival 2016

I am so lucky to be living in the beautiful country of Scotland.  Fresh air, wild scenery, atmospheric weather and so much History.  I just love all of it!  And within a reasonable distance is the beautiful city of Edinburgh.  This month was the Edinburgh Yarn Festival, a full weekend schedule of classes as well as a high-quality market full of beautiful stalls from all around Britain and the world.
As I had enrolled in a class I was able to arrive at 9am to wander around all the beautiful stalls in the marketplace.  But thankfully, even if you weren't enrolled in a class, you could still come along and enjoy the stalls and the fabulous hand-knits worn by all the attending public from 10am til 6pm.

The Event

Here are a few photos that I took, hopefully it gives you a flavour of the event.
wee county yarns
Lucy Hague - beautiful
Celtic Cable designs
Purl Alpaca

Stephen West
Emma Lamb

Kate Davies Designs booth
If you like the look of this festival, and would like to see more, here are a few links to other blogs about the event.  From some much better photographers too!
Julia Hedges (and a second post)

My Purchases

Here are the bits and pieces that I bought, along with links to the stall holders:

I love this Kate Davies pattern book, and especially fell in love with the hat on the cover.  The autumn colours and the curves are just perfect together.  So this was my first purchase, all the wool to make this hat.  The wool is Jamieson & Smith DK but I bought it from purlescence, as they had a gorgeous wall of wool on display.
I am planning to make another Baa-ble hat, but this time turn the sheep into Alpacas, and use undyed alpaca wool for it.  I already had some dark shades and was able to add these two lovely shades to my collection from John Arbon.
Next I met some very kind and friendly ladies in the Purl Alpaca booth, and bought this waistcoat knitting pattern called Balboa.  They had so many of the garments knitted up already so that you could try them on, which really helped in choosing a pattern.
I returned to purlescence to purchase colours for the new free pattern promoting Shetland Wool Week as designed by Ella Gordon.  It is gorgeous little croft hooses!  Can't wait to make this one.
Look at these sweet little mini balls of yarn from wee county yarns!  Think I will just have to make another hat!
A beautiful pattern from Black Bat that looks just like Lily of the Valley, my Mum's favourite flower, so I will make this as a gift for her.  You could choose any British Rare breed wool to make this in, so I chose North Ronaldsay, as it is my favourite sheep.  They live on a remote Orkney island and only eat seaweed!!!  We went there for our honeymoon and they've had a special place in my heart ever since.
I absolutely love Kate Davies Designs, and really wanted to buy the full kit for her new pattern called Miss Rachel, but I had to take myself outside and have a long hard think about it.  I finally decided that I wouldn't get it for myself at the moment, as really my skills aren't quite good enough to invest that amount of time and money into such a beautiful garment, only for it to come out anything less than perfect.  So instead I bought a small project bag, and I will use this with dreams of Miss Rachel for one day in the future.
Lastly, I bought some bits and bobs from other stalls including some needles, some wool wash, a beautiful ceramic button from Beyond Measure and some sweet sheep felted earrings from Aileen Clarke.
After my class I went back to the market stalls and chose some wool from Wollmeise so that I could make this pretty shawl called Jasminde that was given to us in class.

My Class

I took a class with Martina Behm from Strickmich to learn lace knitting skills.
We first started with chart reading and made a swatch, here is mine.

Then we started the Jasminde pattern and Martina helped a few of us with close up demonstrations as well as tips on how to undo our work when we make a mistake, because we know that we will!

Overall, I had an excellent day and would love to go again.  I was glad I went by myself so that I could look at the things that interested me the most.  I wasn't lonely either, as so many friendly ladies began conversations with me, both stall holders and fellow shoppers.  There were so many people from other countries visiting too!  Maybe you could plan a visit next year?!

Knitting Needle Roll

I was planning to attend a knitting class at the Edinburgh Yarn Festival in March this year, so I wanted to make a small knitting needle holder to take along with me, as the only instructions were to bring along needles that are bigger than the size recommended on the yarn's label.  I didn't know just how many sizes bigger, so I wanted to take a small selection.  (I will write more about the Yarn Festival in my next post)

I have this 5006 Butterick pattern in my stash so put it to good use to make a new roll for my needles.

 It also has a pocket for crochet hooks, which I can do a bit of, but I would never really need them both at the same time.  But I included it anyway, as it is a sweet addition to the roll.

You lift up the crochet pocket to get access to the knitting needles.

A friend recently showed an interest in learning to knit, after seeing my Baable hat.
Shetland Wool Week Baa-ble hat
Of course I said that I would, if she bought some needles and 4 balls of wool.  And for only the second time in my life, a person who wanted to learn something crafty from me actually went out and bought the materials!  With most people it's just talk, but this time she demonstrated true desire and commitment!  She has proved to be a very good learner and has made an amazing start to knitting, I am so proud!
And so I thought I would make her a needle holder too, as a gift.

It's a quick make, about 2 or 3 hours.  I used fabrics from my stash, all fat quarters.  I think I will also make the larger crafty bag from this pattern, at some stage.

Next post: Edinburgh Yarn Festival 2016
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