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?!


  1. What a lovely day! I watched Baby Cocktails trip on Instragram - so much fun! Oh Nessa - you have just introduced me to a new designer and I believe I'm totally smitten!! I want to knit Miss Rachel as well. I think I would knit the guanlets as the sleeves - rather than a separate accessory. so beautiful. I've long wanted to knit a fairisle cardi have enough wool in house to make 2. One is a KnitPicks kit for a lovely fully patterned cardigan with steeks (which I'm terrified of) and there other is a lot of icelandic wool in pinks and greys that a friend brough me back from Iceland. Shall we conquer this together? g

    1. It really was a lovely day. There were so many shawls too, you would have loved seeing them all.
      I really love Kate Davies blog, she writes so well and her photographs are always beautiful. I totally agree about the gauntlets being knit as sleeves! I really am not sure I am ready to try a full jumper though. I am still feeling too fat for such a figure-hugging top, so I bought her cardigan pattern called blaithin, which seems roomier and more forgiving, so I may try that one instead.
      Oooo, icelandic wool, my sister gave me some too, it's so beautiful, I bet you will do a terrific job!
      I have just cast on the free hat pattern from Shetland wool week, and have had to undo rows 4 times now! I'm still a fair isle beginner, but I do love it!

  2. How fun! It sounds like the perfect day.


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