Last March I attended the Edinburgh Yarn Festival with the team from Shetland Wool Week. While I was there I texted some of my knitty pals from Shetland to say, next year I am coming back and you must come with me! So we booked flights and accommodation sometime last year and off we set on the red eye flight this past Friday morning.
We had an amazing weekend, we spent the entire day on Friday in the market place in the Corn Exchange. Unlike other shows I have been to, I could have bought something from every stand, the quality of each vendor was so high. I managed to catch up with several people I have met through the world of knitting I would now call friends; its a bit of a cliché but the world of knitting really is a bit like a big community and events such as the EYF brings these people together. Its so good to speak to people with the same interests and passions. I took my camera with me but didn’t take any photos, I think I was so busy trying to take everything in.
On Saturday morning I took a class in Faroese Shawls with the lovely Karie Westerman. We discussed Faroese shawl construction and each knitted a basic mini version. The Faroese shawl is different to other types of shawls as there is a tapering rectangle in the middle of the shawl, shaping takes place at each side of this central section and also at the shoulders. I really enjoyed the class, it was good to do something completely different and I was quite happy just to knit for a couple of hours.
We spent the rest of the day on Saturday in the marketplace and actually sat outside in the sun for a couple of hours.
I must say I was very restrained with my purchases over the weekend, I still have yarn I bought last year at the festival I haven’t used!
The yarn was from John Arbon Textiles, this year I said I wasn’t going to buy any yarn unless I had a plan for it: I hope to use the grey alpaca to make the Rheinlust shawl by Melanie Berg and to use the black merino to make a simple beret.
I splashed out on two sets of carbon circular needle sets to make hats, up until now I have been a strictly DPNs and knitting belt type of knitter, I thought the circulars would be easier when it came to portable projects. I am half way through a hat using the circular needles but am finding it very slow compared to my usual knitting style. I am also finding it easier to hold the yarn in my left hand when using circulars. I must admit I am finding it much easier now I am back to working with the DPNs at the crown. I won’t abandon it yet as I can see the advantages there sometimes are.
The two books I bought are both stunning in their own way. Buachaille, at home in the Highlands, is Kate Davies latest book, with mainly patterns for her new range of yarn. The patterns in the book are mostly accessories, meaning there are lots of possibilities for quick(ish) projects. I think Kokkelurie (a mittens pattern) is one of my most favourite patterns ever. I have the yarn so just have to get knitting (my queue is quite long now…). The book follows on from Kate’s other books in her own particular style with beautiful photos and styling making you wish you were transported to the Highlands immediately. There are also some Scottish recipes by Tom, Kate’s husband and a an essay on a Highland walk. I love how Kate manages to intertwine her designs and knitting with all aspescts of her life.
Anna Maltz‘s book, Penguin: A Knit Collection is a quirky collection of patterns ranging from mittens to jumpers, all inspired by penguins. The styling and imagery throughout the book is stunning and there is an element running through the publication. There are several projects I want to cast on right now, which is quite a rare thing, I usually find maybe one favourite pattern that I make and the rest are just nice to look at.
Now that I am home and am digesting everything from the weekend, I feel so inspired and want to start so many new projects.
Roll on next year!