Yarn show recap: Edinbugh Yarn Festival

It’s just possible I missed myself at the Edinburgh Yarn Festival. Luckily Allison Thistlewood made the journey North. After seeing just quite what I was missing via Alli’s Instagram feed over the weekend, I asked her to share her exploits here.

One of the things that I enjoy most about working with Louise is the very genuine passion she has for the knitting and fibre community – and the creativity that thrives within it. If you haven’t gathered it yet from reading her blog, Louise is a real knitter’s Knitter. And I’m not just saying that because she asked me to guest blog for her today!

All kidding aside, what I’m getting at is that Louise is just like the rest of us knitters who are a just a wee bit crazy about our craft – especially when it comes to a yarn show. She loves the energy, the vibe, and oh! the yarn fumes from the smooshy goodness!

So this post is written with that in mind so as to help Louise (and you too, dear reader) have a taste of what #EFY2015 was really like…

EYF volunteer Becky

EYF volunteer Becky was a sight for sore eyes as knitters made their way into the Corn Exchange!

It was crazy.

Crazy good, crazy awesome. A little bit electric. There was such an incredible buzz on social media leading up to the event that the frisson of energy that weekend was quite palpable when I finally made it to the show at the Edinburgh Corn Exchange. I’m not sure how quite to describe it but think of it as the best post-summer vacation reunion when you went back to school and got caught up with all your friends you hadn’t seen in ages, combined with the most amazing yarn porn: being worn in gorgeous knits, sold by fantastic vendors, or cackled over delightedly by knitters in the rest and cafe areas as they showed off new yarn-y purchases to one another.

Knitting in Edinburgh

A little family time (and knitting!) before heading off guilt-free for a weekend of yarn-y shenanigans!

My guys decided to join me in Edinburgh for the weekend, happy to have a guy’s weekend while mummy worked. But it was chillier than I expected so I set about quickly whipping up a cowl for Mr. H while we wandered Edinburgh and just explored the city on Friday afternoon. The little guy was delighted (although I suspect more delighted to be missing a day of school than anything else), and surprised me with an early Mother’s Day present of a selfie-stick which proved to be immensely fun – and hopefully only slightly obnoxious!

Allison and Karie ham it up for a selfie

My first unsuspected selfi-stick victim (and good sport!) was Karina Westermann of Fourth Edition.

The selfie-stick also proved to be a shameless way to meet many of the amazing knitters and designers at EYF. I may have embraced my inner fangirl (and Louise’s too!) since there’s just no way to ‘be cool’ when meeting the designers and dyers and makers that inspire us as knitters.

Photo collage of 4 EYF vendors

Vendor round-up clockwise from top left: Daphne and Ian from The Fibre Company, holding up John Arbon, sharing a ‘Blue Steel’ moment with editor Kate Heppell from Knit Now, and meeting fellow bloggers Julia Hedge’s Laces and Clare Devine from Yarn & Pointy Sticks.

I’ve had the pleasure of taking a design your shawl class with Stephen West before so it was lovely to see him on Ysolda’s stand and reintroduce myself. Stephen had a gorgeous Hedgehog Fibres colour sample pack of yarns that I was sorely tempted by to make a jumper like his own but it was early on Saturday and I was determined to see more of the show before making any purchases.  I do think that I’ve convinced Stephen that he needs to get a selfie-stick of his own though!

Caught on camera with Stephen West

Caught on camera with Stephen West

And of course it was lovely to finally meet Felicity Ford of KNITSONIK in person. Louise is attending her workshop next week in London. If you fancy coming for a play with colour, there are still a couple of tickets available!

Hamming it up with Felicity Ford and a lovely Kate Davies sweater modeled by  her test knitter extraordinaire, Melanie Ireland

Hamming it up with Felicity Ford of KNITSONIK and a lovely Kate Davies sweater modeled by her test knitter extraordinaire, Melanie Ireland

Of course in and around meeting everyone, there was yarn. Including this delicious combo from Old Maiden Aunt that I thought would make the perfect Color Affection shawl (or be lovely in Foolproof too, Louise!). I may have also been strongly influenced in this direction by meeting the lovely Color Affection designer herself, Veera Valimaki:

Old Maiden Aunt's Corriedale sport weight and Veera Valimaki: Color Affection perfection!

Old Maiden Aunt’s Corriedale sport weight and Veera Valimaki: Color Affection perfection!

I found little bits of Canada too: Emily Wessel of Tin Can Knits was in attendance, along with her wonderful new range of hand-dyed yarns called Rainbow Heirloom. And I was excited to see the Yarns of Rhichard Devriez on offer from Be Inspired Fibres in Edinburgh. I’ve not had a chance to see these in person yet and they’re wonderful (and also the yarn that Louise used for her upcoming pattern release next week, Painted).

A little bit of Canada: Tin Can Knits designer Emily Wessel and the Yarns of Rhichard Devriez

A little bit of Canada: Tin Can Knits designer Emily Wessel and the Yarns of Rhichard Devriez

Speaking of yarn, I may have found a little something for Louise from indie dyer Jessica James of Ginger Twist Studios whose shop we’ve featured on the blog before…

Crowded into the Ginger Twist Studios stall with indie dyer Jessica James

Crowded into the Ginger Twist Studios stall with indie dyer Jessica James

More fabulousness from the EYF marketplace: tattoos from Tilly Flop and fibre from Tiny Owl Crafts

More fabulousness from the EYF marketplace: tattoos from Tilly Flop and fibre from Tiny Owl Crafts

And there were hijinks at the evening pub quiz and entertainment Ca-Baa-ret, hosted by Felicity Ford and Ysolda and where I captured this incriminating photo of Jo from the Shinybees blog and podcast and fellow hijink-ee Laura Jayne from Dundee, Scotland yarn shop Fluph.

Laura Jayne and Jo having a laugh at the Ca-Baa-ret

Laura Jayne and Jo having a laugh at the Ca-Baa-ret

But the piece de desistance of the weekend for me was meeting Clara Parkes of the Knitter’s Review. I’ve been enjoying her book of essays, The Yarn Whisperer, for a while now and trying to savour them and not finish the book too quickly. Happily, I had the book with me and Clara was kind enough to sign it. Squeee! Talk about a fangirl moment!

Meeting Clara Parkes: a highlight of my weekend at EYF

Meeting Clara Parkes: a highlight of my weekend at EYF

All in all, it was a fabulous weekend and I’ve come back recharged and refreshed and ready to tackle new projects (although there are more than a few WIPs that I have on the go at the moment!) – which is just one more of my favourite reasons for attending yarn shows in the first place.

Oh, and the new stash acquisitions:

New stash: patterns, a DPN sock keeper from Canada and a project bag made by Stephen West!

New stash: patterns, a DPN sock keeper from Canada and a project bag made by Stephen West!

 Thanks to Louise for letting me share the fun of EYF with all of you!


Thank you Allison! Yes, I’m very envious of your trip. It sounds like an absolute whirlwind. (And what was that about a little something from Ginger Twist Studios? Intriguing…)

About Allison Thistlewood: Allison is a transplanted Canadian and the UK sales rep for SweetGeorgia Yarns, Soak Wash, and ChiaoGoo. She also does freelance marketing and communications work, specialising in digital and social media for a number of Canadian and UK-based companies within the yarn and fibre communities. Allison is also one of the co-founders of Yarn in the City, the organisers behind The Great London Yarn Crawl and which this year is adding a Pop-Up Marketplace – to capture even more of that creative energy for this year’s participants! You can find Allison neglecting her own blog at www.champagneandqiviut.com.

 

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One thought on “Yarn show recap: Edinbugh Yarn Festival

  1. DD gave me The Yarn Whisperer for Mothering Sunday, along with a Marmalade, a bittersweet cookbook.

    At Christmas amongst other gifts from DD was Knitting Yarns: writers on knitting edited by Ann Hood, thoroughly recommend this too.

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