Tag Archives: Edinyarnfest

edinyarnfest

Ah, what a weekend! Such a lovely whirlwind and I’m still recovering… I don’t have enough words (or photos) to describe it but highlights included:

1.  Setting up for and getting through my first ever show (please excuse the dodgy photos!)…

Stall

Stall with the sign that my lovely friend Ella made for me before we headed overseas

Stall

Naturally-dyed yarns to show people what they can learn in my dyeing workshops

Colourwork cowls

Colourwork cowls

Colourwork cowl

Colourwork cowl

Because of the light and my dodgy camera skills, I didn’t manage to get any good photos of the pouches that I made for knitters tool or small projects. Here are a few that I took beforehand instead!

Tool pouches made from worn-out Harris tweed jackets

Tool pouches made from worn-out Harris tweed jackets

Harris tweed pouches

Pouches made from worn-out Harris tweed jackets

2.  Meeting many, many folk of varying fibre persuasion, from newbie spinner and knitting-trip-to-Nepal-organizer to university lecturer to some of my biggest knit crushes… heavenly! But again, sorry but no photos- no time and social inhibitions! Thanks so much to all who made me feel welcome in this new home of mine- it was lovely to see the same, familiar faces over the weekend as we are getting so used to not knowing anyone in Glasgow ; )

3.  Finding myself in a room of 200+ knitters and feeling like I was part of that scene in Roald Dahl’s The Witches-  you know the one where the protagonist gets trapped with a huge roomful of witches who, once the doors are shut, all sigh with relief and pull off their wigs and give in to their inner witch nature? I’ve been around a lot of knitters in my time but this was something else!

4.  Listening to some wonderful sheep and other knit recordings, care of Felix of Knitsonik– she’s wonderful!

6.  Hearing people talk so lovingly about their products, animals, area of expertise or community. So much love in the building.

5.  Having a couple of very quick wanders around the marketplace to enjoy other stallholders wares. I especially enjoyed visiting Helene Magnusson and Susan Crawford and talking to other newbies doing it for the first time…

Helene Magnusson's beautiful colourwork mitten

Helene Magnusson’s beautiful colourwork mitten

Wonderful colourwork from Susan Crawford

Wonderful colourwork from Susan Crawford

Exquisite Stoffoli dolls

Exquisite Steiner dolls and kits from new Edinburgh maker, Stoffoli

5.  And, finally, picking out a few treasures for me! There were so many yarns that I would have loved to try, from local dyer Lilith of Old Maiden Aunt to Baaramewe’s Titus to the Finnish strong yarn Ohut Pirkkalanka…  but I have my limits! Here’s my haul:

Hebridean/ Shetland from Ripples Craft

Hebridean/ Shetland from Ripples Craft

Acadia, given to me by the very lovely TFC owner Daphne to try running through the machine

Acadia, given to me by the very lovely TFC owner Daphne to try running through the machine

Brooks Blend from my yarn crush John Arbon textiles: Polwarth, Alpaca and Zwartbles!

Brooks Blend DK from my yarn crush John Arbon textiles: Polwarth, Alpaca and Zwartbles!

And some heavenly oatmeal laceweight North Ronaldsay, from those seaweed-eating sheep!

And some heavenly oatmeal laceweight from those seaweed-eating North Ronaldsay sheep!

All in all, a brilliant, exhilarating and exhausting weekend! I can’t wait for next year. (Oh, and I’m going to be launching my little online shop next week with some cowls and pouches to follow so keep an eye out if you’re interested!

woolful, edinyarnfest and the craft sessions

I’d like to send out a massive thank you to everyone who has left a comment here- and on Instagram, Twitter and, of course, in person!- in support and encouragement of our move overseas… It has meant a huge amount to me and I’ll be carrying you all with me when we head off at the end of January. Gee, the world certainly feels like a small place with the whole SM circus, doesn’t it?!

Just a few updates: if you haven’t already twigged to the joys of Ashley Yousling’s Woolful podcast, you need to check it out. This super smart and resourceful young woman is changing the way many of us see the yarn that we knit with and the fibre craft community that we are part of by opening up fascinating conversations with fibre people; from small scale to commercial, she’s talking to those involved in producing fibre (spinners, dyers, shearers, yarn companies…) and to those who use it (designers, craftspeople, artists…). I think these conversations will continue in yarn shops, at kitchen tables, in colleges and at fibre events around the world…  A new episode is released each Tuesday and I was thrilled and very honoured to talk to Ashley as part of this week’s episode, mostly about natural dyeing and dye plants but our conversation meandered through many areas of fibre love! You can find all the eps over at Wooful. Oh, and Ashley and her family is also building a fibre mill in Idaho- I can’t wait to see what comes out of that place!

I mentioned in my last post that I am building up a stock of colourwork cowls to take with me to Scotland-  well, I’ve signed up for a booth at the Edinburgh Yarn Festival in mid-March! It’ll be my first time selling my work in this kind of setting and I’m excited and a little anxious at the same time… But, at the very least, I’m looking at it as a great chance to meet and connect with the local knitting community. So, as well as packing up the house and catching up with loved ones, I’m going to have a busy 6 weeks of making!

And, lastly, it was bittersweet teaching my very last Melbourne class at Sunspun this week. It was great to finally run Fibre and Yarn 101, which was inspired by years of questions from customers about how to choose the best yarn for a project and why some yarn substitutions just don’t seem to work. I think my students left with a clearer picture of how different natural fibres behave and why different types of processing result in very different yarns and how to anticipate and work with that. But I’m really not sure whether there’ll be much opportunity for teaching in Scotland- perhaps natural dyeing will be the way to go, as teaching knitting there feels like teaching my grandmother to suck eggs! I’ll just have to wait and see and, in the meantime, will be so happy to take lots of classes to soak up as much of the local knowledge and tradition. But I wanted to let you know that I will be returning in September to teach at the Craft Sessions. It’s such a beautiful event that I don’t want to miss it and it also gives me a chance to bring back and share techniques and skills picked up over there. And, of course, to spend time with my family and friends. So it won’t be that long between cups of tea!

So that’s all my news for now. Have a lovely weekend!