Yarn, as far as the eye can see

Yup, last weekend was the Edinburgh Yarn Festival and it was awesome!

This is my first trip to the Edinburgh Yarn Festival, due to travel and/or finances in previous years. This year I could spare both the time and the money, and I’m very glad I did. It’s always a treat to see so much lovely yarn in the one place.

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I did a little research beforehand and made a rough plan. I wanted to check out a few specific dyers first, and then I was free to explore the rest of the offerings, although with the limit of the cash I had with me.

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I spent the first hour by myself, an efficient yarn buying machine, and then when I took a break for cake and caffeine, I ran into the Blasta crew. Once we were all sufficiently refreshed, Dearbhla and I hit the yarn once more. The second time around was much more fun. Partly because it was much less crowded as the day went on, and partly because these things are always so much more fun with a friend. Unfortunately for Dearbhla, I’m not the sensible friend to take yarn shopping, so I may have been partly responsible for the odd impulse buy on her part!

Overall the show was fantastic. There were plenty of indie dyers and smaller companies that stock more specialist yarn. Of course there was Dublin Dye, making their debut on the UK market.

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Also representing Ireland was some Hedgehog Fibres (apologies, I can’t remember which stall this was at).

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There was also a whole shop dedicated to Scandanavian and Nordic yarns, Midwinter Yarns, which stocked some lovely Gotland from Denmark and some yarn from Tampere, Finland that I had bought before on one of my adventures.

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There were just so many pretty things to look at!

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So what did I take home with me?

My first stop was Dye for Yarn, a German indie dyer. I have admired them from afar for a few years now. They do a lot of silk yarns and get some amazing deep, saturated colours. I picked up this lovely orange-red and a lush green called “Kiss me, I’m Irish”, which felt appropriate.

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Then it was off to Dublin Dye, to support the home team. There were so many tempting colours and smooshy yarns, but I finally settled on this yummy laceweight in Pewter and this very, very pink sock yarn.

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I also picked up some super soft fibre from Little Owl Crafts.

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My final, and non-yarn, purchase was my new best friend. (Ok, second best.) This is my new Yarn Pal. It holds your yarn and has ball bearing so it will rotate as you knit. I’ve been using it with a regular ball, but it looks like it will also be very handy for cones too.

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I could have spent much more, if I’d let myself, but I did pick up a few business cards along the way for future reference.

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All in all, it was a grand day out altogether, and I can’t wait to get to know all this lovely yarn better.

Delicious Dublin Dye

It seems lots of Irish are heading to the Edinburgh Yarn Festival, are you going Stew? I had really hoped to go, I thought it would be a fun visit but it didn’t quite work out. I hope to hear all about it and see lots of pictures :) The Dublin Dye Company are going to be there and Dearbhla of the newly-started Blasta podcast. Check out Dearbhla’s interview with Yvonne of the Dublin Dye Company as she prepared for the festival. I’ve knit a few of Yvonne’s patterns and love them. I’ve a Blackrock vest languishing on the needles at the moment and I’m dying to knit her new sock pattern Howth. I’ve spun her roving and love it too, have you tried yours yet? I haven’t actually knit with Dublin Dye Company yarn yet despite buying a few skeins. She has also collaborated with other Irish designers to create patterns for her yarn, like the brand new Concentric Collection from Playing with Fibre. If you’re going to Edinburgh Yarn Festival definitely check them out!

I’ve blocked my Hap for Harriett and it grew hugely, which is brilliant as I was disappointed by the size when I cast off. I’ve also finished the 198 yards of heaven, knit with purple alpaca I received from my Knitmas pal. It’s blocking now in the sun, I’m pleased with how it turned out and I hope the recipient likes it. I’ve two socks knit for Greg, each sock the first of a pair. If I can finish one second sock this month and one next month then I’ll still be on track for 12 pairs this year. I also want to finish them because I’m dying to knit some socks for me for a change! I really miss my commuting time for sock knitting.

I’ve also finally cast on Greg’s first jumper! More on that next time!