Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Edinburgh Yarn Festival 2017

The weekend before last I went on another yarny adventure (my second in three weeks having been to Joeli's retreat, which is pretty good going!), this time to Edinburgh Yarn Festival. This was a real treat as I had thought that I wouldn't be able to go as my husband was going away that weekend, but his plans fell through and I got to go! I decided to post a photo an hour to Instagram for the day, so have lots of pictures to share here now. Here is my day at the Edinburgh Yarn Festival.

My day started way too early - I managed to get up even before my alarm went off at 5.50am. As I was up so early, I had time to make and drink a coffee, and wound the next skein of yarn for my Dotted Rays, just in case I finished the skein I was on (which seemed pretty unlikely as I had about 25g of that skein to go, but it's always good to be prepared).

6.10am: First coffee and yarn of the day
I had planned to get the bus to the station, hence the very early alarm call, but in the end decided to drive and park so I wasn't left hanging around waiting for a bus in the evening. This meant plenty of time to get breakfast at the station, and a bit of knitting while I waited for my train to arrive.

7.05am: At the station: coffee and breakfast
The train from Durham to Edinburgh takes a couple of hours (and is a very scenic route as it runs along the coats for large sections), which I spent in the company of knitwear designer Katya Frankel, which was lovely. I also browsed through my copy of The Simple Things magazine (I love this magazine and love to have a copy with my while I'm travelling; I am clearly their target audience - there was an advert for the knitting shop Loop in there!) and did a few more rows on my Dotted Rays.

8am: Magazine reading on the train
I arrived in Edinburgh and was greeted by my friends Lynda and Leigh (Leigh makes excellent knitting bags, you can check out her shop here) who I joined for (another) breakfast, before finally making our way to the show.

9.37am: Second breakfast
10.40am: I have arrived!
When I arrived at the Festival I was on a bit of a mission; I wanted to get two skeins of red yarn to make a scarf, two Portuguese knitting pins and some buttons for a cardigan. I had been warned by many of the people that had gone to EYF on the Friday that it was incredibly busy, that the marketplace was rammed with people, and that if I wanted to buy particular things, I would be best off heading straight for the stall and buying straight away. Taking this advice I headed straight into the marketplace when I arrived and started my search. Saturday was (fortunately) a bit less busy. There were a lot of people, but not so many that it was overwhelming, and there were lots of spaces in which you could take a break and breathe for a few seconds.

I saw a lot of beautiful red yarn: Phileas Yarns, Travel Knitter and Easy Knits all had yarns that I loved. Dye Ninja was my favourite though; there were so many beautiful, intense saturated colours on the stand. I loved all the shades of blues and greens too. Having a definite plan made browsing a lot easier; I saw a lot of things that were beautiful - everything The Wool Kitchen had for sale was so vibrant and cheerful - but having a plan meant I wasn't tempted to buy things I wasn't necessarily going to use (and I have plenty in my stash that may never be used, so don't need any more!).

1.30pm: Drooling over the Dye Ninja stall
I could only find one stall selling buttons, but it was a good one! Textile Garden had loads of tiny glass pots with a huge variety of interesting buttons. Obviously I was drawn to the novelty section... I have no idea how I resisted the octopus buttons!

Buttons = essential purchases
One brilliant thing about Edinburgh Yarn Festival is the podcast lounge: a large seating area where you can sit and knit, chat and eat (including picnics; which allows more money for yarn!). I sat in the lounge for a few hours over the course of the day, catching up with people I know well, people I've met before, people I know of through Instagram and meeting new to me knitters. Everyone was very welcoming, and it was lovely knitwear-watching as so many people were wearing amazing knitwear!

2.25pm: A little sit down and knitting time
I left the Festival around 3pm, and enjoyed a walk through the city with friends, followed by afternoon tea and a bit more knitting. I deliberately tried to take it pretty easy as I know that overdoing it when I go away for the day tends to knock me for six. Finding a peaceful cafe was very welcome after all the hustle and bustle of the festival.

3.30pm: A walk through the city
4.05pm: Afternoon tea
5.05pm: Still sitting and knitting

I caught my train home a little after 7pm, and slept pretty solidly almost all the way home!

And here are my very modest purchases: 200g red (Nanny Ogg's Bloomers, with a donation to the Alzheimer's Research UK, in memory of Terry Pratchett) merino/silk blend DK from Dye Ninja, two Portuguese knitting pins from Textile Garden and a mini skein from Easy Knits (which will be added to my sock yarn blanket). I didn't buy any buttons as I couldn't see what I wanted (cats), but have since bought some bird buttons from Textile Garden, and they are lovely.

My lovely purchases
Did you go to Edinburgh Yarn Festival? What did you buy? Will you be going next year?

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