Edinburgh Yarn Festival is nearly here!

There is mounting excitement amongst knitters and spinners here in Edinburgh. We are accustomed to Festivals in Edinburgh. There is the famous International Festival in August, the International Science Festival, the Book Festival, Film Festival, Storytelling Festival and so on.. Now we have a Yarn Festival! The inaugural event of the Edinburgh Yarn Festival takes place on Saturday 16th March so let’s look at the reasons for coming.

First of all, Edinburgh is a beautiful city. I have been fortunate to call it home for more than 20 years and still enjoy being here. If you are traveling from outside Edinburgh for the Yarn Fest, there is plenty to make to trip worthwhile for a long weekend. There is the history and architecture of the Old and New Town areas, world class art galleries and museums, Edinburgh Castle, pandas at the zoo, extinct volcanoes in the very centre of the city (Castle Rock and Arthur’s Seat). It’s a little snowy today. This is the view from my office window showing a desolate Arthur’s Seat. But do not let the weather put you off coming. The forecast for the latter half of the week and weekend is for sunshine and, even today, the blue sky has been making rare appearances. Check out the forum posts in the Edinburgh Yarn Festival’s group on Ravelry for ideas for accommodation, places to eat and visit.

So what of the Yarn Festival? There will be Yarn. Lots of Yarn. At the last count, there were 35 stall holders in the Market place. Many of them are either yarn producers or yarn dyers. Many of them are also local to Scotland so this is your opportunity to come to see and feel some gorgeous yarns and meet those responsible for it. I’m particularly keen to meet the owners of The Border Mill. Based in the Scottish Borders, not only do they have a small flock of alpacas but they have purchased and installed their own processing mill so that they can process fleeces for others. They also have the cutest line drawings of alpacas on their site and a wonderfully illustrated story of the fleece processing process.

I’m also looking forward to seeing the latest yarns from Ripplescrafts, The Yarn Yard, Old Maiden Aunt, Shilasdair and YarnPony who are all independent dyers of gorgeous yarns based in Scotland.

As well as yarn, there are also other products from buttons to spinning wheels and looms. Having just finished knitting a sweater using the pattern Levenwick, I will be heading first to Textile Gardens stall for buttons.closeup of pocket details of Levenwick sweater

Many designers will also be in the Marketplace including Edinburgh-based Ysolda Teague, Jane Watling of Caleydocious and Emily Wessel of Tincanknits.

The Edinburgh Yarn Festival also features classes by some talented teachers. Places sold out within a few hours though but, if really want a place, there is a waiting list. You never know…

As a sponsor of the event, I will be there. After having made a few purchases (buttons and yarn are on my list), I shall repair to the cafe. I will have a laptop with me and a copy of the popular StitchMastery charting software. If you would like to know more about the software or would just like to play with it, please come to find me! I shall be wearing the Levenwick sweater pictured above, after having sewn on its buttons. I will also have a large Edinburgh Yarn Fest badge with my Ravelry username – FunkyOrange.  I am also in the midst of writing knitting software for mobile phones and tablets – currently iOS and Android so, if you are looking for software to help you with knitting, please come to speak with me.