Edinburgh Yarn Fest 2018
I have seen a few other blog posts about EYF with ‘Where to even start!’ as the question and I have to say, I’m the same. It has taken me over a week to sit down and write this, the first few days were definitely yarn fumes and the next few have been a head full of What Do I need to do to get there, what did I see, what did I buy, who did I meet, can I go next year … and a boot in my tail to get on with running the shop and selling more yarn ; )
I went from Wednesday to Sunday to work with Joy on The Knitting Goddess Stand on all three days (Thurs – Sat) of the show. My being on the stand was a simple thing, I was itching to go for the whole show but I wasn’t sure I’d have been able to avoid a second mortgage if I had just been shopping and knitting for three days! I mentioned to Joy when we were at Harrogate that I’d love to work on a stand at it and she said she’d be delighted for me to join her, as it’s a busy show and hey, presto, the perfect reason to go to the show!
I travelled from Derby direct to Edinburgh, which was perfect. Very uneventful except that I should probably not have forced myself to keep knitting my Sharman wrap for the entire journey! 4.5 hours of a now heavy shawl meant I was a tiny bit (massively!) stiff when I arrived.
I had no plans for Wednesday evening so when I saw a post from Marna at An Caitin Beag saying she had just unloaded but there was a lot to do I thought I’d volunteer! How could I resist – being useful and also having an early nose! Got the key to my AirBNB and it was off to the venue. I met PinsandNeedlesUK and OwlAboutYarn on the way there, they were coming from setting many other folk set up. We are all addicts!
Setting up someone else’s stand is fun, Marna is more patient than I am for sure! ; ) The venue was open to the very generous time of 8pm. During setup Marna discovered she had left some of her stitch markers sets at home, so we went to make some … My very meagre 5 sets were dwarfed by Marna’s large pile but I think they all went to good homes anyway! Home to feed the cat of the couple I was staying with. No surprise that there was no sign of the cat.
5:30am, cat located, outside, crying to come in. We have 4 cats, 5:30am is a lie in. Trixie the cat was surprised to see a stranger but I was deemed acceptable after a bowl of Go Cat was served.
The show opened for early tickets and classes at 9am, which is a great way to start a show as busy as EYF but also an early start. Joy was there and then Lisa arrived! Lisa, of erikaeckles online, is just the sweetest ever … and we share a ridiculous cat obsession!
I was marks, get set, go at 9am for the EYF exclusives and specials I’d been stalking online! First stop for my Nessie & Ginnie from Sue Stratford, then Kettle Yarn Co for two skeins of Saltire, Stephen & Penelope for 2 skeins of Uschitita, which turned into 4 skeins (the other colourway was too magnificient to leave behind!) and a Resting Knit Face badge.
I may have sprinted for these!
Back to the stand and some work! : ) Although selling Knitting Goddess yarn is hardly work! I had a stand sock in Scooby Doo and very little of it got knit, that was for sure. It is so nice to stand and talk about yarn and knitting all day, while still doing a job. Of course there is danger in that as well … a woman came by wearing the most gorgeous DK shawl and I knew that it was the DK I had to have for my next Carbeth – Black and Blue, the beautiful Welsh yarn, from MidWinter yarns. I nipped off in a quieter bit to get it. It was a good thing I did because it was so beautiful, I don’t think it lasted very long. I’ve been resisting casting on the new cardigan very hard but now that I’m sitting here writing about the yarn, I think I won’t resist much longer.
Looks at this beautiful yarn!
During day 1 I may also have added to my The Knitting Goddess stash but that was strictly business. The One Farm Yarn colours I chose will make a beautiful shop sample and really, it’s only right that I test the no-nylon sock yarn .. Not sure I need two pairs to test it but you know, just to be sure ; )
Definitely a business expense ; )
The naughtiest purchase of the first day was at Fig Tree Yarns – Imogen is the most fabulous shop owner in knitting – the kit for Andrea Mowry’s Cowl in Spin Cycle yarn. It was a gift for my favourite knitter!
I also went by the Pink Hazel stand later on … I needed one of her travel pouches to add to my collection of needle holder, how could I resist the Naughty Racoons, and of course I also needed some of her round mm markers to sew onto my other cases … ‘needed’, such a funny word.
I went to The Knit Night that night and met some lovely knitters. The food was delicious and nothing beats knitting chat, particularly seeing how other people knit and what they are making. I didn’t stay too late as I am a bit of a bed bug and I wanted to make sure Trixie the cat was alright.
Trixie the cat was fine. I managed to coax her out of the house at about 11pm and she managed to coax me out of the bed at 5:30am the following morning.
Trixie the Cat
Day 2 was what I would think of as the best type of busy when I'm doing a show. Continual but not a crush for visitors. Having shopped there last year, it was a crush. This year, when I left the stand, felt much more spacious, although busy.
There were a few little bits on the Friday. I had been promising myself some Easy Knits yarn for a while but I’m not great with really vibrant colours as I get a bit dazzled. However, I spied the most gorgeous mohair that I knew had to come home with me! I’d seen a woman earlier in the day wearing a beautiful floaty scarf which reminded me of how much I needed some (needed, there it is again). As a happy plus, Easy Knits were giving huge bags with purchases … I wouldn’t have made it home without mine! I may need to shamelessly pinch that idea for future shows!
A sort of Mohair-y, fade-y thing awaits ; )
I also bought Lyyke needles which I have wanted to try for a while as everyone is raving about them and I want to see what they are like, a possibility for the shop so a completely legitimate purchase.
Oh and my emergency purchase of a new triangle bag from Little Grey Girl ... I couldn't be on a stand without one ;)
And it has cats on ... of course!
Saturday night and I had dinner with lovely Lisa and Julie in a really nice curry restaurant – Tuk Tuk! Almost worth a trip to Edinburgh on its own. I love that about the show, finding someone to have a drink or food with is no bother at all!
Saturday was just a few little bits of last minute shopping, amongst busy times on the stand. A skein of Rusty Ferret to make Simon some gorgeous socks (so instead of a snake, he can have a ferret in his boots!) and a copy of Anna Maltz’s MarlIsle from Fluphshop.
Socks for Simon ... in a little while
I really want to knit a DK Carbeth so it had to be John Arbon Knit by Numbers in this beautiful copper yarn. And of course it was buy 10, get an 11th so I thought I should really have the 3 extra skeins for a cowl ; )
Knit by Numbers ... many numbers
And my last purchase … the impossible to resist Moel View Farm Veld Lace. No plan for it, it’s just beautiful.
It's so fluffy!
And then it was time to pack up and go! Joy is an expert at this and was very well parked! I waved her off about 6:30pm! I could have found knitters for Saturday night knits, I’m sure, but I know when I’m beat so back for a sleep. A good thing too as Sunday morning dawned with 2 inches of snow where I was staying … so instead of a lie in and the train at 1:08pm, I left in almost the clothes I slept in and got to the 9:08am : ) Happened to meet one of my show besties, Julie, for part of the trip home! Stood from Leeds to Derby as the train was crazy as everyone was getting their travelling in early but a good audio book and socks on Sockwunders made for a quick trip!
Being on The Knitting Goddess stand was ridiculous for meeting the great and the good of the knitting world… many of whom I only know from Instagram! I only made a show of myself once and that was over Karie Westermann … I do love how she went about This Thing of Paper and the finished book and the patterns and her other patterns, which may have come out a bit garbled when she stopped by the stand! ; ) I got a hug from the Countess (who was hugging many so I’m still not feeling special ; ) !) and I had to have a pic with the Holy Trinity of Male Knitters – Stephen West, Nathan Taylor & Tom of Holland. I know, I know, I am always on about the imbalance between the stardom of some male designers versus much more deserved stardom of many female designers but these three boys are very nice and good enough to stand for yet another picture so I couldn’t resist.
Their faces must have ached from smiling for pics!
I also met, when they came to the stand for some of Joy’s ‘A good fingering’ bags, Andrea Mowry’s sisters. I mention it only because they were so lovely and so delighted for Andrea at how everyone loves her designs. Nothing beats really proud siblings : )
An awesome few days with these lovelies
For anyone thinking of attending, I would say go for it. Edinburgh Yarn Festival is a beautifully curated show, there is loads of great classes and a lot of space to just enjoy the day sitting and knitting. The organisation is very precise and great care is even taken to ensure that there are outside knitting options available for those who don’t get tickets for the very popular events. Edinburgh is also a great city to visit and the Scottish are lovely friendly people. It’s the type of show you can visit either with friends or alone as finding people to sit down and chat to is not a problem. I even met a lovely woman who had flown in from Singapore and the impression I had was that she has just made some large group dinner bookings for every night and was adding people she met to the booking as she went! The most awesome idea ever.
For me, next year I’d trade the Knit Night for the Ceilidh if I can get tickets. I will apply for a stand again next year but I think it will be a little while before I’m accepted. I will be putting my back into it of course. However, if I’m not accepted, hopefully Joy will have me back on the stand : )
Now, I better get myself together and put my back into getting a stand for 2019 (well, 2020, give a girl some time!).
If you didn't make it to the show (or did), we stock a number of the yarns that were there - Skein Queen, Baa Ram Ewe, The Knitting Goddess, Olann yarns and Qing Fibres! You can find them all here.
I just wanted to write a little note as it may seem spoilt to buy so much yarn at a single show and I want to share how it came about. People who don't know us very well won't know that Simon was made redundant in February of this year. Like all people when their primary earner loses their job, we stopped all discretionary spending and budgetted out very carefully for the coming months. There wouldn't have been any money for shopping at EYF except that Simon got a new job just 4 weeks after he finished his last job (just a week before EYF). To celebrate, there was some money available for trains for Simon and yarn for me. There is a lot of yarn to be had for two model N-gauge locomotives : )
Also, part of my job, as unreal as it seems, is to try new yarns, patterns and techniques and at least half of the purchases above are yarns I'd love to have in the shop at some point but that is less relevant than the above.