Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Edinburgh Yarn Festival 2018

My Spin City stall,  EYF 2018
Resin Drop Spindles
Mountains of hand carded batts
I had a wonderful time at Edinburgh Yarn Festival. This was my third year exhibiting at this marvellous show and there really isn't another show quite like it.
Let me set the scene. The first thing you will notice when you walk through the doors at the Edinburgh Corn Exchange, is that you are surrounded by your own tribe; you know, those over enthusiastic, geeky about their craft, lovers of fibre, textiles and all thing YARN people. I felt so at home!
Then, the second thing you will notice is that it feels like the majority of people have travelled to the show from all over the world. I personally met people from Singapore, America, Sweden, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland to name a few. This gives the show a real festival feeling and it personally gave me a lot of joy and happiness to meet other knitters and spinners from across the globe.
Then, you start to notice the bloggers, the Vloggers, the podcasters, knitwear designers, and famous yarn dyers just hanging out, chatting to people and having an apparently wonderful time. If there was such a thing as a red carpet event for yarn, Edinburgh Yarn Festival is surely it.
Nathan the Sockmatician just hanging out casually on my stall :-) 

Not forgetting the other sights of the show; the wonderful hand made creations people wore, such as fairisle sweaters, cabled cardigans and shawls in rainbow array, rows upon rows of tables stuffed with knitters and crocheters chatting, making and laughing together, vegan delicacies and cakes stacked high, photo booths and giant knitted installations- and then there was the marketplace itself.
The creme de la creme of the indie fibre supplies world were out in force, hand selected by the organisers for quality and uniqueness. Around every corner you would find booths filled to bursting with the most beautiful yarn, exciting patterns, notions and potions and festival-goers with eyeballs dilated the size of spaceships and jaws wide open. I felt privileged to be part of such an all star line-up.
My Spin City stall with fibre and equipment stacked high 

I worked hard to build up stock for the show, making a mountain of batts, resin drop spindles and dyeing miles of fibre in my classic colour ways, and adding special ones I designed just for the show too. It is always a big moment for me when I set out my stall. It's the closest thing to having my own IRL "shop"and it gives me such a thrill. I made sure to bring my spinning wheels and looms for people to try out and to teach the craft to unsuspecting newbies.
A mountain of batts for spinning or felting

Spin City Resin drop spindles 
We were busy from the moment the show opened, and I loved meeting all my lovely customers- some for the first time, some returning friends. I got to see projects people had saved up to show me, like a gorgeous little baby sweater made from a colourful batt of mine, or someone's very first effort at spinning after I taught them how last year. This might be the very best part of my job.

My beautiful mum Karen helped me on my stall. 
It was lovely to have mum (Karen) come to help me, and share a few extra days away in Edinburgh too. Mum and I spent most of our evenings after the show watching trash catch-up tv and falling asleep before nine, then trying to stifle our giggles over something random in the early morning while everyone else slept.
The show lasted for three days this year (usually the show is only on for two) and it was nicely busy with a happy buzz about the place, but never so crowded you couldn't hear yourself think. Everyone could move around easily and had the time to browse and soak up the atmosphere. It was a total joy.

at the Tartan Weaving Mill

Hattersley loom <3
After the show I had a day out around the city, visiting the Royal mile and indulging in my love of weaving looms by visiting the Tartan Weaving Mill Experience, where they house a collection of working Hattersley looms which weave traditional tartan fabric in front of your eyes, alongside a huge range of tartan goods. I might have also indulged in my love of handwoven tartan and purchased a few meters of Harris Tweed and a very fancy new purse.... but that would be telling.
We stayed in an AirBNB just outside the city centre, in an area called Bruntisfield in a lovely victorian flat with big bay windows and really high ceilings. It was a short skip away from a bustling street with boutique shops and cafes and the best veggie breakfast I have ever eaten. If you are yet to try veggie haggis for breakfast you are missing out!
I'd love to return and hope I can take part again next year.
The long road home in the van


  1. We stayed in Bruntsfield too, at a guesthouse on Hartington Gardens. There are so many places to see/shop/eat there, there just wasn't enough time.

    Loved your booth, so eye-catching even though I am not a spinner.

    1. Thanks Shay! I loved that area, and the eateries! Thanks for visiting me! :-)