Posted by: christinelaennec | March 17, 2013

A knitting (and crocheting) escapade!

Thanks to everyone for your comments about our Consulate visit.   I was kind of surprised that so many of you thought the lack of disabled access and toilets was completely unacceptable.  You’re right!  (Not that I will be writing a complaint.)  Thanks also for your good wishes about the flat-selling.  Things are happening, which is very good.

Yesterday I had a complete and very welcome break from things to do with property sales and wheelchair access.  Roobeedoo had very kindly invited me to come to the Edinburgh Yarn Festival with her, and so I had an away day.  I got to the station about 8:45 a.m.  One of the things I like about Aberdeen railway station is that there’s a mural in the waiting room that the Dafter had a hand in a few years back:

Mural in Aberdeen railway station waiting room, made by pupils at the Gaelic-Medium Unit.

Mural in Aberdeen railway station waiting room, made by pupils at the Gaelic-Medium Unit.

I know which parts of it were done by her, and it’s a wonderful thing that there’s something permanent by her and her friends that will stay in Aberdeen after we’ve left.

The train journey was great – lots of chat, coffee, and knitting, with lovely scenery gliding by.  When we got to Waverley Station, I thought I’d take a photo to show you the statues of owls that they’ve put up in the waiting room, presumably to frighten pigeons away:

Statues of owls used (I presume) to frighten pigeons away - Waverley Station waiting room, Edinburgh.  March 2013.

Statue of an owl, used (I presume) to frighten pigeons away – Waverley Station waiting room, Edinburgh. March 2013.

We took the bus up to Leith and waded through puddles to find the Drill Hall – which was completely packed!

The jam-packed Edinburgh Yarn Festival, at the Drill Hall in Leith.  March 16th 2013.

The jam-packed Edinburgh Yarn Festival, at the Drill Hall in Leith. March 16th 2013.

I did manage to go around the stalls, but there were so many people that I could hardly see a thing, and for this reason I didn’t actually buy any wool.  Roobeedoo has a much more informative post about the wares that were on offer there.  I did manage a few snaps over the sea of heads to show you.  Here are some very pretty garments at the Skein Queen stall:

Skein Queen's stall at the Edinburgh Yarn Festival, March 2013.

Skein Queen’s stall at the Edinburgh Yarn Festival, March 2013.

And Susan Crawford‘s stall had some beautiful patterns and wool.  I love the knitted cloth below the (also beautiful) gloves:

knitting_escape_5

It was great to see so much Scottish wool for sale.  In the basket in the photo above, Jamieson & Smith’s 2-ply wool is one I’ve used for a few projects and love.  I also saw a lot of wool from Rennie’s, in addition to all the amazing hand-dyed wool by independent producers.  Susan Crawford’s Excelana wool is 100% British, and spun in Devon.

I met Emily Wessel of Tin Can Knits and could just about elbow my way back enough to take a photograph of her beautiful shawls (and her poor associate who was just trying to eat lunch!):

Tin Can Knits' stall, Edinburgh Yarn Festival, March 2013.

Tin Can Knits’ stall, Edinburgh Yarn Festival, March 2013.

She and her design partner Alexa collaborate across the Atlantic via Skype!  Isn’t modern technology amazing?  They have some very lovely designs.

After queuing for quite a while to get some chocolate cake and coffee – well worth the wait – I went to a workshop run by Vala Jonisdottir.  It was on combining knitting a crochet, and I learned so much!  She taught us how to use crochet to seam two pieces of knitting, and how to do a shell edging and a picot edging onto a piece of knitting.

In my knit/crochet workshop, Edinburgh Yarn Festival.  March 2013.

In my knit/crochet workshop, Edinburgh Yarn Festival. March 2013.

I learned a better way to hold the wool for crocheting, which was good too.  My favourite thing was learning how to make a granny square.  This will not impress anyone, I know, but I was SO pleased with my little granny square!

My Granny Square!  So exciting...

My Granny Square! So exciting…

I might just keep going!

When the workshop was over it was 4:00.  The hall was much emptier and had we not had to go back for our train, there might have been time to look at the stalls again – though I doubt there could have been much left, as they must have been pretty cleaned out at that point by the earlier hordes.  However, I did manage to get a photo of the knitted yak in the entryway:

A knitted yak, Edinburgh Yarn Festival, March 2013.

A knitted yak, Edinburgh Yarn Festival, March 2013.

And so back home we went.  By the time we actually got onto the train, after a long wait because they decided to keep the platform a secret until the last minute, I was really chilled.  A cup of tea, more talk and more knitting warmed me up, however.  And today it all seems a bit like a dream – except I still have the granny square so I know it wasn’t.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to everyone!

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Responses

  1. Wow the crowds were something. I love your granny square. Those crochet techniques should come in handy I think. I assume the photo of the pink knitting was taken on your lap. I love your skirt. What a pretty pattern! Sounds like a very nice day.

  2. So glad you enjoyed your away day.

  3. I not only see a non-owl but few other eye watching above same area..
    Look like you had such a grand time – I’ve even been to anything like that I think I’d enjoy myself seeing all the choices – wonderful for you..
    Hugs

  4. Gosh, it WAS busy! Your granny square is ace! I’m not so hot on granny squares, I like working in rows making one big blanket, as I can’t face all the sewing up at the end! I bet you slept soundly last night, after all your journeying and walking around all day! xx

  5. So nice to finally meet you but I’m so sorry it was so brief, here’s hoping there’s another one next year and we can have a bit more of a chat!

  6. I am ashamed to say I didn’t notice those shawls – I thought Tin Can Knits was all about baby patterns – how lovely they are!
    It was such a fun day – I hope we can do it again nex year!

  7. Oh my! A yarn fair – we need one of those here. (Though I’m sure my husband would not agree – yarn is not cheap!) Congratulations on your granny square. I dare say that I prefer crochet to knitting because I find it easier. ❤

  8. Amazing! Yarn is obviously thriving in Scotland – well, why wouldn’t it be? In fact it looks a little too crowded for my liking. Love the pink hair of the girl in the middle of the first crowd picture. If only I had some hair . . . .

  9. I’m very impressed by your granny square and I think that knitted yak is astonishing! What a wonderful day out, although I sympathise about the platform secrecy. For a while I lived in Dunfermline and worked in Edinburgh, getting the train to work and back every day, and the platform number was often announced last minute (you might think it’d be the same one every time, but no). Incidentally, I’ve been on ships that had an owl like that stuck in the bow to scare away gulls (they can make a terrible mess of the paintwork) but I’m not sure if it really worked.

  10. I am impressed by your Granny square, since I was never able to master that technique! I think I needed someone to show me how to do it, instead of merely reading instructions and looking at photos. So glad you enjoyed the class; seems it was worth the trip in and of itself! About the owl: when my Dad was in the hospital two weeks ago, we could see from his window an owl statue on the roof of the wing across from his. I hope that one and the Scottish owl enjoy more success than the owl that once perched on our dock at the lake: the ducks paid him no heed!

  11. Oh how fun!!! It looks like a wonderful event, although it being so crowded would make it hard to enjoy (but I suppose it is good that it was crowded). My sister would have loved to have been able to go.

  12. I’ve been reading your blog for a few months now along with a few others from Scotland and find it so interesting. Its great to read about living today in the land of my Great Grandparents. The wool fair sounded like great fun and I can just imagine you on the train heading there and back with your friend. Thanks for sharing it with all of us.

  13. […] edition KristenMakes Writing from Scotland Roobeedoo Tin Can […]

  14. You got some better pics than I did! I was dismayed to see mine were all blurry – too much excitement. I’m glad you enjoyed your class – Vala is brilliant!

  15. I’m so excited that you got to go to the Edinburgh yarn fest. Did you see Ripples Crafts, by any chance? Jamieson and Smith’s wool is so lovely and I remember you telling me about Rennie’s. well done on the granny square! I have never managed to catch on to crocheting so I am quite impressed.

  16. Dear all,
    Thanks so much for your comments!

    Softie1 – yes, that is my skirt. I bought it from Boden, I didn’t make it. But I really enjoy wearing it. The lining is bright purple!

    Kristeen – yes indeed, we were being watched.

    Tina – you can bet I slept like the proverbial log. Our teacher suggested to me that if I’m going to keep going to make a blanket, I sew the ends in after every few rows, which sounds like an excellent suggestion. We’ll see! Maybe I can graduate to ripples if I can master this.

    Katherine – it was amazingly crowded but I was so glad it was such a success. Yes indeed we will meet up at another yarn event!

    Roobeedoo – Thanks so much again for inviting me. Yes, Tin Can Knits has some lovely designs.

    Stacy – I was starting to see the attraction of crochet on Saturday. Once you get the hang of it it’s very soothing. (Just like knitting, for me!) Wool is expensive, but think of the HOURS of pleasure you get from it, especially if you make as many mistakes as I do and have to go back! 🙂

    oldblack – I think there was a kind of hair undercurrent at the Yarn Festival. Perhaps it’s yet another fibre for people to experiment with! Roobeedoo went and dyed her hair purple the next day, for goodness sake.

    Lorna – yes, isn’t the platform secrecy a nuisance! Interesting about the ocean-faring own statues. I’d never thought of the mess seagulls must make on the ships.

    Ellen – gosh I had no idea that owl statues were so prolific. Thanks for your praise about the square. I couldn’t have accomplished it without expert tutoring.

    Heather – from the looks of your own knitted creations, I think you might have enjoyed it yourself!

    Ann – thanks for saying hello! I’m so glad you like my blog and that it gives you a little glimpse into the land of your ancestors. I really enjoy living here.

    Kristen – it was very exciting, I’m not surprised your photos were shaky. Yes, Vala is a great teacher. Perhaps another time I can take one of your workshops too!

    ajb – yes, I glimpsed Ripples Crafts from behind other people’s heads. Such beautiful colours! I’d say they had a successful day.

  17. Well done on the granny square. You will get a lot of enjoyment making them and such a nice way to use up smallish bits of yarn. I am envious of the yarn fair but then I am envious of anyone with access to a yarn shop.

  18. A yarn festival is a wonderful experience! I went to Olympia in London Last week to the yarn and craft show, we had a great time and came back a few pounds (£) lighter, I admire your granny square,there is a great sence of achievement on completing one. I have joined the CAL group on Rav and I have made the Feb & March squares some have turned out better than others and they are adictive. Waiting to see your blanket wraped around the Dafters knees as now you have started you wont be able to stop

    Susan

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