Posted by: christinelaennec | March 20, 2015

Edinburgh Yarn Festival 2015

Golly, it’s been quite a week with us here, and I feel as if I am behind with everything!  Anyhow, nearly a week ago I had a wonderful getaway to the large town to the east of Glasgow.  I met up with Roobeedoo’s mother, who lives between here and there, and she and I travelled to meet Roobeedoo herself, who had travelled down from the depths of Aberdeenshire.  And we went to the Edinburgh Yarn Festival!  It was in the Corn Exchange this time, which is far larger than the Drill Hall where it was two years ago.  But it was still very crowded indeed.  Taking the bus out from the city centre was very amusing, as more and more women wearing beautiful hand-knitted or -crocheted things piled on.  The driver announced we had arrived at the Corn Exchange stop and out poured about two dozen fibre maniacs!

I managed to get a few photos of things to show you.  For example, don’t the colours available at Jamieson’s of Shetland just make your mouth water?

Jamieson's of Shetland stall.

Jamieson’s of Shetland stall.

I love Shetland wool and work with it quite a lot.  At least here in Scotland, it is very good value for money.

Below is something I spied at the back of Elena Costello’s stall:  a quilt that she organised at the time of the Scottish Referendum last September.  Each square was made by a different group across Scotland, and no group knew what the adjoining squares would look like.  I think the result is an amazing, and very beautiful, map of Scotland:

Embroidered map of Scotland organised by Eva ???

Knitted and embroidered map of Scotland organised by Elena Costello.

I was happy to be able to chat briefly to Lucy Hague, as I have just finished making a shawl designed by her.  I’d bought the pattern from her at the Glasgow School of Yarn last October, and was able to show her how it had come out, which was nice.  Her Celtic cable designs are something else – I will blog about that project soon.

Lucy Hague in her stall.

Lucy Hague in her stall.

This stall of hooked pieces was very attractive, and if I had had more money I would have bought a kit.  It was just as well that I didn’t, because I already have enough project materials to last me another few years!  But maybe someday…  My Grampa used to do rug hooking in his later years, and I have always loved hooked chair covers and rugs.


Hooked by Design stall.

As you can notice in the above photos, seeing what everyone was wearing was just as interesting as looking at the things in the stalls!

Roobeedoo wore “Convergent,” the test knit she recently completed, with a stunning shawl pin:

Time to knit with Roobeedoo!

Time to knit with Roobeedoo!

As we stood in the queue for coffee and cake, the woman behind us said hello – a reader of Roo’s blog.  It was funny to recognise people that one sees in magazines and online.  I was very happy to meet Katherine of Chatiryworld for more than just Hi and Bye!

We didn’t take any classes this year (I learned to crochet at EYF2013!) but just enjoyed having a look-see, chatting in turns with Roo’s mother who was conveniently stationed with the coffee and cake for much of the time, and people-watching.  You can read Roobeedoo’s post about the event here.

By mid-afternoon, our thoughts were turning towards trains home.  We took the bus back into the city centre.  It being Edinburgh on Saturday afternoon, it was pretty crowded.  We all oohed and aahed at the appearance of a tram:

It's an Edinburgh tram!

It’s an Edinburgh tram!

If you aren’t aware of the saga of the Edinburgh trams, this is not the time and place to go into it, but the fact that they are actually up and running after about 10 years of difficulties is quite something.

What did I bring home with me?  This pretty kit for a friend:

Shetland wool knitting kit.

Shetland wool knitting kit from The Knitting Gift Shop.

The Knitting Gift Shop had lots of reasonably-priced gifts for knitters.  They are based in County Durham and you can find them online here.

I was also looking for some variegated yarn to match the colours of a compact that I was given, and which needs a cover.  I found the perfect yarn at the La Maison Tricotée stall – and even got to chat a bit in French with the Québecoise owners.  I have failed to find the right light to photograph this little skein of yarn in – all the pictures I’ve taken make the colours seem very muddy, so you will just have to imagine that they are brighter and deeper than this:

Koigu yarn from La Maison Tricotée.

Koigu yarn from La Maison Tricotée.

It was a wonderful escape from the various problems I am dealing with at the moment.  My trip home was very lengthy, because part-way home (and having bid Roobeedoo’s mother farewell), we were suddenly told that the rail line was shut due to “a person being struck by a train”.  We all knew what that meant.  An African man asked me, “Is the person okay?” and I replied, “I very much doubt it.”  He hadn’t thought of the possibility that someone would intentionally jump in front of a train, but the rest of us immediately thought so (and it proved to be the case).  People were inconvenienced and having to make other plans, but I noticed that no-one was really complaining – everyone was talking about how dreadful it was that someone should feel so despairing.  After returning to Edinburgh, and taking another train to Glasgow by a different route, I was home a few hours later than planned, but very much counting my blessings, and aware that no matter how tricky certain things are at the moment, we have so very much to be thankful for.

Starting with knitting, in my case!  Well done to the organisers of EYF2015.  It was a wonderful event.

I wish you all a very good weekend, and Spring Equinox!



  1. Ah, yes, I was there too, and I did keep an eye out for you, but there were so many people and most were wearing distractingly lovely garments, too! When we went home we were also aware of the reason for the delay to some trains; sad that it comes to that for some people.

    You were very restrained in what you bought! I did a little blog post about my purchases just for a bit of fun – feel free to have a look.

    It was more about the day-trip with a friend for me, and I’m so glad we made the journey!

  2. What an amazing trip out, apart from the despair of someone of course. The stalls look truly beautiful. I bet you found it hard to restrain yourself, although these days I seem to be able to with ease I have so much craft materials to use.

  3. It was lovely to meet you and have a longer chat than last time!

  4. It sounds like you had a wonderful day except for the trip home which is saddening. It must be so nice to meet your blog friends in person. I’ve never been to a yarn show but there is one in San Diego this July I hope to attend. It looks like they’re lot of fun. I hope you have a restful weekend.

  5. I’m so pleased you had a good day out. But it’s very sad about the cause of the delayed journey home.
    I share your delight in Shetland wool. I have things I knitted in it 25 years ago, and they last incredibly well.

  6. I remember your previous post about this and I enjoyed revisiting the Edinburgh Yarn Festival with you. The colours of Jamieson’s of Shetland yarn are beautiful; mouthwatering is the word. I’m glad you had such a good day out, apart from the journey home. It is terrible for people to feel that desperate but my heart goes out to the train drivers in these situations too, it must be truly horrific for them.

    • I was thinking about the driver too. They must be trained for it because apparently it happens quite often. I was horrified when an acquaintance told me he has been going by train to Edinburgh two days a week for a year, and it has happened 3 times!

      • That’s dreadful, but from the suicide victim’s point of view I can see the attraction. It’s quick and easy, and almost certain to work first time. I don’t know how you can train to prepare for that sort of thing as a train driver but I suppose it’s a similar to the police and fire service, in that they’re aware of the possibilities of what they might have to deal with and being prepared no doubt helps when you have to face something traumatic like that.

  7. It is really very sad what happened on the way home, but the rest of your day sounded wonderful. The Jamieson’s yarn shades really do look mouth watering, and the map of Scotland is fantastic! I love that feeling of being enclosed in a fibre friendly world for a while. I’ve missed the last couple of Glasgow School of Yarns, and will miss this year’s too, but maybe Edinburgh and/or Glasgow next year 🙂 have fun with the Koigu yarn, it looks lovely, even in the ‘muddying’ light 🙂

  8. You and my sister inspire me to take up knitting. Those shawls are so pretty. I, too, have always loved hooked rug items. I think we hooked a flag rug for the 1976 bicentennial in 6th grade.

    Welcome home.

  9. Christine! I too am so glad you were able to take the trip, meet with friends, and enjoy one of your creative interests…and I too am sad about the reason for your delay in coming home…. The quilt is amazing, and I admire your courage and ability to tackle the new project you purchased 🙂 xx

  10. Thank you everyone for your comments. These events are always fun (if you like knitting), and it’s fun to share them with you.

    Fifona, thanks very much for the link – fantastic!

    Kelly I am thrilled to think you will take up knitting!

  11. Oh how fun!!! Love those beautiful cream shawls in the first picture! Such gorgeous knitting. And how nice to meet up with friends to enjoy this event. Glad the trams are working! Hope that means that all construction is gone from Princes Street. Yikes! That was a headache!

  12. This sounded like a brilliant day out though the trip home cast a shadow. I must look out for the EYF next year and give it a whirl though I might have to hide my purse from myself!

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