a weekend at EYF

And what a weekend it was!  Having a stall at Edinburgh Yarn Fest is one of the most intense ways a yarnie can spend a weekend, but thankfully it’s also one of the most fun.

It’s taken me a while to write this post, largely because I simply needed time to process everything before  I sat down to write about it.  Plus I got back home late on Sunday evening and went straight back to the Day Job on Monday morning, so there wasn’t much time to do anything other than work and sleep.

The weekend began with a rather large group of knitters catching the train up on the Thursday morning, and I do feel for the other commuters (sorry!)  I think we were all slightly delirious with that combination of excitement and exhaustion after all months of preparation.

train treats

We rented a cute Colony House which actually managed to fit us all (that is, Helen, Amelia, Anna, and Jane).  I didn’t even get a photo – clearly I was too busy focusing on EYF itself.

I shared a stall with Helen of The Wool Kitchen, and Amelia of Woollenwords was a star at helping us out.  I heard our stall described as “a riot of colour”, and it certainly was!  There was never a dull moment.

Helen on the stall

It was something of a challenge to plan the layout of the stall using only minimal props, as everything needed to be shipped up from London.  Only two vintage suitcases for me this time!

suitcases o yarn

I loved how international EYF was: I met people from all over the UK and Ireland, people from the USA, people who had made a day trip from Germany (yep!), and the Copenhagen and Oslo yarn stashers were out in force (you can see pictures of their haul on Instagram and Ravelry).  I love the idea of my skeins of yarn travelling around the world even while I’m back in London.

By the end of day two we all started getting a bit silly; the crowds were thinning out and stallholders had a chance to wander about and chat to other stallholders.  Karie Westermann and her partner Dave came round to say goodbye but ended up staying for a while and taking part in some very fun photos.  Karie has a great pic of the four of us over on her blog post.

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Being a stallholder doesn’t allow much time to go shopping elsewhere, but I did make a couple of very special purchases.  I’ll show you those when I’ve finished unpacking.

Edinburgh in the sun

After being inside the Corn Exchange for three days, it was nice to see the sun on Edinburgh just as I was leaving.

Thank you so much to Jo and Mica for organising such a brilliant event, and for letting me be a part of it.  Thank you to everyone who came along and said hi and squished some yarn.  I loved making new friendships, and catching up with old online friends too.  There’s something very special that happens when knitters get together.

See you next year!

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travelknitter’s guide to Edinburgh

I had such a wonderful time in Edinburgh last week for my mini-holiday, and the city really is as wonderful as everyone says.  I actually spent some time peering at the lettings listings in estate agents, dreaming of renting a flat with massive ceilings, living a new life in a city that’s completely accessible on foot.  And then I remembered that I don’t want to leave London just yet, so I ditched my relocation plans.  But I’ll be back for another visit!

Of course, there was knitting.  The four-and-a-half hour train journey from London gave me a good knitting opportunity, but there was more when I arrived:

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McAree Brothers.  I’ve had fantastic service from their online store, so I thought it was only right that I visit their bricks and mortar shop.  Lots of very dependable yarns piled high, from the likes of Rowan, Sirdar etc, and a wall brimming with every type of knitting notion you could think of.  Oh, and the store was on the same street as my B&B – how handy was that?

Next knitting stop was the lovely K1 Yarns.  Actually, I went there twice; once to buy yarn, and then I went back for the Thursday night knit-in (um, and to buy more yarn!)  Sarah and the knitting regulars gave me a very warm welcome and helped me feel right at home.  (Secretly I was quite glad that Ysolda is currently travelling in the US, as I’m sure I would have been all awe-struck and shy like I was when I saw her last year in London).

The store fronts on to a very well-known street in the old town, so there were tourists streaming past, with several stopping to take photos.  Apparently a group of knitters equals a tourist spectacle!

This was the perfect place for some souvenir yarn shopping, so I snapped up some Fyberspates yarn (sock and laceweight) in K1 exclusive colourways.

Fyberspates K1 yarn

There was actually lots more to my week than knitting, but it did rain rather alot, so getting photos was tricky!  Here are a few snaps of my week wandering the streets of Edinburgh:

Scottish hardiness: don't let a spot of rain spoil your picnic!

Scottish hardiness: don't let a spot of rain spoil your picnic!

travel plans

I may not be blogging much lately, but there’s still lots of knitting going on (just slow progress) and quite a bit of travel planning going on.

edinburgh castle

Photo credit: Stuckonscotland.co.uk

Next month I’m heading up to Edinburgh for five days, and I’m incredibly excited!  I’ve never even set foot in Scotland before, so this will be a great treat.  I’m catching the train, and was considering the Caledonian Sleeper up to Scotland, as I love any excuse for a train adventure.   Unfortunately there don’t seem to be any particularly cheap deals on at the moment, so I’m doing the trip in daylight hours.  It cuts in to my trip a bit, but the scenery should be fantastic.

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My other travel planning is a bit more extensive – three of my workmates and I are fundraising for UNICEF by doing a sponsored walk to Machu Picchu (yes, the one in Peru).  This will be a massive challenge – without being disrespectful to my dear colleagues, none of us are in particularly great shape and we all seem to have more ailments than you can poke a stick at.  We have just under a year to get some sort of level of fitness, and to raise the whopping £14,000  target.  That’s kind of terrifying, but it seems a bit more manageable if I focus on the £3500 that I plan to raise myself.  There will be lots of opportunities for my blog readers to score yarn in the process, so keep an eye on my blog over the coming months.