Edinburgh Yarn Fest Highlights!

As a part of my recent vacation with my super duper husband, we attended the Edinburgh Yarn Fest!
First, I want to say that this is a lovely event. There was a great mix of natural dyers, traditional wools, and colourful indie lines. it was awesome to get to actually squish some yarns that I usually only get to drool over on Instagram –  Qing, La Bien Amie, Garn Stories, & the Undercover Otter to name a few – and it was even more fun to discover some new names and meet new faces!
So here is my haul in all of it’s squirshy glory:
Now I am going to be totally honest because knitting tourism is super fun and seeing other peeps post about a trip here or there can cause a wee bit of fibre envy and I want you all to have a good idea of whether this might be the yarn pilgrimage for you! Here are my bridge notes:
  • It took me all of 2 hours to see the entire festival marketplace, and that included being a good yarn shop owner and talking with many of the dyers.
  • Over 80% of the booths were 10′ x 10′ single booth size – this included La Bien Amie – which really surprised me!
  • It had a stunning selection of hyper-local dyers and naturally dyed yarns. This is not always my jam but I do appreciate the beauty of each.
  • There were two larger on-site stores (which were way bigger than the booths) and they offered a very lovely and traditional selection of yarns, such as Blacker Yarns and Ysolda, that had a more modern take using traditional materials.
  • You need to line up super early at the door if you do not pre-purchase tickets (we showed up one hour early on the Saturday and were probably 20th in line, but the weather was poor and I would recommend lining up earlier if the weather is nice).
  • Be prepared for sticker shock because the Canadian dollar can be crumb during a visit to the UK so a 23 GBP priced skein is really a $41 CAD skein! Not that it stopped me in any way – I bought a monolithic 200g, hand dyed gradient with 840 metres of fingering weight yarn for 52 GBP and my husband literally turned shades of white. Google that conversion!
  • Also be prepared to discover great new dyers that are going to infuse you with knitting mania – such as Old Maiden Aunt. I left that booth and still can’t stop thinking about her stuff.
  • If you are the kind of knitter who needs a project for the yarn – then pick out your dream projects and bring them with you to the Festival (this rings true for any fibre festival actually!) so that you can browse with purpose. I am the other kind of knitter, you know, the one who buys whatever her lil’ heart desires and spends two weeks doing elaborate research on how to use her delectable finds.
Finally, I am going to say that now that I have attended a number to swell fibre shows, and been to yarn shops all over Canada, the USA, and the UK, I can say that we have it really sweet here in western Canada. Knit City in Vancouver is still, hands-down, my fave fibre show and we have soooo many great local yarn shops to enjoy that going to a country where the shops tend to be small and traditional was a new perspective.
But hey, I wasn’t there just for the yarn! If you would like to know more about my trip to Brighton, UK before the Fest then keep any eye out for my next blog post (I just have to add pictures)!
Stay awesome, Peeps!

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