EYF 2016: The morning after

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It is the day after the EYF 2016 and I am sitting in my living room writing this post, trying to arrange the thoughts and memories in my head of the past weekend.

As expected, the workshops I taught this year are what comes up most whenever I think back, I couldn’t be more grateful to Jo and Mica for putting their trust in me and to all those who showed up each day excited about learning a new skill. Their enthusiasm and their smiles whenever they managed to tackle a new stitch are food to my soul and it made me realise that teaching, even though it came to my life quite unexpectedly, may be a love that lasts a lifetime.

The marketplace was a huge array of beautiful stalls, with everything a fibre enthusiast could want and it was very tempting indeed, I will share my purchases later in the week. The yarn fumes were all around and the atmosphere was amazing, with everyone proudly wearing their projects while at the same time admiring other people’s creations and enquiring after pattern info whenever they couldn’t stop themselves.

It was definitely an event to remember and now all we can do is wait for 2017 to come soon.

Have a great week everyone!

xx

Sol

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Some Podcast (Lounge) love

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Hello everyone, I am writing a quick post today since I have been the most ungrateful and forgetful person this week and I couldn’t let it pass. After I wrote my first EYF post I realised I had forgotten to mention the Podcast Lounge as one of the highlights of the show but intended to correct it with a special mention on my second post. Of course, I forgot again! This is completely due to my stupid brain and not anything to do with the Podcast Lounge not being a memorable and amazing space during the festival. And to make me feel even worse I actually won two skeins of beautiful hand dyed British yarn from the raffle! Thank you so much to the Podcast Lounge for my lovely prize and to Jess for saving it for me 🙂

So to make amends I have decided to share quick post about my experience in the Podcast Lounge and use this opportunity to show some podcast love as well by sharing the links to the great podcasts that I have been following lately.

In case you don’t follow many podcasts, the Podcast Lounge was organised by the amazing Louise from the  Knit British podcast as a place to hang around and to meet some of your favourite podcast people. There were even little events organised for this space such as Q&As with designers or podcasters. The Podcast Lounge was my resting and crocheting space during the whole festival, every time I got tired or needed to assess my shopping, or to eat my cake for lunch I would pop over to the comfy sofas arranged for the occasion. Luckily for me, I always found a space and many times also familiar faces. I got to touch samples from lovely British yarn that Louise had knitted up and was amazed at how I liked them all! It was really an amazing space and Louise’s laugh on the background was just so contagious as well (you must listen to her podcast if you don’t already). I didn’t manage the courage to go and speak to her (I am silly like that sometimes) and thank her for being my commuting companion for so many months now, even though it is a knitting podcast and no crochet in it I enjoy it so much and it always puts a smile on my face 🙂

Sadly, I never managed to be there when one of the events were on, I think I got some times confused as well since I was sure there was something on at the time I showed up on Saturday, but it was still such a joyful place to hang around.

Finally I just wanted to share some of the great podcasts I have been listening to in case you are looking to try some out. I have a mixture of both video and audio podcasts though the audio ones are my favourites since I can listen to them while I commute.

Knit British

Woolful

Fluffy Fibers

A Playful Day

Curious Handmade

Yarn in the City

Creative Yarn Entrepeneur show

The Yarniacs Podcast

Caithness Craft

NH Knits

Cherry Heart

Bmandarine

That is me for today, will be back soon!

x

Sol

EYF 2015 Part 2: My favourite buys

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Hello there! How’s spring/autumn treating you? Edinburgh has been a bit sunny lately and will get an hour more of light from Sunday after the clocks change. I never used to like summer and brightness like I do now, that is what happens when you move to Scotland!

I want to share my second post about the EYF 2015 with you, I was glad to see you enjoyed the first in which I shared my general experience in my first ever yarn festival. Of course I couldn’t possible share my experience without sharing some of my buys as well! Not all of them though, since that would be quite embarrassing… I must say I had been on a yarn diet for months (which I only broke to get the Lopi yarn for my shawl) and I have a project in mind for (almost) all of my purchases so it’s not THAT bad 😛

I love everything that I bought to be honest but I decided to choose the favourites among them, which was very hard indeed! Here they are:

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1. The Shawl Project. This pattern book is not the first one by chance. It contains six shawl designs by Joanne Scrace as part of the Crochet Project venture and they are all oh-so-beautiful. The photography is amazing, there are great explanations and charts and even a guide to designing your own shawl patterns, since all the designs use a different construction technique explained by Joanne at the end of the booklet. And it even gets better: all the shawls use only one 100g skein of 4-ply. Seriously people, if you love crochet shawls, you MUST get this. They sold out of their first print run at the festival but another is due soon so keep an eye out on their Facebook page for news.

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2. Naturally-dyed merino yarn by woollenflower. If you follow my blog you may know I have been interested in natural dyeing since hearing about it in a few podcasts that I follow. I am an environmental engineer and have always been attracted to techniques which value and protect what nature has to offer. So when I met Jules at her stand in EYF and realised that the skein I couldn’t stop staring at was naturally dyed I just HAD to get it. It is really the most beautiful colour I have seen on yarn before, and in my excitement (especially after she mentioned she will be doing workshops, yay!) of course I forgot to ask her what she used but I promise to find out and let you know. Jules had such lovely things in her stall, including some amazing project bags/pouches made from worn out Harris Tweed jackets and the most beautiful colourwork cowls she made in her knitting machine, how amazing is that? She has a website and an online shop so please go check her out, she not only does beautiful things but she is also one of the nicest people I have ever met.

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© Victoria Magnus
© Victoria Magnus

3. Pendle 4ply by Eden Cottage Yarns. I am sure many of you have heard or bought yarn from Eden Cottage Yarns, they have some lovely bases and some hand dyed lines including this beautiful 4ply pure merino wool in the colour Dusk. The colour is truly beautiful and something that would fit nicely with the rest of my clothes. I bought it to work on the Alyssium cardigan by Joanne Scrace, it is the same yarn and colour she used for the sample, it looks so beautiful that just decided to get the exact same yarn. Already working on this and loving both yarn and pattern.

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4. Brooks Blend by John Arbon Textiles. I had been wanting to try yarns from John Arbon for a long time now so I was very excited to check their stand at EYF and I really didn’t leave disappointed. They are based in Devon and many of their yarns use fibre from their own Exmoor Blueface sheep. I stopped at their stall so many times and purchased many things there but these skeins are my favourite from them. You can’t find this yarn online, it is a DK-weight blend designed by Emma Brooks, it is 50% Polwarth, 30% Alpaca and 20% Zwartbles and it is the softest thing EVER. The natural colour is just perfect so I had to get a few to work on this cardigan I saw on the last issue of Inside Crochet. If you are interested they are doing a mill open weekend in May so check the website for details.

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5. Organic Wensleydale 3ply by Little Owl Crafts. This stand had beautiful organic and hand-spun yarn and these organic Wensleydale skeins caught my eye immediately. I am thinking stripes! They have a shop on Etsy if you want to check it out.

That is it for today everyone, the EYF will definitely be one of the highlights of 2015 for me and can’t wait for next year!

I will be back soon with some pictures of my finished Lopi shawl and my current projects 🙂

Have a great day!

x

Sol

EYF 2015: My first yarn festival experience Part 1

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Uffff… I have been thinking about how to write this post since there is so much to say. I have decided that it will have to be done in a couple of posts: one to share my general experience in the festival and another one with my favourite purchases (I can’t show them all since I am too embarrassed to confess all that I bought!).

Edinburgh Yarn Fest was one awesome weekend that more than exceeded my expectations. I really don’t know where to start and I am bit tired today so this post will be a bit all over the place but here are the highlights of the weekend:

  • The marketplace. OMG, I have never in my life seen so much beautiful yarn and yarn-related things in one place, it was all a bit overwhelming the first day but the second day I got to stop and truly admire the work of such talented people that put so much love and dedication to their products. I got to chat with quite a few and everyone was so nice and attentive. From yarn, to buttons, to fibre, to patterns and everything displayed in such beautiful and creative ways, it was very inspiring just to walk by those stalls. And the colour… such amazing colours everywhere made my heart sing 🙂

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  • The Crochet Project stall: If you are a crocheter, and only a crocheter like myself who couldn’t knit if my life depended on it you will understand the joy of seeing a crochet stall in a yarn festival. And not any stall… a stall from the awesome Crochet Project run by two amazingly talented designers: Kat Goldin and Joanne Scrace. I have crocheted beautiful patterns by both of these ladies and have admired their designs, especially garments, for a long time. Very few people in the crochet world design patterns as stylish and wearable as these two designers so I was so star struck when I met them! Their stall was filled with gorgeous samples and patterns, crochet hooks, the cutest labels for your hand knits and their new pattern book “The Shawl Project”. More on this little book on my next post since it is definitely on the favourites list…!

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  • The people. If you have any knitters or crocheter friends you must already know that yarny people are awesome. They are encouraging, passionate, friendly and they are the happiest when around loads of yarn and other yarny people who feel the same way about their crafts. So you can imagine what you get when you put hundreds of yarny people in one place surrounded by the most beautiful fibre-related products: a happy and oh-so inspiring atmosphere. Just to look at what everyone was wearing was like a runway show of beautiful hand knits made with love and care, it was such a treat. Whenever you got tired you could go sit down somewhere and take your WIP out or pet your new yarn, and then you would look around and see that everyone else around you was doing the same! I had been the lonely crocheter on the train for so many months since work didn’t allow me to go to my knitting group and then suddenly I was just one of the crowd, doing what we love to do, surrounded by people who love that as well. Sigh… I don’t know about you but a room full of knitters and yarn is exactly how I think heaven should look like.

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  • My first crochet class. I booked one class for the festival, it was the only crochet class that wasn’t for beginners. It was about how to make crochet wearable by the amazing Joanne Scrace. As you may know I am diving into the world of crochet garments and have had a few ups and downs so this class seemed like a great way to help me in this new journey and I definitely didn’t leave disappointed. Joanne was a great teacher who not only explained techniques that can make crochet fabric more wearable but also why and how they achieve that effect and what is the whole science behind crochet fabric that makes it different from knitting. If you have the opportunity to take this class I truly recommend it, you can check Joanne’s website for more details.
  • The organisation. I had never been to a yarn festival but this was one well organised event. The only time I was in a big queue was before the start of the first day and only because many of us got there before the doors opened. Getting our ticket was breeze, there was a big lounge area to seat and eat with a great selection of music in the background and there were some really fun stuff like a free Photo Booth on Saturday.

As you can see it was one awesome weekend filled with colour and inspiration, it was so hard to get back to work the next day and realise that your everyday world doesn’t have yarn in it!

If you are thinking of attending any yarn festivals next year I would put the EYF in the list since it can only get better!

Will be back soon with my favourite purchases and my Cobbled Street pattern which is almost done 🙂 My tunisian crochet class is this weekend so have been very busy preparing for it, hopefully I will get some time to get pictures of my purchases and share that with you soon. I leave you with more pictures of the weekend for you.

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Have a great weekend 🙂

Sol