Wednesday, 16 March 2016

The eve of something special

It feels like the night before Christmas.  Tomorrow I am going to Edinburgh.  I'm attending the Edinburgh Yarn Festival, the UK's premier urban knitting event (according to the website), for the first time and I couldn't be more excited.
I'll be wearing this cardigan I made.  Knowing I wanted to wear it to Edinburgh really made me focus on getting it finished.  The pattern is Leaving by Anne Hanson. I'll also be wearing this wee crocheted shawl which is Fortunes Shawlette by Tamara Kelly
Both garments have been made using yarn hand dyed in Scotland - I knitted the cardy in merino dyed by Helen at Ripplescrafts and I crocheted the shawl in yarn dyed by Lindsay aka The Border Tart. Helen and Lindsay are exhibiting at the festival and I'm delighted to be helping Lindsay at her stall for part of both days.  I still have time to attend a class and enjoy the market place in the company of my knitting pal and travelling companion, Alison, as well as the hospitality of my sister who conveniently lives in Edinburgh.

But this festival is about more than just shopping.  It's bringing together like minded crafts people from all over the world.  It's a chance to meet people known only on-line thanks to the fibre community's virtual glue that is Ravelry and to renew friendships made in yarn stores and on retreats. It's an opportunity to meet the podcasters many enjoy whose episodes frequently accompany my crafting and who make me feel like I have an enthusiastic friend in my kitchen telling me all about her latest projects.  It's saying knitting, crochet and fibre crafts are really popular, hand made is truly valued and wool is cool!
The knitting community is generous with its time and materials.  Louise Hunt of Caithness Craft Collective podcast appealed for knitted baby hats to be donated to one of the special care baby units. I've managed to make two wee hats for early arrivals in the past couple of days. They really didn't take long to make and only use scraps of leftover yarn.

In the months prior to the festival, I've listened to Louise Scollay of the KnitBritish podcast get increasingly excited about the event as she revealed details of the knit night meet-up, podcast lounge, ceilidh and exclusive magazine.  I followed Helen's advice on her Curious Handmade podcast by looking sensibly at my yarn collection and all my works in progress, some of which I've realised I'm never going to finish.  Here's a case in point which I started in 1986!!
And finally, I've read some great tips for maximising enjoyment at knitting festivals by Victoria at Eden Cottage and Karie Westermann on their respective blogs .  In that spirit I've documented what I'd like to make in the future and what I'd like to buy in the lovely notebook my daughter gave me.
I know I'll be like a child in a sweet shop so I hope to be making careful, considered purchases.  We'll soon see if that happens!


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