#EYF2015

Seems like holidays is a good time for sitting down in front of the computer and typing a couple of words about what I’ve been up to in the last few weeks.

I admit March was a really busy and exciting month, mostly thanks to Edinburgh Yarn Festival. It was such an awesome festival! Can’t wait for 2016 now :-) But let’s start from the beginning…

I learned about EYF shortly after its first edition from my long online friend. Actually it was the first yarn festival I’ve ever heard of and I’ve wanted to see it for a long time, but after our visit in Brighton last year I wasn’t really sure it would happen (such a trip is pretty expensive :-/). Then after hearing “Are you coming to Edinburgh?” from a couple of knitting friends, I rediscussed the trip with my Hubby again, and he said “Go!”. Yay!

Edinburgh greeted me with Scottish weather. I landed in the rain late in the evening and got on the city bus very fast. Thankfully it took me almost directly to the place I was supposed to stay at, which was a private room rented  from a very nice lady called Rebecca. It was the first time I booked my accomodation not in a hotel or typical B&B and I can’t believe I haven’t done that before! I love the home-y feeling such a stay gives and, what is very important, it costs considerably less.

On Thursday afternoon I met up with my Danish knitting buddies and the whole knitty craze began :-)

In the evening we went to a pub. It was so nice to see so many people I know mostly online, or whom I last saw in Brighton.

On my left: Curious Handmade, Jeni from Fyberspates, A Playful Day.

Dieuwke and the girls went home earlier as they were very tired due to getting up at 5am to catch the flight but I stayed a bit longer… And then my little adventure happened. Yep, I got lost! At  midnight. In a strange town. Good I can communicate in English ;-) Turns out I got on the right bus on the wrong side of the road. I was blissfully checking my Instagram and Facebook feed and suddenly I realized that I should be home. I got off the bus and my GPS said “You’re 5.6 km from your destination”. Shoot! No way I’d spend my yarn money on the cab (I’m sure many knitters can relate here ;-) so after some time I finally found the correct bus stop and at 1am I arrived home. So much for an early night ;-)

On Saturday we began the festival with a fair isle class with Felicity Ford. It was so much fun and I see a lot of fair isle designs in my future now :-)

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After the class I finally got to the market place and stayed at Eden Cottage Yarns booth for a while. I’m not sure if you know (nah, I bet you do :-), but Vikki and I released a new shawl design during EYF. It was Aisling (which is pronounced Ashlyn) – a beautiful two colour shawl featuring a raindrop lace, garter inserts and a delicate lace & cable border. During the testknitting phase Vikki’s sample knitters made two versions which were on display in her booth all the time (one in action actually – we looked like shawl twins :-). Victoria was offering kits which contained the yarn, the pattern and flower seeds in the same color. How awesome is that! BTW, if you’d like to, she still has the kits for sale in her online store (custom kits also possible but without the seeds then). I must say that time was so magical and I’d love to thank everyone who came over to say hi.

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One hour before the market place closed I went to do some shopping at two places that were on my MUST-BUY list: Siidegarte and John Arbon. Gaby and Fides (who you can see in the pic above on my right) from Siidegarte make one of the most beautiful silk blends I’ve seen – I just can’t wait for the summer to begin so that I can knit with the awesome green silk/linen yarn I got from them. #mustknitfaster ;-) John Arbon was a must because of their socks. I love wearing woolly socks during winter but I don’t have time to knit them, so I left his booth with lots of alpaca and exmoor wool socks… and yarn for a new sweater.

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In the evening we enjoyed the Ca-Baah!-Ret with Felicity Ford and tried to guess the answers  to a terribly difficult pub quiz held by Ysolda. Ah yes, and they asked us to make sheep, well, sort of sheep :-) Clara Parkes who came to EYF with her latest book (about 20 of which I managed to throw at her in her booth, yep, I’m clumsy at times) picked the winning sheep. That night was really nice – lots of knitting, chatting and laughing.

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A pic taken by Jeni Reid. A minute after I threw the books at Clara. Felicity Ford in the front :-)

From Edinburgh Yarn Festival website

Sunday was much quieter for me and I could just look around the market place, say hi to many people and continue my shopping. But before all that happened, I had a chance to chat a little with lovely Jo from ShinyBees podcast. And I must say that this chat was really something as Jo asked me for an interview! We decided to meet in podcast lounge and when I came there I bumped into Stephen West himself (he was interviewed before me). I got so starstruck that I bet I was mumbling and forgot to speak proper English. ;-)

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The organization of the festival was amazing. It was located in the centre of Edinburgh, the market place was nice and roomy, and the amount of attractions prepared by Mica and Jo was just fabulous! I will be coming back next year for sure. What about my yarn haul? Let’s just say it filled my hand luggage completely and I have a lot of material for future designs :-)

That was my first trip to Scotland and I was really unhappy it was so short. My flight back home was scheduled on Tuesday evening so I decided to go sightseeing and look for haggis (I love eating local food when I travel). I had haggis twice and I loved it each time – it reminds me a little of our Polish kaszanka but is a lot more spicy (I know you can get vegetarian haggis too and I’ve heard it’s nice) – now I regret a little I didn’t get a chance to buy it in the store for my family.

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Here haggis is served with Scottish breakfast.

On Monday I managed to visit Edinburgh Castle, which took me about 3 hrs. Seems like a lot but, to tell you the truth, I feel I haven’t seen everything in the castle yet. Each point marked on the castle map deserves a lot more attention than mere audioguide stop and a lot more peaceful time to enjoy the heritage and history preserved in the stone walls.

That day I also went to National Museum of Scotland but I saw just one floor of artifacts, so on Tuesday I got up early, packed my bags, ate breakfast and went back to the museum.  I’m so glad I did it as this time I was just in time for a guided tour… and I saw gorgeous weaving looms, knitting machines, and fair isle, and tartans!

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I definitely want to come back next year, not only for EYF2016, but also to continue sighteeing as I feel there is still so much I missed: the galleries, the Museum of Childhood, the zoo, the dungeons! In the meantime I started planning what to see in May in Berlin. And I hope to see you there too :-)