Every March, Mica and Jo welcome knitters and yarn lovers from all over the world to their gorgeous city to take part in Edinburgh Yarn Festival. It is truly the most beautiful and best-organized yarn festival I have visited so far: There are knit nights, get-togethers and meet-ups — far-flung old and new friends meeting for a celebration of what they love: knitting! And crochet too: “Anything to do with yarn is all right with us!”
The festival began back in 2013, when knitting friends Mica and Jo realised that all the lovely yarn available was passing them by in Edinburgh. They knew so many people who were dedicated knitters, designers and yarn collectors, but who didn’t have much access to the international array of yarns they could see on Ravelry: “You need to see and touch yarn, right?” So they decided they would shake things up a bit locally and put on a one-day show in a local hall. The response was astounding: “We were really heartened by how many people shared our love of great yarn!”, Mica says.
The marketplace, which will be held over 3 days this year (15th to 17th March) is without a doubt one of the very best and most inspiring in Europe. It showcases some of the finest hand-dyers at the top of their game: you’ll find luxury fibres in a huge range of styles and colours. They also feature amazing British yarns from small producers: people who perhaps raise the sheep and shear them, process the wool and turn it into a gorgeous product that is becoming ever more popular. If you’re looking for something interesting and original in the world of yarn, this is the place to come to. The full, amazing, vendor list can be found here.
One of the great businesses in our line-up is Blacker Yarns, who sponsor Edinyarnfest’s popular Podcast Lounge. It’s an area where you can come and relax, meet podcasters, and talk WOOL with the lovely Louise Scollay of the KnitBritish podcast as your host. A Photo Booth with a fabulous sponsor will be available all weekend to capture moments of our happy get-together.
Since those early days Edinburgh has gone from strength to strength in terms of its yarn profile: The city has some brilliant local yarn stores and no shortage of inspiration. Mica & Jo moved the Festival to the best exhibition venue in town, where each year we’ve grown in size and stature. In 2018 they will be building a marquee extension to the Corn Exchange venue, and will have a huge area for people to socialise, meet old and new friends, and admire the beautiful hand-knits. With the extension they will have around 800 spaces to socialise and meet fellow yarn enthusiasts from all over the world. And in the evening, there will be dancing!
Tickets for EYF2018 will be going on sale on 15th January at 7 pm. Be sure to sign up to our mailing list if you don’t want to miss any details about tickets and opening times! EYF is a really welcoming event, and the joy and enthusiasm from the visitors and the exhibitors alike is wonderful to be part of!
On Instagram you will find Mica and Jo as @edinyarnfest.
Finally! The end of 2017 has arrived and it is time to break in our Strickplaners. In this video I show which accessories I use and what I have already written in my planner. How do you use yours? Show me, I am curious :))
With a little delay but lots of enthusiasm nevertheless: Here’s the fourth virtual cast-on event of Strickmich! Club 2017. Enjoy!
… is not that easy! Luckily I switched back to planning my weeks on paper at the beginning of 2017. Nothing gets lost, I have an overview of the current week with a to do list that makes me prioritise my tasks. In this video you can watch my planning process (in German! I will make another video in English as soon as possible :))
Colors, colors, Dibadu! Barbara Wolff lives and works in Germany, at the border of the Teutoburger Forest, close to the town of Paderborn. And she loves colors, and that’s the first thing you will notice when looking at her gorgeous hand dyed yarns. When she knits herself, she will always choose a multicolored, preferably modular project: “Knitting with just one color, that’s just not me!” she says. “I love to work with lots of different hues and shades, even if I have to weave in 295 ends when I am done!” Her passion for crafting goes way back: “I was one of those students who would constantly knit during class in the 70s and 80s” she recalls. After finishing school, Barbara went on to become a flutist and music instructor. When she and her husband started a family, her knitting career took a break: “With four kids it’s kind of hard to find time and peace for creativity”, Barbara says.
When her youngest son turned three and started to attend daycare, that changed: “I remembered what was most fun to me when I was a teen: Knitting!” She started to look for beautiful yarns and soon discovered the world of handdyed beauty. “Handdyed yarn – that sounded exciting and promising”, she says. She started to experiment – and has not stopped working with colors and dyepots ever since. The step from music to colors was not a big one for Barbara: “I am a synesthetic. In my head, numbers, letters and sounds each have a different color”, she says. So, in a way, Barbara composes a symphony of colors with each hand dyed skein for us!
A Trio Aquarell from Barbara’s workshop (Photo: M. Behm)
Barbara lives and works in Germany, at the border of the Teutoburger Forest, close to the town of Paderborn. “When I dye yarn, I make sure the colors are harmonic and pleasant when knit up – it should not pool unless it’s intended to”, Barbara says. She tolerates pooling only when it is planned, like with her “Sockenmaler” (“Sock painter”) or “Maschenmaler” (“stitch painter”) yarns. Her specialty are her “Trios”: Combinations of three skeins that are meant for one project, but differ. It may be a subtle gradient, a common sprinkle pattern or an underlying tone. “Each Trio tells a story with three voices”, she says. Her artful yarns can be admired at fiber festivals or in her online store: from light cobweb angora to chunky wool, combinations of 2 big skeins or mini skein sets – everything turns into colorful beauty under her hands.
We are very curious about what she will dye for Strickmich! Club 2018 – and are more than happy that Barbara agreed to contribute one of her wonderful yarns to our Club. Welcome!
P. S.: Sign-ups for Strickmich! Club will start on November 6th on our Sign-up page.