Episode 50 – Edinburgh Yarn Festival 2018

Edinburgh Yarn Festival 2018 coincides with Episode 50 of the Fruity Knitting Podcast. In this Episode while we’re celebrating we would like to share some of the personalities and some of the atmosphere of the Festival with those who couldn’t be there. If you were fortunate enough to attend, then maybe we can firm up some fond memories.

Edinburgh Yarn Festival 2018 - Episode 50

Edinburgh Yarn Festival 2018 – Episode 50

We have short interviews with a colorful selection of 12 vendors from the Edinburgh Yarn Festival, covering designers, yarn producers, dyers and suppliers of tools and accessories for the knitter. Edinburgh is a beautiful city and well worthy of a visit in itself, and we take you on a tour showing you our highlights. We will also get you in on some of the social events around the Festival. And finally, as it is a yarn festival, Andrea will give you a quick look at the knitting projects that she has planned and the yarns that she bought in Edinburgh for those projects.

We had a brilliant time at the Edinburgh Yarn Festival, and we hope we can share some of the fun with you.

Edinburgh Yarn Festival 2018

The Edinburgh Yarn Festival is the creation of Jo and Mica, two passionate knitters who organised the first Festival in 2013 in response to their own need, and have since taken the event from strength to strength. The Festival is now held in the Edinburgh Corn Exchange, a beautiful building which now serves as a venue for concerts, conferences and other events.

There is a market hall with a good variety of well-chosen vendors, but there is also plenty of space for sitting, knitting, planning purchases and chatting over a good soup or a scone and tea. Seating space was extended this year to include a marquis right off the main building. This was also the venue of the Knit Night and the Ceilidh – a traditional Scottish dance evening. Catering is good quality and reasonably priced, making it easy to spend a good day (or more) at the event. It is clear that organizers Jo and Mica know the needs of the knitter.

Edinburgh Castle sits on the top of an extinct volcano. The name Edinburgh actually means "castle on the hill"

Edinburgh Castle sits on the top of an extinct volcano. The name Edinburgh actually means “castle on the hill”

For the last few years there has also been a “Podcaster Lounge”, organised by Louise from the Knit British podcast and sponsored by Blacker Yarns, which provides a center for viewers and listeners to come and meet their favorite podcasters – and for podcasters to meet up and exchange experiences.

Thank you to everyone who did come and say hello. We feel privileged that you choose to make us some little part of your lives, and we love to hear your stories.

Meet the Vendors

Weft Blown

A woven cardigan by Ange from Weft Blown

A woven cardigan by Ange from Weft Blown

Ange and Rob Sewell from Weft Blown produce “weather-inspired” textiles, and also do classes and supply equipment for spinning and weaving. They are located in West Kilbride, on Scotland’s beautiful Ayrshire Coast. Ange has a background in meteorology and geology, and her creations are inspired by her surroundings and the spectacular skies of the region. I can imagine a nice weekend with a few classes.

Walk Collection

We featured Cathrin Walk from Walk Collection in Episode 49 as one of the hand-dyers who worked with Veera Välimäki on the recent Interpretations Vol 5 collection. Cathrin was wearing a Stephen West design in her own yarn.

Uist Wool

Uist Wool is a spinning mill on the island of Grimsay in the Outer Hebrides. The mill was constructed in 2013 and uses a collection of heritage machinery which dates back to the mid 19th century. The company was set up as a social enterprise to support communities within the Outer Hebrides by providing a market for locally produced fleeces.

Hazel and Dana from Uist Wool

Hazel and Dana from Uist Wool

Breeds used include Cheviot, Texel, Blackface, Suffolk, Hebridean plus smaller flocks of Lleyn, Zwartbles and Shetland. Careful grading is done to identify fleeces suitable for spinning into knitting yarns.

Carol Feller – Stolen Stitches

Irish designer Carol Feller

Irish designer Carol Feller

Carol Feller is best known as a designer, but has recently brought out her own yarn, Nua, which combines merino with the silkiness of yak and the strength of linen. The yarn is available in a sport weight, which Carol recommends as a perfect weight for a light sweater.

Skein Queen

Debbie from Skein Queen

Debbie from Skein Queen

Debbie Orr established Skein Queen in 2007. Debbie has done a lot of one-off yarns – I could get back to 2014 in her archives. Her yarns have stood the test of time, and Debbie has recently moved into a new studio and expanded her range to include standard colorways. This makes the yarns easier to stock for retailers, and more attractive for larger projects.

Prado de Lana Sheep Farm

Prado de Lana is a sheep farm specializing in wool products from Romney, Lincoln Longwool, and CVM/Romeldale sheep, located in Vermont and run by Amanda and Alberto Barcenas. All of the sheep are long wool breeds, and the sheep are coated to ensure that fleeces are clean. Yarns are available in a range of weights and natural colors.

La Bien Aimée

Aimée from La Bien Aimée

Aimée from La Bien Aimée

La Bien Aimée is a Paris-based hand-dyer but also a shop selling La Bien Aimée and also other luxury yarn brands.

Knockando Woolmill

Knockando Woolmill is located in the Spey Valley in the North East of Scotland, and has been producing wool and woven products for around 230 years. Yarns are available in natural colors or hand-dyed using plant-based dyes.

Toby from Knockando Woolmill

Toby from Knockando Woolmill

Some of the machinery used dates back to 1870, but there are also more modern machines. Tours of the mill are available, but check with the mill before planning your visit.

John Arbon Textiles

In addition to spinning yarns for other producers, John Arbon has several of his own ranges, the best-known being the Knit By Numbers ranges. Knit By Numbers comes in DK and 4-ply weights in 103 colors, the 4-ply now coming in mini-skeins, ideal for colorwork.

Di Gilpin

Designer Di Gilpin

Designer Di Gilpin

Beyond Measure

Grace from Beyond Measure

Grace from Beyond Measure

Stephen & Penelope



We were wearing

  • Andrew was wearing the Ashie by Lisa Richardson. Andrea covered some of the technical challenges of this sweater in Episode 2.
  • Andrea was wearing the Manzanita Tee. You can hear about this garment in Episode 37, and meet the designer Romi Hill in Episode 32.

Upcoming Projects – and EYF 2018 Yarn Purchases!


Music Credits