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Edinburgh Yarn Festival

As this isn't a specifically dyeing/shop post, it seems to me a blog post about last weekend in Edinburgh and EYF are better here than over on the Dyeing blog.

We stayed in the same apartment on Easter Street that we did last year, even though we hadn't brought the pupz with us - two long flights of stone stairs and a 400m walk to the nearest bit of grass didn't appeal to Lunil. We found an excellent parking spot in an adjacent side street and the car didn't have to move until we left! And it's within walking distance of everything in the middle of Edinburgh - we're about ten minutes brisk walk of Calton Hill.

Rather a splendid view for the 1o'clock gun. #Edinburgh #eyf17

Rather a splendid view for the 1o'clock gun. #Edinburgh #eyf17

Going up a day earlier this year, we had time for a bit more touristiness. A whole morning in Edinburgh Castle (excellent value, as we're SH heritage cardholders). It was a cold windy day, but brilliantly clear. The views everywhere were astounding. And then the National Gallery in the afternoon, where I finally got to make the personal acquaintance of the Raeburn's Skating Reverend, as well as the Rembrandt self-portrait and other treasures in there.

And on the way home we met a friend at Waverley station and I picked up 6 cones of Shetland yarn to dye for the shop. It saved her carting it around back to her accommodation and then arranging a meet up for us both at EYF tomorrow. On the other hand, it was a long walk back for us. But Mark carried the bags of yarn. There's about 6 kilos.

I abandoned Mark to his own devices and caught an early bus to the Corn Exchange on Friday morning. Having been pre-warned about road works and traffic jams, I caught an earlier bus than planned and ended up being one of the first twenty or so at the back, by 8am. But there were queues within a few minutes. Someone kindly lent me some handknitted (what else?) mitts as I had dressed for a hot inside hall, not a cold outside queue.

Absolutely heaving within a few minutes, and even busier once we got past 10 o'clock and the ordinary ticket holders got in (everyone doing a class got early entry at 9). I visited Blacker straight away for two skeins of Samite (vastly expensive, but I did have a discount!), two extra dark blue Buachaille from Kate Davies stand for Mark's Ardmore, a skein of Daughter of a Shepherd hebridean and one of her Foxen yarns too, six Ullcentrum 3ply from Midwinter yarns (I'd hope to find some lopi but didn't so this was the replacement), nine skeins of ridiculously cheap Polo & Co undyed French wool (six of which I left with another dyer to dye for me as she does a particular colour I can't), a bag of lichen-dyed Shetland wool, and a few books. Plus cables for my Chiagoos interchangeable.

At this point the crowd was getting a bit overwhelming, so I managed to find a table to perch on in the sitting area, and had a quick chat with Jayne who'd come down from Orkney. But I didn't really speak to many people apart from Jayne and stallholders, and took hardly any photos.

My class that afternoon was with Nathan Taylor on shaping doubleknitting. Rather fun, and some of the paired/mirrored decreases and increases were immensely satisfying. And it was a lovely peaceful walk from the Corn Exchange to the Water of Leith Centre, and back afterwards. The bus from back to our flat (it's the same one all the way door to door!) was packed to the gun'les as we left, but hardly anyone on when we got home.

It was a bit of an odd EYF. I had lots of friends there, but they were either busy teaching or it was too crowded or they weren't around when I was, so I caught up with only one person who wasn't a stall holder. And they were all busy too, so it was a case of brief hugs and chats. I didn't take any photos, and don't seem to have been in any either - my invisible EYF.

And that evening, (no ceilidh after the booking fiasco) we went to a late night visit at the National Museum. Drinks (prosecco with rhubarb gin is divine), live music (a bit on the loud side to be honest) and a viewing of the new exhibition, plus all the usual stuff, including some things we'd missed on last year's visit. A pity it was such a long walk home.

And Saturday we had booked tickets to Edinburgh Zoo and a timed slot to see the pandas!

Let sleeping pandas lie...

Let sleeping pandas lie...

One of those moments when it's rather strange to realise you're looking at a real live panda - and yes, he did move!

There were otters and koalas and zebras and funny cattle and deers and wallabies and warty pigs and birds of all sorts and TIGERS AND LIONS AND BEARS and a rhino and all sorts. But also lots of screaming children - it was a Saturday after all.

And once again the excellent bus service (£1.60 no matter the distance) took us straight home.

We had our second meal at The Mash Tun - downstairs and two doors to the left - so I sat and knitted and ate an enormous burger!

And on Sunday we drove home early - back down the way we came up, the scenic A7 which was gorgeous, even though we only had sunny weather for half the way home. We diverted to a quick visit to The Hermitage castle, which Mark took Bil and Lunil to on the day I was teaching on Hadrian's Wall, the day Dad died.

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