I’m back from Scotland and the Edinburgh Yarn Festival!
Okay, so I’ve actually been back for two weeks. But it has taken me awhile to settle back into real life, reestablish my work routine, and mentally process the trip.
It. Was. Awesome.
The two classes I took – Tough Socks Naturally and Short Rows – were chock full of great information. I got to meet knitters from all over the world. On the return trip, my suitcase was stuffed full of yarns that are difficult to procure here in the U.S. My knitting project list is significantly longer than when I left, and I’m extremely excited to start those projects (which include a Shetland sweater, a British Gansey sweater, a short row striped and brioche shawl, a lace shawl, and a pair of wool/mohair socks…all for me!).
At the festival, there were knitting celebrities galore, and I got my picture taken with a few of them – most notably Stephen West and my favorite knitting duo, Ann Shayne and Kay Gardiner of Mason-Dixon Knitting. Bristol Ivy even autographed a copy of one of her patterns for me! Okay, okay…so unless you’re a knitter, you have NO idea who I’m talking about. Trust me, these folks are all knitting rockstars. ROCKSTARS. I’m still giddy at having met them.
Thanks to the extra time in my schedule due to cancelled classes, I got to take a day trip to St. Andrews with my cousin, Chris, and his wife, Sarah. Knowing my predilection for all things yarn, they took me to a couple of local yarn shops on that trip, where I found the perfect yarn for knitting the Glenallen lace shawl on my project list. No joke, I walked into The Wooly Brew in Pittenweem, and there it was…just sitting there, waiting for me. The exact fiber blend and color scheme I had imagined when I first saw the Glenallen pattern on Ravelry. I believe it was fate that brought me there. (Chris will probably point out that it was actually he who brought me there…but whatever. The yarn is now in my possession, who am I to quibble with such details?)
Because of the cancelled all-day Traditional Gansey Knitting class that I’d intended to take on the Friday of that week, I hopped a train to Glasgow to Chris and Sarah’s earlier than originally planned -- after one last spin through the marketplace, that is. On my first marketplace trip, I discovered too late where the La Bien Aimeé booth was located…by the time I found it, it was completely and utterly mobbed. On Friday, though, I made a beeline straight for their booth as soon as the doors opened, where I finally acquired the La Bien Aimeé merino singles necessary to make the Bixbite Shawl from my Knit Stars classes last fall. YAY! To test out the techniques learned in the Tough Socks Naturally class, I got a gorgeous wool/mohair sock yarn from the Whistlebare booth. Whistlebare raises their own sheep and goats and spins yarn exclusively from their own fiber. How cool is that? One of the owners explained to me that mohair is “nature’s nylon” and exceedingly strong…plus it has natural antibacterial properties so the socks won’t smell if they get all sweaty. Now, I’m not necessarily saying I have a foot odor problem…but my husband would be more than happy to tell you that I do. So, I’ll make myself some “no pong” socks. (In case you’re wondering – as I was when I saw it written on the ballband – “no pong” means “no smell”.)
The rest of my trip was spent having lots of fun with my family and friends. One night, we all went to the local pub (where not only everyone brought their kids, but they also brought their dogs!! We totally need places like that here in the U.S.!!). I took a ukulele lesson. Sarah and I made tapenade out of preserved lemons. I (sort of) taught Chris and Sarah’s youngest daughter to knit. (Chris is just loving the deep pink scarf that Jess proudly presented him with at the end of the weekend, especially now that she has added pompoms to it. She insists he wear it in public. I hear he is actively resisting doing so.)
The major takeways from the trip: (1) I really want to go back to Scotland again (as soon as possible, please!), and (2) I really ought to stop buying yarn for awhile…at least until I knit up several of these pending personal projects.