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EYF preview

by Daniel Mackay March 02, 2017


All of a sudden Edinburgh Yarn Festivalis just a week away and we’re busy labelling, pricing and packing as more and more exciting packages continue to arrive. We had 12 deliveries yesterday and I’ve gone from worrying that my booth will be a bit empty to wondering where we’ll find space to display everything. Before everything gets tucked away in boxes I took some photos to give you a taste of what’s to come. It’s my online store come to life, with some extras. If you can’t make it to the festival our postage schedule for online orders placed during the festival is at the bottom of this post, with some info on how you’ll have a chance to purchase things you missed out on. 

Printed pattern booklets for my most popular designs plus a selection that I love from other designers. Nicely printed on heavy paper they’re lovely objects in their own right — if you don’t want to spoil them with notes every pattern includes a download code so that you can print a working copy and store a backup in your Ravelry library. Perhaps there’s a great design you missed online that will appeal while browsing through the racks? We love nothing more than matching yarns and patterns, not to mention the fact that we don’t get to see much beyond the booth, so bring your new treasures over for us to help with / fondle. 

If you’d like to see these pattern booklets in your LYS (outside of the United States) check out my dedicated pattern and book distribution site here

Knitting and yarn are so tactile that no photography can compare to seeing, and touching them in real life. You’re welcome to try things on or have a nosy at their innards. Just don’t judge the fact that I hardly ever weave in my ends on hats. 

Yarn and kits
Last year we launched Blend no. 1for EYF and this year we’re bringing the remains of, what I think will be, the final batch.

We’ve got even more kits and yarn sets than are currently available online including these paired mini skeins of Blend no. 1 dyed by me.

S Twist Wool has a brand new baby so he isn’t doing a stand at the festival, but fortunately a selection of his gorgeous, woolly Irish yarns will be there with us.

These mini skeins come in dyer’s choice sets of 4. They’d be perfect for my Ljós hat pattern or combined with a neutral for a sweater yoke or shawl. These only arrived yesterday and I’m cursing the fact that my to list is preventing me from casting on anything new. 

The mini skein palettes would also be fun to combine with the Celtic Colours. These are dyed on light or dark grey yarns and I love seeing the rich results — the bottom two in this photo are dyed with the same yellow. 

My Bruntsfield vest pattern uses one of my true desert island yarns (can it be a fairly chilly island please?) Shetland Organics wool from Uradale Farm. It’s produced in such small quantities that it feels really special to be able to offer it in kits. Do visit Uradale’s own stand at the festival and see the whole range, too. 

We’ll also have all the kits and yarn currently available online. 

As much as I love the online knitting community, and the incredible wealth of information and inspiration to be found within it I’d never give up my print library. Come and browse a range of my favourite books by the most inventive, knowledgable makers from around the world. The focus is on references you’ll use again and again, and beautifully produced books that only print can do justice to. You’ll also find books by some of the teachers, if you’re feeling inspired after a class, or missed out on signing up. 

The selection isn’t quite this extensive but many of these are currently in stock online and we’ll be adding more after the festival. 

Some of the tools I find most indispensable are surprisingly hard to find. Make blocking both sweater pieces and shawls dramatically easier with the combination of the Coco Knits’ Knitter’s Block set and Lazadas’ flexible blocking wires. The Knitter’s Block sets aren’t in the online store yet but you can find the blocking wires here. 

Also from Coco Knits is the Knitter’s Keep slap bracelet sets which come with a super handy supply of stainless steel tools. Until now I firmly believed that there were row counter people and people who cannot ever remember to click the damn counter (that would be me). But the Coco Knits one is so ridiculously satisfying to click that I might have changed my mind, and yes, it’s magnetic so you can keep it conveniently on the bracelet. 

Fun knitterly from favourite designers:

Last year we sold out of these mugs from our studio neighbour, illustrator Anna Wright, by 10am. This year we’re better prepared with (hopefully!) plenty of stock of both mugs and these brand new zippered pouches. They’re intended to be make up bags, with a waterproof lining that isn’t that nasty plastic stuff, but I’ve been using it for my sleeve in progress and it’s just the right size. 

From Katrinkleswe’ve got a selection of adorable needle gauges, buttons, stitchable ornaments and a super smart mini kniddy knoddy. Find our online Katrinkles range here. 

You might recognise illustrator and graphic designer Julie Levesque from her work on my books or from her designs for Ravelry. I adore the sweater illustrations she did for Little Red in the City so I was delighted when she launched her Etsy store, Symposi Press, featuring yarny illustrations on stickers and gift tags.

The sticker sheets are perfectly sized for popular planners and are a great way to keep visual track of your progress on projects. The pussyhat decals are a fundraiser for Emily’s List and all proceeds from the ones we sell will be donated. 

We’ll also have the pride sheep window clings I made for yarn stores (who can order a free one here as a fundraiser for local charity LGBT Youth Scotland. 

Virtual EYF
Many of the things we’re taking to the festival aren’t currently available in my online store (although lots of them are, you can browse the full range of in stock products here). I know how frustrating it is to see previews and updates from and event you can’t attend so we’re planning a kind of virtual EYF update after we’ve had a chance to rest and restock. Stay tuned for an announcement on this but it will likely be towards the end of March. 

EYF interruptions
We’re a small team so we’ll all be busy setting up or working the festival on Thursday the 9th and Friday the 10th of March. I’ve also decided, in order to participate in the Day Without A Woman strike and allow my employees to do so, to close the studio and website on Wednesday the 8th of March. The website will go back up the following day but this means that orders placed after 4pm on Tuesday the 7th won’t be posted until Tuesday the 14th. Thank you for understanding! 

Daniel Mackay
Daniel Mackay

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