Let me tell you what I did on Saturday the 16th of March. It’s very exciting and I’m still riding the high even though my body is vehemently protesting being upright after spending the whole day on my feet. And I wasn’t even up as early as the organisers and volunteers of the first ever…
I feel like the luckiest girl in the world to have been studying in Edinburgh the year this event came together. And doubly blessed to have met and knitted with the amazing women who made it all happen. I came to Edinburgh confident that I would be able to feel at home anywhere that I could find knitters. On Saturday I met so many that I couldn’t have felt more at home if my mother was there carrying a dish of my favorite foods.
Despite the rain and cold I walked across town to arrive at the venue for 9:30. Everything had been set up with military precision so I wandered about, watching the queue build up (there was a queue out the door!) and taking pictures of all the beautiful stalls.
More important than the beautiful stalls were all the beautiful people, wrapped proudly in their knitwear and grinning from ear to ear. The hall was absolutely packed from start to finish. I was entirely overwhelmed by the turnout and the enthusiasm with which people did so. When you hear a small child squeal with delight at the sight of colourful skeins of yarn it, it warms the innermost recesses of your heart better than any hand-knitted hat.
My time apart from my duties as event photographer was spent learning how to spin wool on a spindle. That wooden beauty you see in that first image is my very own spindle on which sits my third attempt at spinning. We’re not going to talk about my first attempt. I’ll keep it in a bag somewhere, but I won’t ever talk about it.
Can we talk more about the people? Because that was honestly the most amazing part. Every table in the place was packed with event-goers having a slice of cake and natter. People I had never met stopped me to ask about the skirt I was wearing and I could in turn admire the shawls or sweaters that they were wearing.
It came to a point that I was walking around and around the hall in circles and I was enjoying every minute of it. When it was over I was half relieved because I had only sat down for two hours in the entire day (and I shouldn’t complain) and the other half of me was about to cave and go get more money from a cash machine for just ‘one more skein’.
I feel so privileged to have been a part of this event, it is something a mere interloper might only dream of getting involved with. To have bonded with so many people over a shared love of fiber is a feeling not easily forgotten. I was exposed to designers and crafters whom I might never have found on my own (my wallet might wish I had never met them).
And I was so busy being overwhelmed by the event that I didn’t even sit down to knit, even for a little bit. Knitting is for every day, Yarn Festivals come only once a year. And I hope beyond hope that this one might come around again. I know I’m not the only one with this wish.
My love and admiration goes out to the organisers and volunteers. They gave life to something truly special which was clearly waiting to be given life.
This knitting wanderer was hooked on Edinburgh Yarn Festival 2013. And she doesn’t even regret the cliche pun.