While Alexa has the fabulous Knit City in Vancouver, for a home knit show I am lucky to have the top-notch Edinburgh Yarn Festival on my doorstep! Since the beginning, I have always brought a Tin Can Knits stall to the show, but this year I decided to do something different and teach classes rather than being a vendor in the marketplace. This was VERY exciting, because it left me oodles of time to shop the show! I was able to chat with many of the yarn producers and dyers, make connections with other designers and industry people and enjoy the Ceilidh too.
I acquired A LOT OF YARN this year (it really needs to be in all-caps folks, seriously). And what I discovered was that in previous years I had really been missing out on a critical research trip, because I’d been too busy chatting about my own work to look around and focus on the exciting new yarns and products that were available! So this year I basked in the excitement and shopped till I very nearly dropped!
But my own current interest in woolly and natural dye tones aside, I feel like Mini Skeins were the theme of Edinburgh Yarn Festival this year. Most hand-dyers booths included a great selection of single minis or gradient kits. And many of the producers of mill-dyed yarns offered ‘little’ options too. Being currently obsessed with colourwork, I felt literally like a kid in a candy store, I wanted to try one of each!
A small selection of the mini skeins that drew my eye!
What patterns work well with mini-skeins?
Well… we’ve got a colourful suggestion or three!
Undertone, from our book Mad Colour, is a lovely cowl for using up odds and ends and mini-skeins! If you have fingering-weight yarn, you could hold it double in place of the DK weight called for in this pattern.
The Twisp hat was designed in sport / sock weight, so would be perfect for playing with sock-weight minis!
Wenlock has a colourful yoke that would work using DK weight mini-skeins, or you could hold 2 strands of a sock-weight together while working the colourful yoke section.
Another thing that particularly caught my eye this year were Shetland yarns. Because of our current colourwork focus I’ve been collecting colours in J&S, Jamieson’s of Shetland, JC Rennies, and a few other These companies have, for decades, been selling the original mini-skein put-up; 25 gram balls that allow you to collect the wide range of colours that are the required palette for Fair Isle style blending in stranded colourwork.
Lastly, I think that PINK was probably a pretty major theme to my EYF too… And I’m falling in love with it a little more every day!
I picked out several pinks that I plan to use in the yoke of a brilliant green sweater (next year’s Christmas outfit plan). I plan to make the body and sleeves of this sweater on my knitting machine, and then work a delicate yoke in some of these greens and pinks.
Do you get a chance to visit a wool show and shop the wide range of delicious offerings? If you haven’t had a chance to try it, I’d recommend you head to a show near you, there’s such an excitement and energy when so many creative businesses and shoppers converge!