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All The Mini Skeins – yarn tasting at Edinburgh Yarn Festival 2018

March 22, 2018

Mini Skeins at The Little Grey Sheep stall

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.

One of the purchases I was very excited about was a range of colours in Woollenflower’s natural-dyed fingering weight. Jules has dyed on a really lovely base, a woollen-spun yarn made by Polo & Co from French fibre milled in France.

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!

Another bundle that made me swoon was this delicious yarn from Germany. Rauwerk is a woollen-spun DK/worsted weight, and I went crazy over those blue shades… And the grey… And the ochre which is dyed by Hey Mama Wolf… These were the very first skeins I wound up for swatching!

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!

Max was VERY excited about these mini skeins from EasyKnits – especially the hot pink, which is his favourite colour!

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.

Scrumptious Shetland

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.

I’ve added to my palette of Shetland ‘jumper weight’ colours. The blanket shown is the Vivid Blanket, which was designed in Jamieson & Smith jumper weight, because of the colour possibilities! I was able to eke 2 squares out of a single 25 gram skein!

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!

10 Comments leave one →
  1. Rachel Judson permalink
    April 11, 2018 2:22 am

    every year I mean to go to EYF and then it’s been an gone before I know it. However, I love the J&S, Jamieson’s of Shetland websites and I have been eyeing up that self-same cone of 2ply for a while now. (I love the cones and used them for a Tanis Christmas in July body, but I just worked it on needles).

  2. March 25, 2018 5:16 pm

    Luckily I live where there are several shows throughout the year. This weekend was Stitches United, although it will be relocating next year….but yes, I love yarn shows/festivals/etc…to talk to the vendors and squoosh the yarn is the best.

  3. March 23, 2018 11:56 am

    Loving all the colors!!! I always enjoy your posts!!

  4. March 23, 2018 7:02 am

    EYF is always the weekend of my husband’s birthday. So we never go. But it looks amazing. Maybe next year I can tempt him with the thought of sock yarn (he only wears hand knitted socks unless it’s a very formal meeting).
    Until then……Yarndale will be here soon enough! ;-)

  5. sophy0075 permalink
    March 23, 2018 5:56 am

    Sweet- but not fattening!

    I love the blues and greens. And the model’s matching hair with the Undertone.

  6. March 22, 2018 7:28 pm

    So much beautiful yarn! <3

  7. March 22, 2018 5:04 pm

    Oh those pictures make me want to go yarn shopping!

  8. Letih☼ permalink
    March 22, 2018 3:16 pm

    Omg! I love that cowl colors😍😍 I can imagine a cardigan in this style💙

  9. Elizabeth Ann permalink
    March 22, 2018 2:20 pm

    I am so jealous of everyone coming back from Edinburgh with such delicious yarny goodness! I love the pink !

  10. March 22, 2018 11:40 am

    Not having anything even remotely like a yarn festival, I fairly recently discovered online the wonderful US Bumblebee Farm – – and bought a “mountainof minis”. My first experience of these little gems; and your post tells me they’re a hot topic. :)

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