About Nicolette

Edinburgh Yarn Festival 2017 – Part 2

One of my Scottish friends, on hearing that I was visiting a yarn fest in Edinburgh said “well I suppose they have festivals for all sorts these days.”

Well, yes they do. Especially Edinburgh, which seems to be a bit of a festival Mecca. But the Edinburgh Yarn Festival (EYF) is not just any old festival, as far as Nicolette and I are concerned.

Edinburgh Corn Exchange with queue

Although this is only the fourth EYF, it is already a huge event by most standards. There are about 100 contributors, with only the top talent given space for their displays. From Kate Davies, Brooklyn Tweed, Eden Cottage Yarns, John Arbon Textiles, The Threshing Barn, Ysolda – the list goes on. Not to mention Blacker Yarns, KnitBritish, Knitmastery and The Teapot Trust in the side rooms. Then there are the classes too…

Baron Coffee Room EYF 2017Baron Coffee Room

When I arrived at the Corn Exchange on Friday, the place was so full, there were hardly any seats in the Baron Room. But the soup, sandwiches and coffee were well worth the wait. I’m so glad Nicolette had the foresight to buy my ticket online, as the queue for tickets was horrendous – and the Corn Exchange staff were only able to let very small batches of people in at a time.

John Arbon EYF 2017 3John Arbon Colour By Numbers

John Arbon Yarns EYF 2017 2John Arbon Rovings

Everyone there seemed to be out for a good time.

I got lots of nice comments about my Baable hat, knitted by Nicolette. I know her colour sense is wonderful, so it was a good choice to help me break the ice.

Blacker Yarns EYF 2017Blacker Yarns

Everyone that I met was so friendly – with a smile, thumbs up, comment or chat. Any knowledge of knitting and the knitting community is somewhat limited, but I still felt at home with the others at the event.

I wasn’t the only man either. There were plenty of men on stalls and visitors, I even think I spotted one with a brown baable hat. There was even a child wearing a baable hat!!

Kate Davies and Neil EYF 2017Kate Davies and I

I was so pleased to get my photograph taken with Kate Davies. She is such a talent and a real heroine of Nicolette (who has all of her books and find the designs and photographs by Kate’s husband Tom very inspirational). I hope I didn’t appear too star struck when I spoke to her!

Kate Davies Stand EYF 2017Kate Davies Knitwear

Kate Davies Stand EYF 2017Kate Davies Designs

I had a lot of fun looking at all the stalls in the market place, before I decided to make my purchases of a couple of nice hand dyed yarns to take back to Nicolette.

Eden Cottage Yarns EYF 2017Eden Cottage Yarns

Loop EYF 2017Loop

Skein Queen EYF 2017Skein Queen Yarns

I texted Nicolette to let her know some of the yarns being shown on the stalls.

Sweet Georgia Yarns EYF 2017Sweet Georgia Yarns

Beautiful Yarns EYF 2017Fine balls of yarn on display in wooden troughs

I decided on Elen Sock, from Triskelion Yarn – a BFL in colourway Wade. I was really impressed with the colours of yarns in the Triskelion stall and indigo blue is one of Nicolette’s favourites.

Triskelion Yarns EYF 2017Triskelion Yarn

The other yarn that I bought was a DK yarn from Easyknits.co.uk, called Dusted Dreams. This one is a Superwash Merino called Blueberry Pie. It has a beautiful sprinkling of colours and such an appropriate name. Sometimes the names are part of what sells a yarn. At first the name of the vendor put me off, but when I saw and felt the range of yarns I knew that I had to make one of my purchases there.

Yarn purchase EYF day 1The two skeins of yarn I bought for Nicolette on Day 1

On the bus on the way home, Nicolette phoned me to see how the day had gone and squealed with delight in response to an earlier text about there being skeins of Hedgehog Fibres yarn. I quickly replied that I hadn’t actually bought any… but that I would definitely go back the next day. Decision made – I was going back for another go tomorrow!


This post about the Edinburgh Yarn Festival 2017 was written by Neil and posted by Nicolette.

Edinburgh Yarn Festival 2017 – Part 1

This was to be Nicolette’s long awaited first trip to the Edinburgh Yarn Festival.

My name is Neil and, as Nicolette’s husband, I can remember her talking about going to the Edinburgh Yarn Festival since it first opened four years ago.

Edinburgh Yarn Festival 2017 Collage
[Read more…]



So this is a slightly different post to my usual knitting posts as I don’t really go into my personal life very much on the Knitting Squirrel. I prefer to keep to knitting projects, yarn and a little bit of travel to interesting places.

Firstly, the Knitting Squirrel is continuing apace with my husband and mum packing all the orders and sending them out poste haste. We have a couple of nice new yarns coming in towards the end of February which is always fun to open and look at the colour combinations.

However, all of you who have emailed me or left comments recently will have noticed a tardiness in my replying. Over the last couple of months I have been feeling very tired and have had some touches of angina when I was walking my collie Bene. This escalated and I am presently in hospital awaiting treatment.

Thanks to Neil I now have a little laptop and my mobile phone is providing a personal hotspot so although I cannot add new posts for the moment, I will be able to reply to any queries and gradually work my way through replying to all the comments and questions that are awaiting my attention. So please don’t feel like I am ignoring you I will get there eventually.

My mum and husband are thoroughly enjoying looking at the lovely yarns that you buy as they pack them for posting.

The beautiful stag was photographed in the Wolf Refuge when we visited Brittany in September.

Norwegian Star Hat

I love giving useful Christmas presents that I know the recipient with enjoy. This is particularly nice when it is a hand knit gift.

In September when we were visiting my sister and brother-in-law in Britanny, I happened to ask if there was something my brother-in-law would like for Christmas, other than the usual socks. [Read more…]

Box O Sox KAL 2016

Box O Sox KAL 2016 – Early in 2016 I was watching one of my favourite podcasts, Yarngasm. Kristin of Voolenvine Yarns who does this fun podcast mentioned her new KAL running on her Yarngasm Ravelry Group.


My ears pricked up. Literally.

I don’t often join KAL’s, well, this isn’t completely true, I join but other projects I’m working on for the Knitting Squirrel to show how beautiful the new yarns look when knitted up, normally take precedence, so I normally don’t finish the KAL in time.

Box O Sox KAL 2016

But, I mean, a box of a minimum of 12 pairs of socks by the 1st January 2017… This sounded like a huge amount of fun. You’ll all know if you visit the Knitting Squirrel regularly, I do love knitting socks. This gave me the perfect opportunity to start 2017 with 12 lovely new pairs of socks just for me… positively decadent! I finished with 14 pairs of socks. [Read more…]

Christmas Letters

Christmas Letters is the fourth in the Blossom Street series by Debbie Macomber. Katherine O’Connor likes Christmas and writing Christmas letters for colleagues in a Blossom Street cafe. She is faced with a dilemma, therefore, when she meets a man who has fundamentally opposite views but whom she also finds irresistible.

Christmas Letters Debbie Macomber

Katherine O’Connor (or K.O. to her friends) leads a busy life at Christmas time in Seattle. Not only does she transcribe medical texts, but she also has a holiday sideline writing Christmas letters for people who are too busy to write their own. K.O. spends her mornings in the French Cafe on Blossom Street using her laptop to create a more exciting and interesting story out of people’s lives. [Read more…]

Fleece Navidad

Although Kelly Flynn is a relatively new knitter, she is keen to join her friends with a charity knitting project, in Fleece Navidad by Maggie Sefton. Kelly also must solve the unexpected death of one of her knitting companions, in the sixth of the Knitting Mystery series.

Caffeine addict, Kelly Flynn lives adjacent to the House of Lambspun in Fort Connor, Colorado knitting shop. This Christmas, Kelly and her fellow knitters are working on charity knitting projects. The local librarian, Juliet Renfrow, is organising the season’s good will venture to create knitted gifts and all of the regulars are helping out.

Fleece Navidad By Maggie Sefton

Juliet Renfrow is a quiet “little brown wren” of a woman who is known for her stunning handmade capes. Her creations have been in great demand in the lead up to Christmas. But Juliet also has another reason to be happy; she is in love! Juliet’s beau is Jeremy Cunningham, a retired university professor. The couple are the perfect match and are so sweet together. [Read more…]

Purple Ripples Hat

Hand dyed sock yarn is truly beautiful and we’ve all fallen in love with that perfect skein and brought it home with us. I love to use up all of my left over hand dyed sock yarn. Small quantities of less than 10g are destined to become mitred squares.

Rippling Purples Hat

Regular visitors to the Knitting Squirrel will have noticed that I love knitting socks. When I knit a pair of socks for my mum, my sister or myself, I normally have between 30-35g of yarn leftover. This isn’t enough for a pair of fingerless mitts as they take about 50g of sock yarn. [Read more…]

Touch of Elegance Socks

Touch of Elegance Socks were designed as an elegant choice for using a skein of my hand dyed Merino Cashmere Nylon sock yarn in a rich Old Gold colour. For this luxurious yarn I wanted to add a touch of texture to the sock.

There is nothing quite as beautiful as a skein of hand dyed yarn. I love hand dyeing sock yarn. There is a touch of alchemy about the dyeing process. Part of the joy is that the depth and richness of the colours will still surprise you even if you have an understanding of colour theory.

Touch of Elegance Socks

The Merino Cashmere Nylon sock yarn takes the dye amazingly well. Hand Dyed Merino Cashmere Nylon Sock Yarn is a wonderful squishy soft yarn perfect for knitting socks, scarves, shawls, gloves and many other projects. The nylon content adds strength while the cashmere adds an element of luxury.  [Read more…]

Noro Dotted Rays Shawl

Dotted Rays Shawl is designed by Stephen West of WestKnits. I just love Stephen West’s gorgeous shawl designs. I’ve watched his Craftsy class Shawlscapes several times. I’ve bought several of his patterns although I haven’t knit all of them yet. Oh, I do love to have a few patterns on hand that I’m dreaming about casting on!

Noro Dotted Ray Shawl

Dotted Rays Shawl is a curved asymmetrical shawl. The garter stitch short row wedges gradually increase in size. While the yarn overs create beautiful rays between the wedges. [Read more…]

The Thirteen Problems

How could I resist the very first tales about Miss Marple; the original murder mystery knitter who we have all come to know and love?

The Thirteen Problems is a collection of short stories by Agatha Christie. I decided that it was time for me to read them as they are almost 90 years old; they were first published individually in various monthly magazines between 1927 and 1931.

The Thirteen Problems by Agatha Christie

As well as being the earliest tale about Miss Marple, the first story (The Tuesday Night Club) also introduces the writer Raymond West (Miss Marple’s nephew) and ex-police commissioner Sir Henry Clithering. [Read more…]

Knitting Squirrel Sale Page

We spent the weekend doing Stock Taking at the Knitting Squirrel…

Knitting Squirrel Sale Page

Some of our popular Opal Collections only had a few balls of yarn left in stock so I’ve added them to the Knitting Squirrel Sale Page!

Treat yourself to beautiful sock yarn at a bargain price before it’s gone!  [Read more…]

Little Yellow Daisy Socks

Little Yellow Daisy Socks

I started knitting the Little Yellow Daisy Socks while we were on holiday in Connemara, Co Galway in June. When the socks were finished and blocked, they ended up in Brittany being photographed on the iconic Pink Granite Coast. [Read more…]

How to Match the Colour Pattern on Fingerless Mitts and Socks

“Could you please tell me the best way to match the yarn for the second sock so you have a lovely matching pair?”

This is a question I am asked quite regularly.

KnitPro Karbonz Double Pointed Needles

I am busy knitting fingerless mitts for my niece as part of her Christmas present. I’m using Regia Design Line Kaffe Fassett in colour 3773 and 2.75mm KnitPro Karbonz double pointed needles (which I really love using). [Read more…]

Neptune’s Ocean Socks

The last time I wrote about the Fish Lips Kiss Heel and Toe was in June 2014 and I thought it was time to revisit this wonderful heel and toe construction in my Neptune’s Ocean Socks.

Neptune's Ocean Socks

Fish Lips Kiss Heel is designed by Sox Therapist and is available on Ravelry.com. I read through the detailed instructions and watched the two stitch techniques on Youtube and then decided to use the heel construction with my normal basic sock pattern. [Read more…]

Dragonfly Socks

Hedgehog Fibres is an Irish artisan yarn dyeing company based in Cork, Ireland. The owner Beata Jezek created her own line of beautiful yarns in the gorgeous colours, ranging form rich and dark to vibrant, that she wanted to knit with, wear and live with.

Dragonfly Hedgehog Fibres Socks

I wanted a skein of the Dragonfly Socks yarn as a reminder of a wonderful walk that Neil and I had in Brittany in 2009. We walked through the woods for hours and then we sat for a couple of hours by a quiet pool near a waterfall surrounded by trees. We watched the dragonflies flitting around just above the water and as we sat, they landed on our arms and knees while we just sat quietly watching their beautiful iridescent colours. This was an extraordinary and magical experience that has stayed with me all these years on…One of my presents from Neil last Xmas was this gorgeous skein of Hedgehog Twist Sock in the Dragonfly colour which had long been on my wish list!  [Read more…]