Edinburgh Yarn Festival 2017 – Part 3

After arriving at the festival bit late on the Friday (due partly to our plane from Belfast needing to be replaced due to “technical difficulties”) I decided to get there early on Saturday morning.

Outdoor Seating AreaOutdoor Seating Area

I had a lovely chat with a lady from Montreal as we waited for the doors to open at 10am. I told her my mission to buy a skein of Hedgehog Fibres yarn for, my wife, Nicolette and my concern to get the right colourway. She justifiably commented that I couldn’t go wrong with Hedgehog Fibres. But, she added, it had been so busy on Friday that some ranges were close to selling out by the end – I think Jamieson & Smith were one mentioned. [Read more…]

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… [Read more…]

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…]

Slip Stitch Snowflake Socks

My Slip Stitch Snowflake Socks were inspired by the Sweet & Spicy Peach Socks. I pretty much used the same slip stitch sock pattern. The main difference was that I wondered how the sock would fit if I continued the slip stitch pattern down the sole of the foot as well as the instep. The easiest way to do this was to decide to knit an afterthought heel. I do love tweaking patterns. So much fun!

Slip Stitch Snowflake Socks 9

The Slip Stitch Socks are knit using Regia Snowflake in the colour Snow Suit 7707. I used 2.75mm Clover bamboo double pointed needles[Read more…]

Lucy Anklet Socks

I have wanted to knit a pair of cuff socks for some time now. I always think they look fun for wearing in the Spring, early Summer and Autumn. Very cute.

Cuff Socks 23

Last year I bought the book “A Cuff Above” containing 23 sock patterns by Cynthia Guggemos.  Several patterns in this book really appeal to me. The first to actually be knit are the Lucy Anklet Socks. In the book, the designer, gives 3 different options for the cuff: a ZigZag Eyelet Cuff, Eyelet Rib Cuff, or Little Fountains Cuff. All of the options give a simple lace cuff. [Read more…]

Shetland Museum, Lerwick

Shetland Museum 1

After lunch in the Hay’s Dock Cafe, of delicious locally caught fish and chips with salad, we walked around the Shetland Museum for the first time. [Read more…]

Sweet & Spicy Peach Socks

These cute socks were knit using Peach 6751 from the original Opal Sweet & Spicy. I really love the colour combination of the peachy orange with the graduating tones of grey.

Sweet and Spicy Socks 8

The socks knit up very quickly because of the slip stitch pattern. You very quickly get into a  rhythm, slipping every 4th stitch.  [Read more…]

Burra Bears Part 1

Why do I want to have my own burra bear as a keepsake for our visit to Shetland? Mainly, because they are absolutely the cutest bear I have seen in a very long time.
I’ve been dreaming about my burra bear over the last few months while I’ve been sorting through all the gorgeous shetland wool I brought home with me from Shetland… I emailed Wendy Inkster who makes these gorgeous bears, in early November and then, I had to embark on Christmas present knitting and my Burra Bear project ended up on the back burner. But I have not forgotten this bear.

Burra-Bears-1 [Read more…]

Modern Fair Isle Knitting on Shetland


If like me, you visit Shetland on the trail of fair isle knitting, you won’t want to just look at the beautiful vintage examples in the museums, you’ll also want to see the modern pieces which you will see everywhere. Many of these are inspired by the vintage fair isle knitting traditions but the knitter’s on Shetland have taken the traditional techniques and patterns in new directions. [Read more…]

Tangwick Haa Museum, Northmavine

Tangwick Haa Museum Northmavine

We were lucky to visit Tangwick Haa Museum, on Northmavine, when we visited Shetland in the Autumn. The changing exhibition at the Museum for 2015, was ‘The Way We Did It.’ [Read more…]

Kaffe Fassett Shadow Stripe Socks

Gosh, on a cold winters night is there anything as nice as toasting your toes in front of the fire with a mug of hot tea and a couple of biscuits… yes, this can be improved by adding a pair of warm hand knit socks onto those toes!

Kaffe Fassett Socks Shadow Stripe 3871

Some sock yarns are just perfect for a pair of men’s socks particularly if he prefers socks that are a little more subtle in their colour scheme. One of my favourite sock yarns is Shadow Stripe 3871 from the Regia Kaffe Fassett Design Line. The great thing about Regia sock yarn is that it feels nice to wear but is a machine washable tough hard wearing sock yarn. [Read more…]

Searching for Seals on Shetland

One of the animals we really hoped to see when we visited Shetland were the seals.

Seals-on-Tombolo-2 [Read more…]

Scatness Tam

I’m not known for travelling lightly… My sister can travel for weeks with everything she needs squashed into a small backpack. So it wasn’t unexpected for me to go on holiday to Shetland and bring pattern books and shetland wool from my yarn collection with me. Of course I returned home to Belfast with even more! I however also had squared paper and marker pens for drafting patterns… you just never know when you’ll be inspired. As knitter’s I think we just like to be prepared.

Scatness Tam

I cast on the Scatness Tam on my 50th birthday after a wonderful day walking around Sumburgh Lighthouse and exploring Jarlshof. [Read more…]

Shetland Ponies

Shetland Ponies

One of the animals I really wanted to see when we were visiting Shetland were the Shetland Ponies. I’d seen the cute pictures of Shetland ponies wearing fair isle cardigans. Neil bought me a birthday card with the Shetland ponies wearing fair isle cardigans while we were wandering through Lerwick. Very cute. [Read more…]

Mitred Squares Blanket – Part 2

Mitred Squares Blanket Mavis Grind

Imagine tossing a stone across land from the Atlantic Ocean to the North Sea. We stopped at Mavis Grind on our way to Northmavine, where Shetland Mainland is at its narrowest point measuring only 33 metres. So if you are a good aim, it should be possible. I’m not sure if that would be feasible anywhere else. It was windswept. It was cold. It was beautiful and wild. [Read more…]

Shetland Sheep

I was really looking forward to seeing the Shetland Sheep when we visited Shetland. I love Shetland wool, it is so soft and beautiful.

Shetland Sheep

I’ve knit accessories for myself as well as garments for the Sasha dolls. I adore wearing the wonderfully soft, light and warm hats, fingerless mitts and scarves that I knit using shetland wool. [Read more…]