The social media hashtag is FOMO: Fear of Missing Out.
I’ve got a lowdown case of the FOMO today, as I watch many of my Instagram and Ravelry friends heading off to Edinburgh, Scotland, for the Edinburgh Yarn Festival, which takes place today and tomorrow in Scotland at the Corn Exchange.
The Edinburgh Yarn Festival, or EYF, is only a few years old, but it has really caught on. I first read about it in Knitlandia, the quintessential guide to worldwide knitting hootenannies and jubilees by Clara Parkes. (Which just had its first pub-date anniversary. Congrats, Clara! May Knitlandia stay in print forever, and get bigger with each “revised and expanded” edition, like Let’s Go Europe, whose current edition (its 57th) is a lean and juicy 840 pages.)
Not to make us stay-at-homers more miserable or anything, but take a look at the EYF exhibitors list. So many new yarns, and new friends, to discover there.
EYF is an independent venture, organized run by two knitters, Jo and Mica. Even the website looks different from those of the publisher-organized knitting shows we attend here in the US. I highly recommend a wallow in the image galleries. Gah! Look at the 2016 garment galleries!
Let’s make ourselves feel better with an armchair tour of Scottish knitwear designers.
To get us rolling, how about a walk through Scotland, In the Footsteps of Sheep? Seems like quite the hike, and the conditions a bit challenging, but according to Franklin Habit’s review, the journey is definitely worthwhile. The book is a prerequisite for knitters preparing for their first trip to Scotland.
My list is juicy, but short, so please shout out additions (and links) in the comments.
Alice Starmore, whose designs and books have stood the test of decades.
There’s happy news for Starmore fans: Tudor Roses, a collection of iconic sweaters that starts with Henry VII’s grandmother and ends with Mary, Queen of Scots, has just been released in a new Dover paperback edition. My sumptuous fabric-bound copy is great, but sized for a coffee table, not a knitting bag. These sweaters deserve to be admired, certainly, but also to be knitted (as Adrienne Martini documented in her book, Sweater Quest: My Year of Knitting Dangerously, a classic in the genre of Fan Nonfiction).
Kate Davies, who captures and conjures Scottish knitwear traditions with a modern eye.
Davies’s knits nod to tradition while existing completely in the present moment. Her latest books are The Book of Haps, Inspired by Islay, and Shetland Oo. Kate’s books are available at her web shop and also through Fyberspates USA.
Gilpin is a triple threat: handknitting patterns, ready-to-wear, and Scottish lambswool yarn.
Ysolda Teague. A designer with charm, energy and versatility, fluent in many styles of knitting, and now purveyor of her own line of yarn.
There. That was exactly like going to Edinburgh Yarn Festival.
There’s always next year.