Monday, 26 October 2015

Highland Wool Festival 2015 - Inverness

October brings the smaller (and original) Highland Wool Festival to the Bishop's Palace at Eden Court. There are no classes or "events" at this one, just £2 to get in and wool to buy. We don't have a lot of LYS (local yarn shops) in the highlands, and the ones we have tend to carry a lot of acrylic yarns in pastel colours, suitable for baby knitting if you don't much like the baby*. A chance to buy a range of beautiful fibres and crafts in exquisite colours is not to be passed up.

I was there with Little Djinn (as usual) so first thing first we had to look at buttons and we picked up a dozen big round buttons in crayola colours for £1 for her to play with. I'm hoping the orangish-red buttons will work for her Wee Meelia cardigan but letting her have a button stash (and keep her out of mine) is an end in and of itself.

Then it was over to Ripple's Crafts, my favourite yarn enabler. I picked up three skeins from Helen - two skeins of her Suilven 4ply merino/yak/silk blend in the colourways "Orkney Sea and Sky" for Wooly Wormhead's Bedragonned beret I mentioned in my fantasy hat knitting post and "Autumn Sunset" for a maple leaf shawl KAL on google+ I've been invited to participate in in December. I'm starting to worry that it's not going to be enough meterage, so I need to see if she can do up a second skein for me - colour variations would be suitable for the project! The other skein I got was her 6ply DK Doubly Reliable sockyarn in a varigated green called "Wendy", which amuses me as one of the ladies at my Knit Night is named Wendy and she's usually decked out in green. Also pictured is a previously purchased second skein of Doubly Reliable sockyarn in one of unnamed colourways, both intended for winter socks.

I got a rainbow DK skein from a small dyer I'd not purchased anything from previously, Gongcraft (they don't appear to have a website and their etsy shop is empty). I'm not hugely interested in plant dyes as I prefer super-saturated colours, but I'm a sucker for rainbows. I was thinking of making a hooded scarf for Little Djinn, but then I remembered I have a pattern for a Cuddly Chameleon by Browneyed Babs who designed the fuzzy teddy bear I knit. How adorable is this?

There was also a stand selling British breeds wool, which is where I got the six balls of Jamieson's Shetland Heather that I talked about in my last post. Little Djinn rummaged through the stall's (foolishly I didn't write down the name of the business) bins of wool and came up with a ball of Wensleydale Longsheep DK in a bright raspberry. She insisted that I buy it for her, and not one of the 50g 4ply balls, though I bought one of those for myself in cream. I also picked up a skein of John Arbon Exmoor Sock in "Midnight". Another knitter in the Great British SocksAway KAL knit socks in that colour and they looked so lovely, I want a pair myself.

At Yarn Garden I picked up three skeins of 100% Corriedale DK in "raspberry wine". It was half price, only £10/skein so I presume it was being discontinued. I'm thinking of making some nice warm leg warmers for under my trousers at work, maybe Sadler's Wells?

I got an ornament from TJ Frog, maker of lovely Dorset Buttons. I wanted the blue one with silver beads but Little Djinn wanted the purple one with gold beads, so that's what we got. I don't have a picture of it as she insists it's hers, though she is holding it in the top picture.

And finally, Little Djinn picked out a tiny pair of fingerless mitts in a rainbow colourway of sock yarn, which she insists she'll wear but so far has refused to do so. I'd rather buy something she won't use than make it, but we'll see if she's more willing as it gets colder.

We didn't see anyone we knew wandering about, though a few of the knitters from InStitches said they'd be there. Little Djinn and I had some tea and split a traybake in the cafe before heading over to Bellfield Park so she could play until Daddy walked into town, then we all went for a late lunch/early dinner at the tapas restaurant before walking home again. It was a really good day.

~ ~ * ~ ~

* when on fire, plant fibres burn, animal fibres self-extinguish, and acrylics melt. If a baby is under an acrylic blanket - or heaven forfend - in an acrylic hat or jumper, it will melt to the baby's skin and then, when the knit item is removed, it will rip off the baby's skin. You would never buy something for a child that you knew failed fire safety standards - why would you spend your time creating something with such great potential to harm?

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