Well, that’s the hard work of Edinburgh Yarn Fest over for another year! We took all the samples from Inspired by Islay with us, and many people mentioned what a difference it made being able to see my designs in person.

. . . and to be able to browse through our books.

Here’s Mel

. . . and Jen

and here I am chatting with two lovely ladies from Linköping, (one of whom is sporting a beautifully-knitted Epistrophy)

and with very sweet and always stylish Helena.

I really enjoyed meeting and chatting with so many lovely knitters, and this (as always) was the best bit of the show for me. Thanks to Barb, who carried a gift for us all the way from Canada; to those who brought wee treats for Bruce, and to those who took the time to show me their Puffin or Miss Rachel or Ursula sweaters. Seeing you enjoy my patterns is the highlight of my job! It was particularly exciting to see so many fabulous versions of the new Islay patterns, particularly the Oa and Kildalton.

But it was a tricky weekend for me too. Anyone who was in the Corn Exchange on Friday will know just how busy it was: I have been to a fair few yarny shows, and I’ve not really witnessed anything like it. None of us were able to leave the stand, or to take a break until well into the afternoon, and I spent most of the day on my feet. One consequence of my stroke is a dropped foot that gets temperamental when I’ve been standing for long periods: by Friday evening the foot had stopped working, and, unable to walk, I unfortunately couldn’t make it to the show on Saturday. So I wanted to apologise to anyone who dropped by the stand to get their book signed on Saturday, and found me absent. I was very sorry to miss you! But please don’t worry about me or my foot – I am absolutely fine and this is just one of those things I have to deal with.

As I didn’t leave our stand, I didn’t have an opportunity to have a look at other booths, or say hello to friends, but Tom was able to whizz round briefly with his camera.

Tom was particularly excited to see the fabulous backdrop to the Uradale Yarns stand, as it uses one of the photographs he took when he visited Ronnie and Sue last year (you can also see this photo in our Shetland Oo book). I think that looking into the booth is just like taking a wee step into Shetland!

He also took some nice shots of


Rachel Coopey (Coop Knits)


Hélène Magnusson (The Icelandic Knitter)

Lilith (Old Maiden Aunt)

And Ange and Rob (Weft Blown)

If you were able to get to EYF I hope you had a fantastic time! And if not, perhaps we’ll see you in Edinburgh next year.

40 thoughts on “at EYF

  1. It was great to see you and I’m so proud of our picture together. I made the boreal for the blackerpodKAL. What a shame of missing on Saturday, it was so busy on Friday and difficult to get some rest.

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  2. I was there on Saturday morning. I talked with Tom about academia and got both sets of pictures, the latest book and a sweater worth quantity of yarn. Though you were not there in person the stand was full of your personality and knitting, it also matters. E5 was the stand I most enjoyed. The festival market was very overwhelming for us as EYF first timers visiting from Belgium. Cheers

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  3. Well, i thought you are not looking well on all the IG photos i saw. Your face was full of pain but the wish to come through this. Hopefully you won’t do it in that way in the future (Timetable when you are at the stand, and timetable for your rest).
    Wish you and your surrounding, who cares really for you, all the best

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  4. Glad you are now recovering Kate. I spent two days in bed and are slowly getting back to what passes as normal with me. Hope Bruce is giving you extra loves for braving the crowds to get him treats ;)

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  5. The Islay book is *so* good. It feels so much more than a compilation of the essays you released every week for the last few months. The intro, the reflection and the progress mentally and physically were really lovely to read. Thank you for being so very transparent. It actually brought a tear to my eye (in a good way!).

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  6. It was lovely to meet you on Friday morning. Five minutes in through the festival doors and I had come my Islay book and another sweater’s worth of Buachaille. I love this yarn!💙
    It certainly was a very busy event so thank you for taking the time to speak to everyone. Hopefully this week you’ll get a chance to recharge.

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  7. Thanks so much for sharing! =)
    Would your foot be better if you could sit sometimes?
    And many thanks to Tom for taking the pictures; especially the Uradale pictures is stunning! =)

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  8. Hi Kate, it was lovely to meet you and the others on Friday. I noticed you weren’t around on Saturday and was concerned but I’m so pleased to hear your fine.
    Please consider doing a similar theme to Inspired by Islay (after you’ve had a break!!) – you and it has inspired so many of us. Thanks again and take care.

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  9. My Instagram was full of photos of this event reminding me of our Rhinebeck NY gathering in October. Maybe I’ll make it to this festival some day.

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  10. Sadly, as I live in Australia, I can’t get to the Edinburgh Yarn Fest, it looks amazing, anyway I’d need a cargo ship to get my purchases home. (Am heading to Scotland, east coast, in 2018 though but not in March.) Reading about your difficulties with standing all day I was wondering if you had heard of this trick. I worked for an Australian knitwear designer for a number of years and in that time did many shows with her, anything up to five days. What she taught me was to change shoes during the day, even a slight change in heel height or shoe shape makes an amazing difference to your stance and therefore changes pressure points and muscle strain to feet, legs and back. It may not be quite as effective if you have a major injury such as yours but worth a try.(apologies if you already knew this).
    Thank you for your wonderful patterns, can’t wait to get hold of some of your yarn to knit some of them, probably in June/July.

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  11. Hello Kate….At this moment I am watching a couple of kangaroos munching on fallen pears and I can hear an emu booming as he walks through the orchard. EYF sounds so busy but I am thrilled your hard work is receiving all the applause it so richly deserves. Enjoy a cup of tea at home with Tom and Bruce. Woody sends a bark or two….from Here to There….Lydia

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  12. I was at EYF on Friday, you were so busy every time I wandered past I was sorry not to be able to meet you properly but really enjoyed chatting with Tom, Jen and Mel. So generous of you to bring your wedding skirt to set off ‘Finlaggan’, I hope it has made it home undamaged! I bought lots of Buachaille and am really looking forward to knitting it up over the next few months. I loved the festival but it was so busy and hot that after 2 hours I felt light-headed and after 3 I had to go and get some air. I think I would have struggled to stay all day, so hats off to you and the team. I hope you all get a bit of a rest this week! Thanks for a fabulous and inspiring stand.

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  13. It was lovely to see you on Friday! I always enjoy EYF, but the fact that you have been there the last two years with your gorgeous designs is the icing on the cake. So good to meet you all, and to see all the designs knitted up.

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  14. We knitters are a clannish lot and we do love to gather. Attending EYF is on my bucket list and I hope the organizers heed the comments about changing the venue. A similar event, Knit City, here in Vancouver BC is in the sixth year. When the event moved to a larger space in an exhibition ground it felt cooler, less frenetic, there was space to walk, to have a chat and to consider the yarns and samples available for purchase and creative stimulation. The KDD booth looks wonderful in pictures and I wish you continued recuperation and basking in the glory of all that you and your team are accomplishing. It is good and inspired work you do.

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  15. Yes, Friday was crazy busy! It’s beyond difficult to manage an event that size but that is what immense popularity will produce and I hope EYF can evolve to handle it.
    I stopped by your lovely booth but didn’t try to get your attention. (Tom was very gracious to give me his autograph though on some of the lovely cards you had there.)
    Having the garments there to see in person was so incredibly helpful. I would have loved to pour over each one but I satisfied myself with examining the Oa hoodie up close. Seeing how you crafted those armscyes was very instructive and I love to see the wonderful finishing.

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  16. Dear Kate, I’ve enjoyed reading this post and also IG posts re EYF from you and others and can certainly grasp the excited of this very, very well attended event. Yes…I do wish I could have also been there, but can understand why many folks are hoping for next year’s EYF to be held in a more spacious venue.

    I recently visited the annual Vogue Knitting Magazine Live event here in NYC and also found it exciting, but truly too crowded to be as enjoyable as I would have wished. Being in the midst of so many enthusiastic knitters and yarn sources is fun…but a larger, more attractive setting would have allowed the participating exhibitors to shine even more, I was sent a questionnaire by Vogue following the event to give comments, and I hope that those folks attending the EYF will also be polled. Meanwhile…I wait patiently for the arrival of your beautiful book. (While you were in Edinburgh, I was reading Ian Rankin’s newest Rebus novel.) xo

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  17. I was there on the Friday and was super happy to have you sign my Book of Haps and say a little fan thank you! Seeing a Puffin in person has seriously decided that it needs to be next on my needles, so beautiful ! And it was busy, and hot some places, but I thoroughly enjoyed it!

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  18. What a lovely show. As an American I want to coordinate a vacation so that it coincides with one of your shows. This one looks amazing! I would love to see all your amazing designs in person. It looks like a lovely time was had by all.

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  19. Such a great event, but very busy. I’m not a fan of crowds but I do like to get first choice of things so…what can you do? I think you’re a real trooper for even thinking about going to these things, Kate. It was great to see you there, even if I didn’t feel confident enough to come over I appreciated seeing your team.

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  20. What a resounding success……apart from the foot who will do as it wants :( The directors chair is an excellent idea!!
    Thank Tom for the great photos of other participants and booths. That is special for folk to see and touch your wool and finished garments.

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  21. It was a pleasure to see your booth and you and Tom in person. I have bought every book you have published. Am I a fan or what? Tom gave me some whiskey ideas to buy for my family and I loved touching and seeing all the samples. I came from Vancouver, BC Canada to see this brilliant event and was so happy I did. The only thing missing was Bruce!

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  22. Your booth is so beautiful (of course); you always style your knits wonderfully, and your booth is no exception. And I think the above suggestion of a tall director’s chair for you at the back of the booth is a good solution for anyone, as those crowds and standing all day is exhausting no matter your stroke status. :)

    Sorry to hear it was so busy Friday that people felt they couldn’t go Saturday. We have similar festivals here in the states, and many (e.g., Rhinebeck) have become extremely crowded. However, that has a lot of outdoors to it. Perhaps there’s another venue–like a fairgrounds? that could take the crowds a bit better.

    I got my Inspired by Islay book yesterday (my partner wondering what I was receiving that was from overseas!). It feels lovely, and of course is beautiful, being populated by Tom’s photography and your designs.

    I missed my 5% discount on Buchaille yarn–I couldn’t settle on a pattern so quickly, having been a late participant in the club, but I think I’m going to get the yarn for the Carraig Fhada (though my absolute favorite is the Oa hoody–fabulous).

    Thanks for your sense of design and history, and to Tom for his eye, and to Bruce for, well, his Bruceness.

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  23. It was my first EYF this year and I was there on the Friday with all the wonderful woolly gorgeousness. It was very busy, but having done Ally Pally before I was half expecting it. It was lovely to be able to say a quick hello and thank you to you Kate. It was also fab to be able to see your stunning designs in person. I am glad you are on the mend. XXX

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  24. So glad to know that you are recovering. It was such a well curated event, but oh so crowded! I hope they can figure out a way to move to a larger venue because I’m sure the crowds will only grow larger. That said, it was a lovely event. Glad I ordered your newest ahead of time. It’s waiting for me at home in Kentucky!

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  25. My friend and I came for the Friday. It was packed to the rafters. I saw your beautiful booth and had a look. You were so busy chatting, I couldn’t say Hi.
    After a couple of hours browsing and a long coffee break ,it was no longer enjoyable and we left a bit earlier than planned
    It doesn’t surprise me that one day was enough. I was exhausted and I haven’t had a stroke
    I think they should rethink the venue for next year.

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    1. Helen, I agree completely. I was there for my first festival just on Friday and felt exactly the same, I couldn’t consider shopping in those conditions and left at lunchtime. Very disappointed. I’ve read this many times over the weekend on social media and seen the overcrowding defended (The event is victim of it’s own success…) Unless a significant number of people contact the organisers directly with what you wrote we’ll see it at the Corn exchange again next year, and the thought of that with an even bigger attendance just makes me shudder. I hope you don’t mind me saying this here, Kate.

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  26. I was there early on Friday morning and was thrilled to get a glimpse of you, a chat with Mel (I’m a HUGE fan of Mel!) and a book to bring home before leaving after a couple of hours and not returning on Saturday because it was just too crowded to cope with. The show is a wonderful idea but I’m not going next year unless they get a bigger venue. I hope the organisers will seriously consider it. Thank you all at KDD for your hard work x x

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  27. The problem of having a stroke is remembering to pace yourself! I forget sometimes as well and forget that just because I fell well doesn’t mean I can do the same things I used to! I didn’t make it to EYF this year but planning ahead for next year, bringing my daughter and law in the hope she will remind me to pace myself on the other side she also pushes me to do just that little bit more! I was 43 when I had my stroke.

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  28. It was such a pleasure to meet you on Friday Kate, I’m sorry the day took its toll on you though….. it was extremely busy. Your stand was amazing and I’m delighted to have been able to get a signed copy of your new book and some more gorgeous buachaille yarn and my husband enjoyed his chat with Tom too.
    I hope you’re having a relaxing end to the weekend.

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  29. It was so wonderful to meet you Kate. I do understand it wa very busy day! It was really crowded!
    Both Gunilla and me are very happy that you had the oppurtunity to chat a bit with us <3
    Love Anna

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  30. I was very sorry to hear you weren’t well enough to be there on Saturday and sad to miss meeting you. But I met your lovely hubby Tom and he signed my book for me in your absence 😀 I am pleased to hear you are okay and after seeing how busy it was yesterday I totally understand your need to take a break. Your stand was beautiful and very inspiring, I have added more Buachaille to my ever growing stash. Take care and thank you for all your wonderful designs, yarn and team xx

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  31. Glad to hear that you’re feeling better today. Would it be okay to ask, is that gorgeous and oh so glorious tank top worn by Helena one of your patterns, her colours are just woooo-wonderful. and she looks fantastic.

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  32. Hello
    I was at the EYF on Saturday and I found it to be very busy and Hot! Everyone told me how crowded it was on the Friday, and I’m quite glad I missed the crowds because wandering round the stands was so inspirational and I suspect that would have been more difficult on the Friday. One of the things I wanted to do was have a look at your own yarns
    In the blogs everyone is so complimentary and I wanted to see for myself. I can reassure knitters that the yarns are indeed wonderfully soft so I will soon be putting in an order.
    Congratulations on your stand, and yes, it was wonderful to see the finished items.
    I look forward to your next work.

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