Tag Archives: EYF

EYF Through the Eyes of an Exhibitor


As some of you may know, last weekend I was at the Edinburgh Yarn Festival in the Corn Exchange. I thought that it might be a interesting if you got to see the festival through the eyes of an exhibitor.
When I’m working at events I always forget to take many photos so several of the photos in this post of courtesy of my friend who always remembers the photos; Evin – thank you!

Pre EYF

Before I started I hadn’t fully anticipated the amount of preparation that would be needed to do a show in a different country. To start with there is just the logistical problem of getting all of the stock to Edinburgh. It ended up getting there through a variety of methods; some was shipped directly to the venue, Rachel Coopey (Coop Knits) really saved me and let me ship more yarn and several boxes of books to her! Finally all of the items I needed for the display came in my luggage and was hauled around planes and buses by me and my friend Sue. There were all sorts of items I only thought of at the last minute that made a huge difference; money aprons were probably the top of that list! Small things that are also tricky abroad – how do you get enough change to run a cash shop? When I get sterling cash from and Irish bank I only get notes, which isn’t very useful when you need coins!

I spent a bit of time thinking about how to display nicely but still pack it into a suitcase. A stack of Ikea foldable boxes did the job well stacked into a little pile on the table. I almost forgot a few white sheets to cover the table but they were thrown in at the last minute. My youngest trimmed an old broom handle down to use to hang the yarn. It turned out really well (and he even carved ‘NUA YARN’ into one end of it!).

I got a new credit card reader so I could take card payments in person as well as extra roaming credit from my Irish phone network.
Several weeks before the show all the orders for special show items were ordered; print copies of the Nua Collection Volume 1, print copies of patterns for kits, printing up of cloth project bags and a special order of project bags from Sara.
It was a whole lot of work but it meant I had everything I wanted to display on the day.
In fact the only item we had to go and buy on the day was some dressmaker pins as the double sided tape wasn’t working well!

Arrival

My friend Sue was with me at the show helping me out. To be honest it would have been completely impossible (as well as miserable) to do it alone. The fact that she’s a show pro was a huge bonus (her husband’s company Mountain Man do many beer festivals!), she’s probably more comfortable working in crowds than I am!
I wanted 2 things for the display; visible from a distance and light enough to pack. EYF is a very crowded festival and I wanted enough signs to hang at the top of the stand so we could be found as far away as possible. The lightweight pvc banner with the open yarn hanging from the bottom did a great job of this!

Finished set up at @edinyarnfest. Come visit us tomorrow!

A post shared by Carol Feller (@feller.carol) on


On the other side of the stand I featured my books and the samples from my newest book, Knitting With Rainbows. Having a huge gradient shawl on display did however mean that I got many, many questions about a kit….I think Half Moon Street might be completely awesome in a Nua kit….what do you think??

The Show


The show was so overwhelmingly wonderful. So many customers, friends, fellow designers and vendors that I wanted to talk to. Friday felt just too short; I had knitters come show me their beautiful versions of my patterns, thank me for my Craftsy Short Row class and fondle the new yarn. Friday was packed solid with people from 9 until 5.30. For several hours Sue and me couldn’t actually even get under the table to get extra yarn out! Mica is a complete and utter superstar, helping me to sort wifi issues and get my credit card payments working. Saturday was a little quieter but I was still reeling from Friday! As Nua is so new it was invaluable to hear everyone’s feedback and watch peoples reaction as they grabbed the yarn. The general response was ‘oh it’s SO soft’ :-) This made me so very happy to hear!
Knowing how to display the combination of yarn and books was tricky for a first show. As the yarn is just starting out there was a smaller number of samples on the stand so this meant that it caused a bit of confusion with one side of the stand having gradient samples from the book. I think on my next show once there are more Nua samples it will be easier to show the Nua with patterns and have my other books in a display on it’s own.

Friday night as we were sorting out the stand for the morning we got tossed out but fortunately we had ceilidh so we could walk around the corner and get some food and drink. Being able to unwind after a day on your feet is really lovely. It did mean that I didn’t really have any dancing energy left, but Nadia did manage to drag me out for one dance!

I got to spend a bit of time with Woolly Wormhead, Jen (it was the first time we met IRL!), Lisa and Jen from This Is Knit and across the table was Justyna Lorkowska and her husband Martin.

So many wonderful people there that night, I wanted so much more time (and energy). I didn’t even make it to 11, we needed to get ourselves to be so that we were able to stand for the next day.
What did you get up to on Friday night? Any Edinburgh adventures?


Packing up

After the show is over, it feels like a mad race to get packed up as fast as possible. Fortunately there were lots of us there so it went extremely quickly. All of the display and some loose yarn got packed in my suitcase and the remaining yarn was boxed up to go back with Rachel (and I should have it back here to go up in the shop early next week!). I would have loved to somehow jam it all into suitcases but there wasn’t any way I could have hauled them back to the airport with me!
The beer and burger that night were just perfect. A final night of relaxation after weeks of preparation and 3 frantic days of work.

Reflection

It was so worth doing this show; I’d do it again in a heartbeat :-) Thank you so much Jo and Mica for your kindness, organisation and utter professionalism.
Watching knitters pick up, feel and love on Nua was just fantastic. One of the most special things that happened was knitters returning to the stand. Most did a quick swing around the whole show, marking stands they wanted to come back to. On Saturday morning we had several knitters return before the rush to get sweater quantities of Nua. Know that your yarn was the standout for them is just fantastic!

I’ve got small amount of Nua in the shop right now (the rest will go up early next week when the box arrives) and I’ve added the Japanese Knot project bags that came home with me. Next week I’ll also add kits for Boherboy and Finglas.

New pattern before EYF 2017!

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Last year at Edinburgh Yarn Festival I picked up enough Wollmeise DK yarn for a sweater. As you can see the choice was overwhelming and I spent an awful lot of time trying to decide on colours! It was a colour combination I just loved but it took me until the end of 2016 before I got an opening to knit it! I know I’m not alone in this but I’m delighted that I used it up before the 2017 EYF begins. This was my first time working with this yarn and I loved the deep, saturated colours. As it’s a superwash yarn that has a very high twist it feels tight and dry running through your fingers and doesn’t have a lot of spring. I thought a cardigan that allowed the colours to shine with garter and stockinette would be best as high twist yarns have fantastic stitch definition with simple stitches.

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Welcome to Slateford!
This top down raglan has a few little interesting details. At the top of the shoulder and on each sleeve top there is a little triangle of garter. It’s easy to knit but gives it just a little accent. Also, at the top of the raglan the sleeves aren’t initially increased. This creates a slight saddle shoulder look and makes the front of the neck sit higher.
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As you work down the body I introduced a second colour (I had a single skein of this colour that I couldn’t resist!). I love the effect of gradually increasing one colour while you decrease the second one. It looks good and is flattering to wear a darker colour on the lower half.

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Do you have any stash that you bought in last year’s festival (either EYF or another one) that you want to use before the year is out?

Gradients Part 1: EYF Gradient Sets

Over the last few months I’ve become rather obsessed with gradients. I’ve been putting a collection together and it’s really inspiring me for the EYF class I’ll be teaching in March. When people talk about gradients they can mean several different things; sometimes it means a colour that graduated from light to dark within the same colour family  (also referred to as Ombre) or alternatively  it may be a gradient that graduates from one colour to another. The terms are often used interchangeably.

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Colour graduating from light to dark within the same colour family. (Shades of Turquoise from The Knitting Goddess)

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Colours moving from yellow, through orange and rust into a dark brown. (Autumn Harvest from Fiber Optic Yarns)

There are many different way to create gradients. Here I’ve outlined a few that I’ve come across with photo examples of each. Knitting with gradients is so much fun, you can’t wait to see how the next colour looks knitted up!

1. Mini-skein gradients

This is very much as it sounds, a larger skein is broken down into several mini-skeins (could be any number but 5 seems to be fairly common).

IMG_0034Here is an example of a single colour gradient going from light to dark green (Shaded Olives from The Knitting Goddess). This set has 5 different colours.

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This graduated set moves from a deep pink to a pale pastel pink (Party of 5, Sweet Georgia, Hanami).

IMG_0012This is an example of a mini-skein set that had related colours graduating from dark to light and then to dark again in a different colour (Dragonfly Fibers sock gradient set, Winter Woods).

2. Single skein gradients

This is a single skein of yarn that has been dyed so that it gradually moves from one colour to another. This can be one single colour graduation over the entire skein or it can be shorter colour gradients so that it goes through a few colour changes (this is a pretty close sister to some of the more subtle self-striping yarns).

IMG_0020These yarns are an example of a single skein gradient that moves from one colour to another across a single skein (Knitcircus Greatest of Ease ‘Gnarly Dude’ and Lavish ‘Brass and Steam’).

IMG_0022Here again we have a single skein gradient but it moves from a very pale/white to a deep pink in the single skein (Freia fine handpaints Ombre Grande ‘Valentine’)

IMG_0033This is a single skein of yarn that graduates through a range of colours in a gently graduated set of stripes that repeats (Kauni Wool 8/2 Effektgarn)

3. DIY gradients

There is nothing stopping you from creating your own gradients. If you’ve got an extensive yarn collection gather similar weight yarns together and see if you can create a pleasing gradient with what’s in your stash. Any yarn supplier that has a wide range of colours is perfect for creating gradients. Look for a yarn supplier that would typically supply yarn for complex colourwork and you should easily be able to create your own gradient with their yarn.

IMG_0026Here is a range of Navia Duo colours that are close enough to each other that they can be combined to create a gradient.

EYF Students

If you’re taking the ‘Painting with Rainbows’ class with me at EYF you’ll want to bring a selection of gradient colours with you. You can either come with a pre-purchased pack or alternatively you can make your own. I’ve been digging through the EYF vendors to see who has some gradient yarn in their shops and this is what I’ve come up with, so you can either stock up before the class or grab some in the marketplace afterward to practice your new skills!

Mini-Skein Gradients:

La Bien Aimée
Easy Knits
Fyberspates
The Knitting Goddess
Purlescence
The Little Grey Sheep
Rainbow Heirloom
Ripple Crafts
Snail Yarn
Skein Queen
Eden Cottage Yarns

Single skein gradient:

Bilium
Namolio
The Wool Kitchen

Wide Colour ranges for DIY gradient sets:

New Lanark
The Skye Shilasdair
Jamiesons

Exciting week!

Last week I was one of 4 finalists for the Craftsy Blogger awards and I’m delighted to tell you all that I won runner up :-) Thank you everyone that voted for me, I was very, very pleased – this was a first for me!

Craftsy Blogger Awards - Runner Up Best Instructor's Blog Badge

I had another exciting announcement last week as well – the book I’ve been working on for the last 18 months is now up for pre-sale – Short Row Knits.

short row knits coverThis book was such a pleasure to write. I use short rows for so many of my knits it made complete sense to write a book on the subject! The book starts with the basics, describing different ways of working short rows in stockinette stitch. From there I also look at using short rows with different stitch patterns, in reverse stockinette and in garter stitch. However learning how to work short rows is only the first step, the more interesting part is figuring out where and how to use them! I’ve worked through different ways of varying slopes, how you can use those slopes to shape shawls, socks, balls, hoods, bust shaping, shoulder slopes and hips (to name a few!). Every pattern in the book uses short rows in some way and it details which short row method I’ve suggested.  So if you want to know more about the workings of short rows this is a good book for you (or even if you just want to knit the short row patterns!).

For anyone who likes to learn in-person with some hands on knitting I’ll be teaching a short row class at the Edinburgh Yarn Festival. There are a few spots left and I’ll be working through some of the short row techniques from the book (plus sneak peaks of the book patterns!).

Dragonfly Fibers Giveaway Winner!

Anna C with her Pixie yarn color choice of That Ol’ Chestnut is the winner of the Dragonfly Fibers giveaway, congratulations!