I apologise for the lack of blog posts recently – I have had lots of ideas but unfortunately not very much time! I am going to attempt to write a few posts before my 2nd child comes in a couple of weeks, as I doubt I will be doing much writing after that for a while!!
I went along to the 5th Glasgow School of Yarn on the 24th October. It was my first time at a yarn festival, so I didn’t really know what to expect. I thought I would do a wee summary for anyone who is also a yarn festival novice and fancies going along to one in the future.
In a nutshell
The yearly festival is run by The Yarn Cake, a yarn shop in the West End of Glasgow (and incidentally, the reason I took up knitting!) It runs over 2 days, costing £5 for one day or £8 for both (entry fee is included in the price of workshops). There were a few workshops and mini tutorials running, a marketplace selling lots of lovely yarn and for those requiring a bit of relaxation, there was some yoga and massage on offer too. Oh and cake. Lots of cake.
The marketplace had some fantastic vendors, including Abstract Cat, Ginger Twist Studio and Wool Ewe. There were also stalls run by Knit Wild, a community knitting project based in Maryhill, and p/hop, whose proceeds support Medicine Sans Frontieres. Most of the stalls sold hand-spun or hand-dyed yarns, with some also selling fibre to spin your own (I particularly loved the Cashmere fibre being sold by Qaria Cashmere). There were also stalls selling some wooden goods (drop spindles and the like) and some lovely ceramic goods.
The downside? None of it was particularly cheap. Now, after attending a Drop Spindle Class (review to follow), I understand why anything that is handmade costs money, given the time and effort that goes into it, and the quality of the yarn was first rate. But it did mean that lots of the yarn on offer came at a bit of a price. The Yarn Cake itself had a stall, where you could buy some lovely and more affordable yarn, including my personal favourite, Drops, but I think it would have been good to have a few more stalls with a range of prices, so that everyone could indulge. I would also have liked to have seen more knitting/crochet accessories on offer (I was in the mood to buy a new bag to hold my works in progress). Overall though, it was fab to see and feel all the yarn that was on display (just look at those colours below!!)
Classes were 3 hours long and cost between £40 and £50, which included entry into the festival itself. Classes included Sock Techniques, (Wheel) Spin with Colour, Spindle Spinning (I went to this class and will review in my next post), and Shetland Lace, amongst others. As I am still learning, there were lots of classes I wanted to attend, and I think this would have been the case for most crafters. However, I don’t think there were many classes that were aimed at very experienced knitters or crocheters, which might be something they want to offer more of next year.
There were also a few hour long mini tutorials being run over the two days, which cost between £7 and £10, and included a crochet taster and a Magic Loop lesson. I didn’t attend any of them, but imagine they were great for anyone who wanted to learn a new skill, but whose time and/or funds did not stretch to one of the workshops.
I didn’t indulge on the day, but having been to the Yarn Cake on a few occasions, I can testify that the homemade cake they sell is really really tasty. Tea and coffee was also being served.
A great event to meet fellow crafters, try your hand at a new skill and buy some yummy yarn. Not the cheapest way to spend the day if you give in and buy some (read: lots) of yarn, but definitely a fun one! I would definitely recommend going along in the future if you get the chance.