Burns Night

25th January is an important day in the calendar to Scots both home and abroad.  It’s when we celebrate our National Bard – Robert Burns – pioneer of the Romantic Movement and Lover of the Lassies.

Many will mark the occasion with a Burns Supper, a tradition that dates back to 1801, at which haggis, neeps, tatties, and whisky are typically served, and a great many of Burn’s works are performed and speeches given.  The list of these are substantial but once the Selkirk Grace has been made they include Address to a Haggis, The Immortal Memory, Address to the Lassies, and Reply to the Laddies.  For more detail on the programme of a Burns Supper we’d recommend visiting here:  Burns_supper

 

 

So, the logical next step would be to look for Burns inspired craft patterns, right?

First up we found this incredible portrait cross stitch chart on etsy from TinyHouseStitchery:

 

 

The we took a trip over to LoveCrafts where we discovered this tea cosy by Susan Cowper:

 

 

Ruth Bailey and Jackie Holt have taken it one step further with their Knit Your Own Scotland book which contains this pattern of the Bard.  I think I’m going to have to make him:

 

 

for more about the patterns

For the chart by TinyHouseStitcher:  robbie-burns-portrait-cross-stitch

For the Robert Burns Tea Cosy pattern:  robert-burns-tea-cosy

Knit Your Own Scotland may be found in your local yarn shop or independent book shop.  If all else fails you can get a copy here:  Knit-Your-Scotland

 

Blue Monday

Yesterday was Blue Monday – said by some to be the most depressing day of the year.

Blue Monday was originally dreamt up by psychologist Dr Cliff Arnall in 2004 as a way to help a travel company sell holidays.  He even devised this formula for it:  

 

 

As a nod to this epic piece of marketing genius we have decided to use today’s post to highlight some blue items that have caught our attention and share them with you.

 

 

 

for more about all the featured products

 

Flora Fibres Yarn can be found here:  florafibresyarn

Iolair Yarn can be found here:  iolairyarn

Moorit is stocked in a number of local yarn stores across Scotland and Worldwide.  You can also buy either a physical or digital directly from them here:  moorit

Popcorn + Crocodiles are here on the internet:  popcornandcrocodiles

Mothy and the Squid need no introduction, but you will find Jillian’s current collection here:  mothyandthesquid

Sunshine on Leith is the current instalment in our Collab Club.  Pre-orders will close on 21 February.  To secure yours please complete our order form here:  our-collab-club.  For everything else Bobble and Badger related visit here:  BobbleandBadger

 

What You Were Making In 2022

We’re a little late to all the reviews and wrap ups that traditionally happen at the end of the year or beginning of the new; but I’m sure we can be forgiven due to our tardiness being caused by our change over from Perth Festival of Yarn to The Scottish Yarn Festival!  Still, it’s better late than never and in this post we wanted to share some of your makes with what you’ve found at our events, or special collaborations, during 2022.

We decided to pick a random twelve in a nod to how many months we have in the year, and we’ve made our selection from those we’ve been tagged in on social media, as well as trying to represent both knitting and crochet.  So, without further ado, here are your wonderful creations from the past year which we hope will inspire you all as you plan your projects for 2023.

 

 

The wonderful @woolkinsonknits made a hat with a DK weight skein of ‘Hot Fuss’ by Edelweiss Fibres which was released as part of our 2022 Hit Parade Collab Club.

@unaroodesigns snapped up a cone of DK weight Castlemilk Moorit x Teeswater from Caithness Yarns at our inaugural Scottish Wool Producers Showcase in April and made herself this fab and functional Over It Slipover by Lily Kate Makes.

Our long time girl crush @needleandfred came up from Manchester to visit us at Perth Festival of Yarn this year as she was taking a year out from vending responsibilities, but she honoured us not only by creating our Official Commemorative Skein for the event but also by rocking up wearing a Love Note Sweater by Tin Can Knits in said colourway!

@laurenknitsx picked up the 2020 Advent Calendar Kit from Wee County Yarns in September and in no time at all had whizzed up this wonderful Christmas Socking for her little one.

 

 

@bobbleandbadger_yarns couldn’t resist a skein of fingering weight Bride of Frankenstein from BuzzinYarns to make these vibrant socks.

@h_crochetsthings hooked up this beanie from their own pattern back in February with a DK skein of Summer Nights by @kalokshekellen from Perth 2021.

@eliza_b_makes was another crocheter quick off the mark with her cosy wrist warmers.  She used a @zeensandroger pattern from Inside Crochet and yarn from @zakamiyarns

@hannahkross was specifically on the hunt for a skein of sock yarn she could knit with while taking part in the Kiltwalk this autumn.  She chose this skein of self-striping from @fibrepunk

 

 

@life_at_westering paired her beautiful Zakami Yarn with the Bridesmaid Shawl by Michelle DuNaier which looks perfect with their woollen coat.

@karolines.knits was looking to explore no-nylon sock yarns and after speaking with the inspirational @annfieldangoras crafted these Morrison Socks by Jenny Blumenstein in just over a week.

We were honoured to have esteemed designer and author, @purlemma, join us at Perth last year.  Emma created her Merrow Berries pattern especially to showcase the Haste Ye Back collection of mini skeins we put together as a collaboration with ten Scottish dyers in 2021.

@commuter_knitter snapped up a fingering weight skein of sock yarn from @atthisyarns to use as the main colour in her pair of ‘Perth Socks.’

 

We’d love to feature more of your makes on our Community page throughout the coming year, so please do continue to tag us in your social media posts with anything you have made with yarn or fibre from any of the events we have curated for you since 2016.  Where possible we’ve added the Instagram handles of all makers so that you can go and give them some love and see what other crafty endeavours they’ve been up to.

 

The Makes We Make Again And Again – Part II

Today I’m going to focus on the one knitting pattern that I have – hands down – returned to the most.  The humble Vanilla Latte Socks by Virginia Rose-Jeanes is known to most avid sock knitters on the internet; and I have knit 15+ pairs using this pattern with a slight tweak to insert an afterthought heel.

The reason I have knit so many pairs is that, apart from the pattern repeats being therapeutic, they fit My Favourite Person’s feet with just the right amount of ‘snug’; so much so that he clearly stated very early on into his hand knit sock wearing journey / appreciation that all his future socks should be made this way.

There’s just a certain something about the giving and receiving of hand knit socks, and as some of his six pairs were in various states of wear as a result of now being all that will grace his feet, I decided this summer that I would make as many pairs of Vanilla Latte Socks as I could between then and Christmas, then present them as a bundle.

Fellow yarnivores, I managed seven pairs, caving in and releasing one pair to him a month early, and only managing to get photos to share after two pairs had been put on.  

 

 

 

You may be wondering what’s on my needles now after all those socks…..

 

 

for more about the pattern

Vanilla Latte Socks is sadly discontinued, however it is only a 2 round repeat and is easy enough to work out from pictures online.  To date it has 19,058 projects listed in this pattern on Ravelry, and there are over 1000+ uses of #vanillalattesocks on Instagram.

 

for more about the yarns used

The joy of this pattern is that you can use any sock yarn and get a great looking result.  My Favourite Person is a bin man and walks on average 20 miles a day, 4 days a week in safety boots, wearing his hand knit socks.  For this reason I only use commercial sock yarns of 75% wool and 25% nylon for him.  All the examples pictured are a mixture of Opal, Regia Schachenmayr, Rico Superba, Drops Fabel, and Wollbutt.  All good local yarns shops stock an inspiring and budget friendly range of commercial sock yarns which may include some of these brands, and sometimes you will come across them at our festivals too.  

 

 

Last Minute Christmas Crochet Makes

We are in the final straight to Christmas now and, no matter how well we try and prepare, a crafter always has last minute gifts to make and give.

These sweet little crochet decorations by Maddison Overill are perfect for a quick last minute gift and great for using up oddments from your scraps or yarn advents too.  Included in the pattern are instructions on how to make a wreath with jingle bells, Christmas pudding, parcel, and bauble.  

 

 

for more on the patterns

The pattern booklet including the above festive ornaments is available to purchase on Ravelry here:  christmas-decorations

(Please note the mini pudding in the Ravelry images is a separate free pattern from yarnspirations and is not included.)  If you are unable to access Ravelry you can reach out to Maddie directly through her Instagram page @thehouseoflangford

 

for more on the designer

Maddison Overill is a multi-disciplined textiles teacher who works both in secondary education and independently at local yarn shops in Essex and the surrounding areas.  She also has a regular YouTube podcast:

 

 

St Lucia Day

Many of our fibre-crafting friends in Norway, Sweden, Finland, and across the World are today celebrating Lucia Day, a custom which goes back 400 years.  The day is commemorated with candlelit processions – 13 December is the shortest day in the Julian Calendar – and fika, including gingerbread biscuits and special s-shaped saffron buns called Lussekatt.

Back in 2018 we we honoured to be joined by Swedish knitwear designer and tech editor, Anna Friberg, who is also known as Yarnesty.  Perhaps best known for her sock designs and classes, Anna designed the Sankta Lucia Socks which are available in English, French, and Swedish on Ravelry, and as a seasonal promotion all her patterns are 24% off until Christmas Eve.

 

 

Anna isn’t the only knitwear designer to have been inspired by the Lucia Day celebrations; Finnish born Sari Nordlund has a mystery knitalong happening right now for her Lucia Socks which feature intricate twisted stitches.  The fourth and final clue to the pattern will be released on 19 December and Team Perth can’t wait to see the complete pair revealed.

 

 

for more about the santka lucia socks 

The Santka Lucia Socks by Anna Friberg are available from Ravelry here:  sankta-lucia-socks

If you are unable to use Ravelry please contact Anna by email at yarnesty@knitway.se

 

for more about the lucia socks 

The Lucia Socks by Sari Nordlund are also available from Ravelry:  lucia-socks

Sari also has a YouTube channel.  Her most recent episode is below.

 

 

 

Cables For Christmas

Cables are my favourite design feature in knitting.  I love their timelessness, their nod to my Celtic heritage, how they can be both simple and intricate.  A cable hat pattern is often a go-to for me when I’m thinking about gift knitting.

 

 

Amongst the modest purchases I made at Perth Festival of Yarn this year was a skein of DK weight Dye Candy yarn in ‘Tortie Not Tabby’ which I knew at first sight had to come home with me.  Both my cats are tortoiseshell and a hat in this yarn would be perfect as a winter gift for my close friend who cares for them when I have to be away from home.  I knew I wanted to make a hat with a slight pattern that would complement the speckling of the yarn; cables seemed the perfect answer.

 

Pemberley Cables by Sweet Yarns was exactly what I had in mind and worked up a dream on my needles.  This will be a pattern I return to many times.

 

 

 

for more about the yarn

 

 

Dye Candy is veteran independent yarn dyer, Hutch, who is based in Northern Ireland.  You can find their website here:  dyecandy

 

 

 

for more about the pattern

Pemberley Cables is available to purchase on Ravelry:  Pemberley Cables

 

 

Cosy Rugs Project – Perth & Kinross

Community, church groups, and individuals across Perth and Kinross are being asked to help make cosy rugs for those who need them this winter.  

Project organiser, Liz Barrett, says “I realised that many of us who knit or crochet are happy to get busy in the winter evenings, and this is a great opportunity to have a clear out of odds and ends of yarn!  I know many groups are already making and distributing warm items, and this is a way for others to get involved too.  And it fits with the anniversary of Perth and Kinross being designated as the first UNESCO City of Crafts and Folk Art in the UK.  I’m very grateful to Eva and Perth Festival of Yarn for their support, and to Culture Perth & Kinross for providing space in libraries for folk to donate and pick up yarn and squares.  The rugs will be distributed through Warm Packs and Warm Spaces to those who need them.”

 

We need:

  • Donations of Double Knitting yarn, 4mm (No.8) needles, and 4mm (G/6) crochet hooks.
  • Knitted or crocheted squares 15cm x 15 cm (6 inches x 6 inches.)  Depending on your gauge cast on approximately 30 stitches for a square this size and knit straight, or approximately 200 stitches if you wish to make a whole rug.  Crocheters, please make “granny” or corner to corner squares to the same sizes, or a large 101.5cm (40 inch) square which could be used as a shawl or rug.
  • Volunteers to help with sewing up squares to make rugs.
  • Finished rugs – 108cm x 91.5cm (42 inches x 36 inches) are very useful, but all sizes will be welcome for families and children.

 

For more information on this project

You can pick up and drop off at all Perth & Kinross Libraries.  To find your nearest library click here:  libraries.  Please phone Liz Barrett on 01738 571527 or email Liz4perthsouth@gmail.com if you need more information or can help with sewing up.  

 

about the author

Liz Barrett is a keen knitter who set up the South Perth Community Food Share in 2020 before being elected as a local Councillor.  An offer from a friend to crochet squares for blankets inspired Liz to take this further.

 

 

 

 

The Makes We Make Again And Again

Forming a carefully curated library of timeless patterns is as essential as building up your own yarn collection.   The patterns that make up my own tend to be those that first come to mind when I’m thinking about gift knitting, and more often than not, they are also the perfect solution to that age old question, “what can I make with this single hand dyed skein that I couldn’t do without?”

I went in search of a classic fingering weight ribbed hat to cast on ahead of my long journey on the Megabus to Yarningham last July and found ‘Ribbed Toque #120’ by Michelle Porter (Fondle Designs.)  Then I had a good rummage in my yarn collection before picking out a skein of ‘You Can’t Seee Meee’ by Lime & Violet.  Completed long after I made it home, and following my turn to catch The Virus, it’s snug and ready for the chilly Scottish winter ahead:

 

 

Since that time I’ve made one for My Favourite Person, who needs functional garments as he works in all weathers all year round.  His was made from a cone of JC Rennie Shetland Bluestone which I found in a local charity shop for the princely sum of 50p!

 

 

But I didn’t stop there.  My third – and maybe not – final version of the year is this one in ‘Bride of Frankenstein’ by BuzzinYarns, which will be given to a friend as a winter gift alongside a pre-loved book next month.

 

 

For more about the pattern

Ribbed Toque #120 by Michelle Porter is available free* from LoveCrafts here:  ribbed-toque

 

For more about buzzinyarns

BuzzinYarns is Karen, a Scottish yarn dyer, and recipient of the Spirit of the Festival Award at the 2022 Perth Festival of Yarn.  You can find her current collections here:  buzzinyarns

 

Our Collab Club

The Perth Collab Club – a monthly yarn club – was originally formed at the end of 2020 as a way of our festival working together and continuing to lift up indie dyers in our community when so much still remained uncertain with the pandemic and Brexit looming.  We settled on a ‘Brighter Days’ theme, reached out to 12 different dyers so we could feature 1 a month, and like most things Perth, it was planned to be a one-off project.

The response to our Collab Club was so enthusiastic that we decided to do it all again with 12 different dyers in 2022 – and a new theme – Hit Parade.  Why Hit Parade?  Music has always been an extremely important part of my life.  It’s what moved me at 17 from the West Coast of Scotland to Perth, where I, armed with my saxophone, came to get my degree in Popular Music Performance.

Music provides the soundtrack to our lives.  We all remember what was playing in the background at key moments.  We are sung lullabies to soothe us as babes; couples have “their song.”  Buying a record and taking it home for the first play was always an event in itself.  Having saved up pocket money and – latterly – wages from babysitting and a paper round – there was not much more exciting as a teenager than to greedily take in every little detail of the cover art – and if you were lucky the gatefold too – before pouring over the lyric sheets.

Today we share the details for our 2023 Collab Club, but before we do that Pop-Pickers, we thought we’d take a moment and run down all the skeins that made up our virtual jukebox this year:

 

 

FibrePunk kicked us off in January with ‘Post’ by Bj√∂rk, followed in February by Quack Yarn with ‘Insomniac’ by Green Day, and Knit Me Sane’s ‘Oh, Billy Brown!” by Mika in March.

 

 

April featured Giddy Yarns with ‘The Chances of Anything Coming from Mars are a Million to One’ from The War of the Worlds by Jeff Wayne, followed in May with BuzzinYarns and ‘Kind’ by Stereophonics, and Curated Yarn Co’s ‘Purple Rain’ by Prince and the Revolution in June.

 

 

In July we had Bow Fiddle Yarns with ‘Hysteria’ by Def Leppard, Mad Madam Mel with ‘Hounds of Love’ by Kate Bush in August, and Edelweiss Fibres chose ‘Hot Fuss’ by The Killers for September.

 

 

Then to bring us up to date we’ve had AMOyarn’s ‘Like a Bat Out of Hell’ by Meat Loaf in October, ‘NOW! That’s What I Call…’ from the compilation series by Weku Yarn for November, and to close out the year Atthis Yarns and ‘Last Christmas’ by Wham!  (pre-orders are still open for this one here:  perth-collab-club

If you came to Perth Festival of Yarn in September then you may have seen the display jukebox that My Favourite Person built as a surprise, and because he too loved seeing how all the dyers translated their inspiration over the year.

 

 

When thinking about what we should do for 2023 there was no doubt in my mind that we should keep this theme for a while longer; so I present to all of you – Hit Parade Vol.2 featuring the following artists:

 

 

Sealy MacWheely, Bobble & Badger Yarns, James Makes Yarn, Dystopic Fibre, WooSheeps, YarnTings, Hey Mama Yarns, Blue Fern Yarns, Big Tree Yarns, Nervus Fibre, Flyy Dyed, and Nightingale Knits.