Today I'm excited to finally share with you a little bit more about the yarn shops that we visited on our trip to Scotland. One thing I really love about yarn tourism (is that a real term? I feel like it should be...) is how you end up visiting places you otherwise never would. I feel like we saw some less touristy areas of Edinburgh especially by visiting the neighborhoods where these yarn shops were. And of course, what could be more special than knitting with yarns brought home from an amazing trip? I can't wait to work on the projects I have planned for this yarn. I just know that I'll be reminded of all the best parts of our trip as I do.
One thing I want to say before I dive into this post is that I am aware that we missed some major places here. In case you are planning a trip to Scotland anytime soon, I wanted to make sure and mention a few places I would have loved to get to but that we just didn't have time for. In Edinburgh that's Be Inspired Fibers. On Skye I'd have loved to stop in at The Handspinner Having Fun in Broadford and both Dragonfly Studio and Island at the Edge. Some more reasons to return one day!
Alrighty. That being said, here's what we DID see (the bold headings are links, if you want to find out more about any of these amazing shops):
Ginger Twist Studio (Edinburgh)
We walked out to this little shop on our first afternoon in Edinburgh. It's tiny but chock full of fun, vibrant yarns with a colorful & vintage-y feel. There was a great selection of hand dyed yarn (unique to the shop itself) as well as plenty of patterns from designers such as Claire Devine and Emily of Tin Can Knits. Jess, the owner was so sweet and helpful. She even recommended a great bakery just around the corner, which we headed to for coffee and a treat after we'd finished.
what I got: one skein of hand dyed sock yarn (dyed by the owner herself) and a skein of West Yorkshire Spinners Blue Faced Leicester. The WYS yarn will hopefully become a pair of mittens. With the hand dyed yarn, I'm hoping to cast on the Winding Way socks by Emily Wessel of Tin Can Knits- they were inspired by Edinburgh Old Town.
Kathy's Knits (Edinburgh)
We almost skipped this spot, as I was feeling pretty beat by the second afternoon but in the end I am so SO glad we made it. Kathy's Knits is a lovely shop and so very different from Ginger Twist Studio. I would say that this store had a more classic (rustic..?) feel to it, though there's still plenty of color. Kathy herself was there to assist with all queries (she had just returned from Shetland Wool Week!) and she really had a great selection. There were English and Scottish yarns galore and patterns/books from well known designers such as Kate Davies and Ysolda Teaque.
what I got: two skeins of New Lanark DK in a lovely tweedy green for the Woodland Tales mitts and two skeins of Blacker Yarns Tin II. The first was a planned purchase (I'm considering ordering more in different colors at some point) but the second was a total impulse buy. As soon as I saw these two gorgeous skeins I knew that they just had to come home with me. If you don't already know of this yarn, you can check it out here. Though I don't have any specific plans for it, I'm thinking a shawl, or perhaps a lovely two toned cowl (like this or this).
Shilasdair (Isle of Skye)
Where to even start? What to say about this amazing yarn store... This was by far the most remote and enchanting yarn store I've ever been to. We drove down the road and to the bottom of the driveway and I literally felt like I had arrived at the end of the world. And then we walked in and the magic just continued- the walls were lined with lovely hand dyed yarns in such a vibrant mix of colors. Each skein was labeled, showing which plants had produced that color. In the back was a small room with a little more information on the dying process- there were books and posters detailing the color wheel offered at Shilasdair (and the dyestuffs used) as well as a video explaining more about the process. We had such a great time looking around and taking our time to carefully make our selections.
what I got: one skein of Luxury DK dyed with Indigo & tansy to make matching hats for Waldi & Caleb, and some lovely sock yarn dyed with Marigold & onion skins which I'm sure will turn into a very lovely pair of socks.
so there you have it. I must say, this post was a blast to write. Hopefully I'll have more yarn-related travels to share at some point but for now, if you're interested you can read about my Vancouver yarn crawl I went on with my mom last summer here.