Richmond Knitters UK trip to Edinburgh Yarn Fest

Hello all,

It’s only me, Melanie, come to tell you about the fabulous time Bee and I had at Edinburgh Yarn Festival last weekend. First of all I have to tell you that the excitement levels in anticipation of this event were sky high. It was all I could think of. I did planning even! Yup, I went through the vendor list with a fine tooth comb. I went through my Ravelry queue, favourites and library looking for gaps in my stash, the whole shebang. I was, I think, quite restrained in my purchases although Bee thinks I am overly susceptible to yarn fumes but believe me I could have bought WAY MORE had I the funds.

Anyhoo, so this is how it went.

I arrived on a very wet Thursday evening and managed to meet up with Bee for dinner despite the taxi driver dropping me off on the wrong road. My slight Aussie twang that everyone here seems to think so pronounced that some people are surprised I’m actually English must have confused him so much that he couldn’t tell the difference between road and street. But I digress, dinner was lovely, Italian for those who like to know these things and then on to Bee’s place as she very kindly put me up.

The next morning she took me on a tour of Edinburgh. We visited lots of great foodie places of which Edinburgh has many. On our way to the Royal Mile we passed the statue of Sherlock Holmes. To my great shame I never knew that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was from Edinburgh.

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We walked part of the Royal Mile stopping at various shops of interest along the way. I have to say that Edinburgh from what I saw of it is one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever been to and I barely scratched the surface. The final destination of our walk was Edinburgh Castle although, we decided not to go inside as I really want a full day to explore it properly, plus, it was lunchtime. Lunch for me was a veggie haggis burger and fries washed down with Edinburgh gin. Yum!

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Saturday was our day at the marketplace of the festival. Once we were in we made a bee-line for the lovely Jules of Woollenflower who recently moved to Glasgow from Melbourne. Jules was there as a vendor selling her beautiful colourwork cowls and Harris Tweed knitting tool pouches. Her stall was a great success and much admired by the knitterati and us mere mortals alike. We then did a circuit of the stalls purchasing along the way. I wish I had the time to tell you about all of the beautiful woolliness on offer, seriously amazing! I found a lot of yarns and yarnies and other wool related artists that I’d not heard of and will be purchasing from in the future. For now though, here’s what I bought.

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So we have 3 bags British breeds fibre from Adelaide Walker

2 balls of sock yarn in lovely vintage-y colours from Wendy

3 skeins of hand dyed yarn from Ginger Twist Studios for the Albalone cardigan that Katie suggested I had to knit ages ago

4 mini skeins of Gryla an Icelandic yarn by Helene Magnusson and corresponding pattern for shawl

2 skeins of Ullcentrum Swedish wool and pattern for Linus shawl

20 mini balls of R.C. Rennie shetland yarn for Bee-Keepers quilt

9 tweed fat quarters from Jamiesons

Jamiesons shade card and project bag

assorted buttons from magictea on etsy

cards and a tea towel by Tilly Flop designs

a project Welsh Mountain sheep bag and tweed button from Fiona Daly

A Little Red In The City project bag by Ysolda

and of course the obligatory Festival bag

The day ended with a Cabaret Show with a hilarious presentation by Felix of Knitsonik and pub quiz by Felix and Ysolda. Our table came second in the quiz and we won the make a sheep contest on the night winning us beautiful sheep mugs by one of the artists exhibiting at the show, Ingris Nillson. I did much yarny fangirling too.

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The next day Bee and I were enrolled on a class by Hazel Tindall on Fairisle knitting. I’ve never attempted any colourwork and was a little daunted but Hazel was a wonderful teacher, very patient and generous with her knowledge. We loved that the little cuff was already cast on and knit to one row past the rib section agreeing that if we ever win the lottery we’ll have a personal assistant to cast on all our projects. I have to say I really enjoyed knitting the cuff and I’m finally going to be knitting the Endpaper Mitts that I’ve had in my favourites since I joined Ravelry all those years back.

Here’s a pic of Hazel with my Richmond Knitters travel mug

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Here’s one of my finished cuff, the colour choices will be a shock to all who know me IRL. In fact Hazel commented on how they were almost identical to the colours of my skirt. Predictable, moi?

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So to recap, Edinburgh Yarn Fest was utterly, utterly, utterly brilliant and I can’t wait for the next one. Feel free to join us.

much woolly love to you all Mx

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Recipe4ayarn and Binkaboo meet in Harrogate

This post comes from the UK branch of the Richmond Knitters 😉

Yesterday, I met up with Jen (Binkaboo) in Harrogate before she heads back to Australia. We met in Harrogate because

a) I lived there for years before I moved to Melbourne and it’s purdy
b) Jen has never been to Yorkshire
c) Yorkshire is synonymous with the British wool industry
d) My Baaramewe gift vouchers were burning a hole in my pocket

So after meeting her at the train station I whisked her off to Betty’s Tea Rooms because you can’t go to Harrogate and not take afternoon tea at Betty’s.

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So there we were all silver tea pots,  little sandwiches with the crusts cut off , scones with jam and clotted cream and miniture cakes. Mmmmm delish! After tea we went off in search of Baaramewe. I got a smidge lost because I knew the vague direction of Cold Bath road but couldn’t remember the exact directions. Fortunately, Harrogate is full of historical charm so it didn’t matter that we went “the scenic route”.

I took Jen to get her photograph taken outside the Old Swan Hotel which is particularly famous for Agatha Christie mysteriously being found there after being missing for eleven days. I stupidly didn’t take one on my phone so you will have to wait for Jen’s version of the day. Anyway, after walking past the Royal Pump House and up Cold Bath Road for a while I declared that “it couldn’t be too far away” turned to look across to the other side of the road and to our hysterical amusement, Baaramewe was just across from us.

The shop was wonderful, brimming with woolly goodness as you would expect and decorated with great taste.

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In the first pic Jen hugs her purchase of Titus next to a very unique, antique lamp/table. In the second picture she plots how she will use said Titus on a lovely Scandanavian, 1950’s style sofa. The sofa is decorated with a shawl from Bespoke, a pattern collection celebrating the Tour de France starting from Yorkshire, indeed the first day ends in Harrogate.

My own haul (thanks Richmond knitters) consisted of seven skeins of West Yorkshire Spinners BFL DK in the light brown that will become a Blank Canvas by Ysolda. Two balls of crazy Zauberball in Flussbett which is a colourway I adore. 4 packets of Herdy stitchmarkers because one can never have enough stitchmarkers and some of my old ones are beginning to break, plus it’s Herdy and I love him and the charity he is mascot for. A gorgeous yellow button for the Turmeric by Veera that I’m planning. A friend for Schlutty (supposed to be a pin cushion but I can’t bear to stick pins in a sheep). Lastly, a selection of Titus miniskeins because I saw a sample of  the Daybreak shawl by Stephen west knit in Titus and fell in love. One skein of original colour and six miniskeins are all that’s needed and I have three skeins of original colour languishing in my stash.

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I took some more photos of yarn that I will be returning to purchase once I am working. I predict some colourwork in my future knitting projects is all I’m going to say.

Following Baaramewe there was some tourist fun.

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The angle of the picture is odd because the frame area is actually unfinished and there is ugly plastic barriers in the view.

The day concluded with a spot of window shopping including The Wool Room, a shop full of woolly stuff for the home including my future bed. Then it was beer and fish ‘n’ chips and a long train home for both of us.

I had an absolutely splendid day, it was so good to catch up and I wish Jen safe travels onwards. I hope she enjoyed seeing, but a tiny bit of a tiny bit of Yorkshire. Hopefully, this will entice more Richmond Knitters to visit us in the UK branch.

Richmond Knitter / Kojo burger

The Richmond knitters have a great relationship with Tony,the owner of Kojo Browns, our knit night venue. Come rain or shine, every Monday we turn up and eat, drink and knit. So recently I cheekily suggested a recipe that I had made up for Australia day BBQ to add to the menu.  Tony and the chef were enthusiastic and agreed to put it on the menu. The recipe was for a burger and I like to serve as an open faced burger topped with Welsh Rarebit. He’s been serving it for 2 weeks now and Sonia suggested that it would be a good idea to share the recipe on this blog. So without further ado…

The Kojo Burger

1kg minced meat (I’ve done it with all beef and 50/50 beef/pork, both were good, Tony uses minced Wagyu)

1 onion finely chopped or blitzed in a food processor

1 beetroot, finely grated

1 carrot finely grated

1 egg whisked

1 generous tsp horseradish

a couple of sploshes of Worcestershire sauce

some finely chopped thyme and/or parsley

salt and pepper

Put all the ingredients in a bowl and squoosh up with your hands, there really isn’t a better way to amalgamate the ingredients.

Make evenly sized patties and then obviously you grill or fry them. You can serve them with whatever you like to serve your burgers with but I do love Welsh rarebit and only discovered the affinity by happy coincidence. One day there was no cheese in the fridge to top my burger because it had all been used up in the welsh rarebit. Luckily there was some welsh rarebit leftovers in the fridge.

To make Welsh Rarebit I generally follow a recipe from this book. An excellent read that I can highly recommend full of delicious recipes.

warm 100mls milk and 50 mls ale in a pan.

Melt 25g butter in another pan then add 25g plain flour to make a roux (like a béchamel sauce)

Whisk the milk and ale into the roux and continue whisking for a few minutes. The mixture should be thick and glossy and bubbling.

Then add an egg yolk, 150g grated strong flavoured cheese, a splosh of Worcestershire sauce (1-2 tsp) and about 1tsp-1tbsp mustard (any type English/Grain/Dijon) depending on how mustardy you like it. Put a generous dollop onto of your cooked burger and then put the topped burger under the grill until the rarebit is bubbling. Then serve your burger anyway you like.

Knitting friends are the best because…

…they understand that there is more to life than wool. There’s cashmere and silk and angora and mohair and yak and camel and alpaca.

They also understand that there is more to life than knitting. There’s spinning and dyeing and weaving and crocheting.

Actually, knitting friends are just the absolute best.