Took a little trip to Edinburgh on Saturday after Twist Fibre Craft Knitting Group to go to the first Edinburgh Yarn Festival. We spent a very happy hour or so browsing the stalls at Out of the Blue and making a few little purchases here and there.
Out of the Blue is an art space in a converted drill hall (a space where soldiers used to to practice and perform military drill, often built by public subscription to support local volunteer forces that were first initiated in the UK in the 1850s.)
The modern version of this Drill Hall, Out of the Blue has "from its inception Out of the Blue’s mission has been to provide opportunities for artists and other people who face barriers to creativity, to meet, work, participate, enjoy themselves, learn and develop skills and knowledge." (Out of the Blue website). With lots of little studios and a great cafe this is a place where creativity can thrive. And on Saturday, at the Edinburgh Wool Festival, it was certainly thriving, and thronging.....over 1400 woollie fans visited the event and were rewarded with a beautiful selection of yarns, fibres, patterns and buttons, alongside a range of classes - oh and cake!
I had one thing I was going to allow myself to buy, which was some black yarn to knit another Little Things hat. I managed to find the perfect yarn from Lioness Arts in a ball of her fingering weight, hand-dyed Merino Singles in Silhouette. It has a lovely blue black sheen to it and will go perfectly with most of my coats. But I also visited the Shilasdair stall and bought 2 skeins of their 4-ply yarn, hand-dyed at the end of the world.....this may well turn into hats for Christmas gifts. I chose foxglove and spring forest - beautiful hues, with lovely variation.
Here's my original Little Things hat, knitted using Shilasdair in Blaeberry (Scottish blueberries). The yarn is spun in Selkirk in the Scottish borders and is made up of 10% cashmere, 10% baby camel, 40% angora and 40% merino lambswool is so soft and cosy - making for perfect hats!
After our woollie wanderings we wandered off to Leith, the port area of Edinburgh that has become one of the places to go out and eat, with lots of great restaurants. We went to the Rose Leaf, which from the outside looks like a typical pub, but on the inside, particularly on Saturday afternoons it becomes the epitome of a girly pub.....with most of the tables being taken up by groups of girls out for afternoon tea, but afternoon tea with a twist. Afternoon tea full of cakes and cocktails....with the cocktails being served in teapots and the cocktails drunk from tea cups.
Notwithstanding afternoon tea, the pub serves some pretty amazing food, a wide range of teas, sourced by Anteaques in Edinburgh (which I discovered today is owned by the friend of a friend) and some great visiting beers. Propped on our stools at the bar, we all chose the pulled pork, served on swedish flatbreads with amazing handcut chips and we weren't disappointed. I think I can safely say that we were all deliciously full after our meal. (thanks Laurence for the photo!)
So if you're ever in Edinburgh and fancy somewhere cool and quirky but with the feeling of a traditional pub (and all the beers to go with it) then pop down to the Rose Leaf for a little bit of individuality.