Scottish Crafting Adventure – Edinburgh

7 Sep

As mentioned several weeks ago, I spent the Easter break on an epic road trip across Scotland and the Orkney Isles. Unbelievably, I had 10 days of sunshine out of 12 – I was surprised to return with a tan from a holiday so far North.

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I had an utterly fantastic time, going on lots of beautiful mountain walks and bike trails, discovering breathtaking nature and wildlife, and, of course, partaking of a generous helping of arts and crafts.

My adventure started in Scotland’s bright and bustling capital, Edinburgh. The city is full of the most wonderful gift boutiques and yarn shops. I spent a lot of time (and money) in the Grassmarket area of town – in particular, at these two shops:

The Red Door Gallery, 42 Victoria Street, is a fantastic find for handmade items and quirky gifts. The staff in there are really helpful and were able to give me information on the designer of any item I picked up. I finally fell in love with a pair of gem-shaped, laser cut perspex earrings, which had been designed by Orcadian jewellery designer, Kirsteen Stewart.

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Just a few doors down the road from The Red Door was K1 Yarns, a veritable treasure trove for those of us that want high-quality, unusual and locally sourced yarns. I pretty much fell in love with every single skein I picked up in the shop! However, using my superhuman willpower, I managed to resist, as I was hoping to engineer a trip to Kingcraig Fabrics into my holiday.

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Edinburgh is a fascinating city, full of history, mystery and heritage. After touring the Scottish Parliament, walking up to the Observatory on Colton Hill and perusing what felt like a hundred souvenir shops on the Royal Mile, I was in need of a break before tackling the touristic behemoth, Edinburgh Castle.

Right near the top of the hill sits a Tartan Weaving Mill, which was just the sort of crafting break I was looking for! As well as being able to buy every imaginable shade and pattern of tartan, you can actually watch it being made in the basement of the building.

I hadn’t realised there were so many different patterns of tartan! You were able to buy the material by the metre, and there was also a good selection of offcuts to choose from. I really wanted to buy some materials which I could use for a patchwork project when I returned home. Therefore, I chose three offcuts of tartan, each being a different design but similar shades of colour.

During my trip, I also had time to visit the utterly amazing National Museum of Scotland – so inspiring! There was so much to see in there, but of particular interest was the exhibition on traditional Scottish weaving. I also spent quite a lot of time looking at the Pictish and Viking exhibits, in preparation for my sightseeing further North.

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Alas, it was finally time for me to leave this beautiful city and resume my journey North towards Royal Deeside. Of course, there is always time for a little crafting en route, as I had booked in to make a paperweight at Caithness Glass. However, on my way there, I found an absolute gem of a craft shop: Lagom Felt Studio, in Crieff.

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Tracy and her husband run the shop, which is a specialist fibre art shop and craft workshop. They stock a wide range of weaving and felting materials and tools, with a specific emphasis on Scottish alpaca fibre and locally-sourced rare-breed fleeces. The pair were really friendly and were happy to chat about any items I picked up. Tracy also mentioned that she too has a blog, which is here!

Tracy is super talented and runs workshops on wet and dry felting, from absolute beginners to intermediate. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to come to a workshop on my trip, as I was only passing through the area. However, I will try to make a detour on my next Scottish trip!
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As you know, I find it virtually impossible to leave a craft shop without purchasing something. This was bound to happen at Lagom Felt, as all their items were gorgeous. Firstly, I bought a remnant reel of handspun yarn, which I thought matched my Edinburgh tartans quite well. Secondly, I spotted a basket full of gorgeous, unique, hand fired clay buttons, each of which was glazed in lovely colours. As you can see from the picture above, I chose the oak leaf, which, for me, really symbolises Scotland. When I was a child, we regularly visited a place called Craigendarroch, which means ‘Hill of the Oaks’…but more about that in my next post.

I guess this rounds up the first few stops of my trip, so that’s enough for now. Next time, the Scottish Highlands!

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3 Responses to “Scottish Crafting Adventure – Edinburgh”

  1. daniellajoe 09/08/2014 at 01:52 #

    Lovely!! Thanks for taking us on the trip :-)

    Like

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Souvenir Makes no. 1: Cushion Covers | Welcome to my blog - 10/31/2014

    […] the Highlands and Islands of Scotland earlier in the year, I brought back all sorts of yarns, textiles and hand made items, with the plan of making them into new, unique things for my home. Now that […]

    Like

  2. Souvenir Makes No. 4: A Swedish Christmas | Welcome to my blog - 01/26/2015

    […] it. However, I’m faring better than when I promised you I would post some articles about my Scottish road trip, and I didn’t complete the tale until 9 months later. My tardiness is slightly […]

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