‘Yarn crawl’ aims to set up network of enthusiasts

Jessica James, owner of Ginger Twist Studio yarn shop, is organising this summer's event. Picture: Jane Barlow
Jessica James, owner of Ginger Twist Studio yarn shop, is organising this summer's event. Picture: Jane Barlow
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A MASS “yarn crawl” to help promote knitting in the Capital is set to be held later this year.

Organiser Jessica James said Edinburgh’s first yarn crawl would see enthusiasts given discounts and goodies as they followed a map to knitting locations around the city.

And the owner of Ginger Twist Studio in London Road insisted the June event wasn’t as woolly as it sounds, and could even help establish a thriving knitting network in the Capital.

The event will see those taking part given a special “yarn passport” from participating wool shops, which they then have to get validated at each stop on their journey through the city.

Along the way there will be a secret selection of goodies, discounts and freebies available for those who flash their yarn passport.

Originally from Oregon, in North America, Ms James, 29, studied for a master’s degree in arts and cultural heritage in Edinburgh and always wanted to open a yarn shop in the city.

And with the recent resurgence in knitting seen by “yarn bombing” stunts in the Meadows and the popularity of regular “stitch and bitch” events in local pubs – including a weekly event run by Jessica which attracts men and women of all ages – she feels now is the perfect time to get more people interested in the craft.

She said: “Other cities have yarn crawls but I think this is a first for Edinburgh.

“It’s a great way to reach out to other crafters, and there are quite a few knit schools around the city so I hope the word will spread.”

She added: “This is not for me: it’s for the masses of Edinburgh.

“It is a public event for knitters. They will get a map and it will almost be like a treasure hunt as they travel from stop to stop to get their ‘passport’ stamped.”

Also involved in the project are Cathy Rob, who runs Kathy’s in Broughton Street, and Mei Cheung who runs Be Inspired Fibres in Marchmont Road.

Ms James said: “We all have a great relationship and buy from each other.

“One of the shops opened the same weekend that I did – less than a year ago – and the other has been there a year longer.

“But we are all relatively new to the yarn scene which has seen a huge resurgence.”

The yarn crawl will begin from 11am on Saturday, June 21, culminating in an after-party at The Safari Lounge on Cadzow Place where there will be a raffle with some “fabulous prizes.”

The maps and passports will be available from all of the shops nearer the time.

And as well as advertising inn their shops the organisers plan to distribute around 1000 flyers to promote the event – so there should be little chance of it unravelling.