A Knitter's Guide to Scotland

If you're coming to Scotland and thinking about planning some fibre related stops, here are some places we like. Follow the link for the area you're planning to visit.

Edinburgh, Glasgow, Ayrshire, Fife and Dundee, Lanarkshire, Aberdeen, Speyside, Skye, Shetland, Orkney, UistFestivals

Edinburgh

If you visit all three of these shops, you will have visited three very different parts of central Edinburgh (and seen lots of beautiful yarn), giving you a good feel for why so many people love visiting or living here.

Be Inspired Fibres 

Mei's shop in Marchmont, a short walk across the Meadows from the Old Town, stocks interesting yarn from China, Iceland and Skye, magazines, needles and printed patterns.

Ginger Twist 

At the start of London Road, Jess's vintage inspired shop is a tiny gem - when you walk in the first thing you see is the beautiful display of yarn dyed by Jess but she stocks other interesting yarn too and also some stock for spinners.

Kathy’s Knits 

Kathy's Knits has a wide range of British yarn, lots of great books and patterns and Broughton Street is full of cafes for a well deserved break in your trek around the city.

The Dovecot Tapestry Studio

In the Old Town, down a steep street, there's a converted bath house which now houses a gallery and a working tapestry studio. You can watch the weavers at work, have some food at the cafe, where cones of yarn decorate the tables, and convince yourself you don't need to take up a new fibre pastime.

Glasgow

The Yarn Cake 

The Yarn Cake is a small knitting cafe with a selection of quality budget yarn and a small variety of unusual British yarn. The home baking is great.

The Queen of Purls 

Also in Glasgow is this lovely shop with yarn dyed by the Queen of Purls herself and also a small selection of other yarn.

Ayrshire

West Kilbride

Old Maiden Aunt 

Ysolda has used Lilith's yarn for various projects over the years and as well as her online shop, you can visit her studio in West Kilbride as part of the Craft Town Scotland initiative - as well as Lilith's studio there are several other craft based businesses.

Fife and Dundee

Pittenweem

The Woolly Brew 

A shop in a beautiful part of Fife, filled with a wide selection of yarn.

Dundee

Soon to be the home of the new V&A Museum of Design, Dundee has a rich textile heritage. While we're waiting for the museum to open, there's enough textile related sights in Dundee for it to be worth a stop.

Fluph

Fluph is the home of Rusty Ferret yarns and also has selection of other fun knittery things. There's a knit night there on a Thursday, if you are missing knitting company on your travels.

The Verdant Works — Jute Museum

A museum dedicated to the less glamourous end of the fibre world - industrial jute production.

Aberdeen

Wool for Ewe

Run by a mother and daughter, Wool for Ewe has a good selection of yarns typically used by British Knitters

Skye

The Skye Shilasdair Shop

Possibly the most beautiful location of the shops on this list, the Shilasdair shop  is open from Easter until the end of October and sells their own natural dyed wool. There is also an exhibition about natural dyeing showing the variety of dyestuffs, and the equipment used.

Mills

Lanarkshire

New Lanark 

A social history lesson, a beautiful location (which is an UNESCO World Heritage site) and a chance to buy wool. It's a perfect day out. Ysolda wrote briefly about New Lanark a few years ago.

Speyside

Knockando Wool Mill

Deep in the Spey Valley, Knockando Woolmill continues an unbroken 200 year old tradition, producing woven fabric on its historic looms. Knockando Woolmill has always been at the heart of the local community. Listed as the 'Wauk Mill' in parish records from 1784, the Woolmill has maintained its traditions of spinning and weaving through generations of families. You can watch all the stages of the spinning and weaving process and then buy some of the yarn.

Campbell Cairns Alpaca Farm

We haven't been here, but their Gallery is full of beautiful images of their animals and their Alpaca and Alpaca-Wool blend yarn looks interesting - some of it is dyed by Shilasdair which is a great chance to see some of their work if you can't make it to Skye this trip.

Uist

Uist Wool

If you get as far as the Western Isles, there's an exciting new venture waiting for you - the original idea to build a new Mill in North Uist emerged from a collective will to find a fresh purpose for local fleece that would reconnect the community with their cultural heritage of wool-working.

Shetland

If you're lucky enough to visit Shetland you'll see that yarn is still an important part of local life and you can visit the two most famous manufacturers of Shetland wool.

Jamieson and Smith 

Jamieson’s of Shetland 

Knitting isn't the only craft practiced on Shetland. This tour gives you an idea of other crafts related businesses worth a visit.

Shetland Arts and Crafts - Craft Trail

Orkney

Orkney Angora

Ysolda's Rose Red beret is made from one of Orkney Angora's yarns - they no longer have their own farm on Orkney but they do have a craft shop with yarn and other Angora products for sale.

Hoxa Tapestry Gallery

After we first shared this list, Lucy Hague let us know about this amazing looking Tapestry Gallery on Orkney - now we are trying to think of excuses to visit.

Seasonal events and festivals

Indie Burgh Craft Crawl — Edinburgh, 17 June 2017

Edinburgh Yarn Festival — 15th - 17th March 2018

Shetland Wool Week — 23 Sept – 1 October 2017

Perth Festival of Yarn — 10 September 2017

Dundee Design Festival — 25–29 May 2017

Textile related

Great Tapestry of Scotland