We hope you're enjoying reading about the stallholders, we certainly do! Debbie Orr, purveyor of luxury yarn, fibre and knitting accessories, gives us a little insight next. When did you start knitting/spinning/crocheting?
Can't remember it, but my mum was an avid knitter and taught me when I was four. What I do remember is visiting all the wool shops of Edinburgh, especially in Marchmont and Morningside where we lived. It was in the days of 3 ply, 4 ply and DK and knitting with needles in sizes like 10, 11 and 12 and I'd always be choosing wool for little projects in my head.
What was your first knitting/spinning/crochet project?
I remember my first crochet project as being a luminous pink shoe bag that I made in primary 6 - I was so proud of it! Our teacher was a nun and a talented crocheter. We all had scrapbooks and made different squares of crochet to stick in to learn the different techniques. I also knitted my own school jumper - nice and big and baggy as was the style of the time!
Can you show us some of the products you'll be bringing to the festival?
It'll be a surprise - could be Opulent or Sumptuous, maybe some Delectable, definitely some 200g skeins of Voluptuous. Maybe Lustrous or Lavish or Exquisite. I'll certainly have Fripperies and Bibelots stitch markers and NovaSteel shawl pins. But you'll have to stop by to see.
What product/pattern are you most proud of?
I think it would be the Queen's Surprise Club - it's a subscription-based club inspired mostly by books, but sometimes movies. Club members can choose to receive variegated, semi-solid or a surprise skein or four each month and I always put so much thought and work into each installment, reading the book, noting the colours and writing the inspiration sheet. It's very popular and has a waiting list.
How many WIPS have you got?
I'm usually not too bad, but right now, have a slight case of castonitis and have a sweater, a shawl, a pair of mitts and have just started a granny square blanket.
Do you use Ravelry?
yes, could we live without it? Am skeinqueen on there and have a cosy, friendly group called Skein Queenery.
Have you got a favourite pattern designer and why?
So many - but particularly drawn to the designs of Kate Davies, Ysolda Teague, Gudrun Johnston, Tin Can Knits, Jared Flood and Paulina Popiolek's shawl designs. They all share a certain simplicity, with an added design twist and make things I'd like to wear that are also interesting to knit.
What's on your needles/hook/spindle right now?
I'm knitting the Puffin sweater by Kate Davies in 100% yak.
If you had to pick just one kind of yarn to knit with/ tool to work with / fibre to spin for the rest of your life what would it be?
Too, too hard a question. Would it be cashmere? Would it be yak? Would it be Voluptuous (Exmoor Blue/organic merino) - I'm going to cheat and say the best-kept knittery secret is Addi needles. I struggled with needles with joins for far too long before I discovered these. Wouldn't be without them now.
If you want to see a little more of what Debbie has to offer, please have a look at her website www.skeinqueen.co.uk . We certainly can't wait to give her yarn a royal squishing!