Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Yarn Tetris


Yarn Tetris Stacking.jpg
Yarn Tetris Round One

When I started working in the Edinburgh shop last September, I realised pretty quickly that working in a yarn shop would be unlike anything I'd done before! There's so many unique things about the job - from searching the shelves for that elusive dye lot to tracking down patterns for dog hats. And of course, every day usually involves a round of my favourite game - Yarn Tetris.


Yarn Tetris J&S Lace.JPG
New (to us) shades of Jamieson & Smith Shetland 2 Ply Lace

For example, last week we received a very exciting delivery of the Jamieson & Smith Shetland 2 Ply Lace, in a beautiful range of colours that we haven't stocked in Edinburgh before! But since our shelves are always packed, to make room for all the new colours it was time for Yarn Tetris. We shift the yarns around until we find ourselves with an empty cubby hole - although sometimes it takes a little creativity, like turning all the balls of Rowan Fine Tweed on their sides so they take up less space.

Yarn Tetris Fine Tweed.JPG
Rowan Fine Tweed now views the world from a new angle

Some yarns are easier to find a space for than others - the new Sublime Evie is wonderfully squishy and only needed three cubbies to show off all its shades! Others - especially with a big delivery like this one - take a little longer. But it's worth it when all the new colours are out on the shop floor, making a beautiful yarn rainbow.


Yarn Tetris Evie.JPG
Sublime Evie: compact and beautiful

Post by Christabel in our Edinburgh shop

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Guest Post by Lone

This week we received a very exciting email from Lone, who used to work in our Stirling shop, showing us her latest finished project:

Lone designed and knitted this amazing cardigan - what an eye for style!



Below a photo of latest finished project - at last! Been on the go for two years!
Somehow always got put to the bottom of the knitting pile.

The story is that not long after starting at McAree Brothers, I soon realised that I would never reach knitting a garment with all the yarns I would like to try and knit with. Thus an idea was born: buy a bit of all of them, get colours that could work together and put them all in one garment. Seemed a good idea at the time but my, what a lot of ends to sew in!

Yarns used:
Rowan All Seasons Cotton
Sublime Baby Cashmere Merino Silk DK
Rowan Fine Tweed
Rowan Panama
Rowan Tweed DK
SMC Extra Merino Big
… and to finish off, since my Baby Cashmere Merino Silk DK colours had been discontinued (drama!) ( don't leave things on the needles for two years), Patons Extrafine Merino DK.

Phew, glad it's finished and it fits!


Post by Lone


This is such an inspiring idea, as there are always so many yarns we're dying to try out and there just aren't enough knitting hours in the week. And as for the pattern inspiration? "Ehhh made it up as I went along after the initial idea..."

Lone, you're our kind of knitter! 💜

Thursday, 31 March 2016

Knitted Cable To Save Forth Bridge

Engineers Need Ewe


Wool this project set a precedent?

We have been asked to help in the search for a crack team of knitters by engineers at the Forth Road Bridge. They need volunteers to help with an ambitious project which could secure the future of the bridge for years to come. Plagued with structural problems in recent times, a knitted cable is to be made that will support the bridge deck and prevent further damage. A specially spun yarn from sheep in the Highlands has been designed to be strong enough to hold the weight of cars and lorries crossing the bridge.



Sceptics have accused engineers of "woolly thinking"

Senior Engineer Mhairi Knowles said, "We are combining innovative technology and age old craft skill to create this giant cable. It's the first time such an ambitious project has been attempted anywhere in the world." 

Drivers were severely affected by delays in December last year when the bridge was forced to close for four weeks. A long diversion was put in place and bridge bosses were tasked with finding a solution. When finished the cable will be almost 100m long and is expected to take the team six weeks to complete. Anyone interested in joining the project should get in touch to apply, by writing to the following address:


Sheep Dept.
Forth Road Bridge
South Queensferry
EH30 9SF

Post by Alasdair in our Edinburgh shop