Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Arne & Carlos Visit McAree Brothers

This weekend was full of excitement as we welcomed knitting and crochet superstars Arne & Carlos to our shops in Edinburgh and Stirling.
Friday night saw our Edinburgh shop packed out for a Meet Arne & Carlos book signing evening, with free drinks on hand, as well as delicious cakes provided by our favourite neighbours, Bon Papillon. The big hit of the evening was 55 Christmas Balls to Knit (by now, firmly established as a classic and stylish volume of knitted Christmas fun), and our guests’ hands must have been developing a cramp after so much signing of “Arne” and “& Carlos”.

Arne & Carlos with Sylvia from our Stirling shop. Photo by David Coleman

The next day, we caught the train to Stirling for our main event: an afternoon workshop on knitting Christmas balls! Set in the cosy, and very Scottish, Wallace Room at the Golden Lion Hotel, we learned all the tricks of the Christmas ball trade, including tips for stuffing the balls so they don’t end up “like apples!” and Arne & Carlos’ prefered technique of working with 5 double pointed needles.

Setting up for the workshop. Photo by David Coleman

We were also treated to a very entertaining presentation on their work and inspiration, much of which comes from their beautiful home and garden, set in a rural valley described by Arne as “the Twin Peaks of Norway”.

One of the most interesting points was the explanation behind the colourways designed for their Regia 4 Ply Design Line sock yarn. Interestingly, each of the shades was inspired by a different painting by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch:

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Arne & Carlos Regia 4 Ply shade 3658 Winter Night, and Munch’s ‘Winter Night’

And even though we didn't quite manage to finish our Christmas balls within the workshop, it was still a lot of fun and everyone left with smiling faces and plenty of yarn for a few more to complete at home.

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Christmas balls in progress… some homework required here!

We were sorry to have to say farewell on Saturday evening as Arne and Carlos headed back to Norway, but hopefully it won’t be too long before we see them again soon. And in the meantime, we’ve got 54 more Christmas balls, 30 pairs of felted slippers, a set of knitted dolls, a garden’s worth of knitting and crochet, and a dozen pairs of socks to be cracking on with…!

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