Friday, 4 August 2017

Knitting at the Edinburgh Fringe

A trip to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival doesn’t have to mean abandoning your knitting and crochet for duration of stay.  There’s plenty of yarn-related sights and shows to take in this summer, and we’ve rounded up some of our favourites for you:

Street Performance: Tartan Heather


As you wander down The Royal Mile deciding which show to see next, keep an eye out for Tartan Heather.  Keen to keep the art of spinning and tartan-weaving alive in Scotland, Tartan Heather can be found beneath the statue of Adam Smith, giving demonstrations of traditional spinning techniques and occasionally allowing children and well-behaved adults to have a go at using a spinning wheel.  

Picture by Iain Muirhead for Humans of the Fringe  FREE/£1 to take photos

New Theatre, Comedy: Me, As A Penguin


Tom Wells’ critically acclaimed 2010 play, Me, As A Penguin, is being brought to the Fringe by the Exeter University Theatre Company and is the perfect show for knitters and comedy fans, with moments of tension surreally interrupted by voiceovers from a mysterious knitting tutorial.  The play follows the misadventures of Stitch, an avid young knitter, as he attempts to impress his new boyfriend, eventually culminating in the theft of a penguin from a local aquarium…

£8-10pp August 14th - 19th, 4.10pm, theSpace on the Mile (venue 39)

Classic Theatre: Shakespeare on the Sofa


Finally, a show you can bring your knitting to! Fresh from their Edinburgh production of avid knitter Virginia Woolf’s ‘Orlando’ earlier this year, Some Kind of Theatre are returning to Fringe venues, offices, care homes, and living rooms across the city with their Shakespeare on the Sofa project.  Their swashbuckling, pirate-themed production of ‘Julius Caesar’ can be brought into almost any venue, and so can be booked to perform in your home or at your regular knitting meet-up! (Directed by McAree Brothers staff member, Emily)

Prices start from £6pp. Throughout August.


Social: McAree Festival Knit Night


If you fancy an escape from the hubbub of the Royal Mile, bring your knitting and crochet works-in-progress along to our Festival Knit Night.  We’ll be teaming up with our neighbours, the cafe and art gallery Bon Papillon, to host a good old-fashioned ‘knit and natter’ for locals and performers alike (complete with a pin board for flyers for shows).  Refreshments will be provided, and we’ll be handing out ‘Fringe Survival Kit’ goody-bags, complete with a Fringe-inspired pattern, to the first 30 people to arrive!

KNIT NIGHT IMAGE with background.jpg
FREE entry

(Be sure to also check out our theatrical window display while you’re here: it’s inspired by McAree staff member and Cat-Like Tread director Sarah’s production of Gilbert & Sullivan’s ‘The Sorcerer’. £10-12pp, August 21st - 27th, Paradise in Augustine’s (venue 152), www.catliketread.com/shows/current-show)

Gallery: Dovecot Studio


Just a stone’s throw from the Royal Mile, Dovecot Studio features tapestries and crafts from international artists and is home to a fascinating exhibition on the history of weaving as well as a tapestry studio in which Dovecot apprentices learn this ancient, woolly, and beautiful art form.  A visit to this fascinating gallery is a must for anyone with an interest in traditional craft forms.  Dovecot’s ‘Daughters of Penelope’ exhibition, which explores the story of women’s work in both the textile industry and in textile art, runs from July 20th 2017 to January 20th 2018.

Photo by Shannon Tofts, Tripadvisor. FREE entry

Gallery & Shop open Monday-Saturday, 10.30am-5.30pm. Tapestry Studio Viewing Balcony open Saturdays, 10.30am - 5.30pm, or by appointment only.


If you have any tips on other knitting and crochet related events at the Fringe, we’d love to hear from you - please tweet us (@McAdirect) or get in touch via our Facebook page. Finally, if you’re travelling by plane to Edinburgh this August, be sure to check out Leah’s blog post on travel knitting and Heather's blog post on knitting on planes for some great advice about knitting on-the-go.

Post by Emily in our Edinburgh shop