Yarn Bombing Ratho

Ratho residents awoke to a colourful sight last week, as the village was transformed into a woolly wonderland! Ratho Library’s guerrilla knitters have been secretly working hard for the last few months on woollen lengths of many patterns, and have created hundreds of brightly coloured pom poms.

Photograph of Yarn bomb

Ratho Yarn Bombs

The Ratho Library knitting group were helped by knitters at Sighthill Library and by many other members of the community, eventually producing enough material to create cosy trees, decorate the fences and plant a field of pom poms! Children from the village helped with the decoration, and local teenagers have agreed to keep an eye on the knitted creations, so that the efforts of our knitters can be seen by all. Ratho Gala Day, which was on Saturday 10th June, is a day where Ratho residents celebrate the fantastic spirit of community that exists in their village, and through the yarn bombing efforts, our library borrowers have played their part in ensuring that Ratho is looking it’s best for this special day.

Heathervale Young People’s Centre and the knitters of Wester Hailes Library

Wester Hailes Library received an email back in February, calling for knitters and crafters to make some special items for an exciting new project.

Lesley, an Accommodation Planner for the Council, was in charge of designing the interior of the new Heathervale Young People’s Centre on Dumbryden Drive.  Not having a huge budget, Lesley appealed for help, and staff and service users of the local library, Wester Hailes, were very keen to be involved.

Once again, the ladies of the library’s ‘Knit and Natter’ group took up the challenge, and knitted and crocheted some amazing cushion covers, baby blankets and toys for the new young residents.

Wester Hailes Library Knit and Natter group

Wester Hailes Library Knit and Natter group

On 5th August, Lesley invited the group along to see the newly completed interior of the Centre.  They were really impressed, and pleased to see how their knitted contributions added to the warm, welcoming feel of the space.

‘It is an absolutely amazing home for the children and looks great with the colourful cushions in the lounge and den’.

Knit and Natter Group at Heathervale Young People's Centre

Knit and Natter Group at Heathervale Young People’s Centre

Lesley has kept some of the cushion covers aside, so that each child can choose one for their own room.

A huge thank you to everyone who created beautiful things, and also those who donated wool for the project!

It’s a Merry Knitted Christmas at Wester Hailes Library

tree1Wester Hailes Library’s ‘Knit & Natter’ group have truly embraced the festive season by producing a fabulous knitted tree, complete with knitted crackers, baubles and Christmas puddings.

The group started work on this masterpiece last year, but have gradually added more woollen ‘leaves’ and decorations, to make it bigger & better than ever!


Wester Hailes ‘Knit & Natter’ meet at the Library on fortnightly Wednesdays, 2-4pm.  All knitters & crochet-ers, from beginners to experts, are welcome.  You can bring your own project to work on, or join together knitting for charities: the group have contributed to causes including disaster relief, soldiers’ welfare and local emergency midwives.


On alternate weeks, the fun and friendly Games Club (fortnightly Wednesdays, 2-4pm) offers a selection of old and new board-games to enjoy: from traditional dominoes and Scrabble, to modern classics like Taxi & Pass the Bomb!  Teas, coffees and biscuits are provided free of charge.

There’s also have a Colouring Group for adults on Wednesday evenings, 6:30-7:30pm.  This craze has been gaining international popularity, with colouring-in books climbing up the best-seller lists, and it’s recognised as a relaxing and therapeutic activity.  Try your hand at some of the beautiful and intricate designs!

Several Edinburgh Libraries run similar knitting and craft groups for adults.  Why not enquire at your local branch, or check their web page.


Knit your own Broons!

Horace, the twins, Daphne and Paw

We’ll show ye how tae knit them a’

knit your own Broons

Knit Your Own Broons is the latest book from Ruth Bailey and Jackie Holt, authors of the much-loved Knit Your Own Scotland and Knit Your Own Britain.

And they’re coming to Central Library on National Libraries Day (Saturday 7th February)

Book your place now at what promises to be a hugely enjoyable presentation which, like the Broons themselves, will appeal to all ages.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

knitted treeThe wonderful ladies who attend Wester Hailes Library Knitting Group have been working hard again, this time they have produced a magnificent 7ft (!)  knitted Christmas tree including decorations.

The group of 15 ladies have been working on the project since the summer and have knitted over 300 green squares all of different shades and styles to give the tree more texture. They then knitted/crafted Christmas Crackers, Candy Canes and Baubles to adorn the tree, not to mention various small trees that have been dotted around the library.

knitted treeThe building of the tree took place in the library this week and after the grand unveiling, the staff and the community are delighted by the results, with almost every person coming in the door stopping dead in their tracks to admire the groups handiwork. The only disappointed people have been the nursery visit from Juniper Green Nursery who wanted to pull the crackers!

The tree will be in the library until the 6th of January so please come along and see it.

Knitting: knot just for your (k)nan!

Do you dream in yarn, get annoyed if you get interrupted when you’re counting, and try to analyse people’s knitwear?  Then this post is for you.

As a loud and proud knitter, I often get comments from people who see me knitting, along the lines of “you just don’t see people knitting anymore”.  I always tell them that they can’t looking in the right places, as I know many knitters and crocheters of all ages!  Today I’m delighted to point you in the direction of some of those places – right in your local libraries!  Books, chat, a nice cup of tea and a biccy: what could be better?

Scotland is a perfect place for yarncraft enthusiasts, not only because of its ideal climate for woolly goods, but also because Edinburgh is home to two world-famous knitwear designers: Kate Davies and Ysolda Teague!

Knitting Groups meeting in libraries

Blackhall Library – every second Monday at 6pm (next one is 28th November)

Leith Library – every Thursday, 6:30pm-8:30pm

Newington Library (who made the amazing items pictured above) – every Wednesday at 6:30pm.

Oxgangs Library – every other Tuesday, 10:30am-12pm: next meeting November 29th.

Portobello Library – every Thursday from 6:30-7:30 pm

Sighthill Library – Fridays 2-4pm

Wester Hailes Library – adult group every other Wednesday, 2-4pm , kids knits every Friday throughout term time, 2-4pm.  Please note that these groups are very popular, so please contact the library first to avoid disappointment!

Loopy Lit

I’ve chosen some fantastic pattern books for your consideration – and there’s not a comedy fun-fur jumper in sight!

Cookie ASock Innovation: knitting techniques and patterns for one-of-a-kind socks

Cookie is another popular knitwear designer – guaranteed satisfaction for all you crazy sock-knitters!

Betty BarndenStart knitting: the beginner’s book of basic techniques and stitches

Debbie Bliss and Ulla NyemanBlankets, bears and bootees: 20 irresistible hand knits for your baby

Everyone loves making things for little ones!

Cathy CarronHattitude: knits for every mood

What’s not to love about knitting hats?  They’re fun, fast and don’t use up much yarn at all!

Jane Crowfoot – Ultimate crochet bible: a complete reference with step-by-step techniques

A one-stop shop for new crocheters

Teva DurhamLoop-d-loop crochet: novel, elegant crochet designs

Innovative and stylish crochet patterns

Claire GarlandToys to Crochet

I am reliably informed that crocheting toys may cause addiction…

Sally Harding and John HeseltineQuick Crochet, Huge Hooks

Now that’s what I call instant gratification!

Erika Knight and Graham Atkins HughesEssential crochet: 30 irresistible projects for you and your home

Crocheted charm for the home

Jenny LordPurls of Wisdom

Tried and tested: this book helped a friend to become a wonderful knitter!

Tricia MalcolmFelting

Felting is a fun and easy technique which can save the day when an item comes out too large!

Carol MeldrumKnitted icons: 25 celebrity doll patterns

I have this book and the little celebrities are just hilarious!

Rick MondragonKnitters at home: cottage, condo, cave or castle, no matter where you live, knits make it home

Add some personal, knitted touches to your home.

Claire MontgomerieKnitting for children: 35 simple knits kids will love to make

For the knitting kids in your life!

Anna TillmanKnitted dog coats: over 20 designs for handsome hounds and perfect pooches

Keep your best friend cosy in style!

Sue WhitingCute knits for baby feet: 30 adorable projects for newborns to 4-year-olds

Making things for teeny tiny tootsies is a great way to use up oddments from your stash!

So please come along to one of these groups, bring your yarn, projects and your experience, or your queries, pull up a chair and have a stichin’ good time!