Aleks Byrd Designs


Woollinn Dublin

A wonderful time in Dublin for the inaugural Woollinn festival! This was my first time to Dublin and I was excited to see the city and see the talents of Irish dyers in person- and it did not disappoint!

There was a lot of beautiful yarn to ogle and lust after. What was nice was that this event was a manageable size that you could get into each stand and have a good look at everything. I also feel that I didn't miss out seeing something and was able to chat with other knitters and the vendors themselves. There was a nice seating area for people to sit and chat about their purchases and share ideas right next to the marketplace. Everyone was extremely friendly and true outside the event wandering around the city!  It was really nice to meet new some admirable people; designers, vendors and knitters as well as catching up with friends. Here are some of the people I met and managed to get a photo with.

I took a workshop with Karie Westermann on Nordic Traditions. Karie is a wonderful teacher who made me more confident about how I "throw" my yarn ( for a continental knitter) when knitting two handed colourwork as well as providing some nifty tips. She has such great energy that you just want to be her friend! I also got a copy of her book This Thing of Paper , which is beautiful. It's aways nice to meet someone who loves books, lettering, colourwork, and history/ traditions.


I am a fan of Susan Crawford's Vintage Shetland Project and it was nice to chat with her briefly at Woollinn where I got to see some of the samples from the book! Kiki, blogger of La Wolllbidung is a friend I met through another knitting friend in Wiesbaden, Germany. It was nice to catch up with her and chat about Color & Knit Mittens.

So here is a little break down of what yarn I bought at Woollinn


So I bought mostly yarn to play with for new designs with the exception of yarn for Caitlin Hunter of Boyland Knitworks' Sipila sweater

Biblum Yarns


i'm really loving gradients lately, so i couldn't pass on these rich blue beauties. Bilum is a Hungarian dyer of beautiful gradient caked yarns in different bases. I purchased Mun (top) :a 70% BFL 20% Tussah silk & 10% silver stellina blend, Sipsip (lower left): 100% merino, and Silka (lower right): 80% merino & 20% silk blend



I was excited to look through the beautiful dyed yarn of Irish dyer Olann. I had only seen her yarn on instagram so it was nice to see the rich colours in person. Her Donegal yarn caught my eye with its tweed look on a speckled/ variegated dyed yarn. 



This was a pleasant surprise of a find! These beautiful skeins are from a small mill in Genova, Italy. I purchased a selection of skeins of different blends including: 60% brogan wool, 20% mohair, 20% alpaca, and a hand spun looking skeins made of 60% Tyrol wool, 20% Tussah silk, 20% alpaca and super soft and luxurious 30% cashmere le moire ( a local to the mill cashmere goat farm), 30% fawn alpaca, 20% merino, 20% tussah silk. I love the colours that they offer from subtle variegated to jewel tones to flecked hand spun like. The story of a small business and mill with pride of using local sourced fibers like cashmere is an appealing selling narrative.

Bear in Sheep's Clothing


I met Bernie, the dyer behind Bear in Sheep's Clothing, at Edinburgh Yarn Festival this year where is was a fellow visitor. She kindly gave me a pin then with her cute and unforgettable logo of a polar bear in a yoke sweater and had me following  her amazing dyeing business. I was excited to finally see her wool in person after looking at her lovely photos on Instagram. This skein was to pretty to pass on! I love the rich colours of the jewel tone navy blue and golden tones smashed against the natural colour of the yarn!  I'm planning on using it to knit the Sipila sweater as the contrast/motif colour. I found some complimenting coloured yarn for the main colour of the sweater which will be one of these blues pictured below,  either The Fibre Kitchen's Midnight Shack or Das Mondschaf's Aurora in Tardis colour


It was a truly wonderful event! I look forward to the going to this event again and seeing what happens as it grows. Congratulations to the organizers at This is Knit who did an absolute amazing job putting this festival together!