The Perth Festival of Yarn is back, albeit on a slightly smaller scale than usual.
The hugely popular annual event brings together boutique independent businesses, sheep farmers and those who practice the fibre arts in one huge marketplace.
The nine-day event usually attracts around 2,000 people from across the world and, while some aspects will be held online this year, organisers say they are bringing their most ambitious programme yet.
And they still expect visitors from all over the UK as knitting and crafting continue their rise in popularity.
‘I’m extremely proud’
Festival Director Eva Christie said: “The Events Industry has been one of the most severely hit by the pandemic and we will feel its effects for a long time yet.
“To come back with our most ambitious programme ever to ensure we can deliver a Covid-safe event has been extremely challenging for our small team and exhibitors, but I’m extremely proud of each and every one of them.
“I am very much looking forward to welcoming everyone back whether that be in-person or online.”
She added: “As expected we have had to scale back on the size of our in-person event this year
“However, attendees will be able to access our marketplace of over 30 vendors with an abundance of bespoke independent hand dyed yarns, single farm wool, plant-based yarns, fibres for spinning and felting, tools and equipment to help inspire them and create textile works of their own.”
Popularity of knitting – and Olympic gold medallists
Knitting has proved extremely popular in recent years.
Before the pandemic hit, people from around 20 different countries flocked to Perth to celebrate knitting and crocheting every September.
Even high-profile athletes have brought knitting and crocheting into the limelight, with Tom Daley showcasing his talents at this year’s Tokyo Olympics.
In a post on Instagram, the diver – who won a gold and a bronze medal earlier this year – said learning the skills helped him through the Olympics.
Among items he created was a Union Jack medal case.
Eva also believes knitting can have a positive impact on mental wellbeing.
During the 2019 festival, she said: “It’s humbling that people who have had depression and anxiety have said knitting has saved their lives.
“It’s very meditative doing something like crafting.”
The The Perth Yarn Festival takes place at the Station Hotel this year in a change to its usual venue.
It opens on Saturday and runs until September 19.