Sunday 8 October 2017

Yarndale 2017

The blog has been rather pattern launch heavy recently, so here's a bit of a change of pace: a little peek at my trip to Yarndale a couple of weekends ago.

Yarndale is a yarn festival held annually at Skipton Auction Mart. This year was the festival's fifth year, and apparently there were over 8000 visitors!

I hadn't been planning on going to Yarndale - I had already been to Edinburgh Yarn Festival in March and the British Wool Show in the summer - but my friend Sam said she was driving down for the day on the Sunday, and that there would be space in the car if I fancied coming along. Obviously I accepted, as did my friend Jo.

So one Sunday morning I found myself getting out of bed far too early (I was up around 6; much earlier than I am usually up!) and walking to Sam's house ready for the drive to Yarndale. Skipton is about two hours from Durham, and we made excellent time, chatting excitedly the whole way. We made it to the Park and Ride at around 9.20, 10 minutes before it officially opened! Fortunately the Park and Ride was prepared, and we caught the second bus out of the car park. I managed to do a little bit of knitting - the bus was almost empty so I didn't have to worry about elbowing anyone!

Bus knitting

We did have to queue to get into the festival, but only because it wasn't open when we arrived. The stewards were all very efficient about getting our wrist bands sorted out before the show opened and checking our bags. The entrance we queued at was lined with food and coffee stands, so I enjoyed a very welcome coffee while I waited in the queue!

When the show opened I made a beeline for the two stalls I knew that I wanted to buy specific things from: The Knitting Goddess for a Dalek-themed knitting bag that I have had in my online shopping basket on their site since the bags were launched a few months ago; and For the Love of Yarn for a unicorn project bag for a friend that couldn't make the festival.

Once I had done my 'essential' shopping, Jo, Sam and I walked methodically round the festival, eyeing all the stalls and squishing all the yarn. There were so many wonderful things to look at: knitting-themed cards; fabulous crocheted mandalas; so much amazing yarn (I've shared a few of my favourites below); fantastically innovative ways of displaying socks; balls of yarn as big as Sam's head (you can knit a whole jumper from that ball of yarn); Latvian mittens...

Greetings cards from Beyond Measure
A fabulous shade of purple from Yarns from the Plain
I'm considering displaying all my hand knitted socks on sock windmills (Five Moons yarns)
Sheep socks. I have no idea where I saw these!
A ball of yarn as big as Sam's head (on the Woo Sheeps stand)
Can you knit like a Latvian? Latvian mittens from Hobbywool

I did not take enough of my own advice at this yarn festival. Towards the end of the day (when we were all a bit tired) we tried to find the stall that was selling the Latvian mitten kits. We knew that their tag line was 'Knit like a Latvian', but ended up walking round and round in circles trying to find the stall with the mittens. We did eventually find it, but only after asking a lot of people for help! It turns out the stall was called HobbyWool, not any of the many, many options we tried in the vendor list. If you see something you like at a yarn festival, always write down enough information to work out what it was later!

As ever at a yarn festival, I found a lot of buttons that I loved. I particularly liked this method of displaying buttons, which I saw at the An Caitin Beag stall.

I am surprised none of us came away with cat buttons

Once we had looked at half the stalls, the three of us were pretty shattered - it turns out cooing over yarn is exhausting. Thankfully Yarndale has plenty of outdoor space for picnics (and the weather was perfect: not too hot, not too cold, and dry). The outside areas were all decorated with intricate yarn bombings, which were interesting discussion points while we ate. Not that I took any photos of them!

Back in the hall after lunch, we continued our walk around all the stalls. We found more yarn (lots of yarn); beautiful magnetic ceramic pin catchers (unfortunately I can't remember who was selling those); cute cuddly toys; an excellent project bag; fantastic tapestry city map cushions; easy peasy christmas decorations that combined wool and wood...

Unicorn Fart yarn by Easy Knits
Fabulous Donegal Nep Aran on the Ripples Crafts stall (we all bought yarn from this stall; the colourways were amazing)
Ceramic needle dishes
Adorable cuddly toys on Sue Stratford's stand. I love the little dragon

Cute hedgehogs from Jem Weston

The cutest sparkly elephant on Truly Hooked's stand
The best project bag (from Temporary Measure)
Aren't these cushions brilliant (from Hannah Bass)

I love this decoration. It would be a great activity to do with kids (from Woolly Mahoosive)

...and a ridiculously large crocheted mandala.

All in all an excellent day out. It took me a few days to recover!

Did you go to Yarndale? What was your favourite bit?

If you want to see what I bought, pop back tomorrow.

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