Yarny Yarn Yarndale!

I have just got back from a very mini mini-break. This involved a lovely spa day yesterday (lovely except for the two women who insisted on having loud conversations in the Quiet Room with Serenity Pool. My irritation at their noisiness adversely affected my serenity.) And then I stayed at a B&B last night and treated myself to dinner at an Indian restaurant (yum, yum, yum). Breakfast this morning was possibly the worst cooked breakfast I have ever had. And my expectations had been so high that it really was a huge disappointment.

But I soon got over it because I was headed for Skipton and the main goal of the mini-break: Yarndale. It’s well over 2 years since I last went to a yarny, fibre-y, woolly show of this sort and I was particularly excited about this one. I don’t generally do well with things that involve thousands of people all in one place, but for a few hours, with strategic breaks to sit down and read a book, it was wonderful.

One ewe and one ram in a pen with straw
There were sheep.

Three alpacas
And alpacas. Also angora rabbits but my photo of them is dreadful. Use your imagination: three cute fluffy rabbits.

It’s £8 for a ticket. I do quite often resent paying high ticket prices for these kind of things, since it is basically a ticket to be allowed in to go shopping. However, at Yarndale, I did feel that the cost was worth it. They had gone to HUGE effort to make a livestock market feel like a fun, welcoming place to be. I loved the bunting, the yarn bikes, the signs outside.


crocheted bunting with Yarndale sewn on to itThere were at least four signs like this, all in different colours and styles. You couldn’t miss it if you tried!

yarndale4Outside the main entrance, the trees were all hung with bunting and balls of knitting/crochet.

Inside, there was bunting…yarndale5
And more bunting…

yarndale7Can you have too much bunting?

yarndale8Further in, there was this incredible display of round crochet shapes (I am not all that comfortable with the term mandala – seems appropriative to me). But they were stunning.

yarndale9All 1182 of them!

yarndale10These weren’t in the main display, just on one of the stands, but I liked them a lot.

yarndale11They seemed in keeping with the yarn bikes!

I didn’t do the wool walk, but they decorate the whole path up to the auction mart from the town with knitted and crocheted bits and pieces. I didn’t get to hear the brass band, but I love that they had one. There was also a nicely produced brochure with several little patterns for things and a couple of articles, as well as information about all the stalls. And, as far as I could tell, enough loos, which is the most important thing about any event with thousands of people. There were also plenty of seating areas dotted about the whole place, a couple of cafes (I took a packed lunch but what I saw other people eating looked nice and reasonably priced). I arrived early and parked very near the building so I don’t know if there were problems with parking later in the day.

In the Knit and Natter Lounge, Lucy from Attic24 held court, surrounded by lots and lots of her lovely crochet:

yarndale15A crocheted street!

yarndale14Crocheted wreath. Crocheted lampstand.

yarndale12More crochet! I love the bunting with sheep on it.

In general, I would say it was as well-organised an event as I’ve been to, and I really loved all the little touches which made it feel more than just a shopping arcade for people who like crafts. I did do some shopping, but even if I hadn’t, I think I would have been glad to go. Many of the stalls had beautiful displays too.  A couple of stallholders asked me not to take photos, so I didn’t. I won’t say who because I assume they don’t want the publicity. Seems an odd choice to me. I know, I know, they are worried about imitations and possibly even copyright infringement. But I really think it is a shortsighted decision. Anyway, here are some that I did take.

yarndale16This was from a local embroidery guild to celebrate the Tour de France in Yorkshire.

yarndale17Nest had a HUGE tree (this is only half of it) adorned with various knitted things.

yarndale18I loved these hooked cushions and samplers. Very tempted to make one for the forthcoming niece/nephew.

yarndale19Needlefelted teeny tiny animals!

yarndale20Absolutely stunning felted/embroidered art. This was £950. I did not buy it, but I did buy a little card with a small felted/embroidered piece on it by the same artist.

yarndale21Corn dollies! I enjoyed that there were several very traditional crafts on show in amongst all the modern yarn.

yarndale22Woolly wedding dress!!! I love it.

yarndale23Natural Dye Studio crocheted blankets are always amazing to look at.

yarndale24I think this star one might have been my favourite.



Campervans and… beard holder?yarndale27

Gorgeous crochet and adorable felted terrier.yarndale28

They weren’t actually selling the knitted knickers but I loved the display!


And one which didn’t quite work…

yarndale30It evoked in me the strongest desire to rescue all the poor knitted animals from the hangman’s noose, I’m afraid. Also, that is not a random black and white or sepia photo, they really were all knitted in colours of death.


And finally, my loot:



The most beautiful ceramic buttons. The little felt/embroidery card. 100g dyed Teesdale locks. 100g braid of BFL. 5x50g skeins of sockweight yarn in co-ordinating solids/semi-solids/variegated from Natural Dye Studio. That was my biggest splurge. I am going to try a modular crochet scarf in the style of the NDS patterns. yarndale32

And this is teeny tiny needlefelted Pingu. He is about an inch and a quarter tall. Say hello to Pingu (and don’t point out his wonky beak, he’s very self-conscious about it.)


So that was my mini-break. In general, I enjoyed it very much and I shall try to forget this morning’s terrible breakfast in all the glorious yarniness.