Yarndale 2015 (again!)

So, as I said yesterday Yarndale was a blast; a jolly happy day. And, that was that for another year. Until the next. No. No? Well, although I’d sensibly booked a Saturday ticket and my train tickets some weeks ahead, I woke early on the Sunday morning with a strong sense of ‘I have to go back’. This only increased as I scrolled through my Instagram feed and saw lots I hadn’t seen. No angora bunnies. No alpacas. Not enough yarn. And – oh my goodness – I’d come away with only one card, which is for someone’s birthday anyway. I’m not a huge shopper generally. I prefer to buy yarn for specific projects, but even by my standards this was pants.  As I was due to meet friends in Leeds for dinner, after they’d been to Yarndale, it seemed sensible to drive to Skipton this time and hope that I could park. Actually there was a marked difference on the Sunday; when I arrived there were plenty of spaces and much more room to move in the mart. This time I was focused, not so much chatting and more looking.
  This gorgeous make is called Like a Leaf on the Wind by Sharon Jane. It’s free on Ravelry, in case you want any inspiration for your Yarndale purchases or stash. It uses one skein of 4 ply (fingering weight) yarn and is definitely now on my long list of ‘things to make’.

  Ah! I found the rabbits. And had a stroke too.
  Isn’t this stunning? It’s by Jane Crowfoot.
    This is really for me because I’d love some, but you might fancy some gorgeous charcoal yarn in your life too?
  As I caught up with my friends from Leeds in the Knit and Knatter lounge, and Heather and I shared our yarn purchases, some sheep came trooping into the space! I think they’re going to be part of the puppet festival in Skipton, next month.
  Naturally they were followed by their sheep dog, who just would not stand still until I used my best “Stay! Stay dog! Stand still!” and s/he obeyed. Good dog!  And now faces to fall in love with…

  Just look at these two. This could be a Valentines Day card.  It felt a bit mean to swoon over the bunnies and alpacas, so I snapped this calm sheep and quietly thanked them all for giving us their wool.This one just blinked and sniffed the hay in an ‘you’re being embarrassing’ kind of way.  I sat outside in the warm sun admiring my shopping, after doing a final loop of the mart. By other people’s standards it’s not a huge pile of goodies, but plenty to make me smile, and keep me busy.

I’m so glad I went back for another day. Someone I overheard on Sunday said: “You need a day to peruse and a day to buy.” I need a day to chat and another day to see all I missed.

On Monday morning I sat up in bed knitting a few more rows of my second Hitchhker scarf, musing on all I’d seen and the wonderful people I’d met, already making plans for Yarndale 2016 (a hotel in Harrogate or Halifax or Skipton?) And then I headed off to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. And that was another good day.

Yarndale 2015

I came back from Yorkshire last night, after a fantastic 4 days there. I really love that part of the country! I’d booked a ticket to go to Yarndale on Saturday and felt really excited. I didn’t go last year but went to the first Yarndale 2013 and was interested to see how the festival might have developed.

When travelling to Skipton what really amused me was the sheer number of Cath Kidson bags on view on the train. There weren’t as many woolly items being worn as I see en route to the Knitting & Stitch Show every March; as we’re enjoying a late Summer at the moment. I love anything Cath Kidson and so loved seeing them all. There was such a party atmosphere on the Leeds – Skipton train, with everyone talking about crochet, knitting and yarny matters, that the conductor asked where everyone was off to? He said he was absolutely loving seeing people talking to each other, not staring at their phones!

  I caught one of the red double deckers from the station and this was the mandala hanging in the window. It was amusing to see people in town doing double takes as the bus passed by. I noticed a few taking photos of it too!

When I arrived at the auction mart at 1030 people were streaming in. There seemed to be many more exhibitors this year and it was more spaced out than in 2013, which was a good thing.
  Once again I went to Fiona of Marmalade Rose gorgeous stall, where she was showcasing her felted wool pictures. They are works of art. I bought one of her cards. She is so talented.
  Some of the fabulous bunting! I tried to spot the ones I’d made, but it’s a few years ago now and I’m not sure I’d recognise all of them. I’m pretty sure I saw one or two, but wouldn’t put a bet on it!
The stunning Flowers for Memories displays were a real WOW. Here are just two panels. They were sent from 22 countries according to Lucy. Incredible isn’t it?

  This is just a section of the auction mart, you can imagine how busy it became over the day. It was very good to go upstairs for a bird’s eye view of everything, and to take a few minutes out. There really were fantastic stalls; such a variety of goods on sale and really, really stunning displays. I don’t have any photos but keep an eye out for any of Eden Cottage Yarns since it was definitely one of the best. If not the best.

This year I’d decided I was not going to take any photos (ha ha, failed I think) so there aren’t masses of yarn porn pictures. I was too busy staring greedily at it all, and trying not to smoosh it too much. But if you look on Instagram and search for #Yarndale2015 you’ll see plenty to satisfy you.
  I chatted to people all day: said hello to bloggers I’ve long followed, fellow instagrammers, anyone who started to chat about yarn or craft related things and designers I admire. It was so good to finally meet Kat Goldin, though due to my rubbish sense of direction I kept passing her and Joanne Scrace‘s The Crochet Project stand; as I went around in circles, rather than up and down all the rows. By the end I must’ve looked like a deranged stalker.

Yarndale felt like one giant, fizzing, happy party. I loved it. But by mid-afternoon I felt completely overwhelmed and decided to head back to town, it had been great but I was ready for a quiet wander. I jumped off the Yarndale express in the town and spent a huge £1 on a wooden door wedge at the market. I explored some of the lovely little independent shops and then popped in to Cooper’s Cafe, on the way back to the train station, and headed upstairs to Lucy’s studio. I felt a bit of a stalker again (and heard another saying the same) but it didn’t stop me looking around and taking some photos to show you.

I’m looking forward to seeing everyone’s take on this log cabin inspired blanket, the combination of colour possibilities is endless.

So familiar from Lucy’s blog, it’s a treat to see them once again in ‘real life’.

And there we are – my Yarndale experience. Or is it? Might there be more? Watch this space tomorrow…!

Yarndale 2013

I drove to Yarndale from Leeds on Sunday as I had another event over the weekend. The drive was sublime; I can’t tell you how many times I shouted “Wow!” at the stunning scenery. I really do love Yorkshire. As you can probably tell the weather could not have been better either; on Saturday my friends and I were wandering around Leeds in t-shirts.

Doesn’t this look lovely? What a great way to welcome visitors.

I had felt a little sad not to be able to go to Yarndale on Saturday, but after hearing of the queues, people trying and failing to access some stalls, along with traffic issues I was relieved to have gone on Sunday. As it was the main car park was full when I arrived and so I was directed to an overflow car park a short walk from the auction mart.


20131001-202504.jpgCan you see your bunting?!


So I walked in deciding therein madness would lie trying to find any of my bunting, looked up above my head and…


Look at that! That multi-coloured triangle with the blue centre is one of mine. This made me laugh – out of over 6,000 triangles mine’s right by the front door.

I wandered into the main room and the brass band starting playing, I truly got the shivers. The sound was absolutely gorgeous. I’ve made some recordings of the music to play at home. They really remind me of the jolly, warm atmosphere. You can also hear snatches of conversations in broad Yorkshire accents as people walk past, music to the ears!

An amused local told me that in Yorkshire you can’t go anywhere without tripping over a brass band, well in my neck of the woods it tends to be Morris dancers…

I headed for the crochet, knit and natter lounge as I just wanted to say hello to Lucy. We chatted for a little bit, then I introduced myself and we had a big hug. She’s as lovely as you’d expect, a petite and pretty lady. I honestly don’t think she had a minute to draw breath all day as so many people came to chat to her, but she seemed to be incredibly relaxed and enjoying being there.20131001-214916.jpg20131001-203931.jpgIt wouldn’t have occurred to me to get my bag signed except a group of four or five women asked Lucy to sign their bags. They were pretty over-excited to meet her and I heard her saying “Calm down ladies!” which did make me smile. After we’d chatted for a while and properly met I asked, with a little shyness, but am glad I did as it’s a sweet souvenir of the day.


Here are some really special bunting triangles. I love the sheep’s head.


There’s something very cool about seeing items that you’ve seen on a blog. I’ve felt the same when Natasja of Crochetime and I have met and she’s worn items I recognise. It’s a crochet nerd thing isn’t it?

Lucy said to “do us proud won’t you?” when I said I was going to take lots of photos. Well, no pressure at all then! I’m wordy and equally so with my photographs – this is just a selection of many. There are a good few photos of skeins of the wooly stuff, oh the range of colours and the feel of it! Bliss. I’m just glad they don’t charge you for stroking it.


After a few laps of the building I settled down to do some crochet and realised I was the only non-knitter in the lounge bit, amongst a lot of people. This surprised me rather. I was amused to see I was at a little table with Lucy’s covered tuna tin flower pot – I don’t think I’ll ever forget the look on Someone’s face when I talked about these when they featured on her blog.

Funnily the other individuals who came, one by one, to where I was sitting were also in education; lecturing, teaching or having worked in an advisory capacity. That was curious, it was like education corner. We covered a lot of ground, there were some fascinating stories.





It was very very tempting to buy these circular needles, except I wonder if my iffy elbow would disintegrate after a few rows.



Isn’t this girl’s scarf gorgeous? She was a star for letting me photograph her using the mega needles and then her scarf.







Lynne Rowe, designer, crocheter and knitter had recommended I find the Skein Queen stall, so I made sure I found it. You can almost feel the softness can’t you? Good enough to eat…



One of my favourites – a knitted and crocheted picnic.


A slice of battenburg pretty please.


Chips and pizza…


Naughty – unpeeling a banana and leaving it…


Angora bunnies, pretty aren’t they?

On my final loop I noticed Heather of Little Tin Bird blog’s yarn bomb. It was such a clever idea to copy Lucy’s blog header.

As I trudged back up the hill to the car to head into Skipton the sun was still shining. What a lovely day.

Steaming along

I’ve crocheted my contribution to the Yarndale bunting. The only thing left to do was to steam block them. I’ve only ever steamed bits of the Paintbox blanket so this was a first time event, with me poised with pins and my ruler!


Before and after the steam blocking method. Magical hey?!

I went in to see Somebody and waved the two blocks in front of his face, lifting them one at a time saying “Before…After…Before….After!” with a bit of an I’ve-blocked-these-at-last kind of flourish.

And the response?

“Wow! It’s changed the colours too, that’s really clever!”

I kissed him. Really it seemed the best thing to do.016

Some could be pulled out straighter and pointier but then they would have been more than Lucy’s specified 7″ across. My tension’s quite relaxed and happy, like I feel at the moment.


Hurray! I’m not really a bag of half finished items kind of person; so it’s great to have these neatly stacked and ready to go.

Buttercups & Bunting


Sunshine, blue clouds and lush green fields of buttercups, fringed with cow parsley. Rural England is beautiful in the Spring.

This was a very steep walk back up the hill from the river but taking a few photos always gives the perfect excuse for a quick rest.


Home to eat some delicious local produce from the farm shop and continue with the Yarndale bunting. As you see it’s really fast to crochet. I forgot to ask if any of you are planning to go? I’m thinking of going on the Sunday.

Bunting for Yarndale

When Lucy asked for Granny bunting for Yarndale I was delighted because I’d already offered to contribute something towards the yarn walk that is planned for the route from Skipton station to the venue. It’s a great way to use up a stash of yarn and I had crinkly bags full of Let’s Get Crafting Knitting and Crochet magazine stuff. It squeaks as you use it. Yeuch. BUT it’s very pretty colours and is perfect for bunting since you won’t be wearing it, and wouldn’t never know how plastic it feels to the touch.


I wanted a large pretty pottery bowl to hold my wool, or a wicker basket lined with beautiful material but sadly I own no such thing. Someone winces and pulls me away when I head towards wicker, or Tupperware or stationery. I’ve foiled  him with the latter two, but not the wicker so much. Then I remembered my herb bucket (bought last May bank holiday – I see) It’s been serving as a waste paper basket in The Little Room for ages.


The colours are perfect, don’t you think?


I hate waste so have bags of unused, half used balls and tiny scraps of yarn. I crocheted tons of middles with the teeny scraps while we watched Forest Gump the other night. I’d forgotten about the film’s great music, so really enjoyed watching it again. It’s sunny HURRAY! So there’s going to be some outdoor crochet happening too.


I see my granny bunting has Lucy’s seal of approval as she’s left a lovely comment on my BrANd NEw The Little Room of Rachell Facebook page.

Thank you to Hannah of Not Your Average Crochet for my new media buttons! She’s such a whizz and now I’m all linked up.


Yesterday we went to Cotswold Needlecraft at Evesham Country Park as I’d seen on the Mollie Makes blog that they were having a warehouse sale. It’s on till 2nd June and if you want to buy a pack of discounted yarn I’d recommend you go there sharpish. There’s a nice walk down to the river, a farm shop selling gorgeous produce and all sorts of lovely places to shop and browse.


I couldn’t resist buying some more embroidery thread. I’ve never used metallic before.


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