Oh my! I can’t believe how excited I still am about this.
Looking it back, it all feels like a surreal (but expensive) haze. More like a dream than anything else. Maybe that was because tiredness was catching up with me after a 7 hour journey? Maybe it was the mythical status of the show. Who knows. All I do know, is that it was as wonderful as I expected.
As is usually the way, the heady mix of excitement, tiredness and wonder meant that my photo taking was poor. So big thank you to The Mother and Mrs ATR for letting me use their snaps. Much appreciated.
Where to start? Beginning? Would be sensible wouldn’t it.
As with most of my stories and adventures, it starts with an accident. I can feel you rolling your eyes from here. Yes, I managed to miss a couple of steps on the way to the bathroom and do my best super girl impression on to the bathroom floor. I’ve never had lino burns before so that was a new experience. Nothing broken though. My good ankle is now not so good, and I’m still all sorts of stiff, but nothing broken.Stupid stairs.
Even with the unexpected accident, and my general tardiness, we set off roughly on time. Yes, the journey was long, but only two stop offs, which is pretty good going. Traffic was the main cause of our delay, so we didn’t end up getting there until half 9. We did have a nice surprise when we got there though. See below.
Atrocious photo, but look at the bunnies! 3 little ones just sitting about. They didn’t seem concerned about the car, or us when we got out and started unpacking. It let us know that we were properly in a country area.
Unfortunately our lateness meant that everywhere was closed for dinner. Even the Burger King and Little Chef (Hotel was booked predominantly because of the Little Chef attached – I love Little Chef. But that’s a story for another day.) were closed to weary travellers. We had to make do with a takeaway pizza delivery (Only 3 stars given. Extra chillis on a peperoni. No need. Overkill in my opinion.) and tried to get some rest for the adventure ahead.
We awoke to a cloudy but bright morning with excitement mounting that we were sharing the hotel with some of the exhibitors. This was really happening.
After filling our boots in the awakened Little Chef (Olympic breakfasts all round), we went in search of Yarndale. In the light of day it turned out to be next door. I only booked it because it was in the area and had a Little Chef. Very nice surprise.
Even though it was next door, we still managed to see some scenery on the way. I told you we were in the country.
Yarndale is held in the Skipton Auction Mart and all the exhibitors are herded into the pens once all the sheep have vacated. One thing that Yarndale is famous for its its decoration.
If you’ve ever heard even a whiff about Yarndale before, you’ll have seen pictures these decorations.
These are my humble offerings.
Such a small thing, but they make all the difference.
Not that these things aren’t fun, but it makes it even more so. Look at these mandalas. I now want to put them all over my garden. And everywhere else for that matter.
We entered through the hall and saw the famous bunting.
Each year there is also a community project, and this year hundreds of hearts were made in order to raise money for Mind. This is a wonderful charity, and so important, so I’m so glad they picked it.
The bunting in the entrance was part of this project, but also these Mandalas. It must be wonderful to be able to come year year after year and see your work displayed, even only if it’s something small. Remind me to join in next year.
Where to start was the question. We went straight to the Oxfam yarn drop off to donate our offerings but what next. It was overwhelming. So overwhelming I struggled with the map all day. Thankfully, logical brain kicked in and we decided to go up and down rows to make sure everything was seen.
Good plan, but half an hour in and we’d only seen 6 stands. 6! We were going to have to do better than that. It was insanely busy, so it took huge amounts of time to get through people. If you managed to get into a stand, you were sometimes trapped by hungry yarn buyers. It’s not a compliant though, everyone was so polite and helpful. Baby ATR got a lot of fuss. We decided it might be time to go straight to our favourites and get them out of the way. If I’m honest, I was worried that the best of their stock would be gone and I’d be disappointed. Purely selfish motives.
I promised you last time that I would get a pair of socks from each of my favourites and I did just that! It was amazing to actually be able to see these products in the yarny flesh. Also to meet them in person. I was a bit star struck. I kept pointing out people to Mrs ATR and saying ‘Look! Thats Soandso from ..’ It was a strange experience. The Mother and Mrs ATR had no worries about going up and talking to people, but I believe you should never meet your idols. I’ve believed this for some time. It’s a bit of a hazard working in a theatre. Often I’ve been at stage door and someone I admire has walked in. It’s a nightmare situation. I usually keep quiet and wander off. One of two things will undoubtedly happen. Either they’ll just be awful and not live up to the person I have in my mind, and they’ll be ruined forever for me. Or, I’ll just make an absolute berk of myself and I’ll feel like a failure for the rest of my life. It’s not worth the risk.
Anyway, favourites done and dusted, we headed back to start the isles again. We’d got half way down the second row by lunch time. The Mother needed a sit, Baby ATR needed a feed and we needed to unloaded our purchases so we had room for more. Lucky we had such a near base wasn’t it?
Refreshed, we continued on. Before we knew it it was 3PM! Time just seemed to escape in that place. Food was needed so we went and found a seat in the food area. This had been busy all day so we’d avoided it, but things were a bit calmer by then. A queue was still needed for 20 minutes for get a delicious ham and cheese crepe. Luckily I made a friend in the queue, and being a regular visitor, gave me lot of advice. I wish I got her name. Apparently we shouldn’t dropped off our purchases mid way through. It was important to feel the weight of them to stop yourself buying more. Duly noted.
Sustenance consumed, we missioned around the last of the stalls. Luckily for us, the crowds had died down enough so we could get around quickly. By the end, I just felt like I was spending money for the sake of it. I’d got to the point where I couldn’t quite remember what I’d bought in the morning, and had a sneaky suspicion I was just buying the same thing from different shops. I hope you’re proud that I stopped, rather than shocked at the money spent.
As is the way with these sorts of events, we had wildlife to see! There was a Rabbit.
This pair called Knit and Purl..
And this one who seems to be sitting on his ginormous unmentionables.
Talking of unmentionables, we saw these huge phallic looking crochet hooks..
to go along with this yarn.
We also saw this huge mandala which was 14ft across. Heres Mrs ATR for scale.
There were also lots of things to see in the Knit and Natter lounge. Wool Warehouse were there selling Attic24 packs and Lucy was there herself. There was also Christine the sock god helping people with their woes. I did my wandering off and averting gaze thing again and took some pictures.
Weary but sated, we headed back to the car to play some elaborate bag tetris. It wouldn’t be a post of mine however without some foliage.
Not great picture taking weather, but they had some amazing trees.
There were a couple there that were just tinged with pink. Like they’d dyed their tips. So beautiful.
I know whats missing from this post. The yarn. Oh my goodness. Such beauty. Yes a fortune was spent, but I can’t tell you how much as I’m keeping it a secret from Himself. As you may have suspected, it’s mostly sock yarn. 95% I’d say. But (!) I did get some.. Ok it’s sock yarn, but for a different project. Rather predictably I also went for the same colours. Blues and greens which are my favourites and for some reason pinks. I’m not even really a fan of pink, but that’s what I seem to end up with. Do other people do this? End up buying basically the same thing over and over again? Anyway, let’s have a gander.
This Ainsworth and Prin was from the wonderful The Knitting Shed and was my first purchase. These are so rich. No big shouty colours, but so marvellous. I’m very glad they gave me a voucher code for my next purchase.
Next is For The Love of Yarn
Regular readers will know that I love this woman. The same lady who did the GOT box and the summer box. It was lovely to be able to feel it all and see the colours properly. Above was from the regular range, and below was from the bargain bin. I couldn’t say no.
The autumn shade on the right might well be my next pair of socks. Watch this space. She also had sock blanks there! I’ve been wondering about sock blanks for a while, so I thought I’d take the plunge and try one out.
This was from Gamer Crafting
I was so excited to see this stall. I’ve been following this lady for a little while. She posts about craft, gaming and music. Almost like it was designed for me. This is part of her Pokemon range. I’m not a fan myself, but I applaud the idea. And the yarn of course is lovely.
We also went to see the lady behind Crafternoon Treats
This skein jumped into my hand (as they so often do) and begged me to admire it’s beauty. It feels like the colours are coming at you from every direction. Plus she is the nicest person. The Mother won her Blandala pack from this lady, so we had to go say hello and thank her.
My non sock purchase!
This is destined to be a moss stitch cowl. I have to be honest with you here. I’ve already started this project. It wont take long. I couldnt help myself. You start with the pearl on the left, and alternate the minis as you go along. They had a display model made and i fell in love with it. There was also the pattern book which I have a feeling The Mother has an eye on. It’s from The Knitting Goddess. I’m hoping I’ll have enough left over for some stripey socks.
I’ve never much thought about different types of wool strangely, but this is my Wensleydale and Bluefaced Leicester from Home Farm Wensleydales and has opened me up to the diversity in yarn.
It’s ever so soft and textured, plus a lovely subtle colour. I’m thinking maybe some cable socks? What d’you think?
I spotted this stuff across a crowded alleyway and was led as if in a trance to it. How deep is that blue. I can just feel that this will work up a treat. Thank you Black Horse Yarns.
This yarn from Debonnaire reminds me of mermaids.
Again, so many colours in there. I can’t wait to have mermaid feet.
Last but certainly not least, was from Truly Hooked.
These guys were at Wonderwool and I regretted not getting anything. I made up for it here. The grey may look a little boring, but look closer and again we’ve got hidden colours. A testament why these shows are important. Sometimes you need to see things for yourself.
Oh! And of course a Yarndale bag had to be purchased.
So there we have it. Our tiring, expensive but wonderful adventure. I can’t wait for next year. I’d best start saving..
Much love xx