Retreating to Yarndale
I've been a lucky girl this year, my usual 'stay at home going nowhere, seeing no-one' life has been thrown up into the air and I feel like I'm jetting off somewhere every other weekend at the moment. A slight exaggeration perhaps, but in comparison to my normal routine this year has indeed been a bananza of yarny get aways.
Let's see, there's been a couple of Blogstar meet-ups, the Edinburgh Yarn Festival, two trips to London, Fibre East, and now... Yarndale! My family had better watch out, I could get used to this.
Anyway, this trip was particularly special and totally unmissable as far as I was concerned because I was planning on meeting up with my long time Blogland pal, Annette from My Rose Valley. She and a group of friends were planning the trip to Yorkshire all the way from Switzerland and as we have always talked about the possibility of one-day, somehow, meeting in person this opportunity was not one I wanted to pass up!
Luckily for me, the ladies that Annette travelled with very kindly allowed me to gate-crash their trip and made me feel wonderfully welcome and relaxed as they shared their beautiful country cottage with me. It was an amazingly picturesque location, complete with cute villages and beautiful scenery. The cottage itself nestled into the side of a steep hill and as perfectly quiet and peaceful as you could wish for. Really quite idyllic.
We took the opportunity to enjoy a little retreat from our normal lives and surroundings in this beautiful setting. Walking on the hills behind the cottage and admiring the views, popping into Skipton for a browse and enjoying the exciting new farm shop which was quite unlike anywhere I had been before.
Predictably Annette and I managed to sniff out the local yarn shops on our wander around Skipton itself and we all enjoyed the prettiest afternoon tea at the Old School Tea Room at Hebdon featuring tiny and beautifully prepared sandwiches and cakes which were totally scrummy and left us surprisingly stuffed. None of us managed to complete all three tiers!
No retreat would be complete without some crafting thrown in, and so we made time for that too. Possibly the best part of the weekend, sitting with this group of girls, next to a window full of beautiful scenery, a glass of wine, some nibbles on the table, the crochet hooks flying and us chatting and giggling into the evening.
Of course, the 'main event' was Yarndale, the reason they had come so far and it didn't disappoint. It's been a good few years since my last visit, back in 2014 and goodness me, it's grown! Everything has scaled up that bit more than where it was at three years ago, more parking, more tea and coffee points, more food and most importantly, more stalls!
I did fear a little about how packed it might be inside, especially as we were visiting on the Saturday but actually, although it was busy, I didn't find it uncomfortably so. There were of course the predictable queues for food and a little wait to get inside but really these things are unavoidable and are hardly going to dampen the spirits when there are such delights to see and touch and feast the eyes upon all over the place.
There was such a wide range of stalls there this year that there was almost something for everyone. Lots of yarn of course, both from indy dyers as well as retailers, spinning and plenty of fibre, a little weaving, some amazing needle felting, yarn accessories and a wonderful colour filled dyers stall which I walked past quickly lest I get drawn into it's temptations! But also felt and fabric stalls, some quilting and beautiful pieces of art, made from fabric and appliqué on one stall, and layered sewn papers and embroidery on another.
I was trying to be 'good' and not splurge quite as much on yarn as I normally seem to manage to do, so a little more variety in the stalls did help me stay vaguely on track with that task, for which I was grateful. I still came away with a healthily plump bag by my side though.
Most of all it was just so lovely to meet up and see some yarny friends. Chrissie (Chrissie's Crafts), Sarah (Annaboo's House) and Kathryn (Crafternoon Treats) were all there and it was so nice to see them all again, albeit far too briefly. We popped along to see Lucy (Attic24 - obvs!) for a quick chat and met Suzanne from Daisy Boo Creations and Victoria from Eden Cottage Yarns for the first time too.
I was also lucky enough to have some of you lovely lot come and say hello to me too, which was really so very lovely! I know it's tough to be brave enough to come up to someone like that, I'm always most scared if I try to do it, so I if you did manage it this time I really appreciate you plucking up the courage, it's always so nice to get to meet you guys in person. So a huge thank you for that!
We ended the weekend with a little bit of a drinky with Lucy and some of the other festival goers, which was a fab way to round off the weekend as I got to meet Helen (FloraHoneypot), Lulu (thelittlegreencupboard) and her Mum, and Christine (WinwickMum) at last too.
I started going to yarn festivals because I was mad about seeing the gorgeous yarn and of course, that's still true but it's about so much more than that now. It's become such a brilliant way to break out of my usual solitary little bubble and connect with like minded people and wonderful yarny friends and that makes me very happy indeed.
I hope you had a lovely time this weekend too and I thought I'd leave you with a little blow by blow breakdown of the haul...
Two utterly gorgeous skeins of Eden Cottage Yarns in Tempo 4ply
The pink is 'Sparrow' and blue is 'Cromer Pier'.
A beautifully speckled skein of Hand Dyed by Kate
Merino Nylon Sock base in 'Windswept'
Four lovely vibrant 50g hanks from Five Moons
Luna Plus 4ply in (from top to bottom) Sour Cherry, Atomic Strawberry, Duck Egg and Flapjack.
Charming mini skeins from Annaboo's House
Three 20g skeins all created with only natural dyes
A lovely collection of shawl designs from the always inspiring
Kat and Joanne of The Crochet Project