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Yarndale 2019

“Thank goodness that yurt we tried to book was already taken!” was my overriding thought as we drove through the lashing rain last Friday. Armed with wellies, thermal socks, yarn, pamper kit, gin and enough food supplies for several months, friends and I had decided to do Yarndale a little differently this year and make a weekend of it. Accommodation near Skipton was scarce though since the road cycling World Championships were also passing through town.

Eventually we found a comfortable lodge to book in the nearby Ribble Valley. There would have been stunning views of Pendle Hill and the Dales – had you been able to see past the end of your nose.

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Late afternoon on Saturday, the sun DID come out for approximately 20 minutes. Let’s just pretend it was like this all weekend.

Once you’re inside the cattle mart where Yarndale is held, you can feel the buzz of excitement in the giddy chatter. Whatever is happening outside is soon forgotten in this glorious bubble of woolly colour and creativity. I save all year so I can look forward to this, my favourite show where I can be inspired and support local makers.

My first purchase was a card and quirky brooch from Gill Pinkney’s charming stall.IMG_0617Look at these sweet fairies made from felted merino wool and frayed recycled fabrics.  Each one is unique.IMG_0616

The knit and natter lounge was a great central meeting place and over the weekend we congregated back every so often to refuel, to show and tell our buys and talk about what we’d made on workshops.

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There were also some talks going on and I’d booked to see Matt from A Boy and Bunting interviewing designer Dedri Uys. It was so interesting to hear them chat about her design process, inspriration and crochet journey. Dedri is the designer behind some of the most well-known and loved crochet patterns on Ravelry including the Ubuntu blanket that they are holding up here.

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Hanging over the rail you can just see a Rozeta blanket that is the official 2019 Scheepjes CAL. It’s a beautiful yet achievable epic tapestry crochet design based on a stained glass window. Tatsiana of Lilla Bjorn Crochet is the designer. Having various colour and yarn options made up and together to compare really helps you choose your favourite (mine’s ‘Dusk’). The CAL begins on 9th October if you want to join in and kits can be bought online from Black Sheep Wools.

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Just behind Dedri and Matt is the Hydra blanket by The Guy With the Hook, an underwater inspired design that has amazing colour and texture. So good to appreciate in real life. After the talk we were all given a Scheepjes goody bag (who doesn’t love a goody bag?!!). Amongst the lovely gifts, I was delighted to find in there the Reef Bookazine where you can find the Hydra pattern. Also photographed in there are the little Octopals I made (see my Crafting for a Cause post).

Speaking of causes, look at these cuties waving hello.

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Yarndale’s community project this year was bears for Mercy Ships. Bears will be given to children undergoing treatment onboard the hospital ships. You can read more about that here. At the show you could also name a bear in exchange for a donation.

I couldn’t spot the little chap that I’d made with love.

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But that was because there were over 1800 bears sent from 23 countries. Good effort everyone!

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As we had a weekend pass, there was time this year to join in workshops. On Sunday morning Kate and Becki made some wet felted bowls (around an orange – who knew?) while I made ceramic buttons with Margaret Glackin. After an hour of fun experimenting with clay, slip, glaze, tools and textures, not really knowing what I was doing, I had a board of buttons ready for firing and glazing. They don’t look much now so I’m intrigued to see how they will come out when I collect them in a few weeks.

Then there was time for some shopping and more socialising. I can’t remember if this handsome lad from Exmoor Horn Wool was Teddy or Toby or something else, but no matter, he didn’t want to be friends with me anyway.

I was keen to see Jackie Cardy as she’s retiring from Yarndale this time. I love her work and bought this birdy brooch that I’ve attached as a character in my ongoing stitched book so he can fly from page to page.  He looks like he fits right in I think? I’m so looking forward to seeing Jackie again in November for a workshop.

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Beyond Measure is always a ‘Must Visit’ for me as I really appreciate the beautiful quality of the tools they sell. This time I picked up some Sashiko needles; sharp and long with wider eyes for the boro style stitching I’ve been doing more of this year.

Also a coaster by Alison Milner. I bought one last year that I use all the time and this crochet design is another from the set.

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Eliza Conway had a very interesting and reasonably priced stand packed with new and vintage treasures.

After a good rummage I chose two new wool blanket offcuts. The green checked one is beautifully soft and warm and the perfect length for a scarf. Cut lengthways and neatened up it will make two, so an absolute bargain.

My stitching friends know that I have a thing for quality scissors. I have a pair for every purpose and woe betide anyone who borrows without asking. I could not resist these vintage tailors shears. They make a really satisfying noise when you close them. I haven’t tested them on fabric yet but I think they will look good displayed regardless. It’s hard to tell from the photo but they are HUGE!

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Eliza isn’t online but you can find her at Haddon Hall this November and next year at Unravel Surrey, Wonderwool Wales, Woolfest and Staithes Arts Festival. She also has a permanent stand at Staithes Arts and Crafts Centre.

Last year I bought a little sheep stitch marker from Crafternoon Treats. I’m very fond of it, so went back for more that I can give to some of my hooky friends at Christmas.

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My final purchase was this bedtime reading. It’s got to the point where I’ve been following patterns for some time and feeling confident about techniques. It’s time to try some designs of my own.

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The last stop was a workshop with Jaki Bogg making little rip and stitch brooches. We had a pack of little fabric scraps and thread. There were no rules, we just got on with slow hand stitching. These are Jaki’s sample pieces, all made up of scraps joined with simple stitches.

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What a relaxing way to end a fantastic weekend! I loved every minute. It’s always a little sad when it’s all over like when you come home from holiday. Thank you so much to all the hardworking Yarndale team and see you next year!

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