Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for September 29th, 2013

Yarndale

Yesterday was Yarndale day! This yarn festival was held in Skipton Auction Mart and the Weather Gods had been kind, it was a beautiful day. I had paid to go on a coach trip from the studio where I go for my knitting and sewing activities.

With my carefully saved pennies tucked into my purse I boarded the coach in Guisborough, found a seat next to one of the ladies from my Wednesday night class and we were off. We were within spitting distance of Skipton when we hit a large traffic jam. It wasn’t surprising as Skipton was the place to be on Saturday. As well as the weekly market and Yarndale there was a puppet festival and a zombie run (your guess is as good as mine!) We weren’t in the jam for too long and being on a coach trip was clearly the sensible choice as parking was a nightmare for cars. We thought it a pity that we were dropped off by the back door, as it were. The two friends I was with agreed we should make our way to the front, buy a programme and get our bearings. To say it was packed would be the understatement of the millennium! It was heaving. We finally made it to the entrance hall and……wow…! There was crocheted bunting strung up across the ceiling, a stall selling Yarndale programmes and merchandise (bags, badges, t-shirts and the like), displays including a knitted picnic and knitted food from Andalusia. I’m not normally one for knitted food, preferring the real thing, but these looked so effective. We stood in a corner of the auction mart and had a sandwich while we looked at the floor plan and decided how to tackle looking at everything.

I think, between the three of us, we wanted to look at everything. So we did. The range of yarns, the colours, the things that one could make should one get the urge was amazing. It was almost overwhelming. There were also stalls displaying work by various fibre artists and it was a shame everything was so crowded as the art could not be displayed to it’s full advantage and I am sure a lot of people missed it because of this. We squeezed our way into gaps at stalls and squished yarn of all types and exclaimed over every shade of every colour of the rainbow. I think our favourite phrase was “Isn’t this gorgeous? Do I get it or not? I’ll go away and think about it,” We did a lot of going away and thinking about it! We had arrived between 10.30 and 11am and by the time had looked at everything, bought what we wanted to buy, spoke to the people we wanted to speak to (if we could) it was 3.40pm! We did have a brief stop for lunch and our being tight and bringing sandwiches proved to be the best plan. The food all seemed to be fried or pastry based and the queues to get it were humongous. We sat outside in the sunshine and ate our sandwiches and gossiped before hitting the fray again.

There were even a few animals on display, although not as many as at other more established yarn festivals.

Alpacas, freshly shaved!

image

and Angora rabbits, some freshly plucked, others in need of a hairdo! The ball of fluff on the left is one giant rabbit.

image

I am a bit sensitive to angora, it makes me itch if there’s more than 10% in a yarn blend but the bunnies are so soft to stroke! Mohair, on the other hand, is a big no-no and I spent half the day scrubbing at an itchy hand after picking up a skein of yarn that turned out to be high in mohair! I didn’t even get as far as reading the label (which is why I’d picked it up in the first place.) It was too late, by the time we’d finished, to go on the yarn walk into Skipton, as we had planned so we had a short stroll outside then bought an ice cream to eat while we waited for everybody to assemble at the coach.

I had a lovely day and would like to go again to see how it has improved. There were a few teething troubles, as is to be expected when setting up anything new. I think they had underestimated the visitor numbers, hence the parking problems and the packedness of the venue. The stalls were very crammed in close together, even though there were plenty of empty cattle pens in the main hall. Perhaps in the future they could spread them out a bit, which would relieve the density of the crowds and enable people to actually get into a stall to see the merchandise on offer. The food all seemed to be fried or pastry based and the queue for food was enormous. The smell of frying was very strong and permeated the hall. One stall even packed up and went as they were next to the food stall and the smell was permeating their goods. Perhaps having separate drinks stalls would help, as would limiting cooked food to the official cafe, and having more variety. There is nothing wrong with burgers and pasties but not everybody likes that kind of food. Some people complained loudly about the toilets. The inside ones had stopped flushing and the volunteers kept having to pour water into them to flush them and there were enormous queues for them too. There was a long double row of portaloos out the back, which we used out of necessity. There was no queue here and they were fancy flushable ones with large hand sanitizer dispensers on the walls so not as bad as they sound. They would have been better had the toilet paper not run out but thankfully I always have tissues with me!

Although it sounds like a long list of complaints, there was nothing wrong that a bit of a tweak wouldn’t put right for next year. The stallholders were lovely and ready to stop and talk, even though they were rushed off their feet. The volunteers were always smiling, although they probably wanted to sit down and cry or bash the annoying General Public over the head. There was plenty to look at, plenty to buy and a good atmosphere.

I didn’t spend all my money – there was almost too much to take in – and I had wanted some Drops Baby Alpaca-Silk but the stalls selling Drops were like the first day of the Next sale so I saved that money to buy online. I did, however, buy this tiny haul:

image

* A Weaver’s Loft sheep kit (not shown) for Mum’s Christmas present
* A skein of Triskelion Yarn & Fibres Rhodri Sock yarn in Selkie (the blue-green skein)
* A skein of Skein Queen Oasis Grande fingering/4 ply in a very dark blackcurrant (no shade name on the label). This was my treat purchase. It is 50% camel/50% silk and the softest thing ever. I will probably make a shawl or scarf from it.
* A pack of 10 mini skeins of 4 ply from Fivemoons in Garden Moon, these are for my sock yarn blanket
* A pattern for the Southwold in the Snow shawl. It was on display on the Skein Queen stand and I just fell in love with it.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Yarndale

Yesterday was Yarndale day! This yarn festival was held in Skipton Auction Mart and the Weather Gods had been kind, it was a beautiful day. I had paid to go on a coach trip from the studio where I go for my knitting and sewing activities.

With my carefully saved pennies tucked into my purse I boarded the coach in Guisborough, found a seat next to one of the ladies from my Wednesday night class and we were off. We were within spitting distance of Skipton when we hit a large traffic jam. It wasn’t surprising as Skipton was the place to be on Saturday. As well as the weekly market and Yarndale there was a puppet festival and a zombie run (your guess is as good as mine!) We weren’t in the jam for too long and being on a coach trip was clearly the sensible choice as parking was a nightmare for cars. We thought it a pity that we were dropped off by the back door, as it were. The two friends I was with agreed we should make our way to the front, buy a programme and get our bearings. To say it was packed would be the understatement of the millennium! It was heaving. We finally made it to the entrance hall and……wow…! There was crocheted bunting strung up across the ceiling, a stall selling Yarndale programmes and merchandise (bags, badges, t-shirts and the like), displays including a knitted picnic and knitted food from Andalusia. I’m not normally one for knitted food, preferring the real thing, but these looked so effective. We stood in a corner of the auction mart and had a sandwich while we looked at the floor plan and decided how to tackle looking at everything.

I think, between the three of us, we wanted to look at everything. So we did. The range of yarns, the colours, the things that one could make should one get the urge was amazing. It was almost overwhelming. There were also stalls displaying work by various fibre artists and it was a shame everything was so crowded as the art could not be displayed to it’s full advantage and I am sure a lot of people missed it because of this. We squeezed our way into gaps at stalls and squished yarn of all types and exclaimed over every shade of every colour of the rainbow. I think our favourite phrase was “Isn’t this gorgeous? Do I get it or not? I’ll go away and think about it,” We did a lot of going away and thinking about it! We had arrived between 10.30 and 11am and by the time had looked at everything, bought what we wanted to buy, spoke to the people we wanted to speak to (if we could) it was 3.40pm! We did have a brief stop for lunch and our being tight and bringing sandwiches proved to be the best plan. The food all seemed to be fried or pastry based and the queues to get it were humongous. We sat outside in the sunshine and ate our sandwiches and gossiped before hitting the fray again.

There were even a few animals on display, although not as many as at other more established yarn festivals.

Alpacas, freshly shaved!

image

and Angora rabbits, some freshly plucked, others in need of a hairdo! The ball of fluff on the left is one giant rabbit.

image

I am a bit sensitive to angora, it makes me itch if there’s more than 10% in a yarn blend but the bunnies are so soft to stroke! Mohair, on the other hand, is a big no-no and I spent half the day scrubbing at an itchy hand after picking up a skein of yarn that turned out to be high in mohair! I didn’t even get as far as reading the label (which is why I’d picked it up in the first place.) It was too late, by the time we’d finished, to go on the yarn walk into Skipton, as we had planned so we had a short stroll outside then bought an ice cream to eat while we waited for everybody to assemble at the coach.

I had a lovely day and would like to go again to see how it has improved. There were a few teething troubles, as is to be expected when setting up anything new. I think they had underestimated the visitor numbers, hence the parking problems and the packedness of the venue. The stalls were very crammed in close together, even though there were plenty of empty cattle pens in the main hall. Perhaps in the future they could spread them out a bit, which would relieve the density of the crowds and enable people to actually get into a stall to see the merchandise on offer. The food all seemed to be fried or pastry based and the queue for food was enormous. The smell of frying was very strong and permeated the hall. One stall even packed up and went as they were next to the food stall and the smell was permeating their goods. Perhaps having separate drinks stalls would help, as would limiting cooked food to the official cafe, and having more variety. There is nothing wrong with burgers and pasties but not everybody likes that kind of food. Some people complained loudly about the toilets. The inside ones had stopped flushing and the volunteers kept having to pour water into them to flush them and there were enormous queues for them too. There was a long double row of portaloos out the back, which we used out of necessity. There was no queue here and they were fancy flushable ones with large hand sanitizer dispensers on the walls so not as bad as they sound. They would have been better had the toilet paper not run out but thankfully I always have tissues with me!

Although it sounds like a long list of complaints, there was nothing wrong that a bit of a tweak wouldn’t put right for next year. The stallholders were lovely and ready to stop and talk, even though they were rushed off their feet. The volunteers were always smiling, although they probably wanted to sit down and cry or bash the annoying General Public over the head. There was plenty to look at, plenty to buy and a good atmosphere.

I didn’t spend all my money – there was almost too much to take in – and I had wanted some Drops Baby Alpaca-Silk but the stalls selling Drops were like the first day of the Next sale so I saved that money to buy online. I did, however, buy this tiny haul:

image

* A Weaver’s Loft sheep kit (not shown) for Mum’s Christmas present
* A skein of Triskelion Yarn & Fibres Rhodri Sock yarn in Selkie (the blue-green skein)
* A skein of Skein Queen Oasis Grande fingering/4 ply in a very dark blackcurrant (no shade name on the label). This was my treat purchase. It is 50% camel/50% silk and the softest thing ever. I will probably make a shawl or scarf from it.
* A pack of 10 mini skeins of 4 ply from Fivemoons in Garden Moon, these are for my sock yarn blanket
* A pattern for the Southwold in the Snow shawl. It was on display on the Skein Queen stand and I just fell in love with it.

Read Full Post »