Sunday, 6 October 2013

The Delights of Yarndale pt. 2

A whole week has now passed since Yarndale. I'm still kind of in a daze about it - it was just that good. I returned home to a happy Little P, who was very cuddly and clingy for a while (which was just what I wanted too!) and then it was straight back into the swing of things. We've had a fairly busy week, going to groups and doing all the normal stuff that needs to be done, but I do feel sad that Yarndale has now passed. It was always a glimmer of excitement on the horizon, and now we've swept right past it, but at least I can say I've had a great experience there and I'm already looking forward to next year!
I also have a small 'haul' I brought back from the North, which I get to play with and drool over. I carefully took it outside into the garden to photograph - you have to make the most of the natural light now Autumn is firmly upon us! I had my little helper with me, and she was very helpful indeed. It was pretty difficult to take a photo before the subject matter had disappeared of was covered by her face, but we got there in the end, although you may see lots of Little P's wellies and hands in the pictures!
The haul in it's entirety with Little P looming...

I was particularly nervous about the delicate yarn bowl I bought from the Willofibres stall. I don't much fancy it's chances around a toddler, although the kind lady on the stall advised me 'if anything were to happen - Araldite!' It's a rather beautiful bowl, and I had my eyes on it before I even left home, as I had spied it on the Yarndale Facebook page. I do love it...

No haul would be complete for me without buttons. I think I was quite restrained in the button department this time, coming away with 9. I treated myself to some lovely wooden log ones, which I've always liked, and some rather pretty enamelled coconut ones too. See, I did good, as there were so many wonderful buttons there in a whole host of materials and forms, including some lovely ceramic ones.

Obviously, one of the main things I wanted to drool over at Yarndale, was yarn. There were thousands of skeins or hanks or whatever form they took all over the auction mart. What was good was that it wasn't just full of ones you could pick up down your local High Street, but rather lots of hand-dyed and spun ones from local producers. This meant a lot of it was pricier, but I think it's totally justifiable as it's not an 'everyday yarn'. And also after the 'Dyeing to have fun' workshop I took part in, I really appreciate the amazing skeins these people produce. I didn't actually purchase any such yarn at Yarndale as I had no project in mind for it, but I wish I did, as I'm sure I could have found something to make! There's always internet shopping... I did have a good look at lots though, and some of my favourite colourways were on A Stash Addict's stall. When I get some of my current makes out of the way I may just have a good look at those again!
I obviously did buy yarn though. One project I had to buy for was some adorable hedgehog mittens I want to make for Little Lady. It called for 4-ply yarn and I have no such thing! I waded through the stalls and found some Drops Alpaca yarn. It was remarkably soft, I imagined alpaca to be a bit 'scratchy' like some other wools, but it wasn't at all. I should have known really after stroking some live alpaca earlier that day! The yarn was also pretty cheap, so I picked some up and checked another thing off my shopping list.
There was also an abundance of lovely bags on show about the place. I had thought I needed a small project bag, one I can chuck all the bits I need in and take out with me, but nothing too big. Luckily, I found just the thing, and my friend Leah found an awesome sheep one amongst them all for me.

As you can see in the bottom right picture, I treated myself to some ribbon. I thought the buttons were pretty apt!
The other yarn I bought came in the shape of this super-soft Drops Baby Merino. Right up my street - bright colours and very reasonably priced too. I haven't figured out what to make with it, but I do love it and am excited to use it! I also topped up my stash of merino tops for needle felting. There were many stalls with delicious colours to choose from, so I restrained myself to just 6, and picked them out whilst Leah joined the snaking queue for lunch. Oh the colours...

You may be able to see in first picture, I also treated myself to a new needle felting tool - it's a bit more advanced than the single needle I had previously been using. I plan to do more needle felting, and make a hanging decoration (see my friend Curly Girl Coop's great tutorial). Another Tulip Etimo hook may have made it's way into my shopping too, well you can't have too many of those can you?! And what trip would be complete without a souvenir? I had to treat myself to this little Yarndale pin badge!

I also took a couple of little things for Little P. I bought her a postcard from Skipton, and a couple of fluffy things from Yarndale. First up, a little rabbit keyring from the Bigwigs Angora stall. Unfortunately, said rabbit was unable to make the photo shoot as he was busy playing with Little P! Mr Alpaca however did manage to get papped. I love love love this furry little thing. I got him from the Toft Alpacas stall, which was packed with lovely stuff. They even had some teddy bears, which were insanely soft, and plenty of amigurumi which were very cute.

I think that rounds up what I bought, but I also came away with stuff I made. Well, dyed anyway. The 'Dyeing to have fun' workshop ran for 2 hours in the auditorium. It was great fun, and broke up the shopping nicely. I thoroughly recommend the workshops to anyone going in future, as they give you a chance to learn or do something you wouldn't usually do. I certainly haven't thought of dyeing my own yarn, but I found this basic introduction very interesting and great fun. We each arrived at the table to find a brown paper bag, filled with different types of undyed wool, and some clearing up materials to soak up spills! It was interesting to see how different types of wool took up the acid dyes differently. My particular favourite was the 'straight off the sheep' piece. The little curly bits were great, and took up the colour really well!

My other favourite was the merino wool we used (below, left) as it too took up the colour really well and is super soft. I could actually use it for needle felting. We also dyed some wool roving, spun yarn and a knitted piece, just to see how they all came out and to experiment with colour. Here's my efforts...

Curly Girl Coop also had some nice bits to take away, my personal fave was her 'spotty' piece (see her Yarndale write-up here)

All in all, a great time was had. It was a great weekend with great company, and I just can't wait to go again. I would like to say a big well done and thank you to anyone involved in the planning and running of the event, and to all the exhibitors who made it such a great day out!

Now I must go, gifts to make! I will be back soon with some pictures of what I've been making recently in the near future, but until then...


  1. Totally in love with your bowl! So awesome! (I use something similar....a plastic butter tub the I cut with a pair of scissors! You know, because I'm classy like that!) And the bag, and the buttons, and the ribbon and the YARN!!!! Love it all! So glad everyone seems to have such a great time! From all the pictures I am seeing, it looks amazing!

    1. Indeed it was a great time, looking forward to future ones! I'm very happy with my stash too, although it would have been easy to buy a lot more! :)