This past weekend I was lucky enough to be able to go to Yarndale! My fiber loving cousin told me about it last week and after investigating I realized not only did it look rad, but going was totally doable. I got dressed in my very best handknits and Db and I hopped in the car for the 2 hour drive to Skipton, armed only with cookies, bananas and reusable bags because there was likely to be some yarn related retail therapy happening.
We needed the cookie and banana fuel, and the bags. It was a victorious day.
Yarndale was really cool even before we got inside, they decorated the trees with bunting and pompoms and there were people scattered all over the grass chatting and knitting together while wearing amazing handknits. I loved it, it was great actually seeing people working with yarn and wearing handmade garments. Ravelry is great and I love it, but being surrounded by actual humans who think fiber craft is cool was a whole other level. Someone recognized my cardigan was Grace by Jane Richmond, it blew my mind.
Inside there was an entryway with the most epic crocheted bunting that likely exists on Earth (6,212 triangles total), yarn bombed bikes and maps so you could mark where you were from. Upon inspection Db and I saw that no one had pinned Philly so we got to mark our spot. In the actual show there was a massive number of vendors, most of which were local to the UK and sold UK made goods. I'd only heard of two before! There was everything, seriously, everything. Fleeces, roving, carders, spinning wheels, drop spindles, swifts, dyes, knitting and crochet tools, patterns, finished garments, felting tools, peg looms, a booth just for vintage tools (I died, and scored gorgeous things) and every imaginable kind of yarn. I was overwhelmed. They even had little sheep, alpacas and angora rabbits that you could pet. Of course, we pet all the animals, that's kind of my life moto at the moment.
It was a really fun time, it totally put fiber festivals on the radar for me.
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^^^ That's our little white pushpin on Philly. The world should always be surrounded by a halo of pompoms.
^^^ The planners thought of everything, there were little seating areas like this all over the place. What a good idea right? The show was big so it was nice they thought to make pit stops. I saw more than a few bored old men sitting by themselves which I thought was hilarious, and there were chatty groups of people knitting, too. I had a hard time finding one with an empty corner to take a picture of actually.
^^^ I restrained myself from buying one of these huge hanks of scratchy wool. They looked so rustic though, I think it was the idea that this may have been what a yarn sale looked like 100 years ago that made me so interested.
^^^ We touched everything. Seeing the fiber from animal all the way to wearable garment was awesome.
^^^ Not the best picture, but the best of the 15 or so I attempted to take of this. Those are all crocheted, and there were 1,182 of them and that ran the width of the building which is wider than this pic. Very thorough decorations, it was impressive.
So that was Yarndale. Did any of you go? I'd never been to a fiber festival before and it was so fun! I'd like to go to another, maybe Rhinebeck next fall when I'm back in the states. Any other ones worth investigating?
Also, if you're into it Rhinebeck 2014 is actually happening in two weeks!