In the interest of honesty and full disclosure I should start this post with a couple of admissions. I didn't really go to Yarndale for the yarn. No, it was more an excuse for my friend Rachel and I to have a lovely child-free day out in the country - a "lady date" if you will. I'm not really a yarn purist. I confuse my double knits and my arans, my worsteds and my tweeds, and care not one jot how organic, artisan or hand spun the yarn is - I just tend to see a pattern or colour I like the look of and work from there. Usually on the wrong size needle or hook.
And I didn't take many photos. Sorry. It was just too busy and my camera was too heavy and I was juggling my handbag, my purse and my purchases while trying to look at yarn, stroke the yarn and not bump into people (did I mention how busy it was?) and taking photos seemed pretty irrelevant after a while. I just wanted to enjoy the experience.
When we arrived at around half past eleven the hills were shrouded in misty low cloud and the light was flat and grey.
But the walk from the car to the entrance was strung with bunting and it added a cheerful, festival feel to the whole affair.
Inside it was heaving. Lots and lots of people. And so many stalls! The venue is used for cattle auctions and each stallholder had a pen. There was a lot of yarn and yarn related paraphernalia. Many stalls were selling gifts and handmade crafts too, but it was the yarn stalls that seemed the busiest. I said hello to Lucy and bumped into Jacquie and it was lovely to meet both of them in the flesh.
At this point Rachel and I went into a black hole of time where we wandered up and down the aisles in a trance like state and then suddenly, at two o'clock, realised that we were very hungry indeed and needed some lunch. Dispirited by the long queues for food we decided to drive into Skipton and get something there and I'm glad we did as we had the nicest lunch sitting outside in the sun in a little cafe. I left my camera in Rachel's car and took the rest of these photos on my phone. Skipton looked like a nice place to be on a sunny Saturday afternoon with a bustling market and many independent shops and cafes to explore. We wandered over to Lucy and Tracy's studio for a nosy and what a light, bright and colourful space it is.
By this time is was after three and we decided to walk back up the hill to Yarndale, hoping that the crowds had thinned out a little.
The sun had burned through the cloud by now and the views of the dales were glorious.
Just outside the front doors was a tree strung with yarn-covered plastic balls. I think this may have been my favourite thing from the whole day.
It was much easier to browse the stalls now and we spent a lovely hour re-visiting all those we couldn't get to before. On our way back down the hill into Skipton to the car, we walked through the park and saw some of the yarn-bombing that was on display. It was all quite wonderful and it was nice to see so many people stop and look at it.
I was pretty restrained in my purchases and bought some very beautiful linen thread for potential doily making...
...and this gorgeously soft alpaca yarn plus a pattern so I can knit myself this cowl.
So all in all a rather lovely day out and I hope the Yarndale organisers are relaxing now and feeling pleased with themselves after staging this huge event. Yay for yarn and yay for Yorkshire!