This weekend is Yarndale, one of the best events in my yarn year!  I will be visiting on Saturday and I’m just thinking about my preparation.

Are you going to Yarndale?  If so here are my top tips.

The first part of my prep is a review of the exhibitor list and floor plan, both can be found on the website here.  I check the exhibitors then print out a floor plan and highlight the ones that I really want to visit, sometimes I end up with a long list of exhibitors and have to prioritise them (maybe using 2 colours of highlighter pen!).   This then helps me decide which route I should take through the auction mart.

Next is what to wear.  It’s a good idea to check the weather forecast, but even in hot weather the venue can be cold – it has open sides and concrete floor and is built on a slope which helps the air flow – so it can be chilly even on a warm day.  The floor means comfy shoes are needed, and nice warm handknitted socks.  I find trousers are best and ones with a secret security pocket, then lots of layers.  Also, some fingerless mitts are useful and something for around the neck (for me that means a cowl).

Normally, I would take a large canvas bag to fling over my shoulder, but this year there are bag searches and it will be quicker all round if I don’t take a large bag.   So I’m opting for a small cross body handbag for money, phone, lippy, comb, small packet of tissues, keys etc.   It has some good little zipped pockets which are great for security.

For food I will take some lunch items, I’ll have some before I leave the coach (did I say I was on a coach?) and leave anything else on the coach (you can do this also if you have a car). I’ll also slip a couple of energy bars in my pockets for if I get peckish.

Also in my pockets will be some lightweight but strong shopping bags, these will be full by the end of the day!    If I find they get full early, then I’ll just leave them n the bag crèche until later.  And if I need another bag, well I can always buy a supply of the Yarndale bags!

Some, but not all, stallholders have mobile visa machines but the signal isn’t always good, so it’s much better to have cash (and possibly a cheque book).  I don’t keep cash all in one place which is why those little security pockets in trousers and bag are handy.  And it’s good to have small denomination notes and a good supply of pound coins, stallholders love them!

One mention of security – it is heightened this year, and we should all be alert, not just for additional risks but also for normal risks, be careful of where you keep your money and phone and hang onto your shopping (this is the worrying risk – don’t leave any of your precious purchases anywhere!).

Finally, the night before I have an early night and I put the mobile on charge.

If you’re at Yarndale on Saturday, look out for me – I’ll be wearing my Ravelry badge.    And if you have any tips for Yarndale, please share them!

Happy knitting and crocheting xxxx