What a lovely day I had yesterday!  The weather was kind, it was almost wall to wall sunshine which made the coach journey lovely as we could all see the views clearly.  As one friend remarked – one of the joys of a coach trip is sitting higher up than in a car and being able to see those views!   It wasn’t too hot though, so the layers I was wearing worked well.

As usual Yarndale was busy.  There were queues to get in but as we were on a coach and already had wristbands we could zoom straight in.  Even so it was busy from the moment we entered.  Although after lunch (our usual trip on the red bus into Skipton) it did seem a lot quieter than usual, this may be because of the Northern Rail train strike.

My first stop was at the Oxfam stand as I had a large bag of yarn to give to the Yarn Amnesty.  Then, very conveniently, virtually all my ‘must visit’ stands were on the same aisle – so I was able to do all my planned spending within the first hour.  Then I was able to wander more leisurely and enjoy the sights – here are a few of them:

I popped in to the Knit and Natter Lounge and had a lovely chat with Lucy of Attic24.  I remarked that it seemed lighter and she told me the whole of that central building had been demolished and rebuilt this year – so that made it lighter and brighter and provided a better layout.  All her blankets were displayed perfectly along the front railings and the Charity Sock Line (200 socks) was along the upper railings.

There were several pens of animals – the ones that let us use their fleece and fur for yarn.  I particularly love the angora rabbits – there were 4 in the pen, all different colours, but 3 of them were very shy.   I didn’t spot any alpacas this year but there is a large herd of them 10 minutes walk up the lane from my house so I do see them regularly.

The Exhibition Hall was very colourful.  As well as the usual bunting display (my word they need long ladders to attach that!), there was a very poignant poppy display by the Knitwick and Yarnhill knitting group (a huge cascade of knitted, crocheted and sewn poppies) and this year’s Creative Community Project of crocheted and knitted butterflies – one from each contributor was placed on large boards with the contributor’s name and home place below, the rest were available to be ‘purchased’ by a charity donation.   One of mine is on the board above and if you saw my previous blog post you may spot which one it is 🙂

I took my large Cheshire Bag with me and it was full before I entered because of my contribution to the Yarn Amnesty.  It was less full on the return journey because I was very good and did not over indulge.  Here’s my stash:


I was limiting myself to 400g of yarn but ‘overspent’ by 100g – so I need to crochet and knit faster.   The reason I overspent is because I found some new-to-my-eyes Shetland wool by The Border Mill – the gorgeous North Coast Tweed.  The photo above does not do the colour justice; it is deep blue, teal and green – just the colours I love.   The other yarn was planned purchasing: Triskelion Scylfing 4ply, Willow Knits 4ply silk and The Knitting Goddess Britsock Colour Wheel.  The book by Joy Macmillan was on my wish list and has some lovely quick knits which will help me ‘stash down’ quicker.  The fabric on the left is linen and will be used for little linen bags.  The wooden tube towards the front is a beautiful needle holder and the metal object is the smallest (and vintage) wool swift I have ever seen and perfect for knitting holidays as it packs down into a tiny box.

One of the things I love at these shows is that there is a lot less plastic use; most people use their own bags and if a bag is offered it is frequently paper (and sometimes recycled).  Other than the book (which came in a plastic sleeve) I took home no plastic. Together with the fact that I travelled by coach, I think this is one of the most environmentally friendly shopping trips I take.  However, I do wonder why there are so few coaches organised – we have fun on the coach, it is more relaxing, the views are great and it saves space on the road as well as fuel.

Overall it was a great day, I saw lots, enjoyed fondling yarn and absorbing the colours, collected a few leaflets and cards from businesses that I will buy from in future, and brought a lovely (mainly planned) stash home.

Did you go to Yarndale?   If so I hope you had a grand time too.

Happy knitting and crocheting xxx

Yarndale ahoy!

The only yarn festival I am going to this year is Yarndale – and it is on this weekend. As it is the only one I am going to you can imagine the excitement is building!

I supported the annual community project by making some butterflies:


I am looking forward to seeing how they display the butterflies, I am sure it will be spectacular.

If you visit Yarndale you will spot me (and my fellow coach travellers) because we will be wearing our Knitsford Yarndale 2018 brooches.


This has become an annual tradition for Knitsford – this year I helped Jenny (who is organising the coach) by designing the brooches and hosting a prosecco afternoon tea where we made them (so apologies to any fellow coach goers whose brooch may be a tad wobbly!).  You may have seen us featured in Inside Crochet.

I will also be wearing a Ravelry name badge (my Ravelry name is vbracegirdle) – so please say hello if you spot me.

With 3 days to go I am getting organised.  I have  printed the floor plan and marked which stands I must visit.  There are surprisingly few ‘must visits’ this year and that is because I am working hard to keep my yarn stash under control.  I will not allow myself to buy much new yarn, only that which I can immediately think of a use for and I must be firm in my resolve!  However, I will allow myself to buy new tools, small items of haberdashery, pattern books and presents.  Yes this will be hard 😦  However, it does mean I can browse as much as I like and log the best things for future purchases (I’ll have a notebook).

The weather forecast is sunny but cold, so I will layer up as it is cold in the auction mart.  This blog post has other tips for Yarndale.

As you’ve probably worked out, I don’t have a stand at Yarndale, but if you want to see any of my designs then you will find some designs, patterns, books and kits at 3 different stands: Willow Knits (G103), Yarns from the Plain (J177) and Lynne Rowe Knitting & Crochet (J164).

Are you going to Yarndale?  If so I hope I see you there 🙂

Happy knitting and crocheting xxx