Yes, much like the contents of my purse on Saturday, Yarndale 2014 has been and gone.
Last year, I didn't buy much. I was determined to make up for it this year.
Mum and I arrived about 9.10am, and even though I'd seen online that the car park wasn't going to open until 9.30, they'd clearly started letting people in long before that. Although I didn't have a problem parking last year, apparently it did go a bit pear-shaped due to the volume of people arriving and a lack of organisation. But from what I saw today, the parking was much better organised. We were on the second row in a grass field - a bit further to walk than last year, but perfectly adequate, and a nice view! We had a sandwich before making our way up to the auction mart.
|The canal is down in that dip somewhere!|
We could've gone straight to the back entrance but decided to walk around to the front instead. We'd seen a lot of people heading that way so I was expecting a long queue (as the place didn't open until 10.00) but there was hardly anyone outside, because again, even though it was early, they'd started letting people go in and either show their pre-paid tickets, or pay on the door. Inside, the doors to the Yarndale hub (the foyer bit where all the bunting was hung) were still closed, so everyone was just milling about, but it wasn't too crowded and everyone seemed in good spirits.
I'm not sure what time they let us into the hub, maybe about 9.45. This is where the Yarndale merchandise could be found - I bought two badges (are they called Bert and Betty? Or is it Betsy?), a canvas bag and a 2015 calendar. I took another couple of photos of the bunting again.
We were all still queuing to get into the main hall at about two minutes past 10.00, so one of the Yarndale people who was on the merchandise stall went through with an attitude of determination to 'hurry them along' and the next thing we knew, the doors opened and in we went.
First decision - left or right? We went left, and walked down one side of the aisle and then back up the other side, rather than criss-crossing, and so on.
The much-anticipated display of crochet mandalas had been hung on a raised walkway/balcony which spanned the full width of the mart.
The general public weren't allowed up there, but there was a chap taking photos.
Every time we got to the top end of an aisle we'd have a look to see if I could spot mine (I'd shown mum a photo of it on my phone so she knew what she was looking for) - I was determined to find it before we left. I didn't actually spot it until we'd finished looking at all the stalls, and luckily it was above an empty aisle, which meant I could get quite close underneath it to take a photo. I'm so glad I took part this year, after missing out on the bunting from 2013. It was brilliant to see my mandala up there with the other 1181!!
|Second row up from the bottom, third one in from the right!|
Despite knowing about Yarndale 2014 for, ooh, a whole year, I failed miserably in my attempts to find some patterns that I wanted to make, to the extent that I spent about two hours on Friday evening frantically flicking (that's hard to say!) through all my Simply Crochet magazines trying to find something, anything, that I wouldn't mind having a go at. I found a cardigan and a couple of jumpers for me, and a couple of baby hoodies. As we walked around today, I gradually talked myself out of buying anything for the jumpers for me, and I'm reluctant to make baby clothes because I'm so slow and Junior will grow out of them so fast. So in the end I just looked for the yarn for the cardigan and anything else that caught my eye. I'd written down the exact yarn that had been used in the magazine, but I was expecting to have to buy it from a different retailer at least. I hadn't looked at the list of exhibitors, so I was quite surprised to find the sellers of the yarn had a stall there. I chose a different colour to that used in the pattern (because they didn't have that colour), but otherwise it was exactly the same yarn, so I've no excuses for my cardigan turning out any different from the magazine!!
Five 100g/400m skeins of Pendle 4ply in 'Robin Egg', 100% superwash merino wool from Eden Cottage Yarns:
|Eden Cottage Yarns|
So what else did I buy? Well, I'd read that Lucy was going to be selling a new blanket pack (in conjunction with Wool Warehouse), so I popped into the Knit 'n' Natter Lounge (where Lucy was having her photo taken like the crochet celeb that she is) to buy one. It's Stylecraft Special DK, and you can't go wrong with that, so I thought it was an easy way to add to my Stylecraft stash. I don't know if I'll make the ripple blanket with it, but I will probably make a blanket of *some* kind with it. One day. There are some new-to-me colours such as copper, denim, parchment (I might have some of this, can't remember) and sherbert.
As I said above, I fondled lots of delicious yarn. I touched, stroked, smooshed. And I really wanted to buy some. But I didn't know what, or how much, or what for. So I bought some anyway. I don't know what I'll do with it, I probably haven't got enough to make much more than a scarf, unless I can match it up with something else. But I just really wanted to try some. I had that 'urge'. Any suggestions on what I can make with it, please let me know.
This is a 100g/600m skein of 80% extra fine merino/20% silk lace from Cuddlebums. The rainbow colours on the stall were stunning and irresistible, although when I bought this I was fast running out of money, which is why I only bought one. I hope I can find something gorgeous to make with it.
These are two 100g/400m 4ply/fingering weight skeins of 100% Superwash Blueface Leicester. The dye lot is called Licorice Kiss, and it really does remind me of a bag of Allsorts, or the pink and blue ones at least! It's from Easyknits, who I believe were the very first stall on the first aisle when you started on the left hand side, as we did. I didn't buy it from them when I first saw their stall, because it was the first and obviously I wanted to have a good look around before I made any purchases. When we'd seen every single stall, I said to mum that I'd just go back and look at the first one, because I felt like I hadn't spent enough time there. I had a nosey around and saw this yarn, and couldn't resist. After buying this I had about £6 left in my purse, and we called it a day!
Last year I was quite taken with all the needle felting that was on display, so this time I bit the bullet and bought a kit. Hopefully, if I don't mess it up, it will look like a little brown hare when it's complete. I like hares. I'm also pleased that I'm going to be trying out a new skill.
Needle Felting kit by Jenny Barnett
Speaking of new skills, I watched a stall holder demonstrating some hand-spinning (I think she was using a drop spindle), but unfortunately I can't remember the name of the stall. She was making it look very easy! I'd love to have a go, but I don't know
There were, of course, the gorgeous angora rabbits and alpacas, which, being a non-yarny person, is the thing that my mum most looks forwards to seeing.
|I think the lady in blue must've been the owner, as she was feeding them|
|So soft and floofy!|
|I think these were Bigwigs|
I wasn't really expecting to buy anything for Chris (who was at home with Junior all day), but we stopped to look at a stall selling ceramics, and I spotted something bee-related, so I couldn't resist. It's a honey spoon rest, although he tends to pour his honey straight from the jar, so he thinks it might get more use as a coaster.
So all in all, a very successful and enjoyable day at Yarndale 2014! And when I got home my little boy was so happy to see me and wanted a big cuddle, which was the perfect end to a fab day.
Can't wait for Yarndale 2015!!
[Blog post written on Saturday after my Yarndale visit, but completed on Sunday when I had chance to upload my photos]