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Reader review: Yarndale 2013

Reader review: Yarndale 2013

This September saw the very first Yarndale festival held at Skipton Auction Mart. We gave our readers the opportunity to review this brand new festival for a chance to win a bundle of knitting goodies, and we are very pleased to announce Louise Hobson as our winner.

By Louise Hobson

When my fellow crafty friend told me about Yarndale; a weekend event in Skipton dedicated to everything knitted, crocheted, spun, dyed and felted - I found it near impossible to say no. Anything that has a patchwork sheep as their logo has me sold, and Yarndale was certainly no exception.

Held at Skipton Auction Mart, Yarndale is a small craft festival for knitters and stitchers of any age. Being at the younger end of the spectrum, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the stall-owners and demonstrators were fun, vibrant and very passionate about their craft.

Fact: The town’s name, Skipton, actually derives from the Old English ‘sceap’, meaning ‘sheep’, and ‘tun’ meaning ‘town’. If ‘Sheep Town’ isn’t the perfect place to hold a wool-based festival then nowhere else in the world is ever going to be sufficient.

We certainly weren’t disappointed. Yarndale was an absolutely delightful day out – I had the chance to meet real-life spinners, dyers, felters, lace-makers and knitters, not to mention the odd alpaca and Angora rabbit.

Each one of the crafters had a fascinating story to tell of how they developed and perfected their craft. Take Toni at the Craven Guild of Lacemakers stand for example. She’s been lace making for the past 19 years, and was completing the most intricate piece I have ever seen. How she manages to keep track of all those threads, bobbins and pins I do not know!

If you love wool, friendly people and socks then Yarndale is definitely the festival for you. I came away from the event with a fantastic woven picnic blanket (thriftily made from waste yarn over at Longwood Blankets!), a knit-your-own-ecologically-friendly-dish cloth kit (from Catch-e-Monkey) and a very sore throat from all the chatting I did with these incredibly passionate and talented crafters!

I really can’t wait for Yarndale 2014. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll have a stall there myself!

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