Monday, September 30, 2013

Yarndale

So - for only the second time, I met someone yesterday who knows me entirely through this blog (hello Melanie; I tried to find you through Ravelry but wasn't sure I'd got the right person - message me?!), and was reminded (not by M, she was far too nice) that there's been next to no knitting content for the last few months.  I'll maybe talk about that later, in another post.

But I met M at Yarndale; so here's Yarndale.

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The night before, the Keighley Travelodge gave me a quiet evening between a visit to family and the Yarndale throng, and let me watch the first episode of this year's Strictly, and a wonderful programme about Nic Jones's return to folk-singing...  Didn't find the place the first time, but having detoured mistakenly into an industrial estate I found a woman coming out of Aldi, and she gave me directions... (This is fairly standard for me if I don't have a map, and I didn't really find one I could print out...)

I went to Yarndale by public transport; this seems to have been a good move.  Not least because of the yarnstormed Routemaster bus which pulled up at Skipton station entrance just as I was coming out.

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There were felt panels with sheep and flowers where the ads would usually be...

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I got there before the doors opened, and this also seems to have been the right thing to do. I was able to stash my bag under the Sparkleduck stand (thanks, Heather and Michael!) and could then dive in quickly and have a look around before it all got too busy.

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Lovely wool, lovely fibres, lovely fleece...

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And animals.  These were the pretty, pretty bunnies from Bigwigs.

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Can anyone help me with whose alpacas these are - they were right at the end of the arena away from the exhibition hall, near the back car-park/bus entrance?  I marked them off on my programme and then promptly lost it (as seems to happen at most shows; I need to hang it round my neck on a lanyard or something).  I meant to go back and get some alpaca fleece from them for spinning... Lovely bright things...

Edited to say thanks to HilltopKatie who also had a beautiful stand there; and has let me know that these are part of the Why Not Alpacas? herd.

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... But the halls definitely filled up quite quickly, and then (speaking as a short person) it became somewhat difficult to see things. Sort of like the Knitting and Stitching Show but without that Huge Horrible Roaring Noise you get in the Great Hall there.  There were, to be honest, some pretty rude people there; none of them, I'm sure, in this photo... More elbows than I'm used to at a fibre event other than Ally Pally, anyway!

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Once I'd fought my way to one end of the building, and then been sent to the other end for (not-on-the-map) loos, and realised that breakfast wasn't going to happen because the queues were too long, I spotted Colourcraft's stand for acid dyes; after three attempts at taking payment with no signal, they went down the old-fashioned route...  Then I was able to meet up with a bunch of people from the Archers group on Ravelry...  We were sitting here, in one of the auction rings...

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looking over this side, too...

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I'd have loved to have taken a group pic, but I'd have been shooting right up people's nostrils, so I didn't. It was lovely to meet Anne, André, Gina, Christine and Susan and see Jill and Brigid again!

Another couple of friends met were Nic, of the Yarns from the Plain podcast and blog, last seen during the Olympics and first met at Knit Camp in 2010; and another friend first met at Knit Camp, Ann Kingstone; here seen at her stand wearing her lovely William design, and with the Truly shawl and the Mallorn sweater behind her, as well as her range of yarns...

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There was a lot of lovely yarnstorming in and out of the hall.  I don't know who the blissful lady was, but I suspect I'd have had a similar facial expression if I'd managed to score a cuppa - it gives an idea of the decor though!

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The bunting in the exhibition hall was extraordinary;

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At about 2:30 I decided I'd probably seen everything I wanted to, and bought what I needed to plus a couple of slightly indulgent things (work's small annual bonus due at the end of September!) - so although I had a couple of hours before I needed to leave, I took the walk through the park, and was glad I'd done it that way round, as most of the walk (after the initial flight of steps) was downhill and I had a wheely holdall...

What had started off as a grey day was now a lovely sunny afternoon

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and each time I wondered if I was going the right way, there was something to guide me...

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These were particularly wonderful, next to the canal bridge near the station:

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The journey back was... well; I'd have said "epic", but that implies "interesting".  Which it wasn't; but I'm going to write about it anyway. Just missed a half-hourly train at Skipton, which meant that breakfast was a Snickers bar from the vending machine at 3:30; once I got to Leeds I had two hours before my onward train. They seem to be much better at letting you break your journey these days (I suspect all those shopping opportunities beyond the barriers are responsible for that) so I headed into Leeds city centre for some lunch/dinner; Bella Italia isn't my usual favourite place but it was close, and actually really nice service, even if grown men calling me "duck" isn't something I'm used to.  (They were calling each other "duck", too; I hadn't nicked that bollard-cosy to wear as a hat, or anything.)  Then another train from Leeds to Selby; and then the Train from Hull. Didn't bother trying to get into my reserved seat as half the train was full of football supporters celebrating a victory, and therefore Bedlam on Wheels.  The detour via Lincoln and half-hour delay at Peterborough didn't help, either; but the train staff had evidently planned for this journey and had the world's largest supply of cans on board...  We eventually limped into Kings Cross at 10:50pm; but at least that meant a quick trip to M&S for some milk before they closed, and catching the last (packed) train back to Kings Lynn, were still possibilities...

If that sounds like a roundabout way of doing things, your're right.  The quick option is to do Skipton - Leeds - Peterborough - Ely - home.  But that option was £99.50, and the perambulatory alternative (with the final London - home stage on my season ticket) was £22.90.  Money saved on the trip - £76.60.  When you see what I bought...

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... £76.60 covers everything but the dyes; definitely worth a couple of extra hours of my time!

Clockwise from top left - two skeins of Sparkleduck Socka, which I love for its high twist, and of course Heather's beautiful colours.  The purply one doesn't have a name; the green one's called "The forest began to sing". A bag of fibre from Freyalyn - oatmeal BFL and sik; colour "Sky blue"; 2 balls of King Cole Country Tweed and a set of 2.5mm Harmony needles from Knitting4Fun (I'd gone looking for exactly that sort of yarn, and a new-to-me King Cole yarn is always a bit exciting; I thought I needed the Harmonies but found the set I thought I'd lost in my bag on the way home!); 7 colours of dye from Colourcraft (I hope these are the colours I needed, but forgot to take an inventory before I went); braid of BFL from Wheeldale Woolcrafts; 4 skeins of organic merino aran yarn from John Arbon's bargain box - 400g for £12.

That little tissue-wrapped parcel nearly didn't make it home - it skippety-hoppeted out of the top of my bag on the train as I was getting up north of Cambridge, and was retrieved by a member of British Transport Police (they usually send a couple of police up on the last train home as it all gets a bit lairy at Cambridge); he asked what it was and I said "knitting wool; well, wool and angora, for knitting" - turns out I got a knitting member of BTP.  He makes socks, apparently, but not boring black uniform ones...  Here it is, unwrapped...

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I have a small collection (3 balls) of slightly exotic stuff, none of which are quite the same thickness as each other.  I'm hoping this is going to be the same weight as one of the others - I'd love a pair of nice warm gloves for this winter.

So - that was Yarndale.  I'd definitely go again, particularly if it's at this time of year and I can combine it with a visit to other bits of Yorkshire - Skipton itself looked lovely, and it's been ages since I went to Bradford or Leeds; keep meaning to stop off in Saltaire at some point, too... There were teething troubles with catering and parking, but I imagine those will get themselves sorted out for next year; essentially, a really nice show.

8 comments:

trixiebacon said...

Sounds like a good time was had.

I love Anne Kingstone's William design, and the level of yarn decoration is amazing!

Katie said...

The alpacas were at "Why Not Alpacas"

Rosie said...

OOh, sounds so lovely (apart from epic journey home, but saving most impressive!). And what an amazing policeman.

Melinda Jackson said...

It was me! Melinda, not Melanie, but I forgive you for that. You were one of the first people I recognised when I arrived; so pleased to make your acquaintance. I had a great time too and am looking forward to next year. My journey home to Lancashire was also by train, but less adventurous than yours. See you on Ravelry.

Daisy said...

It sounds amazing! I really hope you weren't on the slow line south between Lincoln and Peterborough (the one that goes through Sleaford). I used to use that for school and it takes HOURS.

Tracy said...

Sounds like a busy day Liz. What is it with the rude people honestly? I got run over and knocked black & blue one year at Ally Pally!Glad you eventually made it home safely with all your purchases, fancy finding a fabulous knitting BTP officer, brilliant!

Freyalyn Close-Hainsworth said...

What a complicated journey home, but such a saving! And I'm so glad you had a good time up in our part of the world. You'll definitely have to stay longer next time.

Becca said...

Looks like you had abreast time at yarndale, wish I could have been there. Love crafty shows / fairs.

Don't know if you are planning to go to the Harrogate knitting and stitching show? I'm running a competition for 2 tickets www.beccaloucreates.blogspot.com good luck