Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Yarndale 2015!

If you don't need persuading then click here to book! You're a good'un. If you do need persuading, read further...

I can't believe we're actually on this already. How quickly time flies. I suppose I can think of Yarndale as like the beginning of the summer season, when it goes on sale, and then the beginning of the winter season, when we actually get there. This is the third year that it's been on and the third year that we're organising a coach trip so we really feel like we're part of the original crew. You can read about our first trip by clicking here and our second trip by clicking here. This year we have significantly more seats on the bus - 63 (or maybe 65) as opposed to 49 for the first year and 53 for last year so I'm at the awful stage where we haven't filled it yet and I panic that we never will but we had a waiting list of 10 last year so I'm crossing my fingers!

Anyway, what is Yarndale? Well, it's a 'festival of creativity' according to Lucy of Attic24 who's one of the organisers. Basically it's a big old fibre and yarn festival in Skipton Auction Mart. That means that there are stalls where people sell yarn and fibre of every type you could imagine and some that you can't! Because it takes place in an auction mart it has a feeling of authenticity - this is where sheep get bought and sold and then we completely the cycle by buying the fleece and yarn in the same place.

That's the outside of it at the back where we get to go in because we're special.

It isn't just wool and yarn though, because it's a festival of creativity not just knitting, crochet and spinning. There are weavers and felters and designers and magazines and books and Tudors (...amazing...). Around every corner is something unique and amazing to see that you just can't get a hold of in Nottingham and the surrounding areas (at least not all in one place). 

 One of the biggest positives to the whole day are the animals. Unhappily, I'm allergic to alpaca (actually, I say unhappily, I'm not fussed - plenty more amazing fibres out there). BUT THERE ARE ALPACAS!

It's not just random though. These alpacas belong to a company who sell alpaca yarn and fibre (I forget which...sorry) so not only can you see them and pet them (if they're in the right mood) you can also buy their yarn. How amazing is that!? ...if you like alpaca that is...

Because it's a festival of creativity, rather than just a bog standard yarn show, there's also a public art element to it. Kinda. The first year they asked everybody to make bunting: 


And then they reused it last year too!

It is stunning and it's all over the bloody place! Last year they wanted us to make mandalas which is apparently the new big thing in crochet and knitting (or it was then anyway). They were all up on the bridge and they did look super beautiful. 


This year I can't see anything requesting items to be made. Possibly because some silly farts got their knickers in a twist about whether it's okay for somebody like Lucy to make a profit rather than just existing in a world where three kids and a husband live without paying for rent or food or electricity. Anyway, shut up Eleanor. Lots of people requested that their bits be sent back which must have cost Yarndale (or Lucy, I bloody hope not) a lot of money. Some people really do spoil it for the rest of us don't they?

So, that's the buying and art side of it. The other amazing thing, and to be honest what I go there for, is spending time with like minded people. The buzz in that place is incredible. It's so busy and vital and at times frantic. People who understand what we're about. I must admit the first year wasn't well organised in terms of food and toilets but last year was so much better and I expect this year will be the same again. Helped by the fact that you can buy tickets in advance so I suppose they know a little more about who and how many will be turning up. Because we buy the tickets for you in advance, we get to go in the back way which means that we miss most of the queuing. Last year they did a special 'coach trip sticker' which I gave out on the day and that was what got us in which meant that I could slink off and have a fag after the stress of getting you all there (with that angry man driving...).

And apart from ALL of this! You get to spend time on a bus getting to know me and your fellow Knit Nottinghamers. I do try and make a community out of you guys - the birthday parties, the Love Your Local Yarn Shop Days, the blog and the Facebook group are all ways I know of getting you together and showing off all the amazing things that are going on around you in your city but there really is no substitute for sitting on a bus with 60 odd of you chatting and sharing cakes and enjoying our lives together. Ahhhhhh.

Right, that's it. It's now 5 o'clock and I've got to get other work done. Massively busy day and lots of chats means that this blog has taken forever to do. If you want to book on to the coach then click here. You will be one of a select group of bloody brilliant people supporting not only this lovely award winning local business but also a load of other tiny independents and Lucy (and her colleagues) who have rent to pay.

Love Eleanor. xxxxx

P.s. I meant to explain the price rise. The first year the tickets were £5 and we charged £24.00 for the coach. The next year we put the price up to £25.00 but that was before Yarndale announced that the tickets had gone up to £8.00 so we took the hit. This year the tickets are £8.00 plus a booking fee so we're swallowing the cost of the booking fee but not the cost of the tickets. I know most of you don't need me to explain that I'm not diddling you but I like to give you all the facts.

Love (again) Eleanor. xxx

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