Tuesday, 20 October 2015

It's only taken three days

******This has taken a lot longer than three days to write but I'm leaving the title there for posterity.... ******
for me to decide that I thoroughly loved Yarndale and can't wait to do it again! My anxiousness and stressed-ness over the last few weeks meant that I had a feeling of impending doom throughout the whole weekend and into yesterday. There's lots going off behind the scenes here and I've got very little time to stop and smell the flowers. I did try at Yarndale itself, I'll talk about that later, but I found myself overthinking things there too, as if sitting and looking at trees would magically make everything disappear. Anyway, misery, misery, let's talk about the good stuff. :)

So. It's an early start. My natural state is to turn up to anything juuuuuust before it starts but you can't do that when you're organising stuff, can you? So I woke up when it was still bloody dark. Ugh.

 I was at Chris's house, where Toni resides and her nan had come up for the trip, so when we couldn't persuade Chris to take us in the car we hopped in a taxi. There were people there already which is always lovely and more and more people turned up as the minutes wore on. A few coaches popped through, most of them going to seaside destinations and I very nearly jumped on one of them. But then the lovely Mick turned up with the Tiger European bus and it was time. For the most stressful thing in the whole of my year. Getting people on the bus. There are so many people that come, more every year, and some people book online or on the phone or in person, and every year people cancel and rebook and cancel and rebook and stress, stress, stress so I'm always worried that I've overbooked the coach. There was one lady whose name I couldn't find but I remember her booking so I sent her off to sit down and was thinking 'I'll sit in the toilet' or 'I'll give the list to Toni and she can sort it out' haha. But the lady was on there. I needed a really quick fag after that. And we were off!

I think this was actually on the way back actually, haha, but I do love a coach shot.

The journey was uneventful. I helped the driver as much as I could by telling him that at some point we would reach a road surounded by fields. Really helpful I'm sure you'll agree. Apart from that we saw cows on a hill and discussed deep philosophical things.

We got there roughly on time, the tickets had been printed out previously and I'd passed them through the coach on the way there and so once everybody was off and in I wandered over to the loo and had a sit down and a fag. The loos always make me smile:

The toilet at the back on the left hand side as we're looking at it. That's the only one 'gents' toilet. Every other toilet, lining the whole side of that area is a 'ladies' loo. Haha. They know their client base.

Anyway, I finally made it in and I was absolutely overwhelmed and trying to work out where to go first when I got accosted by knitter after lovely knitter after crocheter after crocheter. I don't know where everybody knew me from but I suspect it was the vlogs... Photos were taken and people touched me and 40 minutes later I managed to steal away. The first place I went to was Jem Weston's stall. I am DEAD proud that she had a stall there and even more proud that the three or four times I found myself there there was no room for me! :) I bought myself a Dice Cowl kit (she wrote about it here) because I just couldn't resist the bag which has this picture on the front:

How gorge is this?! And then I headed right over the other side to have a fag on the front lawn, although apparently they banned that (?!?!!? Nobody told me... sorry...). I was just about to get up and head back in when I thought, nope, I'm going on the yarn walk. Honestly, Yarndale is SO overwhelming. So many people and excited people and the occasional miserable and bored partner, a few old ladies saying 'fuck' (which it think is great btw...) and just SO many people. I think it's because the very first year was pretty disorganised, it must have been really hard for them to figure out how many people might have been there so the queues were horrendous and people ran out of wool and blah. So the next year, last year, it was so much better organised. They did advanced tickets and the food was moved elsewhere and there were many many toilets. And that mean that this year, they sold three times as many advanced tickets (apparently) and I guess some of those were new people and some of those were people that came to the first year but were put off. I'm proud that we supported them through the hard year. But I still couldn't cope with it on Saturday. So I followed the sign for the yarn walk:

Saw some amazing sights. Look here:

And actually didn't get all the way through. I saw a lovely little copse-y type thing and sat down and ate some cake. I also answered some customer enquiries on the facebook page and listened to a podcast or two. It was lovely. And then I got a text from Verity wanted to know where I was so I decided that I had to go and rejoin society. Haha.

I found Verity and her buddies easily on the front lawn and then just behind them were some of my coach people so I sat with them for a while and had a coffee and a chat with Sarah who moved awaaaaaaaaaay so I don't get to see her enough. And then it was time to head inside. This was serious business, you can tell by the selfie we took:

The first stall that we got to, Woosheeps, honestly took my breath away. This is the first brown thing that has ever made me gasp. How beautiful is that!? Elizabeth would be proud.

The man that we spoke to, and I got his name but I forgot it, was lovely too. Really good salesman so he got £60 out of us in like two minutes ha. I bought the same set that the brown shawl is made in but in yellow-y greens:

(And this is where the blog writing ended. But since then I've cast on the thing that I'm going to do with it so maybe it's a good thing. It's the Fox Paws by Xandy Peters and it is like feather and fan on crack. Seriously. It's the first pattern in a very long time where I've gone so wrong I can't work out how to fix it, it needed ripping. And because of that it's the first pattern ever that I've used a lifeline. Haha. But it will not get the better of me. It'll just have to wait a little longer until I finish some other projects so I can deal with it properly. Anyway, a photo:

How gorge is that!? Anyway, back on with the scheduled Yarndale post....)

Ahhhhhh, this is so hard now it's been weeks! I knew I shouldn't have left it weeks. Hmmmm. Let me find the photos, I think I'll stop trying to do this on a timeline but rather just exciting bits.

We saw this beautiful blanket made in Navia. Ahhhhhhh. And I got a good chat with the lady who didn't recognise me, but it's okay because I didn't recognise her either.

Ahhhhh. I remember another bit! I found Lucy the Tudor again! This is deffo my favourite stall. They dress as Tudors and sell little wooden and metal bits that have been worked like they are Tudors. I have a real soft spot for the Tudors, one of my favourite historical periods (not as much as the Georgians though) and it's just lovely to see. Sadly I didn't get to meet her this time, just her husband who wasn't in a chatting mood, but I bought a beautiful wooden spindle which I've used a fair bit since. Not got anywhere with it though. Didn't feel right asking for a photo from him so you'll have to put up with my description. It's never a fancy stall, I think that's why I like it. No banner, no colours really just old fashioned, hand carved stuff laid out sparsely. It's such a relief from the other stalls around it all crammed from floor to nearly ceiling full of rainbow-y colour (not that I mind that, obvs) but it's like a rest for the eyes and it's never that busy because everybody's so interested in all the colourful peacock stuff. I'm sure they do well though because they've been for at least two years running. Lovely Lucy the Tudor.

Looking at these photos, and thinking about what a breath of fresh air Lucy the Tudor was, do you think I'm getting boring in my old age? Do you think it's to do with the stupid hair? I've got all the colours on my head so I don't need them in my knitting? Hmmmmmm.

Anyway, because I'd bought a spindle, I quickly went and bought some fibre. Just a few merino tops in a rainbow of colours. I plan to spin them up and ply half the red with red, then half the red with orange, orange with orange and orange with yellow, yellow with yellow and so on and so forth. To make? No idea. It's superwash so it could be more or less anything. I think I had a big and simple shawl in mind. It'll never get there though, I never get to the end of spinning and knitting/crochet projects. Fact.

And then I went back to Jem Weston's stand, managed to capture Steph and we went for a bacon sandwich but when we got there I realised that I needed pork and lots of it. I had a bacon and sausage sandwich and then a bloody pork and cranberry miniature pie thing. OMG! So good! Now Chris has turned vegetarian I'm just like 'oh god, give me meat'. Before that I could take it or leave it but now I don't have it for every meal or most meals, I need it all the time. Ahhhhhh. Meat. We took it outside and sat looking at the carpark and beyond that the Dales just chatting. Lovely. 

This isn't the bit we were looking at, but it is the Yarndale carpark so you get the idea...

And then my lovely customers turned up and we chatted and showed eachother our buys. And this is where I saw the customer with her beautiful woven basket. And all the stuff I missed but there wasn't enough time to go back. I did promise myself that I wouldn't rush about trying to see everything this year, and I'm glad I didn't. Yarndale is such an overwhelming, exciting, mass of creativity that it can get all on top of me but I think the key is to relax and not worry about seeing it all. So, we're deffo going again next year (maybe next year we'll have a bigger bus!) despite the paddies and breakdowns that this year caused. Just don't Chris, I think he'd kill me.

Oooooh, I forgot, before we got on the coach there was just enough time for a photo shoot with the lovely Steph and Gen. We bought the yarn for and started making the same cardigan on Love Your Local Yarn Shop day this year saying that we'd wear them at Yarndale. I got mine done agggggges ago and I'd been wearing it quite a bit. Steph finished hers a few weeks ago and Gen's was touch and go because she spend so bloody long sewing up but the buttons got on the week before we went. The photos weren't great, we were too giddy, but this is deffo the best one:

It's pattern number 4125 from King Cole (of course, it's the name that clinches it as King Cole isn't it?) and we all did it in the Authentic DK - Indigo, Red Denim and Black Denim from the left. I love this photo! We took it here because it said prime cattle behind, which of course, we are, but because we're such good models all you're looking at is us ain't it? :)

I am SO pleased that this is done! Sorry it couldn't be earlier, I did try but there is so much that going on! Anyway, it's done now, woohoo, and now it opens up some space to get other stuff done including blogs and getting stuff on the internet and all sorts of other things! Beautiful!

Love Eleanor. xxxxxxxxxx

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