Monday, 26 September 2016

Happy New Yarn!

After Yarndale 2015, I came up with the idea that there should be a 'Yarn Year', which runs from September to August (a bit like the financial year which runs from April to March). New Yarn's Day would be Yarndale Saturday, because why not?

I wrote about it on my other blog (which I'm kind of winding down, to be replaced by this one). Basically, I made some New Yarn Resolutions, which mostly consisted of trying to use up all the gorgeous luxury yarn I'd bought at Yarndale and one or two other places, rather than just leaving it languishing in a drawer, out of sight and touch, while I waited to find 'the perfect pattern'.

I made a start on using some of it, namely the yarn I had from Eden Cottage which I made into a cardigan

 and some I'd bought from Easyknits, which is currently being made into a Virus Shawl

But I've got a lot left, which of course has just been added to at Yarndale this weekend, so once again, I'm thinking of my New Yarn Resolutions.

I've spent the morning doing a kind of 'stock-take' - I've sorted out all my yarn, and photographed most of it, and the next step is to try and find some patterns for things to make. It's been long overdue, and I feel a bit happier now that I've got myself a bit more organised.

Would you like to join me in making some New Yarn Resolutions? Let me know what you've got planned for all your yarny goodies in the comments, I'd love to hear from you!

Bye for now, and Happy Hooking!

Yarndale 2016

Well, Yarndale 2016 has been and gone - how was it for you?

Not my mum...

I picked my mum up and we left her house at about 8am for a nice steady drive up to Skipton. Last year we were parked in a field, this year we were a lot closer, on the gravel car park at the back. We decided it would be better to go and get in the queue rather than wait in the car, so we stood from 9.20 till 10.00 when the doors opened. There was a bit of a cool breeze, but at least it wasn't raining, and once again the mood in the queue was generally good-natured. There were maybe only about a dozen to twenty people who'd got there before us, so really we were quite close to the front of the queue.

Not the Oxfam stall...

Once we got inside, we headed straight for the Oxfam stall, because this year I'd finally had a sort out of my yarn, and managed to find a few odds and ends to donate. It was only a carrier bag full, but hopefully it helps them raise money, and it helped to free up some space in the drawers where I keep my yarn (which in turn makes room for new goodies, yes?). The lady who took my yarn from me pointed out that next year, if you volunteer to help on the stall, you can get into Yarndale for free. You only need to help out for an hour, and then the rest of the day is your own. So that's worth knowing, isn't it?

What was left of the woolly sheep

After I'd dropped my donated yarn off, we looked at the map and just picked one of the end rows to start on, and then it was just a case of 'walk down this side, then back up that side' and so on. I don't like to start buying things too soon, because obviously there is so much more to see, so this time I marked off stalls on my map that I thought I might go back to, for Round Two!

Having said that, I did make a purchase fairly early on, from a stall called Rosie's Moments. This gorgeous sparkly grey yarn caught my eye, and I was worried it wouldn't be there when I got back, so I bought it, along with a little pink project bag:

On Friday evening, I was digging out all the Yarndale canvas bags that I've bought previously, and last year's still had the yarn in it that I'd bought. I'd gone for quite 'bluey' shades, so my only plan for this year really was to try and get some different coloured yarn. The grey shade above was a good start. (I also had a vague idea that I'd buy from different stalls to previous years, you know to give someone else a try, although I did some serious hovering around Eden Cottage Yarns).

Here are some photos of the other yarn I bought on Saturday:

Ripples Crafts
I really wanted to buy from Ripples Crafts this year. I stood in front of her 4ply selection, pondering for so long that my mum came over to look too (she tends to wait somewhere out of the way while I have a nosey). Helen (the dyer) does a beautiful variegated range called Hubble Bubble which I was very tempted by, but I also thought I'd like to get two more solid colours that complemented each other. My mum picked out a kind of turquoise blue, and a pinky-lilac, both of which looked really nice together, but then we just happened to glance at some of the other yarn I'd bought (from For The Love Of Yarn), and decided it was too similar. I'd already pointed out the two above, the Amber and Copper, and how lovely they looked together, and I suddenly thought "yes, I'm going for it, I'll get them!". I do like 'earthy' tones, but those two skeins are not what I'd usually go for. However, I'm so glad that I did, and they're actually one of the things I'm most excited about. I'm planning on making them into a shawl, and I can't wait to see how they work up together.

Another colour that I don't usually go for is green, so I rectified that by purchasing this gorgous 4ply from Five Moons.

Again, I have shawl plans for this.

Finally, these are the two skeins I bought from For The Love Of Yarn:

A little bit of blue, but mostly pink, so that's allowed!

I want to share my experience of something that happened at For The Love Of Yarn's stall. I was standing in front of their display, trying to find out the price of the above yarn, when suddenly the whole wall of yarn collapsed and fell forward. It was a kind of metal grid, with rods attached to it that the skeins are hung on. I didn't look around to see if it had hit anyone else, but it definitely felt like I took the brunt of it; I think a couple of the rods 'poked' me in the side as I have a couple of bruises now. However, I wasn't bothered about that - the only thing that concerned me was that quite a lot of the skeins had fallen onto the floor, and all I could think was "Don't stand on the yarn! Don't stand on the yarn!". They might as well have been live kittens on the floor, I was so concerned for their safety! So I kept my feet still and supported the racking as best I could, until the stallholder lifted it away and propped it up. She then started picking up the yarn. I wanted to help her, but (ironically, as it happens) I didn't want it to look like I was trying to make off with it - I imagine that, as the exhibitor, seeing people with handfuls of your yarn and trying to keep an eye on who's got what etc might be a bit stressful. So in the end I thought it might be better to just leave the stall and give her some space (at this point I didn't realise that there were two ladies running the stall). I made a note on my map to go back, which I did - happily the display wall had been fixed back up, and I bought the above two skeins.

However, I found out later through Instagram, that in the mayhem that followed, some people did decide to steal some of the yarn, and apparently they lost quite a bit of stock. As I left the stall quite quickly, I didn't see anyone taking anything, but I'm appalled that this happened. I'm not surprised though, because unfortunately there are always the odd few who seize opportunities like this. But I'm sure that the vast majority of people who attend Yarndale are perfectly decent, respectable, law-abiding people who have enormous respect for the sellers and their products, as I do. I felt really sorry for them when the display fell down; I'd already been thinking about buying from them, and it kind of made me even more determined to go back and get something, and I'm really glad I did.

That was all the yarn I bought, but I did add a few more stitch markers to my collection, from Woosheeps:

So pretty!
My mum came to have a rummage in the large tub that held all the stitch markers. She doesn't knit or crochet (she just comes for the day out really) so I had to explain the difference between knitting SM and crochet SM, but once she'd got the idea she kept finding more and more really nice ones, and I had a hard time deciding which ones to go for. I'm happy with these though.

I bought the usual Yarndale merchandise - bag, calendar, pin and pen (which I forgot to photograph but, you know, it's a pen). I got the "I came, I saw, I crocheted" card just because I like it - might get a frame for it, it can go in my imaginary craft room ;-). Also got a Wip-O-Pedia notebook from Doodlestop. I currently use a normal notebook, which in fairness does the job, but I think I'll save the Wipopedia for my 'luxury' yarn ideas, and keep using the notebook for blankets etc.

The Haul!
Oh yes, I made myself my very own Hooky Hare, and wore him pinned to my bag strap all day:

A lovely lady and her daughter stopped me and asked if they could take a photo of it, which made my day! I was worried nobody would be able to tell what it was, but I did get a few other compliments on it (sometimes it was on my 'bunny' but I'll let that one slide...)

Just before we left, I said I wanted to go to the Hub and see if I could find my little woolly sheep, Baa-Bee:

I think the plan had been to sell them on Sunday - I'm not sure what had happened, but when we got there on Saturday afternoon there were hardly any left, and people were being allowed to buy them and take them away. I couldn't see mine, and I haven't been able to spot her on any IG photos either, but I hope someone bought her and is enjoying their sheep/bee hybrid!

Not very good photos...

... I could hardly get near..
So that was my Yarndale - if you read this and you have your own bloggy experience, please share in the comments - I love stalking blogs, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for other people's photos of the day!

Bye for now, and Happy Hooking!