Weekend in the Dales

Hello, friends, hello!

Phew, is it Tuesday already?  I’m still in a happy, yarn-fume induced haze from the amazingness that was Yarndale.

In fact, it was just about the perfect weekend.

Mr. N and I left behind our three-quarters unpacked house, abandoning the boxes that had yet to be undone, the pictures that needed to be hung, and the piles of clothes and linens that wanted washing, and headed for the beautiful Yorkshire Dales on Friday evening.

Our drive took us through the beautiful Yorkshire Dales National Park:

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And ultimately brought us to the totally charming Castle Arms Inn in Snape, a little village in North Yorkshire (I highly recommend the inn if you’re looking for a place to stay in the area — the proprietors were wonderful, the food delicious, and the rooms cozy!)

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Saturday, we did a bit of walking and exploring.

There were waterfalls (Aysgarth Falls):

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There was a festival … of CHEESE!

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I was too busy eating cheese to take any pictures of the festival – but here’s the sign!

There was a lovely rambling walk with so. many. sheep!

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Sheep and cheese — we’re already in pretty fantastic weekend territory there.  And that was only the beginning!  Because Sunday it was time for Yarndale!

To say I was excited about Yarndale would be an understatement.  Initially, I thought I’d go two days, but since we were also meeting up with one of Mr. N’s childhood friends, and I wanted to catch up with him as well, I decided Sunday would suffice.  I’d heard the crowds were a bit more manageable Sunday, and since there was not any one yarn I knew I had to have, going the quieter day seemed like the thing to do.

On Sunday morning, Mr. N, his friend, and I eagerly (well, I was eager at least!) boarded a happy red bus from the overflow parking lot to the Skipton Auction Mart.

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When I walked in around 10:30, things were still pretty quiet.  The first stall I came upon was Sylvan Tiger Yarn, which was quiet enough that I could talk with them a bit about the natural dyes they use, and what a gorgeous color they are able to achieve on the wool with them.  I was determined to get a good look at things before I made any purchases, so I kept moving.

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After having a similarly quiet and leisurely dig around the lovely, rare breeds wool at Gam Farm’s stand, I wandered into Marie Wallin’s stand, where I purchased her new Shetland book, congratulating myself on making such a reasonable and non-stash-enhancing first purchase.

By 11, things had gotten much busier, and all the beautiful yarn that surrounded me was beginning to go to my head.  I abandoned my plan to go methodically to each stand, and almost completely forgot about the camera I had hanging from my neck all day.  I flitted from one place to another, trying to remember what I might want to come back for at each place.  I made my way into Ann Kingstone’s lovely tent, and excitedly and nervously told her how much I loved making her Droving socks last year.  I ogled the wool at the Little Grey Sheep:

2017-09-24 11.26.27.jpgAnd oohed and ahhed over the gorgeous, natural shades at the Garthenor stand:

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After picking up a beautifully, knit print cloth from Beyond Measure (and happily bumping into and meeting a Ravelry friend !) and then buying a print from Tilly Flop Designs that I’ve wanted for ages, I realized I’d spent quite a bit of money, none of it on yarn, and that I actually didn’t have all that much time before an afternoon meet up that I was very much looking forward to. I was overwhelmed, but in a mostly delightful way, so I went in search of a cup of tea and a little distance from the yarn fumes to sort myself out.  Only one thing stood between me and my cup of tea — a small flock of human sized sheep!

After getting my tea and finding a seat by myself (Mr. N and his friend, after about two hours of yarn, had gone off to see a bit of Skipton), I was happily joined by a lovely group of women who had come up for the weekend from Gloucestershire.  We spent a nice half an hour chatting away, about yarn and Yarndale, of course, but also moving country and history — knitters can be such a friendly bunch, and the tea and chat left me feeling rejuvenated for a sprint around Yarndale before my 2 pm meet up! I gathered up skeins I’d made mental note of, chatted with my mom through the wonders of Facetime to find out if she needed any personal shopping done, and managed to get it all done in about 50 minutes — I felt like a yarn superwoman!

As great as all the yarn was, one of the real highlights of the festival for me was getting to meet in person some of the members of AC Knitwear’s Ravelry group.  I help out moderating over in the group, and it’s one of my favorite places to spend time on the Kninternet.  It was such a treat to meet in person people who I chat with regularly on Ravelry.

Moving country, of course, has it’s ups and downs, and having the weekend in the Dales was just the thing.  It was so nice to have a mini holiday with Mr. N, away from the chaos of unpacking, to see his friend , and to get to go to an event like Yarndale looking forward to meeting people who felt like old friends, even though we’d never met in person before!

And, you know, having a bit of new yarn doesn’t hurt either:

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So in addition to book and prints I already mentioned, on the non-yarn front I got some of Baa Ram Ewe’s cozy socks, the newest issue of Pom Pom Quarterly, and the pattern for the Mahy shawl, which I’ve had my eye on for a few weeks.  And as for the yarn: I headed back to a much busier Sylvan Tiger Yarn and picked up some of the gorgeous School of Flock yarn that had been the first thing to catch my eye when I’d arrived.  It’ll be a colorwork something, though I’m not sure quite what!  I’m wondering if I should have gotten more natural so I could knit some sort of vest …  Suggestions on projects for these beauties are very welcome!

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And I bought some Gam Farm Hebridean DK yarn — I might use it for the body of a Seachange, using the Ross Farm yarn I got at Maryland Sheep and Wool the last time I went for the yoke:

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I picked up this gorgeous Little Grey Sheep Hampshire 4-ply for my mom, who I was missing extra, knowing how much she’d love Yarndale:

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And I couldn’t resist a little assortment of these adorable mini balls from Garthenor — I think they’ll have to be some sort of sheep shade colorwork hat:

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There were, of course, things I saw but couldn’t get this time.  I so enjoyed seeing Daughter of a Shepherd’s yarns in person. I had hoped to pick up a copy of A Stash of One’s Own, but the stars didn’t quite align.  And I’m alternately patting myself on the back and kicking myself for not picking up some of Blacker’s birthday yarn Brushwork.  I loved seeing the sample Bowmont sweater knit out of the new yarn, and almost succumbed just as I was about to leave Yarndale.  I know I don’t need another SQ of yarn, and I don’t know when I’d knit the Bowmont, so I think that was the right choice. I’m going to try to stay strong during the release of the yarn on Thursday and instead focus on project for Knit British’s Good Intentions Club — goodness knows I have plenty of candidates for that knitalong!

So, a very exciting weekend — as evidenced by this longer than normal post!  Thanks, as always, for stopping by and joining in my rambling! How was your weekend?

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9 thoughts on “Weekend in the Dales

  1. What fun! I’ve lost my head at festivals much smaller–good for you for staying focused. Your purchases are lovely!
    I’m debating joining the Good Intentions Club too. Perhaps if I can get one of my many WIPs off the needles!

    Liked by 1 person

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