Yarndale Ltd. was formally established in July 2012, with the first festival taking place in September 2013.
It is a for-profit organisation run by a small, dedicated group of local people. We are a team of five (Carole, Emma, Kate, Lucy and Paul), and all of us are passionate about our local town and the thriving community that exists here.
The historic market town of Skipton is famed for its 900 year old medieval castle and ancient cobbled streets and the town has a strong textile heritage. It was once surrounded by mills spinning the worlds finest yarns and threads, and the very name Skipton is derived from the Old English words “sceap” (meaning Sheep) and “tun” (meaning town).
Sheep farming is still of great importance to the region and has a huge impact on the life and landscape of this area of outstanding natural beauty. In other words, Skipton is a pretty great place to host a yarn festival, and our local auction mart provides a wonderful rural venue for all things woolly.
The concept of Yarndale came about at a thriving weekly knit and natter social group held in a local cafe. As self confessed yarnoholics, a small group of us decided we’d like to create something new and exciting for our local community and the idea of a creative yarn festival was born. Each year we continue to strengthen our links within the community, raising funds for several local charities, involving local school children in textile based art projects and participating in the town’s annual Sheep Day festival in July.
Within the Yarndale Team there are three of us who are completely barmy about knitting, crochet and all things handmade and two non-woolly folk who bring vital business and organisational skills to the team. Organising a festival of this size with 180+ exhibitors from all over the country requires a big investment of our time, energy, and creative vision throughout the year and we work hard to make Yarndale a success.
It goes without saying that we are all very proud of our festival, it has heart and soul and rather a lot of yarny stuff which has to be a good thing.