How the idea was born…

At the very top of Skipton’s beautiful High street there is a health food shop with a rather wonderful little vegetarian cafe on the first floor above. As you walk up the narrow stairs, you are greeted by the most delicious scent of home cooked food and great coffee. Mmmmmmmm!

The cafe is small but perfectly formed. Colourful painted chairs, lovely scrubbed pine tables, some ancient old church pews. Crocheted cushions, knitted bunting, peg rails strung with old enamel jugs and handmade decorations. And then there is the sound too. The sound of happy chatter and clinking cups. This is a popular cafe to visit for morning coffee and cake, or a scrumptious lunch with friends. But every Thursday morning, the chatter and laughter is extra noisy and the consumption of coffee is extra high as the cafe hosts its thriving Knit and Natter mornings.

Any gathering of like-minded woolly folk is always a good thing in my opinion, and the enjoyment of sharing a creative passion with others is not to be underestimated. There is such a lot of fun and pleasure to be had when solitary crafting finds it’s way into a social situation

Knit and natter at Wild Oats cafe was first started by the cafe’s owner Carole in 2007. The group was small back then with just a few happy knitters and crocheters meeting once a month. Five years on, and the group has grown considerably. We no longer sit at one small table, but take over three large tables all pushed together. The chat and laughter is rather loud at times it has to be said, yes we do like to have a good laugh while we knit stitch and hook!

Over the years there have been some lovely celebrations within our friendly group. We have seen one of our lovely ladies following her dream and opening up her very own wool shop. We have combated illness, celebrated birthdays and welcomed new babies. Yes, we have certainly chattered and stitched our way through the many ups and downs of everyday life, but inevitably the chat around the table always comes back to one thing :: YARN! Yarn is the common thread that brought us all together around the table(s) in the first place. It’s the common ground, the passion that we all share. And it’s bloomin’ marvellous!

So how did the idea of Yarndale actually come about? Well, it began as a stream of happy chit-chat, a little nugget of an idea that was talked about one Spring day over a coffee or two. Wouldn’t it be great if there happened to be an annual Yarn Festival in our area? Something inspiring and creative where we could see/buy/stroke lots and lots and lots of gorgeous wool? And yes wouldn’t it be super if there were also artists and crafts people there who worked with yarns? Wouldn’t it be just Fab-u-lous if we could go all out to celebrate and indulge our love of yarn and all the joy it brings us?

And there and then the idea was born. A Yarn Festival! A great big woolly celebration! Yaaayyyy!!!! The idea grew and gathered momentum and it became more than just an idea. It gradually evolved into a great possibility and something that a small and VERY enthusiastic group of us felt we could really make happen.

So Yarndale was created and here we are. We are a group of seven, five ladies and two men. Most of us Love yarn, like really adore the stuff. A couple of us are non-yarny folk who bring vital business and organisational skills to our group. And we all very much want to make Yarndale into an exciting, inspiring and wonderful event for all who exhibit and visit. We can’t wait for it to happen…..roll on September 2013!

35 thoughts on “How the idea was born…

  1. Becca Tansley says:

    HI, I received a letter about, and invitation to exhibit at Yarndale on Saturday. The timing of this event is brilliant for me, so I’m very interested. I’ll have exhibited at Wonder Wool Wales in April beforehand, as I have the past couple of years, and will have camped in my van on site. Are there any camping facilities near to Yarndale? Really only need somewhere to park for the weekend and loo access 🙂 cheers, Becca.

  2. linda burrows says:

    I have 30 rare breed kerry hill sheep which we shear and have the fleece spun in to yarn in Yorkshire. I am exploring all sorts of creative ways of using it through weaving, felting and knitting both hand and machine.
    I am also involved at craven college with my wool so this is a great chance to get local and find out more.Good luck. I shall be there.

  3. Jennifer Beckwith says:

    As an avid knitter and crocheter I was so pleased to see Yarndale advertised in the Mart Theatre booklet. I took it to my craft class this morning (8th Jan) and the ladies were very interested. I am taking the booklet to my knit and natter group on Weds and to my Tat and chat group next weds. Hope to get plenty of visitors for you.

    It’s nice to have something nearer home. When you don’t drive sometimes its difficult getting to woolfests and exhibitions,

    Good luck hope its a tremendous success.

    • pam says:

      I noticed you go to a tat and natter I want to learn tatting but cant find anyone to teach me I live in Copmanthorpe just outside York do you know of anyone who could help me


  4. Amelita says:

    I read about Yarndale on Attic24 blog and I think you had a great idea! I would like to visit Yarndale as a visitor and if it will be possible I will come from Italy to meet you all. I wish you a happy new year, best wishes !

  5. Mary says:

    I also read about Yarndale 2013 on the Attic24 blog. If I only lived in the area….here I sit in the northeast of the U.S. in Maine. If I win the lottery, I’ll be there!!! Otherwise, have a wonderful time! I’m envious! Nothing better than passionate, like-minded crafters all gathered around for a wonderful festival. Have a great time!!!

  6. sue says:

    Wow! gasp! so excited. Can it be I’ll finally have a good ‘reason’ to travel to the UK? y Mom & Dad were born there, family roots not far away in Northumberland. This sounds so delicious! Where can I find info on travel and accomodations–anyone have ideas? Would be coming from California. YIPPEE!!

  7. michele says:

    This sounds so exciting. My friends and I check in with Attic24 on a daily basis. We would love to attend. We live in Canada, so far away. Wishing!

  8. heather Chalkley says:

    This is SO exciting and I shall definitely be there ….well done all of you for cooking up this amazing project. Good luck with everything 🙂 if you need volunteers, just shout.

  9. Pingback: Feeling smug | Heather Chalkley

  10. Merry says:

    what a shame I won’t be in the country after the summer. I guess I’ll just have to keep reading to learn of all the fun and creativity at Yarndale.

  11. Aine Clarke says:

    Hi Ladies, I teach a number of crochet classes here in Derry in N.Ireland and I have my own little shop’ Hansel & Gretel’ which is filled with Hand knit products made by myself and a few helpers’, Many in my classes follow Attic 24 and we were delighted to hear about Yarndale, so already a few of us have book our flights to attend. We where wondering could you adivice on where to stay.
    Thks Aine

  12. RUTH RYAN says:

    I also read about Yarndale on my daily read of ATTIC24. LOVE, LOVE LOVE LUCY AND HER SITE I also saw about it on her RAVELRy site.Every one could not but talk about this and wether it would come to be,YARNSDALE, and every one so excited when they knew it was finally going to be held. I am so jealous awwwwww! hahaha ..I live in USA LOuisiana and very far away. Have never been to England or any where outside of USA I can’t be there in person but I can be there in spirit, right? have a good hoo’kin weekend for me, hope you all have a great time., oh how about a cup of tea for us USA nutty crochet hookers thnx rar

  13. Donna says:

    Just found out about this from a “like” on Facebook. Looks fab and I’ll certainly try to come as it is nearer for me than Woolfest or Wonderwool so I could do the trip in a day. I’ve emailed the 40 ladies on my knit group list about it too!!!

    Will you be having any classes?

  14. Patricia Varley says:

    I’ve just discovered this site via Ravelry. I’ll let my U3A Knitters know about Yarndale and hope to bring a group over to see you. Good luck with your venture. Patricia

  15. Anne Williams says:

    Hi I am really looking forward to this event. I follow Lucy’s Blog and was very excited when I read about it. I am a member of a Forum called Stitchlinks which was established in 2005 and exists to provide a support and information network for those who enjoy the therapeutic benefits of craft particularly knitting. I have passed on the information re Yarndale and we hope that some of us will be able to meet up there. I am lucky that my son and family live in Holmfirth so hope to be staying there and then visit. Anne x

  16. Madeline Mason says:

    Great news! I will be there and I know I will have a great day out. Many thanks to all the workers.

  17. Kathryn Wells says:

    I’ve delayed my trip from Australia to the UK so I can attend Yarndale, I wouldn’t miss it for the world! Not only am I coming but also my sisters from London & Leicestershire, accommodation has been booked & we’re staying for a week in one of the most beautiful parts of England! Thanks Lucy at Attic24 for your continued enthusiasm, wonderful blog but most importantly letting me know about Yarndale, yay.

  18. Elaine says:

    I read about Yarndale on Attic24 and am so excited, I will be there. Have been crocheting for just over 18months and learnt from clever people on the internet including Lucy’s blog which I discovered a few months ago. I have been crocheting hats to raise funds for our Local Primary School, Village Hall and a Cancer Charity and wondered if there would be any possibility of a fundraising stall?

  19. Alison Craven says:

    Just read about this event on the Rowan website, and have excitedly added it to my calendar. Me and my mum are both avid knitters/spinners/felters and absolutely love ALL THINGS WOOLLY, so we’re really looking forward to it!

  20. Hazel Voice says:

    I discovered Lucy’s website at the start of the Yarndale sheep. An absolutely fantastic idea..! I wish you all a very happy and successful Yarndale. Perhaps one day you might bring Yarndale to Ramsgate KwaZulu Natal South Africa, where I live – oh wouldn’t that be simply marvellous..!!!

  21. Maple Trueheart says:

    I found out about Yarndale on Lucy’s blog Attic24. And I love that idea and I would like to take part in that event so very much but unfortunately I live in Bavaria and I think I can’t come. But I’m going to send crocheted triangles to Lucy for this giant bunting thing for Yarndale so I will be there with some work of mine and I will think of you happy ladies that will have lots of fun and chatter there. I wish you a very nice time there with lots of inspiration and I’m looking forward to more posts and pictures about this event.

  22. Lynn Massey says:

    Have just been reading about Yarndale – it sounds fantastic! I am a Textile Lady who adores wool and have begun to card, spin and make felted items – can’t wait to be part of the atmosphere at Yarndale and to meet people with like minds (Not easy in Bolton!)

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