Yarndale Is Almost Here

It is that time of year again, where the weather starts to get colder and the nights are getting a little darker. If you are a knitter, this is the perfect time of year for falling in love with your hobby all over again. I always find myself looking longingly at all of the beautiful blanket patterns on Ravelry and wishing that I was more confident in my crochet abilities.

Nothing inspires me more than a few hours spent admiring so many beautiful projects on Ravelry and then spending a day at Yarndale where there are so many talented independent dyers selling such lovely yarns. Last year was my first visit to Yarndale and I am very excited to be going back at the weekend. I am already compiling a list of yarns to buy and people to see.

Say hello if you see me!

Bash The Stash 2015

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It is no secret that I love yarn. I have since I first learn to knit, and since then my stash has been growing at an unbelievable rate. I have been knitting for almost 10 years now, and my stash acquisition is immense. I could easily continue knitting at my current rate and not need to buy anything for a good few years.

It must have been divine intervention then for me to come across the Bash The Stash 2015 forum thread over on the British Banter Ravelry group.  The challenge is simply to reduce your stash during 2015, and there are three categories:

Cold Sheep – Not buying yarn except if there is something you need to finish a project/attending a knitting festival

Lukewarm Llama – Trying to knit more than you buy

Frozen Shoulder of Lamb – No new yarn will enter the house!!

I have chosen to go Cold Sheep as I already have plans to attend two knitting festivals this year, and it would be a shame to go all of that way and then not buy anything! So far I have done really well and not purchased anything, despite seeing some very tempting bargains.

I have even begun allocating some of the yarn in my stash to specific projects so that I can begin to knit them as soon as I want to without having to worry about matching yarns to patterns or not knowing that I already have the perfect yarn in my stash.

The hashtag #bashthestash2015 is being used on Ravelry and Instagram for those that want to take part, and I have even been extra nerdy and developed a spreadsheet for myself.

What is your stash like?

The Noro Scarf

I have wanted to knit a Noro Striped Scarf ever since I learnt to knit as a teenager. It is so simple but the colours are stunning and there are so many possible combinations, that you could make them forever without getting bored of wondering which tones and shade will appear next.

The only thing that held me back from making one was the price. Noro was way out of my price range when I was a teenager, but I kept thinking that one day I would make one of my own. That day has come…

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I am so happy with how it looks so far. I say so far, because it is not finished yet, but as this is my mindless knitting for the moment it is on hold due to secret Christmas knitting. This is the first time that I have ever used Noro, and as Jared Flood’s brilliantly simple pattern outline suggests, I am using Silk Garden. There are lots of examples on Ravelry of people substituting yarns, and they all look amazing too.

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This was the wip what I had with my on the train to Yarndale, and it was perfect as I could just sit and watch the beautiful countryside go past, and when we pulled into stations I could have a little look at how the colours were emerging. It is so easy to see why people knit several of these, they really are addictive. I love how the yarn becomes softer once it has been handled. I was a little concered that it might be a big scratchy, but when I feel it when it is knitted up, it is so much softer.

Having spent the past hour looking at all of the beautiful things that people have been making with various Noro yarns, I have a feeling that this won’t be my only encounter with it.

Yarndale 2014

I may be a little late to post about Yarndale 2014, but hopefully it is worth the wait. This year was the second year of Yarndale, and whilst I was unable to go last year, I was determined to make it to this one. Once the tickets were booked, I obsessively looked at stallholders and make my list of goodies to buy…and the list grew every day.

I was up incredibly early – I am not a morning person at all, and the 4:30am wake up call was only made easier by the fact that I would soon be on my way to buy lots and lots of wonderful yarn. I went with the lovely Amy AKA Minimole, and after two trains, one taxi ride and a short journey on the Yarndale bus we arrived.

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More than a little public knitting was done was done whilst enjoying the views from the train, and it was so nice to see more and more knitters getting on the train as we pulled in to each station. The Yarndale bus ride was fantastic too, and you could feel the excitement growing as we were getting closer.

There were so many stalls filled with wonderful items, and the stallholders were so friendly and passionate about their crafts. I was particularly impressed by the layout of the stands. Despite the crowds, everyone was very patient and understanding, and there was enough room to move about in the aisles.

It was so easy to strike up conversations with other crafty enthusiasts, and on more than one occasion I got talking to people about what we were planning to use our purchases for whilst we were waiting to pay – and everyone was really nice as I was trying to maneuver my way through the crowds.

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Obviously no blog post about a knitting show would be complete without a photo or two of my haul. I had a rough budget and actually managed to stay within it, and I have all sorts of ideas for my purchases. I had two items on my list that I really wanted, and I was able to get both. The first was a skein of Deeply Wicked sock yarn in the colourway Vortex by Easyknits…and I may have gone a little bit crazy at the Easyknits stand, but it is pretty easy to see why. I managed to get the last two skeins of Vortex (the blue-yellow combination) which will become a shawl, and I also wanted a skein of Sea-quine by Sparkleduck which will also become a shawl.

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There were so many new stallholders and sellers that I had never seen before, and I have marked my Yarndale brochure for all of the sellers that I did not managed to browse properly on the day. I have already put a few things on my Christmas list!

New Beginnings and Woolly Things

Hi!

Thanks for stumbling by my little corner of the internet. You will find that it will be filled with lots of woolly, fluffy things, but hopefully that is exactly why you have come here.

My name is Sarah and I live in Manchester, England. I have lived in Manchester all my life but have a serious case of wanderlust. I am always imagining what it would be like to live in other places. I can usually be found either working as a project manager for a local charity, or hanging out with a few of my friends from my local knitting group. I’m pretty honest about my enabling tendencies, but they also mean that I end up enabling myself…so you’ll end up seeing lots of pretty things here.

My next post is all about my trip to Yarndale, and I have a trip planned to visit Baa Ram Ewe this week, so no doubt there will be all sorts of things to show you.

Hope to see you again soon.