When I arrived and joined the queue I saw a notice that said only advance tickets were being let in at 10am. Not only did I have to pay £15 on the door (twice what I paid when I first went) I had to wait until 11am to go in by which time it was very crowded. Never mind it was still brilliant.
Exmoor Horn Sheep with their lovely thick coats of soft wool. There were Shetland Sheep and Angora Rabbits too. The whole operation is enormous now with buses ferrying people between car parks and Skipton centre, Street Food Vendors in addition to the on-site restaurant, hundreds of people from all over the world, selling beautiful (oh so expensive though) wools and accessories. There was a big stand with Scheepjes yarns and their bloggie people. I was hoping to see Matt from a Boy and Bunting but he wasn't there and by 1pm I had spent all my money and was feeling very weary.
I stopped off for an ice cream at Billy Bob's just a few miles away and then took the wrong turning and had to go on a single track for about six miles before having the choice of taking a long way back to where I started or returning on the single track because the road was closed at Bolton Abbey. I chose the long way round and didn't get home until 5pm - too exhausted to even get my lovely purchases out of the bag.
So what did I get? The intention was four fold
- Get some yarn and dyes to try my hand at producing my own colours (tick)
- Get some additions for my multi-coloured long term hexagon blanket (tick)
- Have a malted vanilla milk-shake at Billy Bob's (tick)
- Get a replacement 3mm crochet hook (tick)
The only extra thing I got was a ball of yarn as an experiment to make a soft cotton blanket with a single, but variegated yarn in blues and greens and mauves.
I quickly experimented with some solid granny squares
and then decided that I needed to be a bit more savvy about this pattern and how I was going to make the blanket in a queue with other projects. I quite often start things and then forget which size hook I was using or lose the pattern. I tried three different methods and found the one I wanted to use. I found a little note-file I'd made a few years ago complete with a set of index cards and wrote down the pattern and noted the hook size. I just need to sort a project bag for this.
For quite some time I've been wanting to dye my own yarn and was really pleased to be able to get a starter kit - to dip my feet in so to speak, without going to too much expense.
The base yarn I chose is High Twist Merino which is lovely and soft and has an interesting texture, twisted around. I'm going to go for a red shade if I can, hopefully it will be a little variegated. It has been hard to find many reds which go with my hexagon blanket.
I found the Natural Dye Studio yarn at the first Yarndale I visited and fell in love with it. It was really hard to get as they dyed small batches and put them up for sale on their website. They were nearly always sold out within minutes, literally. They stopped dyeing yarn a couple of years ago sadly and I have found nothing to match the beauty of their muted but rich colours. A stall I discovered this year www.dyeninja.com has come the closest so far. The ones I bought at the show were Baby Camel and silk which is a bit softer than the Natural Dye Studio classics but I have high hopes for the 100% merino.
So after nearly sleeping the clock round last night - 9pm to 7.45am, then crocheting and watching F1 this afternoon I feel the weekend has been a joy!
Will and Alex have been round today - they took possession of the keys to their first home this week and are excited and nervous about the next couple of months. It's a big house, not a starter home, so it will accommodate whatever plans they have for the future. It is so lovely seeing them happily chatting about what they are going to do. They have very different tastes but they are both very flexible. Ahh, my babies.
So this Monday is the first Monday of our new work regime where I bring things home to do. No Monday morning journey, no telephone. I'm so looking forward to it - I know I'll be doing some work but it will be so flexible. I'll be working on a pattern for the Thursday night class and shopping for a jigsaw for Ben's birthday. He's 6 tomorrow - 6 years old!!!
I'll be blogging soon about our Macmillan week which was really hard work, making caramel sauce at 10pm after a 9 hour shift and cooking brownie at 6am, but a truly worthy cause. Millionaire's Shortbread was the most popular. Yum.