Yarndale 2023

My second visit as an exhibitor was very different to the first visit in 2021, but still a lot of fun. Visitors are very organised when they arrive. They have their Yarndale Show Programme and it is marked as to which stall they wish to visit and the stall number is ringed for easy recognition. They may also have separate notes detailing the items that they wish to see on each stall. I noticed that arrivals at the venue were in a hurry and did not want to chat but would call back over their shoulder “See you later, I’m just doing a quick whizz around first.” This initial, whizz around is to get a ‘feel’ for the show and to get their bearings. Such a good idea. Once bearings have been found, a cup of coffee is next and then the serious visiting to stalls begins. Most visitors come in two’s or more. A few groups were going up and down the aisles together and they were really having fun. It seemed that this arrangement of 6 or more (usually ladies) did take longer to see most of the 210 stalls but they really did enjoy themselves. One of the group might veer off every now and then and buy from a stall and then catch up with the others to the sound of “Ooooo and ahhhhh” when shown what treasure had been purchased. It was great to watch.

I was asked what my favourite stalls were at Yarndale 2023. Well I have to say that there were four.

  1. Farm Crafts. @farmcrafts. is contactable on Instagram A lady selling hand spun lengths of wool in lovely colours and shapes all strung along one thread. The threads can be used for a myriad of crafts but I suspect mostly for weaving.
  2. Sustainable Rope Ltd. A lady selling wool made into rope for all sorts of products who told me that she was studying for an MA and her interest was sustainable materials including seaweed. Fascinating.
  3. Cloth Atelier. https://clothatelier.com A celebration of using our hands and slow fashion. I wish I could visit them every day.
  4. Judith Mansfield Books, Specialising in Needlework and Fashion including vintage patterns, magazines, buttons and haberdashery. Now I could have stayed there all day reading. Judith had some vintage knitting tools, knitting sheaths which were very precious and I still have no idea how they work.

There were many other stalls that were interesting and where I bought several items but whose names I have forgotten. A lady who sold felted items including hats and a chap who sold all manner of wool and rugs and all sorts. Just what I needed………. Admittedly, most of the stalls were selling yarn in skeins which included bamboo, Tercel, alpaca, yak, silk, mohair, cotton, cashmere and my stall -British, plant dyed wool. https://patonanddaughter.co.uk/product-category/yarn/

Just one of the entrances to Yarndale 2023

Part of the Paton and Daughter stall displaying 4ply, double knitting and Aran weight yarns on a vertical display stand. Also visible are baskets of sock yarn and hand spun and undyed yarns.

Yarndale really is held in a cattle and sheep market/auction building. Sheep were being sold here just two days before we set up our stall. All stallholders need to transform their cattle/sheep pen into an exhibitors stall.


A customer asked how she could knit from the skeins that I was selling. She was new to knitting, lived alone and just couldn’t understand how she should proceed. I explained that the skeins would need to be wound and this could be done by putting the circle of wool around the back of a dining room chair and could be wound into a ball whilst standing behind the chair back. She thought about this and said that the wool that she had bought previously and was learning to knit with, kept falling apart. It just wouldn’t stay in a ball and it was now in such a muddle that she had decided to throw it away! I didn’t have a solution. I asked if she had a ball winder but the answer was “No.” I couldn’t help. Since then I have had time to think about her problem. When you are new to a hobby it is best not to spend a lot on periphery tools until you know that you want to pursue your new pastime. So, how could she use a ball of wool and keep it from unravelling into a terrible mess. My suggestion would be to use a colander, put the ball in the colander and thread the yarn through a hole. She could even turn the colander upside down and knit. I do hope that she continues to knit and that someone will support her. That is why knitting groups are invaluable.

A few of the animals who joined us at the show

Paton and Daughter ditty.

sing to “I’m a Barbie Girl”.

(Written whilst waiting for dinner to be served at a very slow restaurant, but the food was worth waiting for).

I’m a woolly girl

In a woolly world.

There’s no plastic,

It’s fantastic.

I take card or cash,

Help you build your stash

Aran, DK

Knit or crochet.

Comfrey, dock and birch,

Different every batch.

Two end knitting

Till it’s fitting.

See you on my stall

Or just give me a call,

Best by email,

Internet sale.

When it’s really dry,

Coloured from the dye,

On the table,

We twist and label.

Nettles that will sting,

Wool wound in a ring.

Two end knitting

Till it’s fitting.

We sell you skeins or cakes,

Plus patterns for your makes.

Green and blue,

Any hue.

I forage all year round,

You wonder what I’ve found?

Bark and berries,

In the hedges.

Now you know my song

Why not go along.

Take a ride,

To your countryside.

That’s all for 2023 at Yarndale. Hope to see you there in 2024. https://yarndale.co.uk

Basket (£20.00)