A couple of weeks ago a chap came in the shop to read the meter – he glanced around, sniffed and said “I didn’t think anybody knitted anymore”. “You’d be surprised” I retorted, my hackles up.

This weekend I joined the crowds of people converging on Skipton and Yarndale. As my husband dropped me off he said, with a touch of awe – “I didn’t realise it was this big”….

The market was full of enthusiastic traders, keen knitters, expert crocheters, spinners, fibre experts, pattern writers, hand-dyers, weavers, felters and much much more – and lots of wonderful yarny things. Mostly women, but with a significant minority of men; mostly my age but with a deeply pleasing amount of substantially younger fans of wool.

lovely wool on a lovely sheep

I bought some bits and bobs of course (ok, I spent a small fortune) but the best thing about Yarndale was to feel part of a lovely tribe of fans of woolly things.

In the past when I’ve admitted to a love of knitting there has been a few typical responses –


  1. ‘I don’t have time for knitting’…. says the Celebritycomedancingwithxfactorbakinggear fan whose knowledge of the minutiae of Coronation street/Casualty/Hollyoaks is profound and slightly scary…
  2. ‘I’m not clever enough to knit’ – says the person who holds down a responsible job, takes care of the family, drives and lots of other clever stuff.
  3. ‘My granny tried to teach me but I never got it’  – says the person who went back to Open University to learn astro-physics, or the one who learnt how to use a computer in their 30’s…yep, you definitely can’t learn new skills after you are 12…
  4. ‘You can buy socks/sweaters/shawls at M&S you know….’ no comment.

In the end I tended to keep my guilty secret to myself – being a knitter clearly meant that I was a wee bit odd…

…Or so I thought until I owned a small yarn shop which is visited by lovely and very normal people every day – in fact I’d go as far as to say that being a knitter/crocheter almost certainly means that you are a good person.

If you need proof – go to Yarndale….




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