Tuesday 1 October 2013


Well, what can I say? You'll doubtless have seen updates on Facebook and Twitter over the weekend and write ups on other blogs by now, and there's not much I can add.


It was also the first time that The Hookery has ventured out into the real world and met real people face-to-face, so it was quite daunting. On the way up, I was a bag of nerves. On the Saturday morning, I was a bag of nerves. At about 9:55 on Saturday morning, I was about to dissolve into a big blob of nervous jelly. Then the crowds came.

People actually came into my stall. People oooh-ed and aaaah-ed at my handmade selection. People squidged yarn  and started holding up different colour combinations and using phrases like 'that pattern I bought last week', and 'Christmas presents'. 

My fabulous helper, Angie (who's not actually that blurry in real life)
And then, people started buying things. Suddenly, it was all OK. I was there, I had a stall, I had fantastic helpers and I had stock that people wanted to buy. Hurrah!

You'll have to forgive the photo quality. They were all taken on my phone, and on the Sunday when it was a little bit quieter. The stall looked a bit different on the Saturday, but we had to rearrange everything to fill the gaps!

Now that it's all over, I've got withdrawal symptoms. I feel a bit lost. What did I do before Yarndale, can anyone remember? Was there a time when I didn't worry about the balance of handmade and yarn supplies, about colour combinations on the stall, about how to display small items alongside large ones, about pricing, packaging, labelling and the like?

I didn't actually take my badge off until I got home - I just didn't want it to end
Yarndale was just such a fabulous experience. A bit of a baptism of fire, but we came through it. I'm already making notes for next year.

All that remains is to say thank you, so if I may indulge in a little Oscars-style moment... 

A massive thank you to the organisers, to the people who came in droves, and to my lovely customers. What would it have been without you?

Thank you also to the lovely Angie who worked tirelessly (and even gave a couple of impromptu crochet lessons to get people started with their new hooks and yarn), then took us home and fed us at the end of that manic Saturday. 

Thank you to The Beloved who has lived with me in pre-Yarndale mode without complaint. Who was packed into the car and travelled for five and a half hours with stuff packed in uncomfortably around him. Who did tea and butty runs, went haring off into Skipton to find a bank so that we'd have change (I wasn't as well prepared as I might have been...), and who spent a weekend surrounded by yarn and yarn-y types without complaint, despite being a long way out of his rugby- and F1-flavoured comfort zone.

Roll on Yarndale 2014!


  1. Congrats on a successful Yarndale Weekend Claire! Your post is in fact the first one I've read about how Yarndale was. Since I live so far away I had no chance of visiting this event but oh oh oh! I was certainly there in spirit! Your stall looks great and it's so lovely to read that you had a lot of sales and a lot of FUN! A big applause also to the helpers :) Have you found some time to relax after this? You deserve it :D

  2. Thank you! I'm still floating along on the buzz :) If you check out the Yarndale Facebook page, they're gathering a list of blog links to other people's posts about it, so you can read more about it.

  3. Ooh Ooh I came in to your stall!!
    It was a brilliant event I have to say, but I came away with nothing! Everyone who asks what I bought is aghast at my answer - nothing!

    1. I still can't believe I didn't buy anything either - I didn't really have the chance! I'm enjoying reading all the blog posts about it to see who and what was there as I didn't get out of the stall during the event. I may have to make up for it with a little online retail therapy...

  4. I was there at Yarndale and visited your stall twice. Yours was the last stall I visited on Saturday and so You had run out of business cards. You gave me a sticker and it is still stuck to my phone case!! My kids are so tempted to rip it off. Your work is lovely. Well done, very brave. It was so busy, very much like a cattle market!!!!

    1. Thank you! I'm so glad I thought to take the stickers, although we ran out of those by the end of Sunday too. It was crazy, but great. Thanks for stopping by the stall (and returning)!

  5. HI Claire,it was lovely to visit your stall:) We had a chat about the super chunky wool and your gorgeous cushions.It was good to see the yarn in real life and is now on my list of wool to buy! Yarndale was a really lovely experience full of friendly people and was made even better by the wonderful weather and amazing setting:) Nice to meet you xx

    1. Hello! Thank you for visiting the stall - I remember our chat. I'll be adding shade cards for people to order ahead of buying yarn if they like, so they can feel/see it in the flesh. Glad you enjoyed the day :)

  6. I'm a bit behind in reading posts... ;-)

    Yay! I'm so glad that Yarndale was such a success. Congratulations. :-)