Tuesday, 8 July 2014

The Yarndale Bunting Comes to Unwind!

Each fibre event in the UK has a distinct flavour and there are some things that really define them and make them stand apart. We’d like to think Unwind stands for inspiration and collaboration and it seemed fitting that when we thought of decorations for the festival, our minds turned to the amazing bunting that left such an impression at Yarndale.

The Yarndale Bunting in all its glory (with kind permission)
The first ever Yarndale festival took place last year in Skipton, Yorkshire and hosted 6,500 visitors. Commended for its friendliness and inspirational nature, Yarndale 2013 was a big hit with both exhibitors and visitors. It’s not far from my home town so of course I attended and while I was there couldn’t help but love the colourful streams of bunting that decorated Skipton Auction Mart.

The original story of the bunting has been shared before on the Yarndale blog and it’s a story of friendship found through crafting. The display of crochet bunting was co-ordinated by Yarndale team member Lucy, author of the popular creative lifestyle blog Attic24. Lucy wrote up a pattern for making crochet Granny Bunting Triangles and put a call out to readers of her blog asking for help. Little did she realise the scale of the project; it turned out to be far bigger than anyone could imagine!


So many parcels! (with kind permission)
As hundreds of triangles started rolling in, Lucy began to realise she might need some help to deal with the scale of response her post had received and made a temporary Bunting Delivery Depot at local yarn store Purl & Jane. With both the help of the shop and her family, Lucy began opening packages, reading the amazing letters and cards, counting the triangles up, sorting them, and then logging the information (name, location, number of triangles) in a notebook However, with the parcels coming in so thick and fast from all four corners of the world, Lucy began to worry that she would never be able to keep up. By early September, with less than 3 weeks left before Yarndale, the packages were still arriving. As Lucy had been writing everything down in a notebook she knew how BIG this project had become, it was pretty mind blowing!  It was time to ask for more help still!



So many triangles! (with kind permission)
It was decided that for a few weeks, The Yarndale team would enlist the helping hands of the ladies at Wild Oats knit and natter. Some huge reels of cotton tape were purchased and stringing commenced. The way crafters lend support to each other is always inspiring and to see these lovely, kind, creative ladies being so generous with their time, working like the clappers to finish it all for Yarndale as really impressive.



Many hands help string the Yarndale Bunting (with kind permission)
It was with deep trepidation and high anxiety that the Yarndale team prepared for The Hanging. Each 5 metre length of bunting was passed up and knotted to the previous length, so creating one enormous, continuous length swinging from side to side. Back and forth it went and the more strings of bunting that went up, the more magnificent it became. The bunting was an outstanding success and so it seemed perfect that Unwind, in its first year, asked for a creative hand to hold and Yarndale very generously responded. In the end the bunting consisted of 6, 212 triangles, ran a total 1.25km and came from 31 different countries. Isn’t that amazing??

The Yarndale Bunting (with kind permission)
Of course, we couldn’t have ALL the bunting, the logistics of postage would have been too great but Lucy agreed to send some with a little trepidation as this is a very special loan. When asked why she agreed to the sharing of the bunting, Lucy said “Because we love to share and celebrate creativity, this is the whole reason why we created Yarndale. If we can share a little bit of the joy the bunting creates (and it really does have serious WOW factor) then that seems like a nice thing to do”.


It certainly was Lucy. We hope all our visitors enjoy it and come visit you this September to see it in full!

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