WITH Yarndale, Skipton’s annual festival of yarn and creativity, less than five months away, the team has been busy working through applications from nearly 200 exhibitors who will be showcasing their products at the show held at the town's auction mart.

In order to support new creative businesses to take the steps to exhibit at the wide-reaching event with global appeal, Yarndale offered new businesses a number of discounted stands and spaces - all of which have been snapped up.

Kate Beard, from Yarndale, said:“We’ve been overwhelmed with applications for our new business stands and are delighted that we’ve been able to allocate 12 to talented exhibitors who may not have been able to exhibit at such a large wool and yarn show in the past.

“We’re excited to see what they bring to the show and we know that our wonderful Yarndale community will support them.”

In addition to the new business stands, the team has also introduced a 'Start Up Bursary' to help creative businesses.

The bursary was introduced for the first time last year to celebrate the show’s 10th anniversary with the support of Amanda Bloom of High Bentham based Cosy Life Boxes.

The scheme is now a feature of Yarndale and will be named in memory of Amanda’s daughter Jenny Machin who sadly died in 2017.

Together Amanda and Jenny launched a crochet subscription box in 2015 called Little Box of Crochet.

Amanda said: “In 2013 my beautiful, funny, kind daughter Jenny was diagnosed with a grade four brain tumour. It was absolutely devastating but we got on with it. She had surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy and for a couple of years she seemed to be keeping it at bay. She was so brave and positive, I was in awe. She helped me to be brave too.

“When she was diagnosed I had given up work to look after her. There was just me and her in our family so money was tight. In 2015 we had the idea of setting up a crochet subscription box. We thought we could do it together from home and I’d still be able to look after her. Little Box of Crochet was born.

“Just before we launched we discovered that Jenny had a tumour in her heart which is extremely rare. She was determined that we should still go ahead and she was right as it was a wonderful distraction as she went through open heart surgery and more chemo. Amazingly it grew beyond our greatest hopes. She loved working with me, often from her bed or when we were at the hospital.

Sadly, Jenny died on May 13, 2017.

Amanda said: "Life will never be the same but I carried on her legacy with Little Box of Crochet until I just couldn’t do it anymore. Justine took it over in 2022 and I retain a small share which is just, in my mind, in Jenny’s memory. I have since started a much smaller craft based box called Cosy Life Boxes which is lovely.

“I never want Jenny to be forgotten so the Yarndale Start Up Bursary in Memory of Jenny Machin has been established to help new creative businesses showcase their products at Yarndale."

She added: “Jenny loved coming to Yarndale. Even when she was really poorly she persuaded me to bring her in 2016 and she loved meeting our customers and friends, so thank you so much to Yarndale for allowing me to do this.”

The Yarndale Start Up Bursary in Memory of Jenny Machin, a bursary of a single stand, will be offered to an emerging fibre artist/maker and is open to anyone based in the North of the country working in any discipline with a connection to wool or natural fibres.

The team particularly welcomes applications from currently under represented groups.

To apply for the bursary stand, email kate@yarndale.co.uk by midnight on May 31.

Yarndale takes place this year on September 23 and September 24 at Skipton Auction Mart, Gargrave Road. In addition to all the yarn and craft stands, the event includes a variety of stalls selling street food, cooked on site.

Celebrating the joy of yarn in all its forms, Yarndale is a vibrant and inspirational festival which has taken place at the end of September each year since 2013 bringing together around 180 exhibitors under one roof who are all passionate about their beautiful yarns, threads and textiles. The show supports and showcases a creative mix of retailers, manufacturers, craft workers and artisans who travel to Skipton from across the country and Europe.

The event is an important feature in Skipton’s cultural offer and has a significant impact on the local economy, with more than 7,500 visitors travelling from across the UK and around the world to spend the weekend in Skipton.

Since 2020, when the event went online because of the Covid pandemic, there is now also an online offering, Yarndale@Home, for those who wish to participate from the comfort of their own home.

Yarndale raises both awareness and raises substantial funds for many local and national charities each year and has achieved great acclaim over the last decade, winning several awards, such as the British Knitting and Crochet Awards for Best Knitting Show / Event for three years running.

For more information and to buy tickets, go to the Yarndale website at: www.yarndale.co.uk Yarndale supports new creative businesses to exhibit at the show