THOUSANDS of people from far and wide descended on Skipton at the weekend in a creative celebration of all things woolly.

They came to Yarndale wool and yarn festival dressed in colourful knitted and crocheted jumpers, jump suits, shawls and wraps from all parts of the UK and the world, including Namibia, Australia, Ukraine and the Netherlands.

Visitors also from the United States, Germany and Russia, placed pins in a map of the world at the event, held in the sheep pens at Skipton Auction Mart, and signed a visitors' book, leaving glowing comments.

They included Carla from Namibia who wrote: "Loved it so much last year, I came back for more," from Kayla and Siegfried from Germany: "Finally back after the pandemic, my third, husband's first," and Julia and Ethel, who wrote: "Brilliant work, worth coming down from Scotland."

The entrance and pens were decorated by hundreds of knitted and crocheted Yarndale triangles, the festival's creative project entered with gusto from its supporters from all over the world.

The 11th annual event, that went online during the coronavirus pandemic, featured exhibitors from afar afield as the Scottish Highlands, and closer to home, Gam Farm Rare Breeds at Grassington, which won the award for the best stand, and Skipton-based Purl and Jane by Jane Ellison.

On top of the around 200 stalls, there was street food, live music, workshops, and quiet corners, where people could take a break from the packed aisles and enjoy a chat with like-minded people.

A knitting team from Martin House Hospice charity was there raffling off items they had made over the last year, and inviting people to take a 'lucky dip' to be in with a chance of winning some hand-knitted garment.

On its first visit to the event was the Yorkshire 'Speak Their Name' suicide memorial quilt. People stood quietly in front of the four huge panels of individual squares, created in memory of people lost through suicide.

The quilt, led by three women, including Karen Sykes, who went to school in Skipton, was launched last year and has been on display at cathedrals and public buildings. Anyone who would like a square created for a loved one can email

A spokesperson for Yandale said: “It was a fabulous event - it was lovely to see so many happy exhibitors from across the UK and Europe all meeting up in this sheep shed of wonder. And wonderful to welcome our visitors who had travelled from all over the world to visit and share their delight in woolly making.

"We hope that everyone enjoyed our range of workshops and talks with their strong focus on sustainability and the provenance of wool as well as the lovely music and the chance to meet up with friends and like-minded people. We’re already looking forward to Yarndale 2024 which will take place on September 28 and 29."