Yarndale: Meet the new generation bringing knitting back to the Yorkshire Dales amid resurgence of 'slow making'
Today those threads remain and are perhaps growing stronger thanks to the success of Yarndale, a yarn festival in Skipton that is popular worldwide.
Now Yarndale is also year-round, with a group meeting weekly to knit and natter and share their projects.
To festival founders Emma Sandoe and Kate Beard, it's only natural.
Wool is a "brilliant, sustainable, versatile" resource that is quite literally "growing on the hills" that surround us, they said.
Today, in modern-day Britain, there is a resurgence in slow 'making', they said.
And it's younger people too, "before our fingers get arthritic".
Ms Sandoe, a primary school teacher, said: "My grandmother taught me to crochet when I was a little girl.
"All this opportunity I've had now makes my heart sing, to pass it on.
"Sheep farming and wool production have been part of the fabric of the Dales for decades and centuries. It's still there. It's still bringing people together."
Yarndale was the brainchild of the two women back in 2012. Ms Beard, from a festivals background, was working on an arts event in Grassington around the sustainability of wool.
It cost farmers £1 to shear a sheep, she said, and they were taking just "tuppence". So was born Yarndale – a festival to celebrate yarn and wool and all the wonderful things that surround it.
It grew in popularity over time and in lockdown Yarndale at Home started in 2020.
Suddenly, it had 11,000 visitors worldwide. One project, calling for triangles of bunting, saw 6,000 submitted from 35 countries.
With Bradford's textile heritage, farming in the Dales, and with Skipton's own name deriving from ‘sheep town’, the roots here run deep, said Ms Beard, who lives in Litton.
"There is a connection, with the place and the history and with sheep," she said.
"We want to treasure the land that gives us so much. The more we crash land into climate change, the more there's a want to reduce our consumption and scale.
"Things are changing so rapidly. But there is this 'wanting' to create. Making things is a slow process, a meaningful process.
"To me, there is a contrast there. It's how it was, before machines came along."
It's looking back through history, added Ms Sandoe, from Hebden.
"We talk so often about progress," she said. "This is a resurgence, of making, rather than producing. We used to make, as a community.
"Knitting isn't something that little old ladies do. It's bringing like-minded people together from all over the world."
Yarndale Social meets on Thursdays at Skipton Town Hall.