Sunday, 17 July 2011


Bendigo Sheep and Wool Show. Blessed yarnie crack den.

bendigo sheep and wool showJuly is now my favourite month of the year, sub zero temperatures and drizzle not with standing.

Amy and I, along with the wonderful miz p and her Amy aged daughter have just returned from a long weekend at the show of all shows - the place where us knitters and fibre hounds gather to fondle and buy and see and wonder and chat and eat and meet the people behind the Ravetars we have come to consider friends and the sheep folk who supply us our drugs.

I took pretty much no photos at all, being too absorbed in the general frenzy of activity, lanolin high and exhaustion born of the kind of highjinks that come with four girls in a hotel room directly above the pub band room cum wedding function room.

Yarn bought and arm knitted into a super cowl in 45mins - go Maria! #bendigosheepandwoolNot that I cared too much, it just meant more time for knitting, talking, stash cataloging and the encouraging of miz p, a self confessed 'non-knitter' who bought a considerable amount of yarn, arm knitted a scarf before dinner on Friday and stayed up way past the rest of us on Saturday churning through a garter stitch scarf for her man. I feel like a proud mum, she's so got the bug!

I spent a good part of Saturday helping out on the machine knitters stand, demonstrating the machine's uses by pumping out a pair of socks and helping Amy make miles of rolled up stocking stitch for an endless loop scarf. So great to get a few more inspired by the wonders of the machine.

Though it has to be said, the weather as we set on Friday was nothing short of stupendous, with glorious warming sun having us feel a little concerned about not packing T shirts. But it true Victorian style, the temperatures on Saturday fully justified substantial investment in wool and warming fibres and by today we were sheltering from the rain and turning on the car headlights at noon.
This year I prepared well, destashing quite a bit of yarn in the months leading up to the show to save my money and to make space for the the kinds of yarns I have become increasingly curious about. I also set myself some very specific project material requirement goals and some general parameters.

My main aim was to buy from small Australian companies, family farms, growers, those doing their best to keep a diversity of sheep breeds going, and those using less dye and harsh chemicals. I wanted a couple of jumper size lots, some machineable 4 plys for jumpers and blankets, some single skeins to try out, some hand spun and some bargains from the Bendigo Woollen Mills for machine sampling. I also wanted a few gifts and a jumbo pill shaver that doesn't run on batteries.

You may realise this amounts to quite a lot of purchasing, and that's true enough, but aside from a pair of wool denim jeans (didn't see that coming? yeah, me neither), I didn't stray outside my brief at all, and after taking account of the recent destashes in both monetary and weight values, I didn't actually add a whole lot to my stash. Especially if you stand quite a long way away and squint a bit.

And I am very happy indeed. There will be photos and descriptions loading up to my stash page in the next week or so for those interested, and of course you will see all that yarn getting knit up quick smart, right?

herringbone up topIn fact I cast off my last knit project the minute we got home and they are soaking as I write - the big herringbone cowl from the Purl Soho site, and a matching beanie I improvised based on the same stitch and yarn combo I used for the cowl. Best fabric ever, I may have to knit quite a few more of these.

All of which leaves me with the job of fantasising about what to cast on next. Too exciting by halves.


sampling said...

Sounds wonderful and will definitely have to go next year!

Tania said...

HOORAY! for converting another to the Dark Side.

HOORAY! for regarding revitalised stash from a distance and using squinty eyes.

HOORAY! for finding the knitty silver lining of above-pub accommodation.

(I think that's quite enough HOORAYING for a Sunday night, don't you?).

travellersyarn said...

so jealous here - I want to go to a "blessed yarnie crack den". Can we get photos and details of the wool jeans? I'm ever so curious.

sewjourn said...

Yep it's on my list of things to do next year! Better get into some more crotcheting so that I can justify it....

Leonie said...

Oh I missed you at the show. I was in the side sheds on Saturday and stopped in at the machine knitters to talk to Janet. She was "sewing" seams together using the machine. Nice to hear you had a good time, it's my once a year Girly weekend catch up with a group of blogging/Rav friends and it is wonderful. Also curious to know how you knit socks on a knitting machine, do they have a seam?