Yesterday I went to the Bendigo wool and sheep show for the first time. I can’t believe I haven’t been before, what on earth was I thinking, missing the highlight of the woolly year here in Victoria, how stupid of me not to have gone before now. Anyway, that mistake has been rectified and I now intend to go every year.
For those of you who don’t know, the Bendigo show is literally a three day celebration of all that is woolly and pertaining to wool. There are sheep dog trials, sheep shearing and sheep showing, woodturners creating spindles, distaffs, shawl pins etc and stalls and stalls of fibre, fleece and yarn and everything else a knitter/spinner/felter/weaver could need plus the two big spinning wheel companies from New Zealand, Ashford and Majacraft were here to show their wares. It’s a bit flippin’ exciting, the sheep fumes and the buzz of retail therapy, the heady, heady thrill of it all!
We made a road trip of it, Bendigo being about 2 1/2 hours away, Julie was our designated driver and Sonia, Sharon and Ursula made up the rest of the posse. Sonia and Sharon are Bendigo veterans and us three English expats the noobs.
The day before I was panicking a bit, it’s winter here and I needed a warm jumper to wear. I had intended to wear Owls to Bendigo and since that wasn’t going to happen I decided that Idlewood would be second best. However Idlewood is short sleeved and it occurred to me it might be cold so at around dinner time I decided I might attempt to make a pair of arm warmers to wear, encouraged by Sharon. I cast on for toast just before dinner and stopped knitting for the night at midnight. The next day I started knitting whilst I waited for the girls to arrive and managed to finish just as we pulled into the Show-ground car park, I tucked the ends in as I didn’t have time to weave them in and wore them all day. I reckon about 8 hours knitting in total, what a knitter can achieve when she’s determined is not to be sniffed at!
As it happens, it was a beautiful day and the sun shone, all day. Before we even set off Sharon gave me a kilo of beautiful brown fleece, that is OMG gorgeous, thank you, thank you, thank you I love it.
Sonia gave me a mini skein of Wensleydale that she spun, which is just beautiful (I’m so spoilt).
So excellent start to the day already! However, here’s my haul…
A darning mushroom, because I’ve lusted after one since seeing Sonia’s. I don’t know how to darn YET, but I WILL learn. Purchased from a man wearing a knitted Viking costume no less.
2 skeins of Stranded in Oz sock yarn in ‘Fairies in the garden’ colourway yummy or what!
Pear Tree had a clearance sale, 1 kilo for $40 of mixed skeins, I went halves with Sharon.
700g of Polwarth roving from Dennis Polwarths, they look like different colours in the photo but they are both the same colour the one on the left being the most accurate colour.
1/2 a coated Polwarth fleece from Andyle. I’m a bit in love with Polwarth which is a breed from Merino crossed with Lincolns, I’m also a bit in love with Andyle fleeces, they were all so gorgeous, choosing was a very difficult task.
I also bought stuff like dyes, stitch markers and wool scour, wash and rinse from Unicorn, posh scented moth repelling thingys and a spinners control card from Spun Out but I won’t bore you with a photo of them. I made two carded batts using an Ashford drum carder with the help of Richard Ashford himself who was utterly lovely. I was allowed to keep mine (below) and Sonia was given the second.
The day couldn’t have been more perfect, we bumped into other knitting and spinning friends which was fantastic. We ate lunch whist watching the sheep dog trials with Debs, Susanne and Raoul and compared acquisitions. I have to say that all of the stallholders were so genuinely friendly and passionate and not at all pushy or insincere which was wonderful because I’m allergic to pushy, insincere salespeople. I am so looking forward to next year’s show.
ttfn Melanie x