Australian sheep and wool show 2010Category: Knitting
After a couple of years of badly wanting to attend, I finally made it this year.
I've heard so much about the Australian Sheep and Wool Show over the past few years, I decided it was time for a few of us from the local area to make the trip. Let's face it, it's like Mecca for knitters.
It was definitely a road trip with a difference.
Getting seven women to Bendigo and back from the Bega Valley for a lightning visit isn't easy. It's a difficult and long drive, and the shortest route is via the mountains which makes icy roads and fog a foregone conclusion.
So we opted for the public transport option which turned out to be a bargain basement price without the hassle that driving would bring.
That meant bus from Bega to Bainsdale, then train from Bainsdale to Bendigo via Melbourne. A few hours waiting time but really, the travelling time was only about an hour longer than a stressful and tiring drive.
To make it extra special, the two items I entered in the 'Handcrafted Garment for an Adult Using Commercial Wool' won prizes, first and second. First for my Kelmscott cardigan and second for my Rambling Rose cardigan which I was finishing the only days before I needed to send it away.
A bit of a shock really but a delightful surprise as I had no expectations whatsoever.
Things that stood out for me were the opportunity to see wool from indie dyers like Kylie Gusset, and discovering unknown or little known yarn suppliers like the Yarn Barn, where I bought some beautiful fine merino in the extremely difficult to find shade of magenta.
I also got to meet a few knitters at the much anticipated Ravelry dinner after spending the afternoon shopping and lunching with the lovely Sue, who I'm so glad I finally met in person.
I was fairly restrained in my spending - the most exciting purchase was a set of blocking wires which I'd wanted for some time. I wished I'd bought a wooden swift but difficulty in carrying it home won out, so it will be a future purchase for delivery to my home.
Our trip also included a trip to the famous Bendigo Woollen Mills backroom, but that's another story.
I couldn't resist including the photo taken outside the bakery where we ate breakfast - the kind owners include knee rugs for patrons who wish to eat outside in the freezing cold!