Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Bendigo Roundup

For me the Australian Sheep and Wool Show held at the Bendigo Show Grounds has multiple wonderful associations:

-There's the yarn of course and the lovely knitted goods on display at the various stands.

Shawl at Standed In Oz's stall at Bendigo 2010

-The wonderful items submitted by the general public for inclusion in the judging, this year's stand out for me was the First Prize winning entry of a delicate blue and green hand dyed and crocheted granny square blanket made by a grandmother for her grandson who was learning about our Carbon Footprint (can't find a picture of it anywhere yet and completely forgot to take a picture of it myself, will keep looking and post a link if I find it somewhere).

-Catching up with friends from far away that I have conversed with online but haven't seen during the year.

-Meeting new people (Members of the Spinner's Guild who I stayed with, greeting Helen in person and spending time with the fabulous Mel)

-Visiting the Bendigo Woollen Mills building and excavating the baskets in the famous back room.

-I also had uninterrupted sleep guaranteed for two nights....BLISS!!!!!!

The adventure started on Thursday when I joined spinner friends of one of my SnB group at Lake Eppalock at a school camp. The view and facilities were perfect with enough space for more than 20 spinning wheels to be put in use at one time!!

View from covered walkway.
View from covered walkway to Lake Eppalock....water in the back there!
Lake Eppalock with "some" water in it. Apparently the drought has meant there has been little or no water present for years now.

After spending Thursday afternoon and evening with The Spinners, on Friday morning we set off to The Show and all went our separate ways. I met up with groups of ladies from my Tuesday SnB group, the Botanical Gardens SnB group, The Bloggers and The Spinners, at various points during the day checking out purchases and being pointed in the direction of new wondrous yarns :-)

I am a very hands on person. When buying items I must be able to touch as this has a great influence on my decision to purchase or not. This means that I don't often buy yarn online at all and when I do I am very hesitant as photos just can't tell you how something feels. For me, attending Bendi is a chance to get my fingers in there, rub the yarn, stroke the yarn, put it against my skin and see whether it's itchy or not.....all those things that the online experience lacks. Through my two experiences at The Show I am gradually gathering a select set of yarns that I would definitely buy online when I need something. But to have everything there in one place at one time is my idea of heaven!!!

Suffice to say when I was let loose on Friday morning, I did indeed go mad.

The Show haul (oops, the four balls of German sock yarn in the top left corner actually came from Barb, one of The Spinners, not from the show)
Top line: Savanna German sock yarn x 4, Wooldancer 3 ply in Rainbow, Shiloh 4 ply Silky wool in Apple Orchard, EGMTK 4 ply super sock yarn in blue & teal, navy & white, blue & green, Wooldancer 10ply in Waratah, Ixchel BFL Bunny 4ply in rainbow.
Bottom line: Moseley Park 10 ply Anti-felt treated yarn in Amocean (200g) and in Rising (100g, see below), bag of Shiloh 4 ply Silk dream (small balls) in natural colourway, Gusseting 4 ply sock yarn in grey & black, purple tones and blue & purple, Tarndwarncoort Polwarth 8 ply in Parrot and Grevillia and a second skein of the Ixchel BFL bunny.

After "The Show" we headed off to the Bendigo Woollen Mill. I had 4 projects in mind while I was there and managed to find all of the yarn I required in the Back Room at either $2.50 or $3 a ball. No complaints from me!

The Backroom haul

There is yarn here for a hooded cardy for each of the boys back R to L 100% wool: Hunter, Zac, Tyler and a "Lorelei" cardigan for me 70% wool, 30% cotton (Ravlink) front. Oh and if I need a little more of the yarn for my Lorelei I know where the other bag of 10 balls lives. Apparently "you won't need all that" is code for "I want some, it's lovely, please don't take it all" :-)

Dinner Friday night at the Bowling club organised by the lovely Tara was wonderful. The slippery ground outside not quite so lovely but my Physio consultant declared no major damage just muscle strain in my shoulder so all is good.

Breakfast Saturday morning was a busy buzz of knitters, chatting and checking out little people who had arrived since last year's event, discussions of the various knits on display and trying to be first in for the wonderful prizes donated by heaps of vendors. Off to The Show for a few hours and a mercy dash for A Spinner who had missed the set of blocking wires at $20. I kept my wallet to myself this time :-) A quick drop in at The Mill for the Pre-School teachers who had requested some wool for grandchildren knits (they were very pleased with their scoops). Back out to Eppalock to drop off the wires and pack up my stuff and then back into Bendigo to the Show to meet up with ladies from my Tuesday SnB group, capture a photo of Tom the farmer's son, and then a late afternoon knitfest and chat with The Bloggers before heading home via my sister's house to catch up with my brother and his wife who were down from Brisbane for the weekend. Home at 10.30pm and time to catch up with what had been going on while I was absent before falling into bed and thanking my lucky stars that the children didn't know I was home so they all stayed tucked up in their own beds for the night :-)

Some skeins were spun into balls with my ball winder and swift on Sunday (yes I had forgotten to take them with me).
Moseley Park Rising

Moseley Park Amocean: note the four balls....knots :-(

Ixchel BFL bunny, rainbow

Of course I was aided by the children. The only yarn disappointment for the weekend was the three knots in the one 200g skein I bought. I will be able to work around them but it would have been nicer not to have to.

I have indeed started on the knitting.
I completed this hat on Sunday and immediately started a second slightly smaller one which is now well on it's way too.

Also picked up a couple of toys for the kids just to let them know they weren't forgotten :-)

Many thanks to the wonderful Jules who sole parented for 3 days and two nights while I was away :-) Oh and just in case you thought he had been forgotten, this is not the case, the grey and black Gusseting sock yarn is for a pair of socks for him.

A wonderful time was had, I'm completely exhausted but soooo looking forward to next year!


Melissa said...

It looks like you had a wonderful time. It is nice to get away from home for a while isn't it. Love the haul, I think you did very well!!

Rose Red said...

Nice work on the yarn haul! I agree with you on the ability to touch in person - buying online can be a bit of a gamble, can't it!

Anonymous said...

Duuuuude, you made out like a bandit! I didn't get a proper look at your haul on the day.

See you next year?

Emma said...

nice haul!

Looks like you had a fantastic weekend.

Lynne S of Oz said...

Nice haul!
You saw Tom the farmer's son? I've not met him. Guess I'll get the chance later this year....

Kate said...

oooohhh, the pretties!!! I'm glad you all had such fun... I'm hoping that Bendi coincides with half term again next year, so I can come without feeling rushed!

geoff_tewierik said...

I love the fact you went out of your way to come and say hi :)