Sunday, 17 July 2016

A Day at the Australian Sheep & Wool Show

There are times in a yarn lovers life when you know, beyond a shadow of a doubt that you're going to make your bank account cry.

I've even heard some crack jokes about making their husbands grumpy but I don't have one of those and my BF the Bear is a very supportive partner of a Yarn Lover and maker of yarny things.

And these occasions which make husbands grumpy and bank accounts cry usually revolve around yarn sales, beginnings of projects, any time we're within a 1km radius of a place that sells yarn and anytime we look at our bursting yarn collections and think, "I have 4 shades of purple but not a BRIGHT purple in DK Superwash..."

And then there are times when you hear news of the most amazing thing you ever heard existed.

A whole weekend of amazing fabulousness call a WOOL SHOW!

I first heard mention of this by a lovely lady called Danielle of Raxor Yarns who I met at the Maribyrnong Makers Market a month ago.  She said it was like Christmas! So I hit the Google and it informed me that not an hour and half from my little house in the lovely town of Bendigo would be the Australian Sheep & Wool Show.

I know I usually sound like a bit of an excitable, crazy person full of exaggerative superlatives when I writing in this blog to you, but I assure you this is pretty much me in real life.  So I inwardly exploded with joy and started harassing the Bear with plans and research.

I absolutely had to be there.  Until I discovered the Most Wuthering Heights Day Ever was being held in the Melbourne CBD on the same Saturday I intended on going. I was conflicted. Did I want to soak up yarn amazeness or dance around in a red dress as Cathy with thousands of other Melburnians expressing our frustration at Heathcliff?

Who would not want to join these gorgeous people?!?
photo courtesy of
But then yarn!

It was decided when BFF the Blonde Bombshell and my sister Blonde Amazona were not able to join me on the day of being a part of the worlds largest gathering of Bush.
The Blonde Bombshell had a prior engagement and the Blonde Amazona said whilst the Bush sounded amazing, she wasn't yet game enough to join a mass orgy of Bush fans. I didn't fancy prancing around with all the other Bushes while my sister watched on and possibly secretly filmed me for the amusement of family on Facebook.

If I was going to prance around in Bush adoration in a red dress that doesn't match my complexion with 2000 strangers, I wanted my gal pals with me! So I hoped that it will be held again next year and made my choice. Yarn.

So I packed an extra large shopping bag and the Bear and I piled the kids into the car and off we went to the beautiful country town of Bendigo. 

I crocheted on the way.  Bear has cubs of his own and the youngest has said he wants his own crocheted blanket. In lime green. And yellow. Yes. Very bright, but want the Bear Cub wants, I will make!

We caught Pokémon along the way, and enjoyed a beautiful sunny winters day and arrived just after 10am.
Then we arrived.

There were fashion parades, stalls selling everything from shearing and farming equipment to yarn supplies for felting, knitting, crochet, embroidery, clothes, lots of yummy food stalls for fast food or produce.

I fondled and admired cotton yarns of a million colours, silk, alpaca, wool, tasted fudges and olives, slurped multiple cappuccinos and chatted with lots of lovely stall holders.

The theme of the show this year was to celebrate May Gibbs book Snuggle Pot & Cuddle Pie. So the fashions and entries for the competitions were May Gibbs inspired...

I had a lovely chat with the lovely Jenni and her husband from Shiloh Wool and bought some softer than soft 'Silky Wool' which is 100% Australian Wool. 

They had a range of beautiful colours.  My favourite is the variegated yellow, green, pink and teal.  I am seeing a yummy pair of wrist warmers in this yarn!  They were kind enough to let me take a few photos.

I also bought this delicious sock yarn called Jawoll Magic from another stall. It is 75%wool 25% nylon. But I thought whenever I decide to try my hand at knitting some socks, this might look interesting.

I also found this 100% Merino from Fibreworks.  Can you believe how rich the colour is?  I still haven't decided what to make with it but I think it would make a lovely cowl. What do you think?

I was also drawn to a Tweed Hat stall which had tamoshanters, caps, cloches, Berets, Capes in all sorts of lovely authentic Harris Tweeds from Scotland. They also sold a wide range of pins and brooches.

I don't think I have much Scottish ancestry but was drawn to this gorgeous pin.

One thing I wanted to do when I arrived was locate the Little Woollie stall.  I have following Julies blog for a couple of years and always lusted after her range of cotton yarns and some of the gorgeous blankets and cloths and cushion covers she makes.
After a full day of trudging up and down the Show, I finally found her stall by complete accident.

I walked into a large tent behind the main pavilions and found someone with some beautiful yarns. I chatted to the lovely lady and kept looking a one of her crochet blankets on the table. It had been a long day and after walking around all day being overawed from more yarn than I had ever seen in my life I wasn't really using my adult brain so I kept looking at the blanket on the table, the washcloths hanging up and another blanket and I said to her, "I feel like I've seen these before..."  and she said, "Maybe you've seen them online? Or Pinterest?"

I thought she was referring to the pattern she had taken them from until she showed me her business card which said 'Little Woollie Makes Yarn Store'.

I finally woke up and realized I had seen them online. On her Blog! Her original blanket! And I blurted out "OMG! Little Woollie! I've been looking out for your stall ALL DAY!!!"

Julie (all this time I kept thinking of this person in my head and calling her Little Woollie) had such lovely cotton yarns. It took me ages to decide.  If I had found her stall first I would have blown my whole budget on her cottons (Budget? Ha! Who am I kidding?) but in the end bought these 3 delicious colours of Cascade Yarns Ultraprima 4ply. 

So what happened to the Bear and the boys?  Well they left me to my own devices almost as soon as we arrived. Bear knew in his thoughtful way that I needed time to shop, talk, ponder on my own. So he took the boys around to all the Sheep judging pavilions, watched the sheep dog trials and drooled over steam engine displays and tractors.  He then took the boys off to Maccas for Thickshakes and around to all the parks to catch more Pokémon while I drifted around in a yarny haze to Every.Single.Stall.

I also purchased another skirt from my favourite skirt lady from Sheesh. I previously bought a pink toile one from her at the Handmade Market in Canberra which I was actually wearing at todays show. We saw each other across the crowded pavilion and pointed at each other in glee. I pointed at her as if to say, "Ah ha! I bought a skirt off you a month ago!" and she pointed at my skirt as if to say, "Ah ha! You're wearing one of my skirts!" And I skipped over, we chatted like old friends and I bought this dishy blush goldfish pond skirt.

Quite a satisfying haul. I do wish I could have danced around Kings Domain in a red dress but, you know, yarn wins every time.

So how did the Most Wuthering Heights Day Ever fair on the day? Feel free to pop over the the ABC website to check out more wonderous Cathys and this wonderous video I found by videographer Ron Cahill taken of the event in the Northern Rivers Lismore, NSW. I hope you don't mind me borrowing your video Ron. It was heaps better than any of the Melbourne videos online so far!


  1. Although your bank account might have been happier at the Wuthering Heights event, I am sure you picked the right place to go. You scored some amazing things at the wool show! Love that deep raspberry cotton and the feathery Scottish pin. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  2. hmm... Silly Folk who *aren't* SCI-FI FANS or, the "wardrobes" of now Naked-Sheep..? - decisions, decisions....
    Well, I've actually been to the BRONTE HOUSE, mucho decades ago. And always thought their novels were better reading for PSYCHOLOGY Courses rather than ENGLISH-LIT! - BTW, after 40+ years, my one and only, still *surviving* "souvenir" from that "visit", a lovely *WOOL* THROW that I had bought in the Village - just across from where their brother used to get drunk at all the time!!

    yeah. so. *YARN* SHOW!! Smart choice!
    Besides, I'm sure it was a more *useful* educational experience for the KIDS. And, for yourself as well... :-D

    oh. And be fore-warned. I've marked down the date. So, *IF* I ever get a "chance" to slide down the Planet and pop in for a "visit" SOME?DAY, I'll bring along an EMPTY wheeled-SUITCASE to "shop" with! **!! And no worries, they'll be plenty of room for your "STASH" too! You've never seen me "combat"-pack blackhole-physics style!

    1. Ha! I read the books too many years ago and ended up depressed! You know if ever you make the journey to stock up on your stash you've always got a place to crash at Casa Amazona!

  3. What an adventure and forget the bank account, let it have it's temper tantrum you had fun. Love the pic's of all the goodies an Alladins cave of yarnprettiness. Would not know where to start or what to look at first.

  4. So many gorgeous yarns, I'd find it difficult to choose

  5. I am drooling and slathering all over your yarn haul. My bank account wouldn't have stretched to one skein right now so I'm very glad I got to enjoy the show via your experience. It's rather a more affordable way to wool shop.

    1. Yes they were a bit ex-ey. Im glad this only happens once a year because thats all I could handle!