Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Australian Sheep and Wool Show, Part 2: The Purchases

In "Part 2" of the Australian Sheep and Wool Show, I'm going to go into more detail about my purchases, and cover anything I missed in the last post. Oh, and include a piccie of Chris for Mom.

I guess I should start with what I purchased on Wednesday, the day we arrived. As I mentioned in a previous post, shortly after arriving Wednesday afternoon, Audrey suggested a trip to Bendigo Woolen Mills before they closed for the day. She pointed out that if we waited too long, all the people coming to the show would have things more or less picked over.

So, on our one and only visit to the mills, I picked up these two 5 ply superwash yarns. I have a pair of fair isleish socks I want to make as a Christmas gift. The pattern calls for 5 ply, and these are great colours for the design.

With vague thoughts of a summer top in mind, I also bought 10 balls of BWM Cotton in a lovely light blue shade. I don't have a pattern in mind yet, but I'm sure I'll find a suitable one. At $2 a ball, it was a hard bargain to pass up.

On Friday morning, so soon after we arrived at the show that Chris was still with me (believe me, that wasn't very long) I found the Sarah Durrant stand. They sell Colinette yarns, and I'm just in love with Jitterbug Sock Yarn. She also sells Knit Picks needles and products (excepting yarns, which aren't sold in Australia) We chatted for a good while (which is where Chris gave up waiting and wandered off on his own) and I wound up with some extra size 4mm needles for my Harmony set, and some of the new connectors for Harmony cords (not pictured). I also wound up with the two skeins of Jitterbug pictured below.

Shortly after that, I wound up at Stranded in Oz's booth, whose owner Mel showed me this lovely Jezebel. I've seen SWTC yarns in magazines, etc, but had never knit with it before, and such a nice solid sock yarn can always be used. It would even work for men's socks in a pinch.

When I left to go to Bendigo, I only had one specific thing in mind that I was definately going to get. Last year, I bought two skeins of Laura Down's cashmere in a subtle tan shade. The trouble was, two skeins only amounted to about 700 meters, and most of the lace shawl patterns I'd found asked for more yarn than that. So I was determined that, if I could match the colour, I was going to get another ball of the same. Lucky me, I found it!

Of course, Friday morning I bought the Majacraft Little Gem spinning wheel, but after getting it home, I realized I had only bought yarn, and not fibre, other than the lot I got from Bendigo Woolen Mills, which I didn't want to break into yet, so Friday afternoon, I bought some Merino and seacell from Ewe Give Me The Knits.

As mentioned in the previous post, I started spinning on the majacraft Friday night after we had gone out for dinner. Patience has never been my personal virtue, but I consider it a remarkable show of discipline that I bothered to eat first. I decided on some EGMTK Superwash merino that is shown in the last post in the group picture of my Friday purchases, but alas, it was on the wheel before I thought to make an individual photo of it.

Here's a closeup of the first finished bobbin:

And here's the first finished bobbin with fibre for second bobbin alongside:

After getting up Saturday morning to a less than well hubby and missing the Rav brekky, I got to the showgrounds at around 9:00. I went in search of the Ravelry building, which I had never found Friday. In my search, I did run across a building I hadn't investigated the day before, and in it I found Wooldancer, and some real jewels in her stand. I could have bought much more. She had so very many pretty things, but I settled on the haul below. 3 bags of cotton in very earthy colours (I've never spun cotton, so this was a particular treat), a green and a yellow braid of organic merino (yummy)and she kindly agreed to hang onto my purchases for me until I was ready to go.

I wandered around alot on Saturday, chatting with friends and aquaintences and meeting new ones, and didn't load myself up right away, as I was planning on being there about 6 hours, but I made some mental notes of those places I wanted to come back to and buy from. So most of the following purchases were either made in later in the day, or the actual purchases were made earlier and picked up later in the day. So essentially, I made one last mad dash at just before 3PM to pick up or purchase all my goodies. But I find it almost impossible to put Saturdays purchases in any semblance of order because of this, so I'm won't even try. If the timeline doesn't make much sense, well, that's because it probably isn't correct.

I had bought some wool from Bennett and Gregor before, at the SACSOS booth at the Adelaide show last year. A bag of merino slivers in a lovely brown that I used in my mom's Christmas jumper. Now at that time, I was a rather novice spinner, and shouldn't have even attempted slivers, but there you go. I do like their wool though, and the fact that they go with the natural sheeps colouring rather than dyeing, so I bought these naturally coloured tops from them, plus a bit of extra white.

After not seeing her at all Friday, although heaven only knows how I missed her, I ran into Jane from Moseley Park, one of the lovliest ladies I've met since I've been involved in the spinning thing. She had many gorgeous rovings and yarns, but I wound up with this pretty, bright garnet coloured silk. We stood around and chatted for awhile, and it was so nice to see her again.

While I was talking to Jane, I ran into a Ravelry mate who had bought some lovely camel and optim blend from Virginia Farm Woolworks, so of course I had to have some.

I also found this lovely silk there, which I plan to use to do something from my Victorian Lace Today book. I haven't decided if I want to dye it or not, but of course, that option is always there.

I also bought these Landscape dyes from Virginia Farm Woolworks. The lady there was so very helpful in helping me choose them. I think I got a nice representative amount, and I'm even going to try and mix the colours for some hopefully interesting results. No doubt, I'll buy more variety in the future. I have the Earth Palette Dyes, which are cold water dyes, and of course, my Koolaid. But this will be my first foray into the world of real chemical dyes.

Also pictured are two bottles of WoolScour for cleaning. I bought these at a booth at the show, not long before I left on Saturday (due to their weight) and simply can't recall the name of the stand I got them from. I'm only hoping that they make me a bit more successful at cleaning fleeces.

There was a lovely stand full of hand crafted jewelry from All Buttoned Up in Melbourne (I can't find a website for them) that was more or less themed for the event. I bought these earrings with the spinning wheel on them, and a stickpin with the same.

Of course, I could never leave without getting something from Spinningwoodie and his lovely wife Sheilaheeler. I've been eyeing these scarf clips for awhile, although now I'm sort of wishing I'd gotten myself another wooden DPN tube as well. I love the one I've got. It's just precious.

Before leaving for this trip, my glasses case broke, and I was looking for another, but just couldn't seem to find one. The Jacob Farm booth was packed Friday and Saturday, everytime I walked by. Finally, Saturday afternoon I just decided to brave the crowd anyway, and what did I find. You guessed it:

Also toward the end of the day, I found this lovely Llama Fibre from Granite Haven Llamas (Cheryl Crosbie, Strathbogle Ranges, no website found). Again, natural, earth brown colours.

Of course, I cannot fail to mention the lovely Ixchelbunnie's booth, now can I? This year her booth was every bit as frustrating as last year. I WANT IT ALL!!! But discretion and funds forced me to chose, so I left there with some lovely (albeit expensive) baby camel, and two skeins of this remarkable blue cashmere laceweight yarn, perfect for a shawl from my Victorian Lace Today book. After Christmas, I really plan on getting all jiggy with the lace stuff, and now I'm prepared for a good start.

This is my skein of Ms. Gusset Sock Yarn, (gusseting on Rav) a lovely 4 ply wool and nylon. It seems I'm really on a green kick lately, both with yarns and fibres, and her dyeing is quite lovely.

So, those were my purchases at Bendigo, front to back. I'm pretty sure I haven't left anything out, but if I did, I'll be sure to remember and post it on later blog entries. Getting this one done is way overdue.

Saturday night, we stayed in, and I spun on my new Majacraft until the hour started getting a bit late. Then we did a bit of "prepacking" so that we could get the car loaded fairly quickly the next morning, so I had to put the Little Gem (aka Matilda) away.

Now Mom, and this is just for you, here's a pic of Chris (and Audrey's back) when we stopped for a picnic lunch in Bordertown, on the Victorian and South Australian border. I'll try to get him to slow down long enough to get a better shot of him for the next post.

Sunday Chris/audrey/bordertown

We got home on Sunday afternoon, and Monday morning bright and early, I saw the Postie truck pulling away. Morning deliveries via the truck are always packages, and packages always make my heart flutter a bit. So I went out straight away to find my monthy installment from David's Southern Cross Fibre Club, a very vivid green and sharp black Corridale top he's calling "Enchanted". Excellent name for it.

I will admit to a bit of dissappointment, as I already have a ton of Corridale here (ok, really only about 1.5 kilos) mostly undyed, and I love spinning fibres I've never spun before, or at least, haven't spun often. Still, it is a lovely dye job, and I'll reserve final judgement until I spin with it. Also, it is probably the fibre I spin the best, and have the most experience with, so it will be an excellent choice to spin on the new Majacraft while I'm getting a bit of experience with the wheel.

Well, that's caught things up a bit. It's been a little over two weeks now since the show, so of course, lots of fibrey things have been done in the meantime. In my next post, I'll catch you up on my knitting and spinning that was done during, and since Bendigo. Hopefully, I'll get that out next week while I'm home alone. Chris is going away next Monday with his Year 11 students to his geography camp in the Flinders, and won't return until Friday. In the meantime, I've taken two days off of work to gaurd the house and to enjoy 5 days and 4 nights of spinning and knitting to my hearts content. A REAL vacation. Till then...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for trying my llama rovings please be in touch through my web site so I can give you the details of my open day.When you spin the rovings do a little over spin [not much though you will get the feel,and know /sense when it is right.I have just had some really strong colours back from the processor[of course natural and I'm not going to blend at all I want people to be confident that they are getting the genuine article.Not all people are getting what they are paying for,which is dishonest.Please be in touch