Bendigo!

Gentle reader,

It’s finally time to tell you all about my day at the Bendigo Sheep & Wool Show. I had a super great time, as if you couldn’t guess! And I went with super great peeps! I could write all day about it, but instead I’ll just show you pictures and tell you some of my fave things. I’m not going to talk too much about what I bought, because I’ll do a separate “Bendigo Haul” post.

I was totes excited about going this year, partly because I knew what to expect and partly because I actually had a budget this time. So, that always helps, right?

First, my lovely friends Kate (who’s blog is here) and Hal met at Flinders Street Station. That’s them in the lower left (Kate) and right (Hal) knitting on the train. In fact, we were so busy knitting that we missed our station to meet up with the also lovely Jane (top pic, right) and Jeanette (top pic, left). Now, I wash my hands of responsibility for any part in this mishap.

“I was following Kate,” I said.

“Why me!?” she asks.

“Because you’re a lawyer,” I said.

It made sense in my head, cuz, y’know. Lawyers know stuff. To be fair though, we all averred that we didn’t hear the announcement, and were all unfamiliar with that train line.

No harm done though, because Jane was a saint and picked us up at the next station and we all went to meet up with Karen (top pic, center) who is Irish and fantastic and we were on our way! We stopped at a lovely cafe in Kyneton for coffee and eggs, though I neglected to get its name. Kyneton was quite delightful and pretty and I’d like to do a day trip there some time.

Once we got to Bendigo, we stopped at the Bendigo Woollen Mills first, natch, because their discount back room is a must. I bought a few small balls with lovely twisted colors, and a bag of pure wool filling, because they were practically giving it away. While Kate, Hal, Jeanette and I waited out the front for Jane and Karen to finish their purchasing, we ran into the gorgeous Jules of Woollenflower briefly, just long enough to say hello and exchange big happy hugs.

It was a lovely day. Sure, I usually love wet, miserable, gloomy days being a sun-allergic ginger and all, but it was the perfect compromise. It was sunny enough that it was lovely to be out and about, but cloudy enough that I didn’t feel like I was getting skin cancer at every turn. Because we went on the Friday, it didn’t seem that the aminals (deliberate spelling, don’t judge me, I just like saying ‘aminals’) were really on display as much as they were on the Saturday we went last year. Some sheepdogs were practicing, and there were some colored sheep in a tent. See that little guy on the right? Oy, I fell in love him. His little face was so adorable it would break your heart and stick it back together with cuteness. Not even joking. I couldn’t really get the best picture because of the fence and my camera has personal dramas. Also, I didn’t want to blind the poor schnookums with a flash, so that’s the best I could do.
Also, I had bitterness with adulthood when I saw they had a bouncy castle. I don’t care for Shrek so much, but BOUNCY CASTLES make my heart sing. When I called the WAHmbulance, I was promptly informed by a number of individuals that it’s possible to hire adult bouncy castles, to which my response was “THIS DOESN’T HELP ME BECAUSE THERE ISN’T ONE HERE RIGHT NOW, KTHNXBAI.” I had to restrain myself from lecturing the children through the mesh windows: “Enjoy it while it lasts, kid! One day you’ll be too big! TOO BIG FOR BOUNCY CASTLES, you hear me!? And you’ll never be able to go back! Because people don’t EVER hire adult bouncy castles. You got it!?” Thankfully for everyone’s sake I managed to keep my inner old man to myself. (Meanwhile, do you guys need to enforce a “caps quota” on me? Eek.) But I digress…

Kylie of Ms.Gusset Yarns and Fibers was there, with crazy amounts of beautiful cormo yarn from the Ton of Wool project you may have seen on Pozible. I didn’t buy any because my budget was already spoken for at this point, but I’ll tell you what, I was super tempted! Kate and Hal bought some and were very happy. If you go to the ms.gusset Ravelry group, you can find all the relevant linkies and buy some o’ dat yarn!

Now, this was my FAVORITE thing EVER at Bendigo. I practically lost my mind at the Stranded In Oz stall. I really can’t even articulate it, it was just overwhelming. Just something about the colors, and the yarns, and the pattern samples just made me all spinny. The Wizard of Oz references also made me heart explode. Kate and Hal bought some of the sparkly yarn in the lower left and I bought some twisted green yarn called “Toe Toe” . Geesh. It’s like it was made for me and waiting for me the whole time. The lady who ran it was an absolute delight also, so you know my inner dialogue was “HERE, TAKE MY ALL OF MONEY!” So, please, please, please do go check out her website here and the Stranded In Oz Ravelry group too. Caps again. Oy. I’m so ashamed of myself.

We had a little debrief before we left and I snapped some of our purchases. There’s my Stranded In Oz ‘Toe Toe’ in the middle there. I’m kvelling just looking at it now. I think everyone was super happy with their efforts, though I’m sure we all would have liked bigger budgets. There’s always next year.

Jeanette, Hal, Kate and I were all dropped at the station to go our separate way, and unfortunately, we got there with a long wait to go. Never mind! We all started knitting of course! First we decided to add up how many kilometers we’d bought each. I bought 2.25 kilometers of yarn, and I had the least. To avoid the risk of incrimination, I won’t say how much the others bought ^_~ Look how proud and happy Hal looks! N’awww! I heart those peeps. Finally we all got home, and I pretty much crashed as soon as I walked through the door. I was plum tuckered out! But, aren’t those the best days when you have so much fun you’re completely demolished when you get home? I think so!

Did you go to the Bendigo Sheep and Wool Show? What yarny/crafty festivals do you go to in your area? Sharezies!

Spock Hat. Dunzo. Classes. I Haz ‘Em.

Gentle reader,

Are you peeps ready for some SRS BSNS!? (that’s excited text speak for ‘serious business’)

The Spock Hat is finished and photographed! Y’all should give your thanks to The Beard, because he’s been sick and he was on his way to work, but I pulled him outside and made him model it for me before I’d let him leave. “Enough’s enough!” I said to myself. “This needed to be done, like, months ago!”.

And so, I present you with an earflap beanie of the Spock variety. BLAM!

Also, get a load of The Beard’s beard! That’s impressive.

To do the ear detailing, I just did a surface slip stitch in a darker yarn. It turned out pretty well, I think.

“Live long and prosper.”

So Vulcan, so chic.

Well, that’s that done! Finally! I had intended to write the pattern as I made it, but at some point I realized I’d stopped making notes and it was all over. Oh well.

In some housekeeping news, I’ve added a section for my class dates! So, if you’re in la Bourne du Mel (that’s Frenchie for ‘Melbourne’) you can totally come sit with me and I’ll show you how to crochet! Fun times!

Just clicketty-clack in the handy-dandy nav bar, and you can sign yourself up for some crafty education. Hurray!

What’s the nerdiest thing you’ve ever crafted!? Bonus points for posting pics on the Facebook page! ^_~

 

Confession: I’m A Jared Flood FanBoy

Gentle crochet hooks,

You’ve probably noticed lately that we haven’t seen much of each other.  And when we have seen each other it was in my crochet classes, so it was almost a case of keeping up appearances and showing a united front to the world. It’s not that I don’t love you anymore. I do! I always will. But, I think we need to see other crafts. In fact, I’ve been spending more and more time with the knitting needles that live in the other pencil case. We get along so well; it’s new and exciting. I’m always learning new things about them.

Darling crochet hooks… I love you, more than you will ever know. I’m just not IN love with you right now. I know that we’ll stay the best of friends, forever. You were my first love so you’ll always be a part of my life, and you can never be replaced. I just need to see where things go with knitting and me.

Yours forever (truly!),
Raynie

Gentle reader,

As y’all know, I LOVE crochet. And I’m far better at it than I am with knitting. But, you might have noticed that I’ve been knitting more and more lately. Knitting to me is still so new and exciting. I love that I’ve barely scratched the tip of the iceberg, I love seeing my stitches getting neater and more even, and I love that there are still techniques I haven’t yet tackled. It’s exciting to me to throw myself in the deep end and see what happened. That’s what I did with the Fenimore cabled tam by Jared Flood. And while making that tam, I fell in love with cables and I feel in love with Jared Flood’s designs.

I have a confession to make. I’m a Jared Flood fanboy. Not even ashamed.

Ever since then I’ve browsed his Ravelry designer page and oogled his designs trying to figure out which one to tackle next. Whenever a friend has some Brooklyn Tweed, I make crazed grabby hands to give it a squish. My Rav queue is littered with his patterns. Well, after driving myself to distraction with an unprecedented list of obligation knitting, I just HAD to cast something on for myself, just something to break up the cuz-I-have-to knitting to keep me sane. And I remembered that my totes amazing friend, Jules of Woollen Flower, had gifted me Terra, a J-Flood (as I now refer to him) shawl pattern, and feverishly ran to my computer and started printing it out. I dug around in my multiple yarn caches like some wild animal for some delish anonymous-backroom-specials-bin yarn from Bendigo Woolen Mills (where did I put it? When did I see it last? Was it still in the bag?) that was perfect and got to it! BLAM!

I love the yarn so much! It smells properly delicious, and the colors are completely cray-to-the-azy, but kind of subtly cray. I like subtly cray.

Here it is laid out so far. This part is super easy. It’s knit from the center out towards the edge, so I don’t get to the patterned charted bits until I get near the end. So, right now, it’s super chilled and relaxing, and then it’ll end with excitement plus!

Here you can see the crazy mess of colors and the ridged pattern repeats. I’m super stoked with how the colors are coming out. Because it’s knit in a thicker yarn and the lace pattern is pretty low key, I’m hoping I can wear it highwayman stylee and pull it off. We shall see!

So, I promised y’all some legit craftiness. I’ve got more too, but the Spock hat is proving more difficult to photograph than I’d expected, and all the socks and mitts I want to wait until I have finished pairs. But, watch this space!

Do you occasionally cheat on your main craft? Or are you a monogamous crafter? Sharezies!