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!

The Loch Village Quilt And Craft Festival

Gentle reader,

This weekend past I was fortunate enough to attend the Loch Village Quilt and Craft Festival. The committee that organizes it had seen my interview in the Sunday Age and invited me to attend as a “featured artist”. My dear friend Judith and her husband Charlie and I went down on the Saturday and stayed at the Royal Hotel in Loch before setting up a table at the festival on the Sunday.

Loch is a beautiful little spot to the south-east of Melbourne. It’s surrounded by picturesque hills and quaint little buildings. Sybil, the lady who saw my article and invited me was so sweet and generous, and went to so much trouble to make me feel welcome. I sold a few things, gave out some cards and got to chat to some really lovely people like Megan from Can Do Books, the ladies from Sunspun yarn store and Kay from Kay’s Artycles.

Unfortunately, this wonderful weekend was preceded by our house being broken into earlier in the week, and they stole my camera! So, I couldn’t take any pics, but luckily Judith snapped some for me.

You can see one of Judith's dolls in the background in the upper left. And stinky ol' me to the right. O hai!

Lessons Learns From Having A Market Table/Being A “Featured Artist”

  • Being on display or being made the center of attention is nerve-wracking and awkward and makes me really anxious. This seems completely stupid since I used to act and sing on stage. Oy. But, I kinda knew this.
  • Peeps are surprised to see a guy crocheting (but, surprised pleasantly most of the time). I kinda already knew this too.
  • No one laughed at my prices. This is reassuring! And I got some great compliments!
  • As a result of the nerves and anxiety of the first point, I start saying weird things that I’ve never ever said before, like answering questions in the affirmative with “Yeah, yep!”. Who says that!? I do apparently. Eugh.
  • If I keep selling things, it will defs be an online affair. Etsy? I’ma do it!
Pics courtesty of Judith, 'cuz she's wonderful.

It was such a great experience, and I’m so grateful for the opportunity and it was definitely worth it. Though, it did really reinforce for me why this malarky is called “The Shy Lion”. I’m much more at home doing business at a desk. I should work on that though. There are so many great peeps out there and I wanna meet ’em and craft with ’em!

As for the break-in, well, I don’t want this to become a place to vent some drama, but it was pretty upsetting! It’s the second time; we were broken into before Christmas too. At the end of the day, it’s just stuff, though not having a decent camera will make blogging a bit difficult. But, these things were sent to try us, and we must rise above!

How was your weekend? Have you set up a table at the markets before? How’d it go?

– R