Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Backtracking to Bendigo

What is it about the smell of fleece straight from the sheep's back, the sight of a beautifully spun skein of alpaca or  the prospect of getting into one's pyjamas at 8pm and bunking down for an evening of knitting, crocheting and general crafting, that can turn four 40 something women into a gang of giddy school girls? Well it's the Bendigo Sheep and Wool Show of course!

It was our second pilgrimage to the fair but last year we went for only a day and took our children with us. This resulted in a day of time "wasted" in the petting zoo and money that could have been spent on wool instead being spent (I'm thinking wasted), on sustenance for those said children. Sorry kids, next year, this is going to be a "mother's only, all weekend event".

And so aboard the V Line bus we climbed, knitting projects stuffed into an array of bags, the evening a loose end of craft, PJ's, wine and chatter! Whoohoo! My husband at this point is wondering if he has in fact married someone perhaps 30 years his senior, don't worry honey, we got wild!

The Bendigo Sheep and Wool show is an amazing union of the industry, from the breeders of the Western District in their mole skin pants, crisp white shirts and polar fleece vests, to the shearers, their children gathered around to watch their father's compete in the time old tradition of shearing with speed and accuracy. Then of course there are the "crafters", of which I proudly put myself along side. Those eccentric dears in their felted bunny ears and capes. Oh how I look forward to my own transformation one day as senility, eccentricty and wool come together.

And so it is a weekend of planning projects(and knitting), eating scones ( and knitting), sitting in the sun watching the sheep dog trials (and knitting). There are many conversations with all sorts of people from the shearing judges as they tuck into their midday Sunday roasts in the cantine, to the breeders who have come to nervously display their yarn and products from their land. It is an absolutely marvelous weekend but so much more special shared with friends whose lives came together because of our children, then turned to our mutual love of all things crafty to being women I will probably grow old with so treasured and forever. Looking forward to many more weekends in Bendigo.