Bendigo Sheep and Wool Show
The annual Australian Sheep and Wool Show in Bendigo is in it’s 139th year (15 years in Bendigo) and is the largest event of it’s type in the world. With a reputation like that I’ve been intending to visit for years but have never made it. Last Friday, I joined two friends, Michelle and Carole, to spend a wonderful day wandering around, not to mention shopping.
Both of my friends have visited the show in previous years and it was their recommendation that we go on the Friday for a couple of reasons. For one thing, the show gets very busy on the weekend. There were plenty of people around on the Friday but we were still able to see everything without rudely elbowing or way through. The other reason was that some vendors run low on stock towards the end of the weekend. If you’re looking for a particular item or colour, visiting on the Friday is the way to go.
The first hall we entered hosted a fashion parade twice a day. The morning and afternoon fashion parades are different. We found seats which offered a good view of the runway and armed ourselves with coffee. What we hadn’t bargained for was women edging around our seating and virtually standing in front of us. By wriggling a bit, we did manage to see most of the parade. This year’s theme for the parade was May Gibbs so there were lots of gum nut inspired creations.
After the parade, we moved from colourful stall to colourful stall admiring the beautiful tops, rovings, batts (all used for spinning or felting), yarn and equipment. You could argue that I have plenty of alpaca fleece at home just waiting to be washed, carded, spun, perhaps dyed and knitted. And I do have lots of fleece. But the were so many gorgeous colours that I couldn’t resist! It was hard to stop with what I did purchase. A couple of items are ready to knit but the rest needs spinning or felting.
There were plenty of food stalls for lunch which was eaten sitting on hay bales. After lunch, more halls/marquees awaited. Finally we’d browsed everything we wanted to see and i was surprised to find that it was spot on 5pm! And we didn’t even visit the sheep!
Each year, I usually go to the Craft and Quilt Show at Jeff’s Shed in Melbourne. This year, I don’t need to go. The wool show met my every need. I had a wonderful time as it was more geared to what I’m interested in. Going with two friends made the day even more enjoyable. Whoever said that knitting is dead, hasn’t visited this wool show. Knitting (felting etc) is very much alive and well. I’ll definitely go back to the show next year.