About this blog

A blog about the meanderings of a craft designer and hand maker living in a beautiful island at the end of the earth....I'm a weaver addicted to her little Ashford Knitters Loom, a crocheter, knitter, painter, gardener and grandma. Rowena lives in Tasmania - a world apart, not a world away!

Craft is a social activity, shaped by communal resources and motivations. Leonardo Bonanni and Amanda Parkes Virtual guilds : collective intelligence and the future of craft JMC vol 3, no 2 July 2010 pp. 179-190

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Back from BENDO - TOTT

Well what can I say - it was just FABULOUS and much more betterer than last year. The 133rd Australian Sheep and Wool Show should be called the Wool and Sheep Show as it seemed to me that the woolcraft has about taken over.  We must always pay tribute to the sheep as after all, without their efforts we wouldn't have such stunning fibres to work with!  The BL below was exhausted (counting sheep perhaps ?) and so was I after a whole day at the Bendigo Showgrounds.

Hello to Ewe Too !
Just exhausting being the feature at this year's Bendi !

Last year we were positively falling over Tassies but last weekend, couldn't find any Tassie sheep, but the fleece had some good representation.  Grum only saw one local and that was at the feeding line!

Forton, Epping Forest
Andrew Nicholson, Campbell Town
 Alpacas were out in force too - there is   no doubt that this versatile animal has found a home amoung the gum trees!

With over 300 exhibitors, the woolcraft pavillions were packed with crafters demonstrating, dyeing, batting, weaving, spinning, knitting and displaying their wonderful wares.  The Fashion Parades even stopped the fellas in their tracks.  I cannot believe the creativeness that abounds in fibre.   There was some good tucker too and the sheepdogs were having a ball in the centre arena.

What did I come home with ?      A kilo of beautiful autumn-toned dyed in the fleece Romney x Finn from Lesley Rorke's Wooleebaa Farm that I have already dusted off the spinning wheel to try.  Finn Sheep seem to be the next big thing for niche producers with these long-wool baas producing multiple babies each drop and giving up a fine fleece of around 22 micron.   John and Lucy Edwards from Creswick, Victoria have Finns and Alpacas and John gave me a great overview of Finns in Australia.

I also got some finn x yarn in a lovely russet colourway from Suzi Horne, artist and wool producer.  Her hand painted millspun yarns were gorgeous! 

Shiloh Wool from the Bellarine Penninsula near Geelong had their Silky Wool on offer.  This is spun in New Zealand for them and has been treated by a CSIRO-developed process to stretch and set the fibres, resulting in a fibre that looks and feels like silk.  Available in spun hanks and tops, the hand-painted colours are amazing!  Not online, but you'll find them in the local directories.  I bought 2 skeins of "confetti" which I will weave with Tasmanian Superfine Merino to become a gorgeous scarf.

From Jarob Farm I purchased 500 g of soft millspun corriedale in a caramel colour.  Still with stocks spun at Meskills (now sadly closed) Kyneton Spinning Mill, the ladies were generous with their time and knowledge.

Wooldancer had their artisan hand dyed yarns on display and many other exhibitors were batting, balling and hanking.  EGMTK was hosting the Strauch Family from the USA with their drum carders, ball winders, swifts etc. Otto and Joanne's son was sitting there going like the clappers spinning a lovely yarn on his wheel and loving it too!  The future - yes indeed Otto! I  found a boat shuttle at  Christine's Glenora Weaving and admired the zany art of Conni Togel's Sheep Incognito.   Next I chatted with some Ravelry Guys and Gals who were all so welcoming to a Tassie girl.  I was disappointed that I could not make the dinner or brekkie this year, here's hoping for 2011!  You are all so friendly, helpful and taa for the discount! xxxxx (rowenajo @ ravelry.com)
Then Teresa at  Dairing shared with me!  What an innovative and savvy lot you guys are and so wonderful to talk with.  The range of fibres on offer I could not resist, coming home with some Habu Textiles yarns - the recycled linen, some of the tres unique viscose sizing and a ball of Teresa's own denim cotton.  It was sooo hard to choose - I could have bought the shop! 

Funds depleted, I went round again !  

THANK YOU to everyone who chatted to me.  THANK YOU to everyone who inspired me.  We'll be back again next year...I might even put in an entry for the woolcraft......

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