It seems like no time at all has passed since I was in Bendigo for the annual Australian Sheep and Wool show. As a first timer, my expectations were only limited by the stories told to me of others who had ventured forth in bygone years.
For the uninitiated, the Bendigo Sheep and Wool show is the premier fiber crafting event in Australia. Oh, they show livestock (sheep, unsurprisingly) as well, but we all know the wool and fibre is where the action is at. Cottage industry dyers and yarns stores alike flock (get it) to Bendi to sell their wares to the punters who seeking to stock up on a favourite product or hunt out new dyers, fibres and notions.
Cool things about the show:
- NO SIDESHOW ALLEY … and your showbags are what you buy from the Vendors. In addition to the fiber and related crafters there was several coffee vans (us crafty types seem to be confessed caffeine addicts too), food vendors, clothing and machinery for farm types and a few fashion parades.
- Petting zoo. Sure, it was aimed at children, but some of us bigger kids were allowed in too. I was a little overjoyed by the site of a ginger baby rabbit, so much so, I’m considering a pet rabbit at some point in the future.
For the first timer, here are my top five tips for visiting Spendigo:
- Set a generous budget, Stick to your budget.
- If you see something you looove, buy it right away, or it will be gone by the time you come back.
- Wear shoes and clothes you’re happy to get muddy (if the weather is bad)
- Unless you’re specifically shopping for a particular project you’re wanting to start soon, don’t waste your Bendi Budget on commercially produced yarn. Seriously, you can get that any
- Go on the Friday to maximise your chances of scoring your dream loot. Saturday is a super busy day, and by Sunday afternoon, there are slim pickings to be had.
Three of my dear friends from Brisbane flew down to Melbourne and travelled out to Bendigo with me for the week. For each of us, it was our first time attending the show, and collectively, we got more than a little excited. Fibre, yarn, accessories were purchased in abundance. This image shows what five people bought – my personal haul is everything lined up in front of, and including, the first two bags on the left. Don’t ask me how much I spent.