I was so lucky to have my excellent friend Sara-Jane (a recent crochet convert!) join me on the road trip with her equally excellent son (the very knit-worthy Arty). We hit the road around midday on Saturday and I was fairly bursting with excitement. The weather looked like it was going to be cold and crisp and delicious (this is a lie, it was hot once we got there please see below, LIESKY).
Our first stop was at the Bendigo Woollen Mills, I was very restrained and only grabbed one ball here, but I loved running around with Arty as he marvelled over "ALL THE COLOURS!" in the back room. Sara-Jane did a decent stash enhancement with 3 balls.
Then it was back in the car and off to the Show. We arrived and had our first bonus of the day, free parking! it was about 2.30pm by this stage so the parking people were shutting down and took pity on us, hooray! I admit I suddenly became a bit nervous that the show was finishing at 3 and not 5 as I'd imagined (always check BEFORE the 2 hour drive Katie) but it was fine and in we went.
We started from the far end, and watched a little bit of sheep dog jumping, but it was a bit too far away for toddler eyes, so we moved on to the sheds. So many lovely hand carved wooden things, and amazing books stitched from felt and sheepskin and other interesting textures. These sheds were a bit too packed for me so we headed on up to the sheep (with a quick stop for some poffertjes on the way past).
Sheep! They were so squishy and soft and gentle and stinky. I have issues with the way they were penned up all day in a stuffy shed, literally on top of each other for some of them, but I understand that they are fed and watered and it's a necessary part of the commerce for these farmers.
It was also a great way to get up close and personal to see the difference in the wool between breeds. Arty liked them too and was even brave enough to get up close to the noisy sheep in the crowded cage.
Enough with the sheep! Time for their by-products. I was pretty restrained, since it was a surprise trip I hadn't saved for weeks and weeks, so just 3 skeins came home with me, but I love them so much.
Time to hop in the car and head back to Melbourne. We were about 15 minutes outside of Bendigo when we realised we didn't have a snack, or presents! So we decided to take a quick trip off the main road and headed to Maldon. Maldon is gorgeous! We secretly enjoyed Maldon more than the show which was not quite what I expected.
There was a train! For climbing! Arty was pretty happy (honestly, I was pretty excited too).
We had a delicious little picnic and a run around in the park and finally got a chance to wear all the woollies we'd packed as the chill had properly set in. I ate the best chocolate chip cookie I've ever purchased.
Then we jumped back in the car for another hour or two filled with singalongs, shushing from Arty and a bit of crocheting by me (my new yarn craft, more on that later).
All in all I'm really glad we went, because I can finally say I've been, but I don't think it'll be an annual thing for me, maybe once every few years?