A change in fortune and schedule has led me to make a couple of small trips in the last little while… I was lucky enough to be invited to one of the lovely Sooz‘s craftcamps with a contingent of women who completely blew me away with their respective talents and capacity for laughter, storytelling, pattern writing, pastry-making, abstract patterning, multi-tasking, frog-catching and producing incredible amounts of beautifully sewn garments! I was humbled by the experience. Thanks to you all!
And last weekend, my friend Kylie had a stall at the Bothwell Spin-In and I went along to help sell her lovely hand-dyed yarn and fibre. Held in the tiny highland town of Bothwell in Tasmania, this biennial event has been going for 33 years and is a lovely meeting and merging of small-scale fibre and yarn producers, craftspeople, farmers interested to see what sells and (excuse the cliche) husbands tinkering with handmade gadgets designed to make crafting more enjoyable ; )
We were blessed in being invited to stay with the Downie family at Dungrove, the original developers of the Cormo sheep!! Man, what an amazing honour. They were incredibly generous and patient, answering all our questions about the breed and its development in the late 1950’s, and graciously held back from teasing us about how little we really knew about “tender” fleeces, wool classing and sending fleece to America by Australia Post!
We took some of their fleeces to the Spin-In to show the attendees, because, despite the fact that the Cormo was developed ten kilometres up the road, many had never heard of the breed or tried spinning or knitting with its fibre… in fact, most Australians haven’t. The softness and spring that are characteristic of the Cormo make it very popular in other parts of the world- so most of the Downie’s fleeces are shipped out to be turned into socks. We should be using it here… so Kylie is working on a plan. Keep an eye out on her website!
And another trip coming up in a couple of months is our inaugural Knit Camp! After my friend Amy and I went to the UK Knit Camp in Scotland last August, we kept wondering why Australia didn’t have its own knitting camp… so a few of us have organized one! Just a little one for 22 people. No teachers this time- just skill-sharing and time out to knit together. It is already full- and so we are planning another, all things going well! It is going to be big and beautiful. And without all the chaos of the UK version. So keep an eye out and save your pennies because we’d love you to come along…