Monday, 18 May 2009

The Old Bus Depot Markets or Where All My Money Went Yesterday

The 'Celebration of Wool' day at Canberra's Old Bus Depot Markets is now an annual event and one the yarn lovers amongst us build up to with great anticipation. It's held in a great big tin shed that, funnily enough, used to be a bus depot. I don't know when. Certainly not in my (adult) lifetime.

The markets are on every week but they have periodic 'events' where the focus shifts onto something like wool (and other fibres), or other things. I don't know what things. I only get excited about the Celebration of Wool Day. And of course, it is de rigueur to wear something you have made. There were cardigans, scarves, socks and shawls galore and Ravellers from Sydney to boot!

Old Bus Depot Markets Wool Day May 09

I was reflecting after the event that I can remember the first time I went to the wool day and how far I've come since then. I went along with a friend the year I started knitting seriously. 2004. I was utterly overwhelmed. For a girl who'd grown up on a diet of Patons yarns, all this stuff that seemed not so far from the sheep's back was a bit scary.

I remember seeing hanks of wool that still had bits of twig or grass in them and I wondered 'why don't people clean it up?' Sure, we don't seek out the twigs and grass, but sometimes that's charming isn't it? We love to be a little nearer to the paddock, don't we?

Now of course I know differently. We don't go there to buy the stuff you can buy in shops. We go there to celebrate the people who produce this stuff and bring it straight from their farms or dye pots or spinning wheels. There are days I really, really wish I could smell because I reckon being around all that earthy stuff must smell SO GOOD.

Anyway, onto the day. I met up promptly with a couple of friends. They spent some time deliberating over the stunning Polwarth yarn from a very, very gorgeous farmer called Tom who had some members of our crew all aflutter. He hails from Tarndwarncoort Polwarth Yarns. (No photo of the hot farmer on the site, sadly but you can admire his sheep!)

Kylie and Shelley shopping for yarn
Kylie and Shelley and the Polwarth.

Pretty much from that point, it was on for young and old. Sometimes, as much as I love going to these things with my friends, it's all so crazy and my mind becomes a whirligig and the next thing I know, I emerge blinking into daylight, realising I spent a tidy sum on some seriously lovely stuff. A few minutes even on my own might help me a little with that whirligiginess!

But I'm not complaining, because I emerged with some beautiful yarn. Like this stunning purple alpaca silk laceweight yarn from Glenora. I remembered these people from last year and knew that they would hold my attention again this year. Oh boy, did they ever. I was restrained, I think.

Glenora Weaving Alpaca Silk

I only bought two of those skeins - one in purple and one in red. Well, why wouldn't you?

Glenora Weaving Alpaca Silk

From the same people I got some merino to spin. Not for me, this spinning thing (at least not at the moment). No no, this lovely pretty merino below, called Shiraz (oh, so me) is going to cross land and sea and be spun by Julie. She offered. She said, get something and I'll spin it and send it back to you.

Glenora Weaving Merino - Shiraz

Ok. Sure. Why not. I'm not silly. I know a good deal when I hear one! When she gets it, we'll discuss what it'll be spun into. 250g worth. Yummy.

So that was pretty much it. I also bought some gifts but they obviously can't be posted.

There really aren't enough hours in the day, are there?