Oz sheep and wool show, part 2

G'day all!

(Part 2 - part one was bouncing about winnings :-)

On Friday last I was up and at it bright and early - a kind raveller and local SnBer offered to take me up to the Australian Sheep and Wool Show in Bendigo. (She even brought me back home the next day!) We had to make a nice early start to give us the most time at the the woollen mill and the the show.

I have to say I had a lovely time wandering around. My emphasis is on fleece and spinning stuff when I go to a fibre fair. I can get lovely yarn at many places but spinning stuff is harder to come by (though I do have a most brilliant guild with a fleece room and excellent spinning supplies).

We stopped off at the Bendigo Woollen Mills first, site of the fabled Back Room. The back room has the closeouts and discontinued yarns and seconds and bags of laps and felting stuff. It has some good stuff there. I tried to show a little restraint and came out with:

a bit over a kilo of white machine washable laps (they are really white, the pink is my jacket reflected on the plastic bag)


10 balls of 5ply (sportweight) in Royal Blue

and four little balls of 2ply (laceweight) in girly girly colours.

Next we were off to the show! Hooray! We quickly found out that unemployed people like us don't get a concession entry, only pensioners do. Boo hiss!

After that small hiccup, we were off and running or in my case shambling. I had a lovely time talking to various peoples along the way. I met people like Mandy from Ewe Give Me the Knits for the first time ever (she's tall! Didn't expect her to be so tall 8-), caught up with Charly from Ixchelbunny, Kylie from MsGusset, Maureen the Finnsheep lady (who is a few months out from her own breast cancer treatment), the Dennises (polwarth sheep), Sarah Durrant (local Colinette yarn rep), oh all sorts of people. For someone who isn't a people person, my god I talked and talked and talked and talked. And the best thing? I still had a voice at the end of the day. It was as bad at the end of the day as it was at the start but it still made sound.

Something that tickled me pink was discovering these sheep:



Those are Dorset Downs sheep.

Earlier this year, I was looking at Deb Robson's blog. I met her when we lived in Colorado and I've been following her blog since then. She has been working on a big project to do with spinning various fleeces. One fleece she had been unable to find was Dorset Down.

So I tracked some down (ahem) for her from a chap in NZ. Now if only it had been about three months later, I could've gotten some from a very nice ex-dean of pharmacy at one of my alma maters. We had a lovely chat and when I saw where he had taught, I asked if he knew my FiL. Yes, yes he does. Well small world! Anyway, I'll see if I can get some fleece for ME from him. Downs fleece is used for woollen spun (as opposed to worsted) but isn't used that much by handspinners or industry these days. My informant tells me it is used in woollen insulation batts and also in carpets to give them more bounce and spring - the fleece is very springy, which is why it is good in woollen spun yarn. It holds a lot of air because the crimp stops each fibre from sitting closely with its neighbour (much like brushing out curly hair - it goes afro).

But it was interesting to see the sheep.

I admit I had been at the show for a couple of hours before I remembered I should go and look at the woolcraft section, see how my entries went. I also admit to hardly looking at any of the displays cos a) I was looking for my stuff too much and b) I was pretty tired even then.

So what did I get?

Well, this is part A of the stash report as I have not yet edited the pics of the fleece I bought. Yep, I managed to bring home a heap of stuff in someone else's small car. There's only one lot that I reckon I shouldn't have bought. The rest I am still very pleased with.

A couple of good hunks of purply tops from the Yarn Barn. This is the stuff I probably shouldn't have bought. How much purple do I really need?


Some Optim tops and three little hanks of yarn from Shiloh Wool. (They really need a proper website.)


This yarn is totally awesome to feel - so very soft! It is a blend of silk and optim. It is also very me colours.


(Those are the same tops, just different shots)

Happy lurid bright merino/bunny/tencel tops from Ixchelbunny. It was good to see she is back in good form again after her recent problems.



Just as happy and bright and lurid tops from EGMTK (note one has a blend of black bamboo!)

Mandy now can blend her own tops with a big commercial comber. I am totally gobsmacked at how her business has gone ahead from three years ago, when I foisted some of my unwanted tops on her. She was small time like me then and now is big time, plans to open a shop, is a distributor for Strauch and all! She deserves it too and I am very pleased for her.


Oh and I bought this totally lurid skein of sock yarn. It seems I have returned to my roots and gone nuts with COLOUR COLOUR COLOUR. I figure that it might not please other people but it sure pleases me and really? That is what matters!


Two skeins from the skanky hank box of MsGusset. The purply blue one took a couple of hours to untangle and ball up by hand, the other one after a good snapping is mostly untangled and should be pretty easy to wind now. One of these is going for a little trip across some water - can anyone guess which colour and to whom?



This fantastic Anna Zilboorg book from Can Do books. It was only $30, which is cheap for knitting books in Oz.


Finally, we have this lonely little hank of Jitterbug in Ischia from Sarah Durrant. I had stood there arguing with myself over buying either the mauve hank or the light green hank of Jitterbug, both of which were fairly solid colours and therefore good for knitting patterned socks, when I saw this hank and threw the other two back and grabbed this one. So much for my ideas of knitting fancy socks!

I have plenty more pics of sheep and wool to go yet! And a report on the Ravelry breakfast too. I just have to get pics edited and get my wherewithall together. Today I had to go have an MRI for the study I'm in. I'm glad to say it was not as traumatic as the last one but it hurt more - I managed to lay on the tray in such a way as to annoy the sinuses in my forehead and after 20 minutes or so was ready to get up and get out of there! But my cotton/bamboo cap helped muffle the awful alarm sounds that the MRI made for part of the scanning.

Yesterday I had to have doppler ultrasound on my legs to make sure the swelling and soreness I've got in my legs is not due to a blood clot. No, it isn't, it is Just Another Side Effect of Taxotere (JASET). I've got a few of those showing up now. It is giving me a case of the blahs cos a) it hurts, b) walking is hard and hurts a bit, c) I can only wear my slippers and my lace up boots, no other shoes fit anymore (just as well I bought them too big, eh?), d) bending over hurts and e) I can hardly get up when I crouch to pick something up. And don't ask about how much it hurts when I hit various of my fingernails. The ultrasound was interesting - he had to press on the main veins down my groin and then behind the knee and down the calf (very glad that the chemo has done a good hair removal job on me - I only have a few hairs left!). If the ultrasound probe pressure closes the vein, it is fine and doesn't have a clot. Some of the blood vessels did not close but they had thicker walls and are arteries - they are allowed not to close. I couldn't see the groin ones but from the knee down I had to sit up. It appears that I still have plenty of muscle in my calves - it was fascinating seeing their structure and the different layers of muscle with fascia separating them. And all the veins squished in a most satisfactory way. And it didn't hurt much. The ultrasonographer said that when people have cellulitis, the squishing is really painful. I can imagine, having had cellulitis in one leg. The results were good and the doc said that I should stay off my feet, put them up but also get up and walk around. Standing is bad. I showed her the action my spinning wheel requires for treadling and she said that is good (it wiggles my calves). Hooray! (And I might change back to my old doctors after this cancer treatment is done - I only went to the ones I see currently cos they were within walking distance of where I was living then.)

Tomorrow I go to have another mammogram and ultrasound and PET scan. Oh please may the results be good. This reactive lymph node is still freaking me out some. I get all the results on Tuesday and presumably will get more details of my surgery too.

Anyway, I have plenty to distract me, including not just one but two lovely parcels! I shall report back soon.



  1. Those rainbow bunny tops are super yummy! I probably should not admit to salivating over fiber, but seriously. :) Also, excellent choice on the mitten book, it is one of my all time favorites. I don't so much like knitting them from the top the way the patterns are written, but have used quite a few of the charts in my own bottom-up mittens. Good luck with all of your tests!!


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