home sweet home

is it a sign of old age do you think, that while i enjoy travelling and being away, i am always so happy to get home? i did have a great time in bendigo, and was very comfortable in the little house that jody chose, with my room mates yarna and bells, but there is nothing quite like the feeling of your own soft bed, your own comfy house, and your own warm dogs. i missed them quite a lot actually, so much so that i nearly tripped over myself to pat a puppy walking the streets of kyneton.

on that note, how lovely is rural victoria? i have not spent a lot of time in that part of the world, so was really glad that bells and i had hired a car and could take our time getting up to bendigo. which we did. bells took me to her favourite coffee spot in daylesford (it was very good) and then we took a number of wrong turns to find the chocolate mill, but find it we did. then we drove through castlemain and a whole heap of rain before landing in bendigo itself. i never knew it was such a huge town, and it took me a while to get oriented, but theres nothing quite like driving around looking for a supermarket to get you familiar with a place. we spent our first night in with pizza and wine and chocolate and knitting and were off to a pretty good start!

thursday morning we headed off to bendigo woollen mills.

i know you can buy their stuff online but i really wanted to check out all those colours that a shade card can never do justice to. and i heard tell of the famous ‘back room’ which did have some very good bargains, including this lovely baby pure wool 3 ply in ‘holly’:

i bought 12 x 50g balls which is more than enough to make a long flowing drapey ‘adrift’ cardigan.  at $3 a ball, that is a steal!

when we were done here, we headed into the centre of town to look for coffee. i had done some research on this matter before embarking and was keen to try a little place called the dispensary, which was tucked up a gorgeous little laneway, a la melbourne. this was really the find of the trip for me. we came here three times, for coffee and lemon tarts, for hot chocolate (the best one ive had since florence) and cocktails on thursday night

and for a truly amazing breakfast on saturday morning. even though im not a drinker anymore, i like all the stuff that goes with it, especially good service, and they never put a foot wrong here.

cant recommend it highly enough!

friday was the show day, and i really tried to be calm about my approach here. i didnt know what to expect, and i had list of potential projects to buy for, and was determined not to be distracted by one off skeins of brightly coloured sock yarn or lucious lace weight i didnt need. and i wasnt. i couldnt find exactly what i was after, which was enough of an alpaca blend (in other words, kid classic without the mohair) to make a bruegel with. i settled instead for quite a lot of some pear tree yarn

that was labelled 8ply but might be closer to 10, in a lovely soft grey. it was in a bargain box for $10 a skein and i think it normally retails for around $20. it might not become a bruegel, but i am working up to making something with some very delicate vine-like cables (having never cabled before) so i think this will be perfect.  and a nice change for next year after all the lightweight cardis this season. on the way home yesterday we stopped in kyneton where there was a very good yarn store and i bought some buttons to go with the pear tree yarn.

a nice combination! also at the show i managed to snaffle the one and only (when i got there) skein of collinette jitterbug in vatican pie (see, red sock yarn!)

and i also bought 3 skeins from tarndwarncoort, two polwarth/silk for gifts, and one just straight polwarth for me in a darker grey than the featherweight yarn,

this time for a pi shawl. and that is all. grey and red. two cardigans, socks and a shawl. not bad.

now, this was my first time at the show and i didnt know what to expect, and i had a terrific time and was totally glad i went. however, as i walked around, i could not shake the impression that i have been spoiled. almost all of the indie dyers have an online presence. i knew of most of them already, and have bought from some online before and probably will again. there was nothing that i felt i would die if i didnt have, and there were times i put things back because i didnt need them right now and i knew i could get them online in the future. i thought about all the amazing top quality yarns we can now get from all over the world, because of the internet, and i realised how far my knitting has come, in that i am only interested in buying stuff i know i will use or need for specific projects. so even though there was a lot of lovely pretty things there that caught my eye, i came away with ONLY what i knew for sure i would use. does that count for Growth As A Knitter, do you think?

it was an interesting trip in other ways as well. for a lot of people, ‘bendigo’ is about the socialising, and you know i mentioned i wasnt good in crowds, but i had a great time with the terrific people i travelled with or already knew (bells and knitabulous and randomknits and knitterjp and yarna and lyns), and i went some lovely new people that i had only heard of, and finally put some faces to names, which was a lot of fun!

i really do think im getting old though, because if i go again, i would do a few things differently, and would spend more time looking at other things in the area, and enjoying the local produce, and chilling out with mates. one of the real highlights was a short stop on the way out of town to look at the lovely Sacred Heart Catholic Cathedral:

it didnt seem out of place at all in bendigo, and was a lovely quiet way to say goodbye.

oh, and while i might not fly tigerairways again (tinsheds for terminals giving new meaning to the term ‘cattle class’), all that downtime in airports is great for getting some knitting done, see?!:

and now, i must go empty out my google reader and see what everyone else has been up to!

k xx

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About DrK

researcher, knitter, dog lover View all posts by DrK

18 responses to “home sweet home

  • sue

    Your yarn looks gorgeous and the Pear Tree yarn does seem to be a bargain. I was going to go but with my arm playing up so badly I didnt want to drive for too long so I skipped it this year. Perhaps next year I can go. I think you are right with all the wonderful goodies we can buy online, we are spoilt!

  • Rose Red

    I think you purchased very sensibly – much more so than I did last year – definitely GAAK, I reckon! And those buttons – what a perfect match!

  • justthreadtwiddling

    What a wonderful excursion. I am quite envious. I don’t do crowds well either, but am working up the courage to try a few local events.
    I’m quite sure your canines were glad to get you back and I hope they didn’t pout or punish you for leaving. 😉

  • Donna

    I feel completely exhausted today! I’m getting old, I think 😉

  • kgirlknits

    those buttons are beautiful – a perfect compliment to the colour of the yarn!

    sounds like you had a wonderful time.

  • bells

    nice round up! You captured all the best bits!

  • 2paw

    I am so glad you found some red sock wool: sometimes it is hard to find something if you really desire it.
    Lots of lovely wool and lovely friends and lovely food, sounds like a very good time!!
    I have never travelled very far, I like my home and have to pat dogs even up the road at the shops!!!!

  • Sarah

    What a great trip it sounds, beautiful purchases and I always think one of the best things of being away is that you appreciate home afresh

  • gidgetknits

    Brilliant – that red yarn!!!! Red socks!

  • amy

    I tend to shop for projects now too. It’s just practicality, and the fact that I have an awful lot of yarn already.

    As I get ready for my first “vacation” in several years, I’ve considered that I don’t actually like leaving home much. I’m hoping that changes as the kids get older and I’m not responsible for three people (and their stuff) while traveling, instead of only my own. What I really secretly want is a proper vacation devoid of all responsibility (and on which someone else cuts up the fruit for ME for a change), and that’s not coming for years and years yet.

    I’ve been looking forward to everyone’s Bendigo posts!

  • missfee

    oh the pear tree – I forgot about them – it is so delicious to knit with

    what a great time – and the church is gorgeous – did you go to the gallery at all?

  • donna lee

    I don’t like crowds either, but somehow it looks like it’s ok when you have someone else with you.

    It sounds like you guys did it right. Having a place to stay and be quiet seems to be the ticket.

    Oh, and the sock looks gorgeous!

  • Tam

    True about the internet, hey? I know what you mean. Was nice to meet some of the people in person, though. Sounds like you and the Gang had loads of fun!

  • shellauw

    Oh wow! What amazing scores, and it looks like it was a fantastic adventure too! (And those buttons…)

    *sigh*

    I’m so glad I get to live vicariously through some awesome photos. Thanks for sharing the adventure. 😉

  • Melissa

    It was lovely to meet you! I feel the same about the online indie dyers and I put a lot of stuff back too.

  • Annie

    Your trip to Bendigo looks great by all the stories and pictures you have. Your stash enhancing is very nice and I love those buttons, they really match the yarn well.

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