Winter always has the power to bring me to my knees for the need to feel, touch and work with pure wool. How then could I resist the Yarn & Craft Market held at the Coburg Town Hall on Sunday the 29th of May 2016 just gone. The event, organised by the Hand Knitters Guild Victoria , can be hailed as a resounding success.
Enthusiasts were dutifully bent over hanks of pure wool ranging from alpaca to mohair and much more in between; touching, feeling, examining and no doubt letting their imaginations run wild about what they would do with that handful of pure pleasure.
The most warm and welcoming feel-good moment for me was when I stood in front of a stall of outrageous tea cosies, a beautiful shawl, meticulously and finely crocheted gorgeous milk jug covers with crocheted blooms dripping off the edge of them, and more.
Manned by twin sisters who obviously had a lot of imagination, judging by the handmade goodies at their stall; it was stiff competition between the warmth of the wool and the warmth of their personality. They certainly made my day with their cheery demeanour.
From plump, large and huggable knitted hens to vintage buttons, pattern books, finely hand knitted and crocheted goods and more, this market had it all. Unless you're a hard core enthusiast, like me, you'd be looking at some of the equipment and wonder what their function was. Just check out the size of those circular knitting needles made with tubing and large timber ends (see 3rd last pic below). It's big enough to frighten you away if you were not familiar with the magic it could perform.
Check out their page for other 2016 Victorian events. The World Knit in Public Day on the 18th of June is one that is rolling along soon. You don't have to be a Guild member to go. They're planning to train it to the National Wool Museum in Geelong as they take the time to knit on the journey. Just take your knitting or crochet, bottle of water, and a sense of adventure. The ride will take approximately an hour and once there, you'll take part in knitting for the WARM project, enjoy lunch or afternoon tea at a local cafe/restaurant, before returning to Melbourne.
Meet up at 11am start at Southern Cross Station to catch the 11.10am train to Geelong or join the crew at connecting stations on the Melbourne-Geelong line and find them in the first carriage.
If you missed this event, watch out for their next one which comes around next year in 2017. It's certainly worth attending. This annual market is a big one for the Guild who showcase small yarn producers, indie dyers from around Victoria and more. It's also a time you can buy raffle tickets for the much sought after Guild's handmade blanket. I wonder who won this years beautiful blanket in luxury cream wool from the Bendigo Wool Mill and knitted by members of the Guild?
If you'd like to be involved in a large-scale collaborative art project and exhibition: a community project that explores why the earth is warming and what you can do about it, click here.
To get involved, you just need to download and buy a WARM pattern (individual patterns $2 - $4, and a few freebies, and e-book of 15 patterns for $12 - hardcopy pattern books can be purchased at the Art Gallery of Ballarat), find wool that matches the colour sample in the pattern, and start knitting. The completed work is needed by Friday 12 August 2016.Click here for more details.
As you can see, it was an eventful morning at the yarn and craft market. From the beautiful twins to meeting little Noel and Margaret (little dolls, 5th image down) who belonged to The Alpaca Yarn Lady; giving the knitted chooks a hug from Fibres of the Yarra Valley (firstname.lastname@example.org); I also met a charming woman selling 2nd hand knitting needles for $1 a pair (4th image down). She belongs to the Needlework Tool Collectors Society of Australia Inc, and they're always happy to hear from you if you have a collection of antique needlework tools like thimbles, lace bobbins, embroidery hoops, knitting needles and so on that perhaps used to belong to grandma that you'd like to find a new home for.