The Bus Depot Markets in Kingston invited Doggy-Bag It to come and check out their Celebration of Wool event on May 16. As I read the accompanying article which touched on Australia’s long history with wool, a bucket load of my earliest memories flooded back.
Funnily enough, my strongest childhood images of visits back to Australia have nothing much to do with food(well, let’s not not count the McDonald’s thick shakes we simply HAD to have the very second we stepped off the plane) .
What lingers in my mind are huge family get-togethers; catching up on four years worth of birthday gifts; trundling along at a snail’s pace across our vast land in an old caravan; and the wonderful fun we had staying on farms along the way. There were massive orchards as well as sheep and cattle stations, and maybe a couple of grain farms also. Seeing these farms operate up-close gave rise to a swell of patriotic pride in our farming community and the hard slog they do.
My visit to the wool on Sunday show somehow reawakened that same emotion in me , something that 3 years of city life has dulled.
It always happens ….whenever I see a thing of exquisite beauty, I yearn for the skills to recreate it. So before going to the Celebration of Wool, I steeled myself to be confronted with stunning peices of knitwear and to just appreciate it and celebrate the artists’ skills and gifts, with no destructive non-knitter’s envy.
Ummm, once I was there it was total steel-mind FAIL. Destructive non-knitter’s envy abounded!!!!
The place was packed, let me tell you; seething with people. The weather was perfect for it. My friend Tracey and I were focused on our mission;we only stopped for a pint of apple and lemon juice and that was the only food our bellies saw the entire time. (Oh, do the sample chilli toasted cashews count? They were scrumptious.)
But now, I want to introduce you to a few of the wool artists I met:
JanetteMcGuffog is an acrylic and textile artist who only in the past few months has begun creating wearable art. Imagine what she will be creating in another year!!!! She uses a combination of felt/silk/ merino wool to put her artwork onto scarves. I cannot even begin to imagine the processes Janette uses. Her work is stunning…these photos do not do it justice…
Jane Slicer Smith’s swing coats, cardigans and sweaters hung in a rich range of colors. Her label is Signatur Handknits. Jane has an eye for brilliant color combinations. She sells a large range of customized knitting kits, and her book Swing Swagger Drape-Knit the Colors of Australia is just out and you can order it online.
adele designs displayed unusual scarves, bold chunks of color in hues that made me all of a sudden want a great steaming mug of hot chocolate (always with the food thoughts!!!). The scarves are created entirely from recycled wool and silk. A percentage of all proceeds goes to breast cancer research. Five minutes with Adele left me moved and inspired. She is currently fighting her own battle with breast cancer and though there are some grim days, her gifts and her beautiful spirit shine as bright as her smile.
The bold colors and varied textures of Gill’s hand-dyed yarns lured us in. Such delicious colors…..looked like a candy shop!
The Spinners and Weavers group meet regularly for social spinning and weaving days. Jenny related how 35 years ago she started spinning using coarse wool straight from the sheep’s back. She still can’t get over how much easier it was when 3 years ago she began to spin silk/cashmere. ‘Its like spinning fairy floss,’ she reckons.
I was blown away by Kathy Geurts’ handcrafted jewellery ( Wool? As jewellery? Oh yes!! just look) and objets d’art. What kind of mind comes up with woolen jewellery? We hung around her place for ages at her stall; we even ran the shop for 5 while she ducked out for a coffee! 🙂
It was a great morning, I really wanted to include pictures of everyone, but there were just so many amazing stalls. Next time I will be much more organized ahead of time, so that I don’t accidentally leave my WALLET at home!!!0