Friday, 27 July 2018

Sheep Show 2018 – and an unexpected ending

Last Sunday I made my annual trip to the 141st Australian Sheep and Wool Show in Bendigo run by the Australian Sheep Breeders Association. My plans changed this year as I was unable to stay with the friend who lives nearby and was in hospital and Norma who normally joins us was in Darwin.

I knew it would be a long and cold day, but had no idea how long it would be and how much I would appreciate the hand knitted socks and thermals I wore. I got up bright and early, like a small child with a treat in store, left home before 7.30 am and made it to Bendigo, about 2 hours away in good time to do a little shopping before I met Virginia at the parade where we settled down with coffee in hand to enjoy some of the very creative garments in the Woolcraft display.
Here’s a small selection of the paraded entries, some felted, some knitted and some woven, unfortunately I was too busy taking photos to record all the very creative makers

And here's a preview of my coat on parade, I'll write about it in detail next post.

After the parade we started to look at some of the temptations on offer but decided that we needed lunch before we started shopping.  We went to the showgrounds dining room  - mostly lamb dishes on offer and tossed up between roast lamb and lamb pot pie.  The roast lamb won and cleared our plates apart from the pumpkin skin and corn cobs

After lunch we visited some sheep, looked at looms, spent some money, gathered information for future projects and generally had a good time.

When I’d seen and bought as much as I needed, I went to the Bendigo Woollen Mills for some basic black yarn and then had some afternoon tea and waited until it was time to collect my coat.

The Woolcraft volunteers had everything ready and I was on the road just before the official collection time.  It all went well for about 40 minutes when the cars ahead of me stopped  - and there we sat for about 2 hours in the middle of nowhere on a cold winter night.  

There had been an accident about 10 cars ahead, just over a small rise so we really couldn’t see what was happening.  Some drivers walked up to see what was happening and reported back to the rest of us.  Apparently a hazardous goods tanker had driven into the back of a B double cattle truck and then a sedan drove into the back of the tanker.  While it had the potential to be a ghastly accident, it really wasn’t.  The hazardous goods tanker was empty, one cow died, the driver of the tanker broke his arm and the driver of the sedan had leg injuries which were not life threatening.  

The emergency services came out in force – Police, Fire Brigade, MICA ambulance, State Emergency Service, probably about 20 vehicles in all.  Most of the traffic following us had been diverted down an alternate route but the emergency services eventually managed to clear a single lane so we could get past the tanker and the cattle truck and go home.  I finally arrived home at 10.00 pm, about 2 hours later than I planned although it could have been a lot later as the road did not re-open completely until about 3 am.

Despite being a bit tired, there were no real dramas but I did have 2 hours to sit and think about being prepared for the unexpected.  I was really glad that I’d dressed warmly to walk around outside on a cold day.  While we were waiting, I did see someone walk past in shorts but I was more concerned about staying warm. I was very glad I had put on a wool cardigan for the drive home, that my car has sheepskin seat covers and that I had a rug on the back seat.  I also had my favourite vintage 1990 English trenchcoat that I’d worn during the day, my coat from the competition as well as a woollen scarf. 

I had water but as there were no facilities to be seen, not even a convenient tree, I held back on the water.  I’d have liked something to eat but with plenty of food during the day including the large plate of roast lamb and vegetables, I wasn’t going to starve.

I had a charged back up battery for my phone so I was able to keep that charged.  I did wish that I’d taken my knitting and a light source so that I could have done something useful while I was waiting.

And to finish, here’s a picture of my haul for the day.

I was really quite restrained and some of the yarns and some of the fibre were part of the prize for my coat.  I did get a new ball winder, using the prize voucher from Glenora from last year – thanks Christine – but as the old one, purchased second hand at the guild when I started spinning in the mid 1970s, was on its last legs, I didn’t think I was being overly extravagant.



  1. Must be something in the air! After 5 or 6 hours selecting an exhibition in Tauranga I was heading home and came to a grinding halt. It took over an hour to go about 1 kilometer. No knitting with me. A power pole had fallen across the road of its own volition and the live lines landed on a couple of cars. Was very glad to get home and get the bottle of wine from the boot.

  2. I know just how you felt, though it was food and a hot drink I needed when I got home. Thought 10pm was getting a bit late for wine

  3. I like your blog,I sincerely hope that your blog a rapid increase in
    traffic density,which help promote your blog and we hope that your blog is being updated.