Socks, Socks, Socks

Next week, with a few friends, I’m heading off to the Australian Sheep and Wool show. It’s also known as the Bendigo Sheep and Wool show and it’s my first time. In earlier years I’ve been happy, although a little envious, to just read about everyone else going but this year DrK and I planned very early in the year that we would join in.

I’ll be honest and say despite all I’ve read and heard, I don’t really know what to expect. I don’t have  sense of the space where it’s held. I’ve not been to Bendigo. I’m just a bit fuzzy on the details. Kind of reminds me of the first time Sean took me to the Big Day Out at Olympic Park in Sydney. I didn’t know how music festivals worked – how did all that stuff happen all at the same time? I had an image of a dozen bands each striving to be louder than the next. It’s that way with Bendigo. I can’t get an image. In my mind’s eye I see a sort of oval, with sheds and tents and a lot of defecating sheep. I bet it’s nothing like that.

Although I do hear there’s mud. Lots of mud. Footwear must be sorted. I’m fixating on that probably more than is necessary. See above comment on sheep and poo.

The other thing I’m fixating on is what to knit? There’s going to be a fair of amount of time spent sitting around in the evenings with friends, old and new, chatting, eating, drinking. I need the right projects. Easy ones that can grow without me noticing. As is evidenced by the lack of knitting showing up here at the moment, I’ve got either gift stuff on the go or complex stuff that is slow moving and not particularly exciting to document. This is an invitation to start some fun, easy stuff right?

I started digging through the stash this morning. It’s amazing what treasures you find among the skeins. I’ve got two to think about and I’m a bit excited by them. Both were gifts from Shazmina Bendi – Sharon – who moved the UK many moons ago. Each of these came as birthday gifts and I put them aside waiting for a time when they spoke to me. That day was today.

What I was after today was something to knit into nice, plain yet colourful socks as I hang around Bendigo. The first is Fyberspates Dream Sock and it’s 100% Blue Faced Leicester – a wool variety that I confess thrills me simply because of its name. If I were to have a pet lamb, I think I would want it to be a Blue Faced Leicester and I would call him Bluey.


The second one is from Pagewood Farm, Yukon. Similar but more subtle.

Either of them will make lovely, knit-on-the-go plain stocking stitch socks. My only difficulty will be not casting on both.

Speaking of socks, I made a great discovery today. Remember my Stripey Long Socks? The ones that took me forever to make? Well I’ve never worn them. Not once. They kind of glare out of my sock drawer each time I open it, chastising me because seven months spent on something you never wear is appalling to my sense of productivity. I can’t bear to let that happen. So on a whim today I put them on under my jeans and it was a revelation! When it’s as bitterly cold as it is today, and you have to be out early in the rain as I was this morning, long, hand knitted, stripey socks that you created yourself are about the warmest thing a girl can wear. And they look cute with my new favourite every day shoes too.

long socks

I think I’ll take them to Bendigo with me!



30 thoughts on “Socks, Socks, Socks

  1. Pingback: The start of a big week « Bellsknits

  2. Ah, the envy…. I am trying to look forward to a long weekend with my family (Monday is a half-term break) without being toooooo jealous of my friends frolicking around at Bendi. I shall just have to bury myself in the yarn I bought last year and close my eyes….
    Enjoy yourself (which is of course redundant, because you will have No Other Option!!) 🙂

  3. I’m glad you’re going to Bendigo – it’s great (well I’m biased, I live just out of Bendigo on a semi-rural block)! It is very cold at the moment and it is raining. Not sure what the forecast is for Friday, but it will be boggy underfoot. We’ve not had so much rain for a very long time and the ground is finally saturated. I’m hoping to go on the Friday but won’t be able to be there for anything else because of family commitments.

    Let me know if you want any ideas for where to eat/drink/go etc. And have fun and stay warm.

  4. I am famous!!! weeheeee!

    I didnt realise how similar the colourways for the two yarns were! I will have to be more original next time! 🙂 When I bout the Pagewood farm yarn they had made the same colourway into a small clapotis, it looked beautiful. Midht also be nice as an entrelac scarf.

    Have fun at Bendigo!

  5. how gorgeous do those socks look with those shoes! i’ve never been to the sheep and wool show, but bendigo is a lovely town, lots of beautiful gold-fuelled architecture from the 1850’s. and there’s the woollen mill with its sale room,if there’s not enough yarn at the show. you’ll have a ball (no pun intended).

  6. they definitely need to come to Bendigo with you! The breakfast gig on the Saturday is always notoriously cold (but so much fun!)

    umm, Bendigo is probably not much like BDO, but I guess you’ve worked that part out…I’m not going to taint your experience by giving you any expectations, except EXPECT THE BEST TIME OF YOUR LIFE!

    not much pressure on the event now, ay?!

    and don’t worry too much about the mud. I’ve taken gumboots every year, but most of the walkways are asphalt and the Shed floors are all concrete. and even the oval hasn’t been that muddy. but up to you how much spare room you want in that suitcase for WOOL!

  7. I love your long socks & wish I have a pair to wear too. I am going to Bendigo too but only visiting the show on Friday as we are staying in Melbourne. Hope to see you there.

  8. I’m going this year for the first time too and I’ve been having exactly the same thought … it’s so hard to picture something you’ve never been to before. I guess I need to learn not to plan stuff. My downfall.

    I hope we get the chance to bump into each other (I’m going on the Saturday with my Mum) … but it will be a great day out anyway.

    Kat mentioned people wearing ravelry badges. I definitely need to get me one of those, I think. Off to to check it out.

    Have a great time anyway … those socks look so nice and warm to take and I love the colours of both your yarn choices but I think I like the deeper shades of the first. I love in your face shades! LOL

    • hey, Susan L – Fiesty Wench usually sells Rav badges at the event, so if you don’t want to wait for them to be mailed, you can grab one at the Show 🙂

  9. Awesome socks! Lovely yarn; I’d choose the brighter one too or, go on, cast on both. You’re the boss of your knitting, yes, you are. Says the woman who cast on a sweater, a sock, a shawlette, and a wrap this weekend.

  10. Have a fabulous time at the show – I’ve been to a couple here in the UK and they’re fantastic!

    Your socks are making me rethink my dislike of wearing long socks, they are wonderful.

  11. You’re going to Bendy?! So exciting!

    And I love your socks. Seriously. I mean wow. And everytime I see a ball of that regia yarn I think of your long socks. 🙂

    Just catching up on my blog reading, I’ve seriously neglected everybody…

  12. I think sheep shows are fun (poo and all). They remind us that our beloved wool does not grow on trees but on living breathing creatures.

    It sounds wonderful. Have a great time!

  13. Bendigo clearly will be fun. You can’t go wrong with yarn + friends! And given how hot and humid it’s been in the States, I’m envying the cold weather there!

    Love the socks. You need to wear them at every possible occasion!

  14. Have been to Bendy a couple of times, sadly almost certainly not this year. We stay with Daughter Dear and her family, on a rural block about an hour south of Bendigo. They are having unspeakable problems with their septic system, and have asked us to postpone until all is, ahem, sweet!

    Whether it be wet or dry, Bendy will definitely be COLD. If it is wet, either gumbies or an old pair of sneakers, they can be ceremonially sacrificed to the Bendy gods when you get home!
    Or dumped in the bin as you leave the motel.

    If Blue-faced Leicesters are anything like Border Leicesters – there simply isn’t a fence that will hold them, they don’t care, under it, over it, through it, it is all the same to them.

    Gae, in Callala Bay

  15. I vote for the Blue Faced Leicester too! And Bendy sounds like so much fun. Cant wait for your report. Also, seriously, gumboots and stripey socks are the way to go. Especially if you can get clear gumboots to really show off your socks!

  16. I”m still hoping to make it to Bendi.
    It is usually freezing, really cold – about 10C with a wind from the Antarctic. Your long socks will be excellent (with other clothes of course ;). But I’ve had no problems with mud – yes you can go jump in the mud puddles if you want but everywhere where you have to go is made or heavily gravelled. The muddy areas are optional.

  17. Your Long Stripy Socks look officially fantastic!! I reckon you should wear them as often as possible. Looking forward to your new socks too!!

  18. Well, Kat covered what the show is like to perfection! You only really need gumbies if it’s actually raining (or recently rained), otherwise, it’s not muddy – just cold! Definitely long sock weather!

    Both of those yarns are delicious. But if it comes down to a choice, I vote Blue Faced Leicester!

  19. Hey 🙂 Don’t worry the sheep are all in little pens and not just wandering around so there is no poop on the ground. Also I have worn sneakers for the last 2 years and no problems at all so I wouldn’t worry about galoshes too much!

    The show is at the showground, so it’s a big footy field and they only do sheepdog trials on that mostly, and then in front of you as you walk through the main gate are two really big sheds full of vendors of everything and anything yarn, knitting and wool related. There’s a baby animal tent for the kids and a lifestyle tent with people selling tasty food and drinks. As you go past the two big sheds there are a bunch of smaller sheds where they do stuff like shearing comptetions etc and then there are tents and tents full of different breeds of sheep and alpacas who are there to be judged. There are a bunch of outside stalls set up just like a market where you can get food and also selling agricultural products. All the way down the end is a gigantic hall with more sheep and lots of sheep judging. To your left as you walk in the main gate is a bunch of little sheds which have all the woolcraft and competitions and then further down are the sheds with the indie dyers, spinners etc which are my favourite. Also down in that direction are the sheds that have people like the machine knitters association and the box hill guild etc selling stuff and people doing demonstrations on everything from natural dyeing to machine knitting.

    It’s a lot of fun and there will be a HEAP of people there with Ravelry badges on so you’ll feel like you know a million people and if you wear your socks on Saturday I’ll look out for you and say Hi 🙂

  20. Oh that’s pretty yarn!! Perfect for socks! Did smile at the sheep comments. Love sheep! But if you get chickens, be prepared for their less than discriminating bathroom habits too… but for the life of me, I can’t help but let them out and about all the same.

  21. How exciting for you to be able to go to the show. I am hoping I can make it up there that weekend but will have to see how I go. As for the show itself, it will probably be cold and yes there is an oval with pavillions around and lots of stalls, quite nice really. Last time I took my mum and bought some wonderful sock yarn. At least you will be able to visit Bendigo Woollen Mills back room for some goodies too. Make sure to pack some woolly goodness to keep you warm at night, it will get very cold.

  22. The long stripey socks are great. I love the yarns from your stash, especially the darker one. It makes me think of lots of purple flowers in the garden. Poo aside I hope you enjoy the Sheep and Wool Show!

  23. they look more than cute, they look totally AMAZING! if it wasnt going to be so bloody cold in bendigo, id recommend wearing them with shorts. and gum boots! and lovely yarns for new projects as well. i am starting to feel some mobile-project anxiety too, given the socks im working on are going to be ripped AGAIN. i need to start some new socks, and am very inspired by this post. and only 8 more sleeps! weeeeee!!

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