The Wool Markets

It was a week ago now, but I very much want to write about a special day last weekend when Alice and I had our second outing to what she has affectionately come to know as “The Wool Markets”.

Once a year the Old Bus Depot Markets in Canberra (a weekly market for gifts, crafts and other treasures) holds a Celebration of Wool Day. Local and not so local yarn fanatics come together to celebrate the wonder of wool and, of course, other natural fibres.

I took Alice last year when she was just three and the way she took to the sensuality of touching wool, of calling everything ‘smooshy’ was so impressive. I realised that day she really seemed to have absorbed something of the love of fibre and knitting from me. Ever since then ‘the wool markets’ has been something we’ve spoken about and revisited, building up to a crescendo of excitement in recent weeks.

We covered ourselves in handknits on a cold Sunday morning last week in readiness for our outing. A hat each and a scarf or shawl, we admired ourselves and felt we looked the part. Sean snapped us outside the markets entrance before we met Olivia and her niece.

Old Bus Depot Celebration of Wool DayAmusingly, once inside Alice declared ‘but not everything is made of wool!’ Their funny little brains are so intriguing. I realised in her imagination was a room full of entirely wool-made things. Possibly even the walls and floors. How good would that have been?

Alice and I in knitwear, heading to the Celebration of Wool day.

We were so happy. There was so much to look forward to. Alice has been really expressing more and more interest in all things knitting related lately (and if anyone has tips on teaching under 5s to knit, crochet or do any other related crafts like sewing, finger knitting etc, I’d love to hear from you!) so this really felt like an opportunity to dive into a world we could share together for a few hours.

We spent a vast amount of time at the beginning at the Suzy Hausfrau stall. If you don’t know Suzy (not her real name), you ought to. Local former pharmacist turned yarn providore, she’s doing a great trade in imported yarns, whipping up a frenzy of enthusiasm for a new kind of local yarn store. She’s Canberra’s breath of fresh air and while loitering, I turned to find the next generation of enthusiast, in the form of Alice, talking yarn with a woman i didn’t know.

Old Bus Depot Celebration of Wool Day
Imagine my pride and heart swelling joy when I saw Alice stroke a skein of yarn and tell a stranger ‘some wool is scratchy and some is very soft,’ with all the earnest sincerity of a seasoned yarn lover.

That’s my girl, I beamed inwardly. She spoke the truth and I think I have never been prouder. That’s a story to file away for future years, for sure.

Old Bus Depot Celebration of Wool Day

In the end it all became a bit much though and Sean was on standby to come and grab her so that I could finish a spot of shopping. I do love remembering how an online friend I’d never met in real life spotted me because she heard me calling out to Alice and thought ‘that has to be Bells and Alice.’ It was us and we loved spending the morning with friends and fibre lovers.

Old Bus Depot Celebration of Wool Day

We had a wonderful morning and I must say that having her there meant good things for my budget. Spending the morning with her meant I spent less than I might have otherwise – but I did spend and I did come home with smooshy goodness and that’s no bad thing.

Can’t wait til next year when maybe, by then, Alice will have the patience to be a knitter herself.



16 thoughts on “The Wool Markets

  1. Hi Bells. I love reading your blog šŸ™‚ It’s so lovely that Alice is interested in handcrafts at such a young age. I remember being this age & it was my seamstress Grandmother who fostered my interest, I started with french knitting, Back then it was a wooden cotton reel with nails, but the more modern ones look to be easier for a younger person to hold & use. Alice would probably love this with some brightly coloured yarn! šŸ™‚ I was 4 yo when I learned to knit & went on from there into the world of all things handmade.

  2. Sharing a hobby is such a good way to have a close relationship as Alice gets older. I love that she calls yarn sqooshy! because of course, it is. I don’t think it will take much to get her interested. You’ve already started in the right way-getting her to touch and get a feel for how nice the wool feels. Soon, she’ll want to play with it. And then one day, she’ll make YOU a hat. That will be soooo cool.

  3. Alice will be a Knitting Prodigy, she’ll be fast tracked through the stage of knitting, maybe one day she’ll be President of Knitting!! Isn’t it lovely to be able to rug up in your handknits??

  4. Being an aunt of many nieces & nephews, I love when I can see my influence on them in their lives. I truly think you and Alice are so very lucky to have one another.

  5. What an enchanting post! Thankyou.
    I was only wondering the other day when the Wool Markets would be on, and now I see I missed them, but was delighted to read your account.
    You have a lovely blog, and your creations are beautiful.
    Have fun working through your smooshy threads!

  6. Hi Bells, I work for Lincraft and have just written a book on teaching kids to knit (actually it’s more kids teaching themselves to knit). Would you like a copy for Alice? Let me know and I’ll throw a copy in the post. Michelle.

  7. HI Bells, I followed a link down a rabbit hole and ended up here. I work for Lincraft and have just written a book on teaching kids to knit. I’d called ‘How to be a knit ninja’. I’m pretty proud of it. Would you like a copy to work with Alice and see how it goes? Send me an email if you do and I’ll throw one in the post to you. Michelle.

  8. you are making some great memories for Alice, and sounds like she is a natural for the fibre life šŸ˜‰

    such a great age, I love their earnest conversations with strangers, imparting their important knowledge

  9. Awww. What a great story and great pics! I love that a “stranger” recognized you guys and came up to say hi! What a lovely day!

  10. It’s a pity Miss B wasn’t a bit more friendly! Her twin brother has asked to come with me next time to the ‘wool shop’ (do they still do ‘creative fibre day’?) She did enjoy feeling some raw fleeces, that was pretty cool, especially as there is a risk of our outings being too focused on me buying them things.

    Have you tried french knitting/ ‘knitting nancy’ with Alice? I saw one today at the NGA shop, but I’m pretty sure my first one was a cardboard roll with paddle pop sticks stuck on, like this one.

  11. That is just a lovely story! I began knitting when I was about four-ish but I cannot remember anything about how or when. Not helpful, I know.

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