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.
Amusingly, 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?
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.
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.
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.
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.