Bendi was so much fun! Laughter, squees, yarn, conversation, knitted socks, hats, mitts, scarves, shawls, cardis, jumpers, food, sunshine, friends, jokes, stories, games, hugs and so so so much fun.
I arrived in Bendi at 10:30pm Friday night, just in time to pick up Tink, Zeph and KissMyFrog from the pub where the Friday night dinner/ snb had been held. We were sharing a house (along with Donyale and RoseRed) about midway between the cbd and the showground, which worked really well. The Hustler Street Posse were a great group of people – fun, knitting, wine, caffeinated beverages, chocolates, more knitting, yarn, more yarn and so much laughter! We talked on a bit later than we should have, then it was up early the next morning for the 7:30 am pancake breakky organised by the amazing FiestyWench – the coffee queue alone was spectacular!!! I of course swanned past them all with hot tea in my Nundle Woollen Mill travel mug 🙂
There was much chatting and checking of nametags, diving for pancakes (chocolate honeycomb butter – ZOMG!), people photographing other people’s knitwear and stroking their arms/scarves/socks-in-progress. FiestyWench outdid herself with a selection of prizes for knitwear, handspun, lace items, general knowledge and lucky door prizes (thank you for my lovely Rav bag!!). While watching the shenanigans I was swapping exclamations with a woman close by (whose cabled cardigan I had been scoping out before – beautiful work!), and then I did a double-take and said “We were in Japan together!” and she blinked and sounded astonished as she said “yes!”!!! LoomMonkey and I were exchange students in Japan in the early 90s, so it has been mumble-teen years since last we met, but I’m still short, and she still has the most startlingly pale blue eyes (if you’re reading this LoomMonkey, this is a good thing!) Very bizarre and wonderful moment.
After breakky there was the show itself. It was very much a country show – random stalls selling sheep-dip and vaccination equipment, 44-gallon drums recycled into bbq furniture, soap, turned wood objects, pottery, bits of tat, shiny things to get the kids pestering their parents, and then we went into the sheds… FIBRE. Show entries, knitted, crocheted, woven, felted and sculptured. Felt demonstrations. Spinning demonstrations. Batts. Roving. YARN. SOCK yarn. MORE sock yarn. With ANGORA. oh oh oh the colours were incredible! The squooshiness! The cloudlike softness of skeins cuddled to my cheek! There were some purchases, then more walking and talking and playing Bendi Bingo by crossing Rav names off my bingo card. A walk up to other sheds where there was More Yarn – Alpaca Silk!!! JITTERBUG!!!! Absolute ecstasy for fingertips and eyeballs alike. A gorgeous vege pizza for lunch, then off to Bendigo Woollen Mills Shop (and back room) for a peek. Some Rustic, Luxury and back-room bargain 12ply came home with me. Ah the bliss. (Thank you KissMyFrog and Dr Bones for your fine efforts at enabling)
Afternoon tea at LoomMonkey’s holiday cottage, where we met her charming (brand new!) husband – obviously starting off well, accompanying her on a yarn crawl at the end of Week 1 of marriage. He’s a Keeper! Then the supermarket for supplies, home for pasta dinner and talking and laughing well into the night. Ms Gussetting came to dinner too, FiestyWench and her hubby dropped in, and we had people scattered around the room, yarn and knitting draped everywhere, and so much chatter you couldn’t hear a phone ring!!
Up a bit later on Sunday, everyone gradually organised themselves and sat on bulging suitcases and got ready for brunch at one of the funkiest cafes it has ever been my pleasure to visit – t’Hooft. Lovely food, more photos of people knitting in public, then various folks started heading for home, or made a last trip to the show. I went back just to keep KissMyFrog company – a lucky mistake, because she helped me find hand-carved bone and horn buttons, very gorgeous, which are now awaiting something to decorate.
Mid-afternoon my passengers Donyale and RoseRed were ready to head off, so we jammed ourselves and our suitcases into the little hired Hyundai Getz and joined the stream of cars heading home. It was a lovely sunny day, beautiful for tootling through the countryside (and for doing 110 down the freeway), although we did have a funny minute on the way. We spotted a bentwood rocking chair upside down on the side of the road, and a farmer-type in his good show gear walking back down towards it. We assumed it had come off his ute and he was walking back to fetch it, but as we kept going there was no vehicle to be seen – 200m, 400m, 1km, 2km – nothing! Where had we sprung from? Where did the chair come from? Then up ahead we saw a wildly overloaded trailer being pulled by a similarly over-stocked ute, with a suspiciously chair-sized gap in the centre of the stack. Apparently the variety of chairlegs and wickerwork sticking out on all sides had prevented the driver from noticing his loss! The origin of the farmer-type remains a mystery…
We reached Tullamarine Airport at about 4pm, where I learned just how steep the hire-car company petrol prices are (won’t forget to fill up next time). With plenty of time up our sleeves we headed in and found Zephyrama peacefully knitting on a bench. I handed over my luggage, all knitting gear safely tucked inside, and we headed for refreshments, served by the most uninterested waiter I have ever met. He really didn’t like his job. I left the other three ladies to their coffees and dashed off to catch my plane, which was only 10 mins late (yay!), for an uneventful flight home. The MOMD and our three gorgeous children were waiting right at the gate, so I was greeted with hugs and joy – so glad to be home!
A fantastic weekend. So much fun, plenty of yarn purchases (I stretched my shopping list a little, but not too badly), new friends, old friends, blog friends… I can’t wait till next time! I’d better get knitting!!
Oh, and I almost forgot – do you want to see the stash? (silly question!)