Last Saturday I had the honour once again to crisscross Tasmania's Midlands with 35 yarn lovers. Some came from as far as Queensland, Western Australia and Victoria.
Two days before
The midlands was covered with snow, winds gusting up to 100km/hr and I was convinced I was going to die with tonsillitis.
The Mill - Oatlands
Happily this is the land of the great changeable weather and Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin so we had a sparkling Tasmanian winter day with only a light breeze and lots of sunny faces.
Our first stop was just a few kilometres outside Ross to see some sheep shearing at the historic property of Beaufront.
It was a really special opportunity for people to see inside a very large, working and historic shearing shed. To experience the labyrinth of pens and ancient timbers greased by the lanolin of years of sheep.
The long rows of machinery overhead that drives each shearer's stand. The skill and infrastructure required and the complexity of sheep farming. Within the constraints of limited time they touched on animal welfare, stock value, the tight-rope walk of nutrition, pasture, lambing and final product. It's important for consumers to know that the end product they use is a result of a complex process requiring many hands, skill sets and months to accomplish - and that's BEFORE it even gets to the wool processing stage of cleaning spinning dyeing etc.
Time is fleeting and we must push on...
After the shed tour and shearing demo it was a "rustic" morning tea back at the bus with carrot cake, apricot and pumpkin seed cake, date slice and chocolate chip cookies.
A very special thank you to Julian and Annabell Von Bibra for their kind hospitality, their generous spirit and warm welcome at beautiful Beaufront.
Hobart street planters & Lucky Ewe yarns
We now head to Hobart to visit The Stash Cupboard and some of us even stop for lunch.
Stash Cupboard yarns
Along the way we had lots of games like, Greyhounds and Racehorses, Heads and Tails and lucky draws and raffles.
One of our prizes was a special commission piece of textile art made by the very talented Claire from Sweet Birdy Love
Lots of yarn goodness and fabulous embroidered hand towels, washers and other textiles kindly donated by my step-mother in Queensland. XXX And two gift vouchers for the yarn stores up for grabs!
Our next stop is a firm favourite with the tour adventurers, it's The Lucky Ewe in Oatlands. Nestled in this quaint historic Georgian sandstone village is a teeny tiny shop PACKED with all sorts of yarns and associated textile crafting. They stock 18.5 micron superfine merino wool, alpaca, angora, cashmere, silk, possum, wallaby....
She stocks dyes, kits, tools, roving, needles, hooks and miles of unique hand spun, hand dyed goodness.
It is always exciting and a real treat. Everyone got a gift and Rowena gave us another two special gifts for prize draws on the way home as well.
There are so many people to thank and not the least of those is Jack's Coaches of Longford and our driver Neil on his third tour of duty, always obliging, and patiently waiting with a smile on his face.
I also need to thank the ladies themselves for the continued support, enthusiasm and friendship.
Especially my SIL Leeann and my friend Cindy who chip in at every opportunity and also contribute to our delicious home cooked morning teas.
Big love to Vanessa who takes all the photos and helps record our day in style (because we are all waaayy too busy shopping for anything else).
Having this much fun is seriously simple and requires only a little effort. The only trick is to get the right number to cover your cost. A day spent in camaraderie with like minded people is so good for the soul. Just do it!