Wool Gathering 2018 just happened. It finished yesterday and now I am home again and unpacked, it’s the perfect time to reflect and attempt to communicate just how fabulous I feel right now because of it.
Wool Gathering 2018
This event is the brainchild of Karen Prior, a super kind and awesome all round human. She and Tom, the current custodian of Tarndie (the venue) combine their talents with the help of many other awesome folks to put on 3 and a bit days and nights of yarny fun.
Let me tell you all about it.
Wool Gathering takes place at Tarndie, a very old homestead and sheep farm. The Dennis family are so welcoming and kind. There’s a cafe with the best coffee and hot chocolates (and maybe some wine/cider/beer too). There’s a shop where the yarn made from the Polwarth flock farmed on the property is sold in many forms and colours. There are lots of spots to sit and play with yarn with many a fireplace to keep warm. The perfect venue for a gathering of yarny folks.
All the attendees and teachers arrived on Thursday afternoon. We were all greeted by the wonderful team of helpers, affectionately called “Aprons” because of the aprons they all wear. This crew worked magic. They bustled about making sure everything was right – cleaning up rooms after workshops, turning heaters on, keeping the fires going, serving meals and snacks, doing mountains of dishes and generally being awesome with constant smiles and happiness.
Each morning, there were workshops on to attend. I taught granny squares, amigurumi and Tunisian crochet. There were many other classes to choose from on knitting, spinning, SAORI weaving, dyeing and wool embroidery.
Workshops kicked off on Friday morning and were held on Saturday and Sunday too. I actually remembered to take a couple of photos before the first class started, but as usual, got so caught up in the teaching and chatting that taking photos never occurred to me again for the workshops! Sorry. I know there were some taken by attendees and WG helpers. Hopefully I’ll get to see some of those soon.
We were served delicious lunches and dinners throughout the weekend and enjoyed a lot of free time between other events. So much knitting and crochet was done from waking to going to bed.
Friday, we had a guest speaker came to talk to us all. Karen is passionate about Wool Gathering being not just about us having fun, but also about spreading warmth and a sense on community. And so Donna came to chat to us about the various charities she heads up. This year it was about the amazing work she does for The School Project. This charity collects school supplies so kids in crisis can attend school with all the things they need, just like other kids. We all bought along some stationary and school bags for her to bundle up in the emergency kits. Last year she spoke about The Period Project which provides sanitary supplies for women who find themselves homeless. Donna also heads up Sleeping bags for Homelessness Project, keeping vulnerable folks warm whoever they are. This year and last, we also made or brought along knitwear – scarves, beanies etc for that project. She’s one inspiring woman!
Other fun events over the weekend were a fun little fashion parade of Libby’s (Truly Myrtle) designs, all modelled by Wool Gathering attendees, a treasure hunt with prizes, a market place where some wool dyers and suppliers as well as knit designers sold their wares, farm tours and a lot of free time to gather in all wonderful warm places of Tarndie to sit and craft and chat and laugh til you cry.
Attendees were able to help create a new yarn as part of the Wool Gathering experience. You see we all voted on fibre combinations, colours and name before we came and Nick and Isabel from The Great Ocean Road Woollen Mill created a new yarn called Eva from Suri alpaca fibre they grow mixed with Polwarth wool from Tarndie. Sally Oakley (Sally Ravels) designed a cowl called Glenfyne to coincide with the yarn launch. Here are Nick and Isabel, Tom from Tarndie and Sally holding the new Eva Yarn. Isabel is modelling the new cowl! Sums up the weekend nicely I think. It was all about collaboration and getting together.
The teaching crew was brilliant. We had Clare (Knit Share Love), Georgie (TikkiKnits), Briony (ByBriony), Libby (Truly Myrtle), Janet (My Spin on Things), Prue (Dying to Weave) and Ana (Wool Embroidery). So wonderful to be part of such a fun group of people sharing knowledge. It was so fun to sit an chat with all these folks as well as SallyRavels from Tassie, Kylie and Anita from The Purl Box and Isabel and Nick from the Great Ocean Road Woollen Mill.
Here’s Briony modelling a cowl I made from yarn she dyed for me.
It really was very hard to pack up an come home. But I did so in the knowledge that it will all happen again next year and I am certain it will be as fabulous as this year all over again.
I do hope you have the opportunity to attend Wool Gathering with me next year.