School finished up in early December and I was home for a few days before Mum and I took off on a road trip to Geelong to see my Aunt & Nana. The first day was boring. We drove to Wodonga (guided by my Tom Tom with the voice of Stephen Fry – hereafter referred to as ‘Stephen’).
Day two was the start of the fun, even though it was raining, off and on. First stop: Wangaratta Woollen Mill.
I picked up some undyed 4 ply yarn, a 1kg bag of alpaca roving and a couple of big calico sacks that were only a dollar each. Mum also bought a kilo of alpaca and some other things, including FIVE of the sacks!
After a bit of cheese tasting, we came away with some very nice cheeses, crackers, a sourdough fruit loaf, and a few other treats.
We then had Stephen direct us across to Glenrowan, where we called on the 10 to 4 Gallery.
Here I picked up some silver-grey natural coloured wool tops. I probably would have bought more, but I knew I had more places to visit in the coming days. I can’t remember what Mum bought here. The yarn looked particularly delightful. There was a nice selection (more than shown in the photo above).
Then it was back onto the highway down to Euroa. After a spot of lunch, we dropped into First Edition Fibres and Yarns. This stop was a little disappointing, because they didn’t have a lot in stock – it was simply the wrong time of year. But Mum and I still made a few purchases – I bought a pure merino coloured tops blend in purples and a merino/alpaca/silk tops in blue. We stayed in Euroa on the second night, though we could have easily made it to Bendigo and dropped the night in Euroa. It was our only night in a motel (the rest were in cabins in caravan parks with our own cooking facilities) and our only night eating out. I forget the name of the place we dined at, perhaps because our meals were disappointing.
Day three, and on to Bendigo! Bendigo Woollen Mills was the first stop. We spent ages deciding on what should come home with us (I haven’t used up all of what I bought on a previous trip). I bought three skeins of undyed 5 ply machine wash yarn, two skeins of 4 ply fine merino sock yarn, and a(nother) ball of Rustic “Ash” (I bought a fair bit of Rustic earlier this year by mail order). Mum bought lots of things.
Then we moved on to Bendigo Pottery. I last visited there in 1996 on my way back from a botanical trip to South Australia. I have a small deep dish I bought on that trip that I use often (for my favorite pudding recipe!) in which the glaze is starting to crack, so I was keen on buying another. I also bought a small flan dish and a yarn bowl that is naturally made to take the Bendigo Woollen Mill-sized 200g yarn balls.
We had the whole afternoon to laze about in the swimming pool at our accommodation.
Day four was the last leg of our trip down to Geelong. First stop was Kyneton, where we arrived a little early for our scheduled stash enhancement opportunity and partook in browsing shop windows and a spot of coffee with shortbread/caramel slice. It was obvious from the shop hours that most trade took place on the weekends, so many of the shops were closed.
Pick Up Stitches is open 7 days, and proved itself very worthy of a visit. We spent aaaaages in there – probably our longest stop. So much stuff I hadn’t seen before. I picked up a couple skeins of Amuri merino/possum 4ply, some Regia sock yarn, some Clover circular stitch holders, reversible Japanese fabric and some buttons that matched the fabric.
The Japanese fabric was rather surprising. On one side the texture of the weave is evident, and on the other side it isn’t.
Then we headed on to Geelong, with a slight backtrack at one point because Stephen has some funny ideas about “fastest route” versus “shortest route” that took us along a dirt road without good reason… (and despite the GPS being told not to use unsealed roads). We stayed out of town on the Bellarine Peninsula and unpacked the car for a three-night stay.
I had filled one of my two sacks from Wangaratta, but wasn’t done yet.