Today I headed to the Cranbourne Sheep and Woolcraft Fair, a local annual event run by the South East Region of Black and Coloured Sheep Breeders Association. The Fair showcases everything woolly from raw fleeces, roving, handspun and commercial yarns, weaving, spinning and the accessories to facilitate use of them all!
We arrived right on opening at 9.30am, and were casually strolling around stalls but within 20 minutes the hall was a-buzz and pumping with people, and it was clear this event has well and truly hit the fibrecraft community's calendar.
This year was my second trip to the Fair, and I was looking forward to seeing what was on offer, as well as meeting up with a few traders I've been chatting with via social media. It's always exciting to discover new creative, and even more exciting to find out they are locals.
Shepherdess was one of those on my list to seek out. She's working with indigo on roving and finished yarn and I managed to snap up one of her sock yarn skeins. I love this soft blue, aptly named 'Clouds' and am looking forward to getting it onto the needles soon!
I also picked up a skein of Araucania Ranco (sock) in a particularly gorgeous colourway full of sea blues, greens and deep browns. I'm debating whether this will be socks or perhaps I will pair it with a complementary solid and work it into a shawl of some sort?
There is a big focus on spinning and rovings at this Fair, which I remembered from last year too. I don't spin, myself, however it was wonderful to walk through all the beautiful fleeces and rovings and take the time to speak to the many people there who were plying away. Tempting as it all looked, I think adding another craft to my list of things to do wouldn't be wise...at this stage. Never say never!
Not feeling like I'd collected enough, I had another sweep of the stalls and these cute stitch markers from Small Finds were too hard to resist. I like 'flat' stitch markers as I find they don't get in the way as much as rounded shapes. I had a good chat to the stallholder about this and she happily helped me hunt through to find all the flat ones to choose from. That's another reason why I like this event so much; it's small enough that it retains a personable feel and the stallholders and the visitors alike all reflect this. I possibly spent as much time chatting to people passionate about their product or craft as I did browsing stalls.
On our final pass around the market hall before we left, I picked up some natural moth repellent sachets which smell so good you'd be happy to use them just for their scent alone. I'm always on the lookout for these kind of natural products and they were very reasonable priced at $2.50 per sachet. They are also sold on etsy via the MisterStiltSkin store if you would like to check them out further.
All in all, this is a lovely event, with a definite "grassroots" local vibe and a great collective showcase aspect. I really enjoyed the day, and would recommend it to anyone interested in going next year. It's always listed on the Black and Coloured Sheep Breeders Association calendar and the Handknitters Guild of Victoria are likewise very good at advertising on their calendar and social media.