I love Bendigo Woollen Mills in that way you love an old aunt. She’s the aunt that has conservative tastes, who’d never wear strong, bright colours and adores pastels. Though she’d happily knit lacy cardigans in pastel mint green 4ply, she can’t understand why anyone would knit socks. She’s sturdy and reliable, and you love her for it.
But if she ever tries to be ‘trendy’ you cringe because she’s using lingo or wearing fashions that were ‘in’ about five years ago, and to be honest it just sounds ridiculous coming from a 70 year old.
A few days ago I received this in the mail:
Which reminded me of an incident on a train a few weeks back. I was knitting my beau’s socks on the way home from the city. Two women of advanced age – one more advanced than the other so I figure they were mother and daughter – entered the carriage and sat opposite me. One leans forward to ogle my knitting.
“Did you make that?” she asked. I bit my lip against the facetious replies that always enter my mind at that question, and said I had.
“Oh, have you tried these new fluffy yarns? They make lovely scarves.”
“You mean the feathers yarns. No, they’re not really my thing.”
They pressed me for reasons, so I explained how, four years ago, I saw that everyone in Spotlight was wearing them, from the staff to the customers, so I figured it was a fashion that had been around for a while, and was probably already common enough to be called a fad.
They made that face. You know the one. My Mum calls it the ‘cat’s bum’ face. But they were on a mission. A mission to convert the world to fun fur. The woman leaned forward again.
“You know, the best place to buy those scarves is op shops. They’re much cheaper.”
I’m quite proud of the fact that I didn’t laugh at that point.
Anyway, if Bendigo Woollen Mills was my aunt, I’d probably plead with her to stop trying to be trendy and it probably wouldn’t have any effect. Stop it, Bendy. Stick to what you do best. And if you must branch out, just make us some plain old reliable 4ply wool/nylon mix so us knitters in Australia can dye our own socks without the sock yarn and dye costing us more than buying hand painted yarn from the US.
In more recent news:
I went shopping yesterday. First I headed to The Button Shop in Malvern with Peeve. I found some suitable buttons for the Squares Jacket within minutes, but poor Peeve was unwell – perhaps less well than she’d realised when she agreed to come out with me. Still, she managed to buy some nice wool for a shawl. When I dropped her off home I imagined her curled up in the sun, knitting something glorious, with cats snuggling on all sides. Get well soon, Peeve!
Afterwards I headed to Chadstone Shopping Centre. I used to live half an hour walk from there, but then life happened and I haven’t visited in about five years. In Borders I found The Happy Hooker, the only book in my wish list that they had.
I learned to crochet around the same time as I learned to knit, and I think it was my favourite of the two early on. There are some nice patterns in this book, and the intro certainly got me thinking about when a project is more suited to crochet (with it’s lack of stretchiness) than knitting, and visa versa.
I’d like to do more crochet. Perhaps when I’ve finished knitting socks.
The chocolate is Cocoa Farm Merlot Vintage Chocolate, which contains merlot infused currants. I’m don’t usually like ‘dead flies’ in my food, but I didn’t mind them in this. I think I’ve had the Shiraz version of this range and didn’t like it much, but that’s no surprise because I don’t like Shiraz. But the Merlot one gets my thumbs up.