Last week, my family made the long trip from Adelaide to Melbourne. When we first discussed going, I assumed we would fly over, however, my husband assumed we would drive. I had reservations – 2 young kids in the car for 8 hours is a tough gig. Then, I remembered that I had been wanting to visit the Bendigo Woollen Mills and driving over would give us the freedom to do that! So, I agreed to drive on the condition that we would visit Bendigo on the way home. A couple of ladies in my Crochet group told me about a few other yarns stores in Melbourne that I could check out, so I had my itinerary ready and off we went! It was indeed a long way over, but the kids were magnificent – I think I was more impatient than they were!
Our first morning there, I walked past the building where Morris & Sons is housed. Sadly, it hadn’t opened yet for the day (yay for excited kids sleeping in unfamiliar places and waking up early!), so it was a bit of a tease. I was able to get there the next day with my oldest daughter (who kindly took a daggy photo of me out the front of the shop!). If I’m going to review it, it wasn’t well signed inside the mall – the wool through the windows was what gave it away. But what a treasure trove inside. So….much…yarn. So many different brands, colours and types. It was exciting to see yarns I have only read about in person. I had a budget to stick to for all of my yarn shopping, so I took a portion of it and chose lots of rainbow yarns in this store! My aim with this trip was to try different fibres and yarns that I have not been able to easily access here in Adelaide. From this store, I bought a skein of yarn that I loved the colours of and may turn into a pair of socks at some point (depending on if it will make big enough socks for my giant feet!). I bought a couple of balls of Morris & Sons brand yarn to try (including that gorgous big hank of rainbow yarn!) and some sock yarn (definitely enough to make a pair of socks for my giant feet!). Sock making is something I haven’t really tried before and I am keen to give it a go!
My next stop was Yarn + Co. The children and I walked there. It was a bit of a hike and turned a bit nasty in the end with tired, grumpy kids that refused to walk any further, but was worth it to see some more new yarns! I love how this store is set out. If you look closely at this picture, you can see a sofa covered in crochet and knit cushions and there was completed projects all over the place. I loved the welcoming feeling of it (and the couch was great to plonk my children on and know they would stay). It was a smaller store, with not as many different yarns as the previous store I had visited but I was able to buy some clover bent tip yarn needles that I had been wanting to try and some Katia yarn purely because it was different and I haven’t tried it before. So far, my yarn trip was a resounding success. I had been careful enough with my budget that I still had some money to spend at Bendigo, but I had been able to buy some new and different things!
Finally, the end of the holiday came (We had a fabulous time with all the things we were able to do and see – it was great!), the day I could visit the Bendigo Woollen Mills. I was a bit worried that I would be disappointed after hearing from numerous people how fabulous it is. But…..I wasn’t! We were unable to get there before a Saturday, so the actual Mill wasn’t working. I don’t know if you can do tours of the mill or not, but it would have been interesting to see how yarn is manufactured. However, the factory sales were open, and that was what I had really come there for! It was great, there was a lot of yarn to choose from at some really good prices. And, here I could (and did!) spend the remainder of my yarn budget! I bought numerous different fibres that I haven’t worked with before and some of their bargain bin yarns. Up until now, most 100% wool yarn I have worked with has been scratchy and uncomfortable, but the wool here is so soft and squishy! I also bought some yarn to make a new jumper for my husband and a cardigan for myself! The thing I liked about this store was that it had just enough. I felt that I was able to buy a really good selection of stuff without feeling like I was only trying a small drop in the bucket. I wasn’t overwhelmed by the amount of products that were there, but there was so much yarn around that I felt I was in my happy place! It was great! I was excited and my husband thought it was all very amusing! There is also a very cool yarn bombed tram in Bendigo (https://www.bendigotourism.com/whats-on/next-7-days/event/8018-the-yarn-bomb-tram). Although I didn’t have a chance to ride the tram, we did see it trundling about! My photo is not amazing as it was taken from the car as the tram drove past, but the link above has some much nicer photos!All in all, I am so happy I visited these shops. I think my favourite would have to be the Bendigo Woollen Mills and I am hoping that one day I might get back there. Of course, I can always order online. Now, I just have to find a place to store all of this new yarn. I think I’m going to have to buy a new storage box……