Ah, Merriwa. The man has an outside broadcast in Merriwa on Wednesday so he wanted to get a feel for the place beforehand. We drove out there on Sunday and pottered around a bit. I will say this, they have an awesome take-away, Bits and Pizzas. SO DELICIOUS!!
That is not the point. The point *is* that we visited The Hut – a tourist welcoming centre type of place. The main thing happening in there is the tables and tables of old school crafts that are being sold on commission. You know the type of stuff I’m talking about, the things that give knitting and crochet a bad name – nasty acrylics in garish colours knit into horrendous items that serve no practical purpose (Barbie toilet roll covers, anyone? Heaven forbid our guests see anything so crass as nude toilet paper!!). These are the things that the uneducated think of when you tell them you are a knitter and they give you a look of disbelieving disgust because THAT is what knitters make.
Everything was priced well below the cost of time, materials and production, a major issue in the handcrafting world. Price it cheap, people will think it’s “cheap”. I could rant about how under-valuing your work affects other artisans, but that would take a while and sound really obnoxious so I will spare you. Suffice to say, it hit on two of my hot buttons – fugly yarn creations and under-selling.
The truly interesting thing was the display about the Merriwa Jumbucks, a team of knitters and spinners that entered the International Back to Back Wool Challenge for quite a few years. They still hold the world record time of 4hrs, 51mins. To understand how incredibly impressive that is, bear in mind that the wool challenge involves taking the wool from the back of the sheep to the back of person. The sheep must be sheared, the yarn spun and a sweater knitted. They did it in under five hours… THAT IS AMAZING. I got a little excited, I may have embarrassed my daughter by rabbiting on about how cool that is. I was so excited I forgot to take photos, but if you take a look at the links above there are a few snaps of the event.
I have a lot of end-weaving to do. Better get onto it.