I was lucky enough to visit my favourite museum recently – National Wool Museum in Geelong Australia. The museum is a great place to learn about the history of wool in Australian and all the processes needed to turn wool into fabric. Australia has a significant connection to wool in our history some even say, Australian was built on the sheep’s back.

I have visited the museum countless times and still love looking at all the displays. I love being able to feel the freshly shorn wool that is supplied by locals that is straight off the sheep back.  It is so fresh that you can still feel the lanolin in the wool.

Walk through a typical room that could have been found in Geelong in the mid-century and see how the quarters looked for a shearer on the land. The museum shows everything about all the steps the wool goes through from the sheep to yarn the finally to the machines that create the fabric. So many excellent discussion points if you are visiting with the kids.

The National Museum also hosts an annual Scarf Festival since 2008. It is open to all ages and abilities! The entries can be a traditional in style or range to the experimental. There are so many different categories to allow your inspiration to run wild.  The categories include 100% wool, colour, knitted, woven, crocheted, felted, menswear, sustainability, extreme, and special categories for primary and secondary students. The only factor you need to think about is that the item must be able to drape over the shoulders. All scarfs can be in the running for the Scarf of the year or people choice award.

 

As a typical crafter, I got inspired a few weeks out from the cut-off date of submission. This year theme was “Living On The Land”. The scarf had to incorporate a sense of place and connection. After a quick brainstorm, I came up with an idea for a cowl with three different stitches. Each stitch to represent each section of the landscape. Acadia yarn caught my eye with the Variation of colour to reflect the changing colours of the Australian landscape.

Below are some close-ups of the scarf as I knitted it.

First stitch

Second stitch

Final stitch

 

Here is the finished scarf which I finished just in time! Next year I promised myself that I would start earlier on my scarf entry.  Though it was a quick entry, I enjoyed creating my scarf and looking forward to visiting it on display. If you would like to knit my design you can find the pattern here –  https://www.lincraft.com.au/a530-patterned-cowl

The Scarf Festival exhibition is from the 8th June to the 26th August 2018.  I recommend to visiting to see all the fantastic scarfs on display and vote for your favourite scarf!

If you love to learn some new skills, why don’t you attend one of the many activities or masterclasses while you visit and make a day of it?  There are many masterclasses for all skill ranges, activities for all age groups year round and school holiday programs – I do recommend you make a booking as some events will book out!

Keep up to date on what is on at the museum here: https://www.geelongaustralia.com.au/events/default.aspx and clicking on the wool museum as the venue.