which means that I am spending the day at the show grounds not too far from here. I will be, if anyone turns up, talking about knitting.
In the past I have spent all four days at the show grounds helping a friend on her stall. In return for this I have raised some money for my late friend in Africa.
This year P... is not coming to show. She came earlier in the year to another one. It should have been a better time to come. It was moving into winter. People tend to knit in winter rather than summer. It gets a little warm for knitting in summer in Downunder - unless, like me, you have things that "must" be knitted. Even so the takings were poor. My friend barely covered the costs of being there. It just isn't worth the effort any more. She won't be coming back.
Other people are starting to drop out too. Occasionally someone new will pop up but I haven't known them to come more than once. I have only been multiple times to help - as I will today.
The advertising makes it sound like a marvellous event of course but really it is suffering the same fate as so many similar events in smaller places. It won't be too long before there won't be an event.
I buy yarn here but I buy specialist yarn over the internet. There is just one shop near me which sells good yarn. It will close in December. The building is being renovated and the owner, in her 70's, does not want to be bothered with the business of relocation. I don't blame her but I will miss her. I knew that if needed good quality plain vanilla yarn I could go to her - and that I might find a bit of "chocolate" on the side. She didn't go for the very fine yarn needed for some of the work I have done but she has had some good yarn. I like to touch it, hold it up to the light, squish and squash it before I buy it - and she expects that I will want to do that.
It will leave just one shop selling good quality yarn in any great variety - and the owner of that is in her 80's. The rest are people who carry a little yarn on the side or they sell cheap acrylic or the rough and cheaper stuff from places like Turkey and China.
I don't want to knit with that sort of thing. If I am going to put the effort in then I want a lasting result, one of which I can be proud.
"But people don't knit any more," non-knitters tell me.
Nonsense. People do knit. There is, once again, an increased interest in knitting. I want to knit. I know many other people who knit. I don't know many who knit the sort of thing I knit because knitting is an incredibly varied and creative craft - and that is one of the things which makes it so interesting.
There is plenty of evidence that people do knit. I know where the yarn shops have gone though. They have gone off to the internet because renting a shop, stocking it, and staffing it have just become too expensive.
Yes, one of the reasons is that knitting tends to be slower than many other crafts because we are creating the fabric rather than decorating it. In that sense knitting is like writing. They both take time.
I was telling a friend this yesterday when she asked about whether I was going to the craft fair. She asked me,
"If you had to choose between knitting and writing, what would it be?"
I didn't hesitate over my answer. Words are free - but the cost of using them is the one for which I am prepared to pay even more.