Today was a road trip day and my destination was the National Wool Museum in Geelong, Victoria (Victoria is the state we live in~Melbourne is the capitol of the state.) Geelong is about 80 kilometers (50 miles) from Melbourne on the west side of Port Philip Bay. I got a start after most of the morning rush hour traffic was where they were going and with my GPS I had no trouble getting there.
Being a knitter and spinner, the National Wool Museum was a match made in heaven. This museum is located in Geelong because Geelong was the site of the first woolen mill in Victoria in the mid-1800’s and grew to be an important wool center for the world. The museum had exhibits showing the history of processing wool from the early days. There were exhibits depicting the life of an itinerant sheep shearer, how the sheep fleeces were prepared to be shipped around the world and the variety of sheep breeds and what the pros and cons were for each of those breeds. All the exhibits were very well done and many featured videos to show live action of some aspect of the processing of wool.
There was a special exhibit entitled Future Wool, where fashion designers from around the world designed an outfit made from wool. There were some wonderful creations and many of the designers wrote and spoke about why they like to create garments made from wool. As a seamstress, I could appreciate all their comments about wool’s wearability and ease of handling.
One of the features for which the museum is famous is their 1910-built Axminster Jacquard Carpet Loom. When I arrived, a docent was giving a demonstration and talk about this huge loom. This loom is still used to produce rugs that were for sale in the Museum shop (I got a small one as a souvenir!) There were hundreds of bobbins of wool/nylon yarn stacked up behind the loom and the machine was very loud as it lifted the warp yarns and wove the rug. The design of the rug is unique to the National Wool Museum and is based on a design from the UK’s Persian Rug Archive (who knew such a thing existed!).
I took a few minutes to explore the waterfront area of Geelong, which looked to be very modern. Geelong is famous for a series of 100 Bollards, sculptures depicting some of the people who shaped the history of Geelong. These Bollards are along the bay walk and I took a short tour to see a few of these pieces of art. It was a beautiful day to be along the waterfront and I will have to come back some day to explore some more.
My road trip continued along the western edge of the bay to the Point Lonsdale, where the bay meets the ocean. You may remember that I went to Point Nepean last week, which is a similar landmark on the other side of the bay. These points are about 2-3 kilometers apart and it is the opening that huge ships must use to get in and out of the bay, going to and from Melbourne. Because the opening is so small the tide creates an enormous rip tide as it goes in and out. This can be a treacherous area for ship captains! Someday I hope to out on either Point when a ship is moving through this narrow channel. Today I enjoyed being by the ocean, walking along the cliffs and pier and checking out the lighthouse.
Jim rode his bike to and from work again today and is enjoying that mode of travel. Also, today we got our final money issue resolved so we are once again solvent and have access to those funds!