Which winter woolly will win?

May 24, 2024 BY

Teamwork: The Best Beanie initiative is run through the Smythesdale Country Market, which is a joint effort between the Smythesdale Progress Association and the Woady Yaloak Historical Society. Photo: TIM BOTTAMS

EVERYONE is invited to put their sewing skills to the test with the annual Best Beanie Battle set to return next month.

Now back for its third year and run through the Smythesdale Country Market, the initiative will once again pit the region’s handcrafted wool hats against each other.

With judging to take place on Sunday 15 June, coordinator Jaymee Ellis said it’s been great to see the initiative grow since its establishment in 2022.

“It was originally started as a way to bring the community together and to do it for a cause,” she said.

“The idea is everyone gets to make something fun and beautiful but there’s the second meaning in that all the beanies are donated to Ballarat Uniting Care and goes out to people doing it tough on the streets.

“This has become something people look forward to and ask about which is crazy. The first year, we got about 20 entries. Last year, we had nearly 40. This year, people have been asking about it since March.

The judging day will see each entry on display at the Woady Yaloak Recreation Reserve from 9am to 1pm during the Smythesdale Country Market.

Each entry will be judged among Scarsdale Country Women’s Association members in the prize categories of creativity, fun, and technique.

Ms Ellis said its especially important to continue using the initiative as a way of giving to the community considering rising cost of living pressures and the inclement winter season.

“Particularly as it gets colder and in the last couple of years, it’s obviously been really, really tough,” she said.

“Something like this I think is really important to get people thinking about what they can donate. Last year, we actually had collection boxes too and I had a carful of blankets and scarves as well as beanies.

“We’ll be continuing that for this one too. People have really gotten behind the cause.”

Entries can be dropped off at the Woady Yaloak Recreation Reserve on the morning of judging, with winners announced at about11am.

Organisers can be contacted via [email protected] or through the market’s social media for early submissions.