The dates for the 2019 SpinIN are: Friday 1st & Saturday 2nd March

Meet and Greet for Registrants Friday 28th February (time tba)


President's Report

Picture this, a cloudless highland sky, colourful canvas stalls corralled like a wagon train across the manicured green oval of the Bothwell District School, the enticing aroma of freshly ground coffee, strains of music through the PA speakers, Alpaca and Moorit sheep grazing happily in their pens, decorated plywood sheep, the careful handiwork of the school students, popping unexpected brilliant colour from a drab corner or under the leafy drape of a silver birch.
Such, was the idyllic setting, a Festival Committee’s dream for both days of the Bothwell International Highland SpinIN and Fibre Festival 2017.

Crowds arrived at the entry gates and flowed through the site providing a constant motion of patrons checking program sheets, to determine what to see or do first.
The sound of the Scottish bagpipes from the gymnasium foyer, heralded the commencement of the Opening Ceremony. With welcomes officially extended, sheep shorn, fleece blessed, exciting news of the Longest Thread winner disclosed to a global community and announcements made, the two day SpinIN  program had commenced.
 A sense of creative excitement permeated the air, much to experience, to observe, to share, to purchase and to enjoy.

Each of the two days was punctuated with onstage guest interviews, specialty speakers, presentations, workshops and demonstrations. Displays of handcrafts adorned the walls, judges huddled to determine winners, chants of support rang through the gym as competing teams raced the clock for the Highland Challenge and the Quickest Longest Thread competition, flying wheels, clicking needles, flashing hands and shouts of triumph.

The rear of the gym was a hive of activity where workshop tutors shared their skills, eager, heads down, focussed participants hanging on every word of instruction.
Each tutor, a wealth of knowledge to willingly impart, each participant, unbridled enthusiasm for fibre and the opportunity for expression through creativity.
 This indeed is the unique quality of the SpinIN, the holistic benefit of socialisation, of belonging, the fulfilment of achievement and the challenge of new horizons. It crosses the boundaries of age, culture, gender, beliefs, economics and politics and opens an opportunity for fellowship, cultural exchange, goodwill and tolerance. Our diversity is embraced by one common factor the love of fibre and our creative gratification in using it.

Nothing happens without the support of many people and so it is with a festival such as this.
The BISHIFF Committee had two key aims for the 2017 event. Firstly, stage an event which was financially viable and to uphold the traditions of the SpinIN. Second, extend its outreach to a broader and younger audience and to innovate in order to achieve this.
These objectives could not have been realised were it not for the support of our sponsors and the co operation of the Principal, staff and students of the Bothwell District School.

The SpinIN Committee is indebted to the following supporters.
The Central Highlands Council for financial sponsorship and the provision of material and human resources,
The HWSD Guild of Tasmania for financial sponsorship which assisted in reducing costs. We are grateful for the huge contingent of support from Guild members to stage the Highland Challenge, sponsorship of the Mary Simons Perpetual trophy by the South Hobart Branch, sponsorship from the Northern Branch for weaving competition classes, for the Guild’s person power to hang craft competition entries, mount displays, undertake judging for competitions, advise  new spinners, sell raffle tickets and for supporting SpinIN Committee member Josiane Eve, through the mechanical and measurement hazards of the Longest Thread Competition. The manning of the well stocked, Yarn Stall by Viv Crawford and her sister was a boon for Guild members, a colourful display and an enquiry base for prospective Guild memberships.
We are grateful to Ashford Wheels and Looms for continued sponsorship of the Longest Thread Competition. Ashford’s generosity now extends beyond 20years.Thank you Libby Keoghan for visiting the SpinIN once again as Ashford’s representative.
To Hansen Crafts, the Australian Alpaca Association, the Wool Shop and the Alpaca Shoppe Deloraine for their sponsorship of Competition Classes.
To Eden Bay Fibre Farm for the tribute to Val Payne display and the inaugural Moorit fleece competition. Josiane’s educational wool box display provided interest and information for many patrons young and old.
 If “every battalion marches on it’s stomach” we extend thanks to the community groups providing sustenance for our fibre audience.
We extend our thanks to the CWA, the Lions Club of Bothwell and the Bothwell District School P&F Canteen Committee for the provision of quality food and drinks served with country hospitality.

We are grateful to the gentlemen of the Bothwell Lodge who greeted our SpinIN patrons, sold raffle tickets like hot cakes and distributed programs. Enormous thanks go to the Bothwell Exercise Group who provided hospitality and information for all those reporting to the Information office, a buzzing hub for the length of the Festival.
We are grateful to all those businesses which supported our fundraising endeavour, the raffle.
Our thanks go to Pennicott Wilderness Tours, The Old Woolstore Apartments, Morrisons Brewery, B G Firearms Tasmania, Anahita Farmed, Callington Mill, The Bothwell Museum, Anvers Chocolate, Rupertswood Farm and SpinIN Committee members past and present.
Our innovations for the SpinIN 2017 “Fashion for the Highlands” competition and the “Showcase of Tasmanian Design” would not have been possible except for the generous sponsorship of Ruche Fabrics Launceston, M Recht Accessories Melbourne, Spotlight Stores Sydney, The Wool Shop Moonah, The Lucky Ewe Oatlands, Salamanca Wool Shop Hobart, Photographic Styling by Estella Devonport and the photographic expertise of Steven French.
Our panel of Guest Judges gave the gift of their time and enthusiasm.
We extend our thanks to Jan Dineen MFAD Hobart, Rudolf Ramseyer “ Rudolf Couture” Launceston and Rita Summers “Gone Rustic Studio” St Mary’s.
For his generous sponsorship and hosting of our Guest Judges, we are indebted to Greg Ramsay of “Ratho Farm Homestead” Bothwell. All enjoyed the modern creature comforts of this historic Tasmanian homestead.
Our dinner Auction success was again due to the generosity of our sponsors, Bellgrove Distillery, Nant Distilling Co, the Bothwell Super Store, the Bothwell Garage, h.a.l.s. Elders, Livia Pure Skin Care, the Castle Hotel and the Deloraine Alpaca Shoppe.

To the Traders who came from near and far, over land and water, we thank you. Your well stocked tented stalls provided “the festival” ambience for the event.
The array and diversity of beautiful fibre and hand crafted products for purchase, delighted and inspired your customers.
Like the finish of every good story the SpinIN patrons of 2017 said their goodbyes, gathered bulging bags of fibre purchases and “went home tired but happy”.......and so did the grateful Committee!

See you there in 2019

Juliet Smith - President BISHIFF Committee 2017


The Tasmanian (Bothwell) Tartan


This tartan is the culmination of a decade of experimentation in weaving and dyeing by its creators, Mrs Isabella Lamont Shorrock and her husband Jock, of the Lamont Weaving Studio, formerly of Bothwell.

The sett and the colours come from both the history of Bothwell and Tasmanian nature.

The Bothwell district is well known for its early Scottish settlers including the McDowells, so the design is based on the McDowell sett.

The colours come from the Eucalypt and the Acacia, the two soft grey-greens of the living gum leaves and the maroon and pink are seen when the leaves are dying. The yellow represents the wattle blossom. The tartan is a beautiful reflection of springtime in the Tasmanian bush.

Permission to use the Tasmanian Tartan on our web site has been given by Dot and Mike Evans.