The planets aligned when Robyn Hicks made the move to the bush opening the way for a rich creative life with Yummy Yarn and co.
It was meant to be. As Robyn Hicks recalls that sultry summer day in 1994 when she and her husband, Bill, made the trek from the Blue Mountains for a job interview, Dubbo was in post-Christmas shutdown mode. “There was hardly anything open, so we walked the streets looking in real estate windows,” she says. “As luck would have it we spotted the house of our dreams, an early-1900s cottage on 20 acres [eight hectares] at Wongarbon, about 20 kilometres west of Dubbo.”
Of course Bill got the job, which is how he and Robyn made their tree change long before the term was even invented. These days the Hicks and their two teenaged sons have strong roots in the NSW western plains and can’t imagine ever returning to city life. Robyn, who has been crocheting so long she can’t actually remember learning how, has now built a business called Yummy Yarn and co around her hobby. What started out as an online store selling yarns she found hard to source in the country, has now developed into a shopfront in downtown Dubbo, with classes most weekends, a personal following for her original designs, and a growing profile on social media.
When she finally got around to picking up a hook about seven years ago, she discovered the world of crotchet had undergone a revolution. “The yarns available, the colours and the variety … everything was better,” she says. “As a kid I usually made things from unravelled knits so they were always in pukey maroons and dark greens. But now you can have every yarn in any colour imaginable, and there is just so much potential in what you can do in mixing up the colours.”
Robyn started “playing around” with the bold new colours and designs and posting the results of her creativity on Instagram. Having taught a friend to crotchet, they encouraged each other to be creative and about two years ago took the decision to share their passion with an online store. A year down the track the opportunity to open a shopfront in Dubbo came up and Robyn admits even she was surprised by the enthusiastic response.
At the beginning of this year Robyn went solo with the business and she has expanded Yummy Yarn and co’s classes to include weekends with classes on consecutive days along with her regular beginners’ classes and monthly free Social Saturdays, when anyone can bring any project along and enjoy the community and sharing of skills. Robyn is also delighted that some of her designs are available on the new creative website, Cosy Project.
“Anything that spreads the word about crotchet is a good thing,” she says. “Yummy Yarn and co stocks yarns from Patons, Panda, DMC, Noro and Debbie Bliss and it’s great when enthusiasts who are travelling from Victoria to Queensland drop in to say hello and pick up materials.”
The complete story was originally published in Australian Country issue 20.2. Click here to subscribe to our magazine.
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Click here to visit Cosy Project.
Words Kirsty McKenzie
Photography Robyn Hicks