Show us your Map of Tassie!

Hi all, as promised, here is a quick run down of Katie’s and my trip to Tasmania! We really really enjoyed everything (except for getting seasick on the way over in 40knot winds and swells of over 10m) and we even managed to find some very lovely yarn to bring home!

We took the ferry over and no more shall be said about THAT trip, and arrived at 6.30am and very bleary eyed began the drive down to Hobart. We took a little detour through Oatlands to see the windmill – lured by the promise of an Australian Wool Outlet which was sadly closed and appeared to have knits straight out of the 80s in the windows.

Arriving in Devenport - deceptively calm!

The Oatlands Windmill

The Oatlands Windmill

We arrived in Hobart in time to go to Salamanca markets – we actually enjoyed WALKING we were so over this travelling business already! We started the stocking up of jams and preserves (soo much foodie goodness in Tas) Found Wursthaus, which is a must go to deli for ANYONE in hobart – delicious ready made and ready to cook foods – and picked up dinner for the next night. We had elderflower drinks and strawberries, and tasted Tassie chocolate and bought berry based fortified wines and generally had a lovely time whilst avoiding the vast amounts of fun fur. FOR SERIOUS.

We were staying in Seven Mile Beach which is about 30 minutes out of hobart to the east. LOVELY!  very quiet resort, nice and relaxing. just wonderful. It was quite cool which suited Katie just fine 🙂 (we actually had the heating on) We relaxed a lot, with knitting and Dr Who 🙂 Over the week, Katie worked through a large portion of her hap blanket and i managed to finish a pair of size 13 socks in 5 days. not even joking.

ENORMO SOCKS go faster in DK weight sock yarn!

ENORMO SOCKS go faster in DK weight sock yarn!

 

It wasn’t until Tuesday that we made our way to Yarn stores! 🙂  There’s a very good one in Moonah, just north of Hobart (on the way to the Cadbury factory, or on the way BACK in our case!!). They stock a lot of great quality yarns, readily available around the place, but we got a little Tassie-specific yarn – namely some locally grown and spun undyed English Leicester. We both got a LARGE skein (about 500m DK weight) and intend to dye them when we FINALLY get round to having a dyeing day here! We’re thinking we might make cushions from it 🙂

Lovely English Leicester

Then we popped back to Salamanca Place (AGAIN!) to go to Spindle Tree – a very well known little place and rightly so. They have a lot of handdyed and handspun yarn plus handknits and accessories. I chose some beautifully dyed mohair – will make a very simple garter stitch scarf on big needles from it – and a skein of sock yarn in colours that are very very familiar… (we also stopped back into Wursthaus for more food, because YUM!)

All named after Tasmanian Towns, this colourway is 'Oyster Cove'

Handdyed Sock Yarn - the colour of crushed blueberries!

We spent the Monday (sorry to go backwards here!) in Richmond, a historic town, in honour of our Richmond (Melbourne) knitting group. It’s a BEAUTIFUL town. We went through the maze and looked in all the little shops (one charging exorbitant priced for handdyed fibre and yarn) and took some photos of the bridge which is older than Adelaide and Perth – 1832!

Richmond Mazes!

Photo of the RIchmond Bridge, with Ducks

On the Wednesday we drove down through Hobart and along the Channel Highway on the west side of the bay. It was very beautiful and we stopped in at a winery that was having a (very small) market (more jam!!) and had a delicious lunch (more elderflower! it’s called Ashbolt, look for it!!) then took a detour to the handweavers gallery which was sadly closed, but there were fabulous views so not a total loss. We met a friend of my mothers for tea and pikelets (MORE jam!) and bought some delicious smoked salmon. nomnom.

Thursday we went horseriding! so much fun. Lovely relaxed trail ride through the brush and along the beach. Haven’t been in years and really enjoyed it. Pulled up pretty well afterwards too, which was good! Friday we played mini golf and had tea and scones 🙂 very civilized.

We took our time on the drive back up to Devenport on Saturday, with the biggest detour being the town of Ross, which we had heard lovely things about. It’s absolutely beautiful, one of the oldest towns in Tas, and even has a wool centre – not only does it have beautiful knits and handspun yarn, but also an info centre on the wool industry, including samples of different fleeces! quite a find for a pair of yarnies! we checked out the ‘antique’ market and had a lovely lunch in an old bakery. just a wonderful stop!

The very picturesque town of Ross

Then of course we made it onto the boat in time – declined dinner just in case – picked up some kwells just in case – but actually enjoyed a pleasant journey back with our regular expected level of NOT-seasickness.  huzzah! then we managed to drive home and fall into bed, exhausted, but refreshed, a lovely holiday over!

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The Land of The Long White Cloud

Last week I took a quick jaunt to New Zealand with my father. When we got on the plane together in Melbourne (he’d flown over from Adelaide to connect at Melb airport) I realised it was the first time we’d been on a plane together in just over 10 years! odd!

We spent 2 nights in Bay of Plenty, just near Tauranga and Mata Mata (where Hobbiton is, but unfortunately it was too wet and i was too at the mercy of our hosts to do a tour) and 2 night staying with my cousin-once-removed and his wife in Nelson, at the top of the South Island. We were well away from Christchurch and felt no tremors or anything, but you could feel the emotional effects across the country. But regardless i had a lovely time, especially in Nelson, which is a gorgeous town (with gorgeous men!) and I would really love to go back again soon! I also get along very well with my cousins (their daughter lives here and has just had a baby boy) and would like to get to know/spend more time with that branch of the family tree.

But you all want to know about the yarns, right? well, unfortunately, being at the whim of two rather, shall we say, outdoorsy type women meant that a yarn store visit was not a top priority, and despite my research, and the find of a few places nearby (ie, within an hour’s drive), I was only offered a brief trip to the ‘best store, up at the mount’ on the recommendation of a knitterly friend of theirs. I, of course, took it. It was a tiny little shop and i can only say that this friend must be a bit of an ‘old school’ knitter, as this place really only stocked workhorse yarns, most of which i could get over here. But! I did find one yarn I hadn’t seen before, although i’m sure it’s available here now, and if not, soon. It’s a Naturally yarn, a brand i think is highly underrated, and it’s a sock yarn blend of wool, alpaca and possum! huzzah, a true NZ yarn as a souvenir. I got it in two rather pretty multicoloured colourways.

I also picked up two lonely skeins of Naturally Sensation, a lovely angora merino blend, in cream. It’s a discontinued yarn and i haven’t seen it around in a while, and i thought it would be lovely to hand dye and weave.

Nelson offered a little more excitement. For a start it was only drizzling, not pissing down with rain, which meant we could spend the morning at the market. Lots of lovely hand made items as well as local produce and things like possum and merino blend clothing. They had a bit of Touch yarns at one of the stalls, but i knew where i was heading later in the day, so i resisted. I looked at some of the possum blend clothes – something i was hoping to get for myself this trip – but none grabbed me. I did buy an adorable hand made hair clip. It’s got netting, beads, wire curls and a fabric flower. It’s made of win! On the way out I also checked out a clothing store which, if i remember correctly, is called Puss Puss (it’s off trafalgar street in a little mall if you’re ever in Nelson) that made AMAZING dresses, skirts and corsets. Seriously, it made me want to have a fiance, just so i could get a wedding dress made there!

Then, I went to the place i’d been saving up for – Fibre Spectrum. It’s a sort of handweavers and spinners group outlet (not sure it’s an actual guild) and whilst most of their stock is finished objects – clothes, accessories, homewares etc – they did have some handspun yarn available, including HUZZAH handspun merino and possum. I picked up 100g of black and 100g of a variegated berryish colour, as well as 50g of green for Katie. It’s all about 8ply

Sunday i seemed to spend entirely in airports or planes, but i did manage to snap up that possum merino garment i was wanting. I bought a lovely longline cardigan (with cables and pockets and a big collar) in a charcoaly colour and it is just so SOFT! I popped it on on Monday night and almost went into a fibre coma. If anyone takes a photo of me in it, i will share.

Meanwhile, here are some more generic holiday snaps of NZ

Bay of Plenty from the lookout

and again. so ridiculously green!

The pumphouse at the goldmine in Waihi

The breakwater in Nelson – the boatshed cafe on the left is where we had lunch

which included this little gem! very nomable

and one last photo for all my fibre (and wine) loving friends – Lawn Mowing, NZ style!