Saturday, December 31, 2005


when going on holiday it is important not to rush while packing, otherwise you could forget something important - like the camera.

Flash and I have just had a couple of days away alone together, we stayed on the northern coast of New South Wales,about 3.5 hrs drive from home. It was idyllic, we hiked, swam and laid on the beach (under a shade) we saw a real live wild goanna, and a wedge-tailed eagle, and mile upon mile of beautiful scenery, all of which is in my head instead of in my laptop, although we did buy a "happy snappy" camera in order to take photos of Gloucester and Stroud (inland NSW) for my grandparents (from Gloucester and Stroud in the UK) who like that kind of thing. It was so nice spending some time together, we needed to re-group, we have another year of changes coming up.
We drove inland to Gloucester, and passed a little town called Tinonee, a little way out of town I noticed a sign on the side of the road "The Spinning wheel" , and then another "angora goats for sale $15" we drove up the driveway and were immediately inundated with dogs - an elderly bull terrier, even more ancient sheepdog and tiny miniature schnauzer, who all licked and nuzzled enthusiastically, and engendered no fear at all, in fact it was great, they kept the husband busy while I loaded up with yarn! June's workshop was full of bags of dyed and undyed roving, and baskets of balls of handspun, I decided to pass on the roving, I have enough to be going on with - the spinning is improving, but not vastly so. The handspun was well priced, and I bought just over a kilo in different colour blends and fibres, all is sheep, but blended with either mohair or alpaca, each ball is 100g, enough for a hat, and I thought I might make some felted slippers too, but at the moment it is stacked on the coffee table, the kids love playing with it,it is full of lanolin and it still smells like sheep!

the colours are not showing at all, we have purple, white plied with pink and red, light brown plied with green/blue, natural brown, and teal plied with natural cream.

Once again I bought without thinking of the end product, so this too will end up in the stash (in it's own box I think) which makes me think of the last time I was a handknitter, I had a huge box of yarn in the corner of the living room, but I didn't call it a "stash" it was just a collection - which I expected would be knitted up in time, i had two skeins of Rowan Botany wool, 1 charcoal, 1 a soft mossy green, I used to pet them, and think "I really need to do something with this wool" but I never did, I didn't know any other knitters, so I didn't know that this was normal behaviour! and I used to search for sock wool in the LYS, but this was pre-internet and I just believed the owner when she said the spinners didn't make sock wool anymore.

15 1/2 years ago a friend and I went to see Kaffe Fassett give a talk in Auckland - I was mesmerised, I am sure the LYS owners saw him as an heretical upstart! if we listened to what he said we would stop buying packs of the same dyelot and mess the shop up with our "one of this, and one of that" mixed sweetie approach. Here was this man talking about colour and fibre - NZ is a wool producer, we knitted wool, but Kaffe turned me on to to kidsilk (ancestor of Kidsilk Haze) and mixing many more colours than I would have dreamed before, buoyed by his infectious enthusiasm I went home to start creating bright, original kids hats and clothes, which I sold at the local market, but I still knitted alone, I tried to join the Guild, but just didn't fit in, eventually I changed direction and handknitting was left behind, but the passion for fibre and colour remained. I am sad that this community of knitters did not exist for me all those years ago, but so happy I am part of it now.