December 16, 2012

How crafty did I get while in NZ...

Well, I did bring knitting with me to our trip but all I did was 5 rows of the Haruni shawl... the other time I was too busy map reading and staring out of the massive windscreen of our campervan. The sheep dotted rolling green hills were my favourites and ah, yes, the never ending stretch of river and snow capped mountains!!

I did say I would elaborate on the visit to the Milton Woollen Mill!

Well, we were supposed to be backpacking, like we did when we were young - ahm! there is no shame in flashpacking! Anyway I digressed, I was just saying that I couldn't fit them in our backpacks so I just hand carried them on the plane... plus I wouldn't want to risk them getting lost with the luggage! I was very restrained as after all I don't need more yarn but I was at a woollen mill for crying out loud. I had never been to a woollen mill before and the prices were very reasonable... even Terry said so and encouraged me to pick up some... little did he know what "some" meant... hahaha - he was suffering from a nasty flu - not that I took advantage of that... They don't seem too much if looking at them like this... really. I have to add these to the Stash in my Ravelry page yet but let's not dwell on that for too long.

Another major crafty highlight of the trip is the visit to The Oamaru Textile Emporium. These ladies (Helen on the left and I forgot the other lady's name - me really bad!) were just so kind and lovely to chat to. We could talk all day! The rug they were braiding was amazing and so clever. They told me that this is actually an old American tradition which I googled to learned more. I found a few links on this and notably this one. I told them that I wanted to learn how to dye yarn and they immediately told me that they all do it there - wow!

In their showroom there is a massive loom and beautiful yarn and garments. I also found out that Doe Arnot is a local of Oamaru and sells her yarns there. She holds dyeing classes! I will have to contact Doe to find out what their schedules are... I promised Helen I would send her a hard copy of this photo which I have printed two copies of and will pop in the mail this week. 

The biggest thing we enjoy about travelling is talking to the locals and as shy as I can be, I was so glad I opened my mouth.

After chatting with these ladies, I have started putting in some mental notes to follow up after we get home and they are:
  1. Look into doing some dyeing classes - I found one coming up in the Blue Mountains by Wooldancer so I will look into that closely - after all the location works...
  2. Visit the Bendigo Woollen Mill
  3. Visit the annual Australian Sheep and Wool show
  4. Visit the Merriwa's Festival of the Fleeces
  5. Plan to join yarn crafting retreat... - although I don't think I can make the Unwind Fibrecraft Retreat to be held in Dunedin next March, there will be others and I ought to be more aware of them and plan accordingly!
  6. Learn about the different breeds of sheep - while we were driving, there were so many different looking sheep and I kept asking Terry what they were, not that he knows but didn't stop me from asking!
They are obviously not my New Year resolutions - I wouldn't jinx myself like that :)

I should go and use some of the stash now....


  1. Hey Amanda, a nice country trip is the Berry fibre muster (Berry Spinners and Weavers) and accessible by train, usually first week in July, and Carcoar Fibre Festival in May. Love your trip blogs, gemma

    1. Thanks Gemma! I love Berry and the South Coast so I will definitely check these out :)