Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Let's Have A Yarn Day

I've been looking forward to today's adventure for quite some time. When I learned that I might be able to come to New Zealand, I let my blog friend, Wei Siew of Kiwiyarns Knits, know about it. So we planned to meet up. First thing on the list was to take pictures of the Southern Skies shawl (Due to be released in the next day or so). We stopped by the Dominion Observatory to see what kinds of photos we could get. Although this wasn't a final pick, I quite like the photo.

Next up was a trip to the Holland Road Yarn Company. I've had a burning desire to visit after reading Wei Siew's multiple blog posts about all the yarn she finds there. This shop is run by Tash, the granddaughter of Margret Stove. She is wearing a Rocky Coast Cardigan. 

I've been drooling over the Knitsch yarns for quite some time. Tash dyes them herself and I had a very difficult time making up my mind over what colors to buy. Of course in the end I went with my life's philosophy on yarn: When in doubt, buy it all.
Photo credit to Wei Siew.

You can really build up an appetite after looking for yarn, so we went to John's Fish Market for fish and chips. I'm pretty sure this is the best fish and chips I've ever had. Everything was fresh, the batter was crisp, and the seasoning was spot on. There may be another trip to it in the near future. Possibly tomorrow... I hope.
The fish market also happens to be across from the beach. So we took our lunch, sat on a bit of driftwood, and watched the seagulls fight amongst themselves over who would get first go at our food. One gull puffed himself up and ran at every other gull. (I think he is the second from the right in the photo.) The chips were too good to share, so I didn't.

Our next stop was a really special one. Wei Siew arranged for us to have a tour of Woolyarns. This is where the Zealana yarn is made. I'm quite a fan. In the past I've made the Druid Mittens and Fireside Sweater out of their yarns. Here we've got some raw possum. It's really soft. I know this because I was allowed to touch it.

Having worked at a mill, I really enjoyed seeing some of the equipment again. There were a few machines I never got to work with, but wish I had. The first neat one was a machine that automatically cut out knots in the yarn and spliced the two ends together. I didn't even know that was possible. But that would explain why I've yet to find a knot in my Zealana yarn. The other neat machine was the one that made yarn into center pull balls. I had always been curious about how that was possible. The height of the tubed area determines how the yarn ends up. There is a shorter tube for donut sized balls of yarn. 

After Woolyarns, we headed over to Wei Siew's for dinner. She even showed me her yarn stash. And as any knitter knows, the yarn stash is a sacred realm. Only the most worthy are allowed to enter. I must have entered into a holy order or something, because I was allowed to leave with some of her stash. A few bits of Royal Stansborough yarn and, get ready for this, a whole sweater's worth! Of Stansborough! This yarn is pretty tough to find. As in I bought the last 6 skeins at Holland Road Yarn Company.
Here is the official haul from yesterday. The top step were all gifts and the bottom step was damage I inflicted on myself. 
Top step L to R: Little Wool Co, 4ply in Lime; Flagstaff Alpaca, 8ply in North Isle on Marl; Little Wool Co, 8ply in Peat; 11 skeins of Stansborough Mythral in Takahe (Thanks Wei Siew!)
Bottom step L to R: Knitch 100% Merino, a pair of each in Looking Glass, Charlemagne, Yellow Brick Road, The William, and Odelay; Stansborough Mythral, first column is Manuka and Rata, second column are both Royal Kokako, third column is Kokako and Takahe.

So all in all, it was a great day. The only thing I forgot to do was get a picture with the both of us in it. Ah well. Now I have an excuse to visit my blogging buddy again.


Anonymous said...

It was a tremendously special day, and very fun. I hope we get to do that again. :-)

Anonymous said...

sounds like a great yarn-ous day in good company :) love the wool colours and the Southern Skies shawl.
PS is there a way to subscribe the blog by email? thanks!

José said...

Sounds like a wonderful time ! Again, loved to read it and love all the pics :)

Anonymous said...

Oh my God that Knitch! I love every one of the colours you chose. And wow, Wei Siew, that is incredible. The generosity of knitters is a wonderful thing.

Pumpkin said...

This is definitely my favorite travel post yet for obvious reasons. It is wonderful that you were able to meet up with Wei Siew, she is a great blogger. I also had no idea that the southern hemisphere was finished! I'm glad you knit it in that colorway again, it is perfect. Yes, definitely buy it all, you know you'll knit all that yarn up at some point in time!

Tash said...

It was so lovely to meet you! Here's to international yarn friends! x

Jennifer said...

Look at all of that gorgeous yarn! And how nice of Wei Siew to give you some of her stash!

Unknown said...

Wow, what an impressive haul! Hope you brought an extra bag. :)

Vivian said...

So neat to meet up with your blogging friend in your travels. I'm waiting for my friend from Australia to visit in January. Enjoy your trip!

Gracey is not my name.... said...

Sounds like such a great day!!!!! And look at the yarns! Wow!

I worked in a mill too...but we made it was much hardier yarn used...

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