Guest Blogger: Joy

Joy’s Yarn Shop Trip

When traveling one should visit yarn shops wherever they can be found. That is my opinion. My trip was to the friendly countries of Australia and New Zealand. I say friendly because I asked many questions, like: “Where might I find a yarn or weaving shop?” And, “Will you help me I am lost?” I always received an answer with a smile.

First stop Sydney. We had been out all day seeing the sights of Sydney when I spotted a sign “Wool Shop.” They only had shawls and scarves. When I asked for skeins of wool, the clerk reached for the telephone book. The address she wrote out for me was only two blocks from the hotel. Found the shop that evening and went there at ten in the morning. I was back in time to catch the bus to the ship. Found three yarns. Two of them Joan had not seen. The interesting one looks like lace weight knitted in a tube to make a bulky weight. Am planning to weave a scarf.

Next stop Melbourne. The info desk volunteer told me which tram to get on and where to get off and what tram I should ride next and what street the Tapestry Workshop was on. The drug store clerk directed me further. (Joan can’t believe I went out on my own to find this workshop.) What a place! The largest loom was two stories high and maybe 20 feet wide. The other looms were being worked on by two or three weavers. This is a place were tapestries are made for hospitals, hotels, embassies and such. The one that three weavers were busy working on was for the children’s hospital in Melbourne. They also dye the yarn they use, 233 different colors were available.

 

Next stop Hobart, Tasmania. It was the Wool Shop clerk again who directed me to walk along the harbor to my next shop. This shop sold some yarn but mostly had things made locally. I found a vest that was hand felted. Even the vest button and the balls on the purse were felted. And, it was my colors. The clerk took a US five dollar bill because this purchase wiped out my Australian money!

On to New Zealand. Two days at sea crossing “the ditch” as they call the crossing from Australia to New Zealand or NZ to Australia. We just missed a cyclone that hit Australia after we were gone. Dunedin, on the south island of New Zealand, has an octagon as the center of town. Down one street to my next stop. I bought Rare Essentials in two colors for a scarf and Baby Wool for another. Then on to a bead shop and gift shop. Found yarn with possum in it. It is so soft. I bought some dark pink that will go with the Rare Essentials. I can’t believe I carried the color in my head.

Wellington is next. Rode the cable car then asked in a gift shop. The yarn shop was really an all needlework shop with just a little yarn. I bought some Tekapo which Joan says felts nicely (she’s woven with it) and is a really nice yarn.

Last stop. This is where I got lost and it is just a little town. A man walking along assured me it was not far. He was right. This yarn shop dyes some of their own yarn. Of course I needed some of it (sure I did). I also found roving and sliver, grey and violet roving and orange and green sliver. This shop owner assisted me by looking up a color wheel in a book. I talked with her quite a while.

We missed stopping at Christchurch and I had planned to visit Anne Field at her studio. We had not been allowed to leave the harbor in Dunedin due to the high winds. Yes, I was disappointed but one needs to go with the flow. Am glad the rest of the trip wasn’t cancelled because we had run aground sailing out of the harbor.

Friendly, friendly people live in these two countries. If it weren’t so far to fly there, I would go more often.

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