We had a great time in New Zealand. It's been a long time since I travelled with a bicycle, and having independent transport was glorious. It's also a great country for knitters. Firstly, while riding round there were sheep and other yarn beasts everywhere. On our ride to Nelson we passed some very friendly alpacas. I blame them for what happened later, in the yarn shop...
Secondly there is significant (compared to Australia) amount of local yarn available. In Nelson I went to a yarn shop called Cruellas. They has loads of alpaca, possum blends and Knitsch sock yarns. I though I was going to have to control myself, because we were travelling light (for those of you who see my orange panniers that I carry every day, we had the equivalent of six of those between us.) Jess, the wonderfully helpful and knowledgeable shop assistant pointed out that they could mail it back to Australia, and so take of the GST, so I wouldn't even have to pay for postage. 2 jumpers worth, a vest and two pairs of socks later, I was out of there. No photos yet, as the yarn is still on it's way.
Nelson is a lovely place, and there are sheep everywhere. This was taken on a short walk we took to the "Centre of New Zealand". (Nobody thinks it is the actual centre, but there is a monument there and it was a lovely walk. And there were sheep, in sight of the town centre!
We also rode to a natural coloured sheep farm. the proprietress has a lot of personality, and knowledge and was willing to share it all with us! From here I bought some felted merino singles to make Romi Hill's latest cowl. It's always fun buying from the person who designed the yarn. It's 100 percent merino and still has that wonderful sheepy smell.
Here's a close up, because the texture of the yarn is quite interesting:
We headed back to Wellington and I had pretty much decided that I had enough yarn, but then Kate took me to Holland Road Yarns. It's a very cute shop, but I was doing fine, just looking at the pretty colours. And then I saw this:
If you can't read it, it says "cashmere, possum silk". They has a sample knit up, and I just walked around the shop holding it, like a security blanket. So I bought a jumper's worth, but it's lace weight, so it barely takes up any space. And then I bought Leon some merino, nylon, alpaca, possum sock yarn, because I thought he might be jealous.
I had a chance to get a reasonably amount of knitting done on my lace weight jumper, and finished the body on the plane on the way back. Now it's just the sleeves to do.
There were of course other things that happened on the trip, things to do with cruises, and kiwis and riding and beer and eating, but I figured what you really wanted to know about was the yarn, yarn beasts and knitting. I'll give the very condensed version of the other parts of the trip by saying, a good time was has by all.