Sunday, March 25, 2007

Confession time

Come a little closer. I have something to tell you that you may find shocking.

I've done almost no knitting in the past two weeks.

I started out fine, really I did. In fact, I knit half a sock between DFW and Los Angeles. And then ... I just stopped working on it. Oh, I had great intentions of knitting while sitting in the passenger seat as we drove across the South Island. That plan didn't take two things into account, however: (1) I am extremely prone to motion sickness, especially in a car; and (2) I didn't want to miss a single bit of the scenery.

That half sock I completed on the first leg of our flight to NZ? I just finished it last night.

Whew, it feels so good to confess, I think I'll let you in on another shocker. I almost didn't come home with any yarn. It's unfathomable, I know. New Zealand is one of the world's great wool meccas, and yet, I had a hard time finding yarn. True, we spent most of our time in and around small towns in which yarn shops were scarce. I decided not to worry about it until we hit the larger cities. In Dunedin I saw loads of yarn shops; however, we had the misfortune to be there on a Sunday, and all the shops were closed.

Our last day in NZ was in Christchurch, and I was on a mission. The Professor recalled seeing a wool shop in the Arts Centre, so we decided to try that first. It turned out to be a lovely little shop full of handknits, and in one small corner, yarn. Handspun yarn. I felt like I'd won the lottery.

This is what I came out of the shop with. I believe they were both spun by the same woman, and I have no doubt that she is a lovely person. The blue yarn even came with three hat patterns attached. The price? $54 NZ for a total of 429 meters (pardon me, metres) of handspun. (That's under $40 US.) As I walked out of the shop, I half expected alarm bells to ring because I'd gotten such a steal. It's the perfect yarn souvenir, too: New Zealand wool actually spun by a Kiwi!

The Professor had actually encouraged me to buy more of the yarn. (Oddly, this was not the first time he basically had said to me, "I don't care how much yarn you buy." How lucky am I?) I think I showed admirable restraint. As it turned out, two skeins was enough to deplete the remainder of our NZ cash. Anyway, it would have taken some creative packing to fit a sweater's worth of yarn into my luggage.

Oh, I also came home with these. I'm only human, after all.

Believe it or not, the yarn was not quite the highlight of my wool experience in NZ. Remember that B&B I told you about with the sheep? Well, one of the proprietors, Fay, is actually an expert spinner. (I knew this beforehand; it's one of the reasons I booked the place. The Professor and I found both Fay and Stephen to be kindred spirits.)

Now, I've always been a bit hesitant to try spinning, but not for lack of interest. Mainly I'm afraid that spinning would take away from my knitting time. When Fay offered to give me a lesson, though, I couldn't say no.

It was fun. Really fun. I may be in very serious trouble. Might there be a spinning wheel in my future? Mentally I can't justify buying a wheel until I have another lesson or five. Also, I shouldn't consider such an expenditure until I am gainfully employed. But...

I have a job interview tomorrow. A new job really would cut into my knitting time, wouldn't it?


At 3/25/07, 7:17 PM, Blogger loriz said...

Isn't that store in the Arts Center great?! Last time I was in Christchurch, I bought enough handspun for a sweater...and its the softest most comfy sweater.

At 3/25/07, 8:04 PM, Anonymous Mintyfresh said...

it's totally ok to take a vacation from knitting while on vacation!

At 3/26/07, 9:58 AM, Blogger Jodi said...

Oh the horror! Quite the shocking revelation.

Seriously, a vacation is all about taking a break from what you usually do, right? Sounds like a great trip, and the handspun yarn is beautiful (and it's blue, the best color ever, to boot).

I'm afraid to try spinning, b/c we don't have any more room in my apt. for my hobbies!

At 3/26/07, 11:20 AM, Anonymous kelp! said...

That handspun yarn is DELISH! I don't blame you for not knitting on vacation because hello! You're in NZ! I can't wait to see more of the photos from your trip.

Also, if there are any local spinning guilds around you, you can see if they rent wheels. I know someone who did that (she ended up buying the wheel), and I'm thinking about tracking down a group in my area.

At 3/29/07, 1:39 PM, Blogger ~Kristie said...

Your husband & mine must be related. Mine never complains about me buying yarn and actually is a bit of a yarn enabler!

The yarn you purchased in NZ is GORGEOUS! I don't know if I'd ever knit with it though. I'd probably just use it as "art" in my home.


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