Well, it had to happen sometime. I had to stumble upon some yarn eventually.
I didn’t expect it to be in the little town of Gore, though. Nor did I expect it to be some lovely handspun.
Just hold your horses — I’ll get to the picture of the yarn in a minute.
We drove from Te Anau to Gore about midday on Tuesday, the 30th. We saw many, many, MANY sheep on the drive — which turned out to meander through some quite rural areas – i.e. gravel roads. Don took it like a Southern NZ Man, though – more about that particular cultural aspect later.
Along the way, and stopping for lunch in Gore, we learned several interesting things:
1) They are trying to conserve “red tussocks” in this area. I think it is working.
2) Gore is apparently the brown trout fishing capital of the WORLD.
3) They like big statues of animals in Gore. Here is one of a Romney sheep.
Kind of across the way from the sheep statue, we spotted a sign saying “Local Crafts” store and below it, the magic words: WOOL MART.
Well, to be frank, it wasn’t all that spectacular. I didn’t take a picture, but it was basically one corner of a fairly large shop and contained a little bit of everything: commercial plied wools, a bit of acrylic, some burlier bulky natural-colored hanks of wool, and exactly 2 skeins of some really rather pretty handspun.
This one was wool and alpaca; the other was alpaca and silk. Unfortunately, I can’t show you that second one yet because it is going to be an Xmas present for one of the few regular readers of this blog.
There was a guy in the shop minding the till, and he stolidly refused to even take a step in my direction — I think he was afraid I might ask for some help with the yarn. He was nice enough to admit it, though, when I teased him about it.
Oh yes, and I finally broke out the Knitpicks needles and started one of the planned socks for Don. This is some black wool/nylon that I bought at Flock and Fiber last year, or maybe the year before – a single 42 ounce skein!! Anyway, it’s a bit heavy for sock weight but that’s OK because DH doesn’t mind thicker socks (or maybe he just knows better than to get picky, considering the scarcity of socks for him). So I brought some along to get the Great NZ Sock Project started – good thing too, because the Wool Mart only had a couple of colors of sock yarn, and one was black and the other was a kind of icky taupe that DH didn’t like.
Of course, I managed to make the toe a bit too big. This photo shows a comparison of this toe to the charcoal pair of socks he brought on the trip, which it turns out he feels are a bit too big. At least I’m consistent!