Yarn, Finally

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.

grazing sheep

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.

red tussocks being conserved

2) Gore is apparently the brown trout fishing capital of the WORLD.

trout statue

3) They like big statues of animals in Gore. Here is one of a Romney sheep.

sheep statue

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.

hanspun wool & alpaca

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.

sock toe

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!

  4 comments for “Yarn, Finally

  1. Janeanne
    12/31/2008 at 1:08 AM

    Tess, good luck on the hunt for more fine yarn. I was warned of this phenom before we went to Ireland this summer: land teeming with sheep but nice yarn scarce to find. I sense a conspiracy.

  2. namasteknitter
    12/31/2008 at 4:24 PM

    Finally some sheep! I like the red tussocks, too, being a fan of ornamental grasses. Nice handspun!
    I bought some yarn in Houston – Blue Sky 70/30 Alpaca and Merino in a beautiful navy blue. I broke a #1 sock needle and went to 3 places without finding any #1s. We’re flying home tonight. Hey, do you have a map you could photograph to show where you are on the journey? Inquiring minds want to know.
    The Pats

    • 01/16/2009 at 7:22 PM

      Hey la Pats! glad you like the handspun, because the person the other skein is for is you. 🙂

  3. Sheryl
    01/04/2009 at 11:55 AM

    Hey Tess!
    I just caught up on your blog – looks like you are having a great time. I second the Pats, can you somehow put up a map to let us know what parts of NZ you are talking about?
    We still have snow up at the house, and it was 28 degrees outside this morning.
    Enjoy your trip and keep up the posting!

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