Monday, September 29, 2008

Australia - the good and the bad

1. Cleckheaton Nature 8ply, 5 Skein 2. Naturally Hand Knit Merino et Soie 8ply, 4 skein 3. Naturally Hand Knit Harmony 8ply, 2 hanks 4.5. Cleckheaton Country Prints 8ply, 2 skeins each 6. Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran Tweed, 2 skeins 7. Naturally Hand Knit Dawn 2ply, 3 skeins 8. Grignasco Bambi, 2 skeins

That's not quite all the yarn I got from Melbourne, there's another hank of Filatura di Crosa Centolavaggi that I forgot to take picture of. It's a cobweb yarn with about 1500 yards/100g in this gorgeous teal colour. I was thinking of using is for Mystery Shawl 4, but I can't even face winding it up, that's like the yardage of 10 skeins of dk weight yarn!
I did do some research on Melbourne yarn shops, but since most of them are in suburbs, I only managed to get to very few. My first stop was Woolbaa in Albert Park, it was a lovely shop, just like what I imagine an lys should be, walls covered with yarn, plenty of space, good lighting and friendly staff. My live would be complete if only I have a local yarn store like that.
Then I stopped by and Clegs which was very central. It was more of a fabric shop, but they have quite a good range as well. I was shocked to see how expensive Rowan yarns are in Australia! I also passed by a Spotlight in Box Hill and had to check it out. You have no idea how jealous I am that Australians and Americans have big craft stores like Spotlight, Jo-ann and Michaels. Why can't we have those in the UK???

Anyway, yarn no.6 have since became this

Yep, another Le' Slouch!

Pattern: Le' Slouch by Wendy Bernard
Yarn: Jo Sharp SIlkroad Aran Tweed, 2 skeins
Needle: 5.00mm
Comments: Can you tell I just can't get enough of this pattern? I've lost track on how many of these I've knitted. Just before I was leaving for Australia I knitted one in double moss stitch instead of seed stitch. Too bad I forgot to take a good picture of it and left it at home. The yarn came from Woolbaa, and I cast on in the plane, on my way back to London.

OH, talking about planes. Well, you know, I've been warned. I've heard that Australian airports don't allow knitting needles, or rather there is no regulation that says it's allowed. But I couldn't imagine spending 3 days in Sydney without my knitting. So I took a bet. I managed to "smuggle" my knitting into Sydney, but on my way back they found my needles! The poor guy who was made by his superior to confiscate my needle was shocked to see I was going to pull out my needles out of my knitting. "But you're going to spoil your knitting", he said. Too bad I wasn't going to check in my bag for an extra $10, my needles cost less than that anyway. I guess I'm unlike many knitters in that I'm not scared of pulling my needles out of my knitting, since I know I can quite easily get the stitches back on. Not the case with some fibres though, another story for some other post.

And oh yes, I'm FINALLY back in LONDON!! YAY!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Where have I been?

Would you like to take a guess on where I have been for the past two weeks?

Yep, I was in Australia!
I had great food,

and saw lots of amazing animals (zoos and aquariums are my top priorities on a trip, after yarn shops, of course).

I got to visit Melbourne and Sydney. Melbourne to send my little cousin off to high school, and Sydney to see friends and cousins. Melbourne didn't struck me as a great tourist town, but I think it's a great place to stay at. I mean, how could you be a knitter and not like a city with street names such as those? they have great yarn shops. I'm looking forward to go there again and stay longer next time. I only managed to visit a few yarn shops, but I've came back with a "reasonable" amount of stash enhancement. You can expect an Australian yarn porn for my next post!