Posts Tagged ‘bellingen’

Summer bliss

January 26, 2010

Please excuse me if I’ve been away longer than anticipated, but I’ve been having the most wonderful summer. And I’d like to share some of it with you, if in a rather whirlwind fashion.

Before Christmas, I mentioned that Phil and I were heading north—to Queensland, to spend time with family, friends, the beach, and other important things. We were away for almost three weeks, all of which was just delightful. Although squashing all your obligations into a couple of weeks can be exhausting, for us it’s definitely worth it—we don’t really have a chance to see our special people at other times of the year.

The drive up (yes, drive—over 1100 km according to Google maps) was the easiest it’s ever been, perhaps because the oppressive heat arrived later than usual. And waiting for us in Toowoomba were family dinners, coffee dates with friends, and the familiar (if slightly awkward) atmosphere of the town you grew up in. But you have to make the most of where you are, and this is not difficult when surrounded by the people you love. And I have to admit a somewhat guilty pleasure in some of the things that survive in regional towns, but would never survive in cities. Like Christmas lights competitions!

Garish, but somehow satisfying.

Christmas day was lovely as ever—I love how being with your family or loved ones can turn a normal day and an unexceptional setting into something special. The little traditions are important too, like my family’s Christmas breakfast. To the outside observer, pastry and fruit may not be anything special, but to me they mean a lot.

And an afternoon spent with the in-laws at my brother-in-law’s house continued the perfect day—who could want more than lazing around, playing with the kids, and eating till you burst? That’s my kind of Christmas—laid back.

On Boxing day Phil and I headed up to the Sunshine coast with my parents, for a glorious beachside week. Cue plenty of swimming, walking in the sand, and lazing around on the balcony, with a side order of shopping and folk festivals.

Perfect. I miss Queensland beaches so much during the year—the southern ones are never quite the same. Maybe that’s partly to do with my nostalgia kicking in again.

Our beach week over, it was time to head back south. Stopping briefly in Brisbane to see some of our most special friends, we journeyed back, this time down the coast road. Like every year we decided to spend a little time in Bellingen—a sort of holiday from our holiday, if you will—time to spend with each other before getting back home. Ah, Bellingen! Have I told you of the wonders of Bellingen yet? Never mind, that’s coming later this week.

And since getting home—well, you know how time passes. I had a hectic first week back at work, and a week at a Summer School in Melbourne. And it has been SO HOT. I still feel like the year hasn’t really started for me, but I’m working on that. There has, of course, been a degree of knitting, and perhaps more spinning than usual, and the huge amount of cooking that normally happens when I’m in holiday mode. Ooh, I can’t wait to share it with you. But I don’t really want summer to end.

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Rainbow Wools

June 17, 2009

yellows

I know I’ve shown a lot of yarn and not a lot of knitting lately, but I want to take a moment to tell you about a local company whose yarn I just adore. They’re called Rainbow Wools and I first discovered them at the Old Bus Depot Markets in Canberra last year. Being such a lover of handspun and hand-dyed things, I gravitated immediately to the stall heaped high with thick, soft, slubby and curly yarns in so many amazing colours. At the time I was so caught up in the tactile experience that I didn’t get the company details, so later I was sorry I couldn’t look them up to buy more. I did however buy the most beautiful skein of their mushroom wool in a gorgeous hot pink. I was so in love with it that it became a scarf within days.

hot pink scarf

A few months went by. I loved my pink scarf and so did everyone else. Occasionally I hoped I might see the producer again, but I couldn’t really remember much about their other yarns, I just had this image of pinks and yellows and purples, fuzzy and soft and squishy. The stuff of stash fantasies.

Then in January, as we were taking a road trip down the NSW coast on our way back home to Canberra after Christmas in Queensland, we stopped in Bellingen, one of my favourite little towns. It’s the most gorgeous place—you really must visit if you can—but I won’t go into all its wonders now. Suffice to say that in a little craft store off the main street, I discovered some amazing, beautiful wool. Thick, slubby, soft, and with so many different colours. I think I managed to limit myself to five or six skeins, all on a different colour scheme—purples, greens, blues, pinks…bliss. That’s one of those yarns in the header pic of the blog. That’s how much I was in love with them. Over the next few months I took out this wool every time I looked through my stash. I admired it and snuggled it but didn’t use it yet. I knew the time would come. Only recently did I make the first project with this wool, and appropriately, it was a gift for a very special friend.

blues

However I still didn’t know the name of the company that made this wool, this wonderful addition to my knitting life. It wasn’t until I returned to the Bus Depot Markets for this year’s Celebration of Wool that my question was answered. Imagine my delight when I again spotted the stall piled with tasty, happy woolly goodness. At this stage I was thinking only of my pink scarf (which I happened to be wearing at the time), I didn’t connect it with the yarn I got in Bellingen until I started digging through the wares. Imagine my further delight on discovering that the progenitor of the pink scarf, and the maker of the Bellingen wool, were one and the same! It was like an epiphany. Of course I made sure I got their card, and predictably a few skeins decided they just couldn’t live without me.

So, I exhort all you knitters, go unto Rainbow Wools and be happy. Ever since the epiphany and the green beret I’m itching to knit something else with this beautiful wool. It’s like a good friend, a cup of hot chocolate, and a sweet little puppy all rolled into one—happy and comforting.

pinks