I think we all now realise that there were problems with 'Blogger' last week. Fortunately, I didn't lose any posts as some people did, but I did lose several comments on the previous post. Apologies to all those commenters whose words have become lost in the mists of the cloud.
Last weekend I spent a very, very enjoyable extended weekend in Canberra with a good friend, (who's already blogged, with great photos, about our excursion). Both of us live in apartments near the city centre - just around the corner from each other, though on opposite sides of a major railway line. We're both very much inner-city dwellers, but despite (or maybe because of) that, the conversation on our drive to and from Canberra was mostly of the 'look at the patterns the trees are making!', 'isn't the grass a wonderful silvery-yellow colour?' and 'the contrasts of the autumn leaves are so rich' variety. In other words, we enjoyed escaping the city.
Normally it takes somewhere between three and four hours to drive from Sydney to Canberra but we stopped about halfway at 'historic' Berrima (est 1831) for coffee with a fellow knitter and a browse in Berrima's interesting shops. Berrima's shops cater mainly to the whims and desires, rather than needs, of city people visiting at the weekends. I don't know where in Berrima you could buy your daily groceries, but I do know that you could buy a painting, or hand-bound books, or fine pottery, or country-style antiques very easily. Even though I've been to Berrima many times, I'd never visited Peppergreen Antiques - what a loss! You could spend a whole day in this rambling storehouse of wonders, stacked floor to ceiling with beautiful or charming or just interesting things.
There are old kitchen and cooking utensils, china and cutlery, patchwork quilts, damask tablecloths, linen sheets, embroidered teatray covers and pillowcases, and shelf upon shelf of the old-fashioned eiderdowns of my childhood. The shop not only has wonderful objects, but it seems to have accumulated every interesting shop fitting that became available as other stores closed, and so everything is beautifully and enticingly displayed.
I was most engaged by the buttons and ribbons and textiles and what used to be called sewing 'notions'. I rummaged through the many button collections and found my great prize - some slightly mismatched glass buttons that I will use for the 'Audrey' cardigan I'm knitting from madelinetosh yarn in a colour called 'silver fox'.
We did eventually tear ourselves away from all these wonders to finish the trip to Canberra for the main purpose of our trip - the Celebration of Wool at the Old Bus Depot Markets. But as always happened with such trips, the things that happened alongside the main purpose of the visit gave even more pleasure than the main objective of the trip. We met up with other knitting friends, met people who I hope will become new knitting friends, drank coffee and had interesting and good communal meals. And, of course, just admired the Canberra gardens and street plantings which, even towards the end of Autumn, are so variously colourful.
And so to the markets:
Just in case this photo should lead you think the markets were absolutely deserted, we did arrive extremely early, while stalls were still being set up and before most of the shoppers gathered. This also meant we had first choice at some of the yarn stalls, which was a particular advantage at Wooldancer's stall where she had a small but beautifully dyed selection of yarns. I bought the richly old rose coloured fingering weight yarn in the pic below:
My purchasing was very restrained (well, at least in the yarn department - I did buy some lovely silver earrings). Apart from the old rose sock wool, my only other yarn purchase was the skein of deep brown sock yarn pictured above that I bought from Fibrewebs. I never find myself attracted to brown yarns, but I often wish I had some handknitted brown socks, so I was finally able to be rational and buy some brown yarn to achieve the brown socks.
But I think the most wonderful yarn acquisition of the weekend was not purchased - it was a gift from 1funkyknitwit of a skein of her superb corespun yarn. I can't stop thinking about how to knit it up and how wonderful it will be to wear.
We pottered back to Sydney with a detour via the southern highlands town of Bowral with yet another wonderful lunch and a rummage through the town's shops where, among other pleasures, I spent significant time marvelling at some Sophie Digard crochet and textile creations that were for sale, but beyond my means to purchase.
The trip was time out from the everyday. Lots of wonderful images, textures, and companionable friendship.