Friday, May 20, 2011

Time away

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.

ribbonspatchworkbuttons and handthreadsquiltsbuttons

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'.

glass buttons

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:

OBD Market

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:

yarn purchase

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.


Rose Red said...

I'm so glad you've been introduced to the wonder of Peppergreen Antiques! Isn't it an amazing store! I love the buttons you've bought, the'll be fab on your Audrey (how did I not know you were knitting one? Not going to M&S knitting I guess!)

I think Sophie Digard is the only crocheted who charges a price that somewhat reflects the time spent on her work! They are gorgeous aren't they!

Kris said...

You got some of the amazing corespun! I know how much you wanted it. I can't wait to see what it becomes. :)

Unknown said...

What a wonderful little trip! I think Peppercorn Antiques is the most amazing place too, I always am in awe of the old theatre curtains and the piles of old quilts and ex-hotel sheets. And the china trios. And the silverware. The shoe lasts. The walking sticks. Oh - everything really.

Sophie Digard accessories make my heart melt. I love them so much.

I wish I had have been able to come ... Next year I hope!

Lynne said...

Sounds like you had a lovely weekend.

You have reminded me that it's a long time since I visited Berrima, Bowral or anywhere else in the Southern Highlands. Must correct that, post haste!

Sel and Poivre said...

Those glass buttons look like bubbles of water sitting atop that knit fabric - what a beautiful choice and wonderful way to memorialize what looks to have been a very nice trip!

Brendaknits said...

What a great 'time away'. The yarn that you were gifted is outstanding. Sometimes it's just enough to have and to hold. No knitting required.

1funkyknitwit said...

I'm still giggling after reading the grass being a silvery yellow and looking at the patterns in the trees - it's amazing what becomes appealing when you step out of the concrete jungle ;D

It was a hugely fun weekend and very much look forward to another !

...enjoy your corespun :)

Bells said...

how great to see it through your eyes Lyn! I was sorry to miss it this year and was in fact in Sydney while many of you Sydney folk were down here!

I don't know Peppergreen Antiques. I'm going to have to remedy that!

Anonymous said...

It was lovely to meet you, and also to see your Daybreak in person - it looked fabulous.

Anonymous said...

it looks like a great weekend away, and very wise purchases. i love the jewellry at those markets too, last year i spent more on a ring than i did on yarn! cant wait to see your audrey!