So after last night I had a lie-in til about 9. It was really nice not to get up and rush for anything. I had a leisurely breakfast and shower and planned my day. I decided to try and visit the easiest wool shops first so I took myself off to the nearest train station and topped up my travel card called myki which is very similar to the oyster in London. I took my first tram into the centre of Melbourne and the first thing I noticed was yarn bombed trees! What a lovely welcome to the city! I managed to get off at the right stop to change for one going out to Northcote. Then I got off at the wrong stop! I called the wool shop and it took the lady a while to realise where I was, fortunately she was very patient. I waited 16 minutes for another tram and eventually got to Yarn & Co when I got off at the correct stop! The two ladies in there were glad I made it and I had a quick sit down to drink some water and to drink in the atmosphere of the shop. Here is Chris winding a skein for a customer.
Here I bought some 100% silk yarn that had been dyed by a local lady. Sorry I can’t send the smell and feel of this yarn but it is gorgeous!
I also had a chat with Lousie who was sorting a donated box of yarn and patterns. She listed a lot of yarn shops and told me which ones would fulfil my desire to buy Australian grown and processed yarn. It seem that most of the yarn grown in Australia is shipped to China or Turkey for processing. This seems like madness to me and it is going to make my search that bit harder – still I like a challenge!
My next stop was Woolarium a large and bright store which seemed to go back forever and had a class going on at the back. The lady in this store was very helpful and had some 100% Australian merino wool that has been dyed and spun by a local woman whose website is called Yarn vs Zombies.
I then felt a bit like a walk – not like Steph I can hear you all say! I am not sure what came over me! I strolled down the street and found an antique shop where the antiques were very expensive compared to prices at home. I then found a very interesting shop which had all sorts of bits and pieces and was chock a block. I manovered myself carefully around the store (not an easy feat!) and rummaged through patchwork stuff, vintage furniture, new clothing, toys and books for kids. A very eclectic mix. I settled on 10 matching buttons!
The afternoon was getting on by this point so I decided to go back into the city centre to another yarn shop. Getting the tram was easy, getting off was easy, finding the shop not so easy as there is a Collins Street and a Little Collins Street! I had to ask a cab driver who was changing fares and I got a snotty comment from the back saying I was on Little Collins. I ignored her but said “Thank you!” to the driver who told me that Collins was the next road over.
I found my shop next to one selling goods from the UK – all those things that British people can’t live without when they are abroad! To be friendly I bought a small bag of Jelly Tots which I will share with Elsie! Perhaps I am morphing into an Aussie as I seem to have managed to live without any of those essentials! (Secretly, I am looking forward to a good cup of tea when I get back!)
So, I am now in Morris & Co which is a chain of craft stores in Australia. I thought it would be like Hobbycraft! It was nothing like it. Here are a few photos – judge for yourself!
They mainly concentrate on yarn and have a lot of Austalian merino that is shipped to Turkey or China. I did, however, manage to find some New Zealand yarn made of merino and possum! As I am going to NZ soon I felt justified in getting two skeins!
Now, I had a chance of checking out the yarn bombing! There were a lot of trees covered in yarn of every stitch and colour. It seems that this installation by Yarn Corner was commissioned by Melbourne council for the Christmas holidays.
Then it was time to head home. I headed for the nearest tram stop and realised because of “White Night” (the city is up all night listening to music etc) the trams had been stopped in the city centre. I followed the tram line through Melbourne and across the Yarra river until I came to the Arts Centre where the trams were operating. It was a pleasant walk and I wasn’t the only one walking out of the city to avoid White Night!
I had a lovely evening in the apartment after a lovely day.
The quote for today is a sign I saw in Morris & Co which made me laugh out loud!