The next leg of our tour put us on a train – the TranzAlpine from Greymouth to Christchurch. I’m beginning to think train is the best way to travel, if you’re a knitter (so long as the actual train is comfortable). The weather was still lovely on the west coast, but as the train reached the mountains we entered cloudy, rainy conditions. The scenery was still beautiful, but in a muted way, and neither of us wanted to go out and freeze on the viewing carriage while taking photos that probably wouldn’t be that great.
Instead we put on our iPods and enjoyed watching the scenery go by, me knitting and the beau reading. I worked on Le Slouch for most of the journey, finishing it two nights later in Christchurch.
It was also overcast in Christchurch and this was the only photo I took – from the hotel window. The camera was too heavy to lug around.
The next day it rained occasionally but only lightly so we walked around town. I sought out Knit World on the edge of town, which I was expecting to be boring but was impressed by the size of the shop, with a sit-and-knit area, and the range of local yarn. There was a lot I wanted to buy, but my suitcase was starting to get heavy and I knew there were more Knit World shops in Wellington and Hamilton so I put off buying garment sized batches, settling on a ball for the rug and a ball of Rowan tapestry that I thought might work for Quant (but never got the time to make).
We then headed to the museum, and then to the Art Centre. I had a quick look around the Handweavers and Spinners Guild shop and bought some green/black handspun.
And wasn’t sure what to think when I saw that there were Colorimetrys for sale that didn’t even credit the designer, let alone have any ‘with permission’ noted on the label. I’m not comfortable with being too hard on little old ladies who don’t know better knitting stuff in a market to sell for a good cause. But I’m not comfortable with seeing designer’s work being sold without some consideration shown for copyright either. And I couldn’t help thinking, “this is the Handweavers and Spinner Guild. In a shop. They ought to know better.” and yet also couldn’t help wondering if I was being ignorant and if copyright law was different in New Zealand.
It left me feeling a bit disturbed, yet also aware that if there hadn’t been so much discussion on copyright in Ravelry of late I’d probably not even thought twice about it. It highlighted to me how the Ravelry forums make you more aware of issues, and sympathetic to those who don’t have access to information.
Anyway, back to the tour.
We left Christchurch the next day, catching the TranzCoastal train up to Picton. It was a VERY early start, having to get up at 5:30 am in order to shower, dress, have breakfast, catch a taxi to the station and check in my 6:40 am.
But it was well worth it, as it was another fabulous journey full of beautiful scenery – this time coastal – and the freedom to knit and read and listen to the iPod. I am so sold on train travel!
In Picton we stayed at the Americano Motor Inn, an old fashioned style inn with rooms entered from a wide concrete balcony, above shops. And guess what was right below our room? Yarn. Yes, we slept above yarn that night.
Unfortunately the shop was never open when we were able to get to it. As soon as we checked in we booked ourselves in to the Mail Run, a boat tour that is the actual mail run along Queen Charlotte Sound and a few other sounds branching off from it.
We saw seals…
… and dolphins. It was a lovely trip, with plenty of photo opportunites. I was amazed at all the little houses nestled in the creases of the steep slopes, each with a pier and many only accessible by boat.
The next morning we rose early again, though not as early as the day before, and fit in a quick visit to The Looking Glass, which we’d been told sold yarn. There I bought the handpainted Natural Wool in the above photo of yarn, as well as another ball for the knee rug.
Then we headed for the ferry.
(picture of ferry taken the day before, during the Mail Run)
And headed out of Queen Charlotte Sound toward Wellington, and the North Island.
San FranciscoWellington, another train journey, and reaching our ‘base’ on the North Island, Hamilton.