Saturday, February 21, 2009

Holding Back the Years

February in Hawkes Bay, where I live, is a crazy busy time. The first weekend of the month (which this year happened to coincide with our national day, Waitangi Day) is Harvest Hawkes Bay, one of NZ's largest wine festivals, spread over 50+ wineries, over 2 days. The following weekend Napier's Church Road winery hosted the NZ leg of the Simply Red world tour (Valentines Day) & this week is the Art Deco festival, the largest of it's kind in the world, thousands of revellers have descended. They were all walking the town this morning & you would have been mistaken in thinking you have stepped out into 1931. We have had a busy house, with only 5 nights so far this month when we haven't had visitors staying & to top it all off we decided at the LYS I work at "hey lets have a massive yarn sale..."
Now you might think we were being suckers for punishment, & it was hard yakka, considering all the wine drinking, concert going & the like we were all partaking in, but we wanted to tap into the general positive buzz that infects this city at this time of year. Positive it was, over two days, Hawkes Bay knitters showed their true colours. At the opening of the sale at 9am Friday the 13th, things were very far from dark, about 30 hardcore knitters were barricading our door waiting to be let in & the 3 of us in our tiny factory shop never stopped, or had an empty store until we closed 6 hours later - AMAZING!
Saturday was much the same, but a little less hectic so it gave us a chance to actually talk to knitters, discuss yarns & share knowledge. It amazed us how many knitters were coming back to the craft. Here were women who had knitted for their own children in the 60's, 70's & 80's & now had a new generation to knit for, and as one knitter said to me, in these tough financial times she would much rather spend $20 on yarn to knit something special for her grandchild & have the garment that means something, than buying a mass produced acrylic garment that doesn't withstand the wear or tear of a busy toddler. I could agree more! I am just so excited to knitters of all ages reconnecting with their craft.

So, how did I fear after our sale? Well other than being totally knackered after two hectic days, I managed to resist the temptation not to buy half the sale stock. I got some trial batches of variegated yarns, in hot colours that would look amazing on Louis & another in sanguine cool colours for Hugo. I also finished the Hybrid Vest the day before the sale & on Valentines day it was unseasonably cold, so I was able to wear my new vest to the Simply Red concert. The vest looked great (now planning the next one, I have some DK possum/alpaca blend, so I need to resize the existing pattern for the new yarn) & we were in the second row, so close we could see Mick's ruby tooth glistening in the spotlights - FABULOUS!

Today has been too warm to don my deco-esque wrap, but it didn't stop us soaking up the atmosphere in town this morning with Maximus.

On the needles: An Aran vest for Hugo in the most delicious Italian Merino & plotting my next vest...