Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Return of the Knitting Nomad
I have been telling people for about 3 days that I would get to this post "tomorrow", and finally, tomorrow is here.
We are back from our trip to the Eyre Peninsula, and had a great time. The weather was cooperative. It didn't rain at all, and we had no days that could be considered in any way "hot". Quite the contrary really. The nights, and even some of the days, were more on the cool side.
I'm not going to load this post down with pictures any more than necessary, as I have put every single one of them on my Flickr account, so you can see them here . In case you can't get there with that link, my name on flickr is buttonbrite and they are under the heading of "Elliston and the Eyre Peninsula". If you don't have a flickr account, it's easy to make one, and it's free. On the post here, I'll try to just stick to one or two photos from each place we explored, plus, of course, the knitting I did on the trip, and any knitting or spinning I've done since.
We left here in the wee hours of Tuesday morning, around 2AM (not MY idea, I assure you). It was handy though, as we got through Adelaide and anything remotely considered city terrain before the birds were even stirring. I started the journey knitting on the jumper I'm making for Kaitlyn, but unfortunately ran out of yarn before I could finish the shoulder areas of the front of the jumper. The yarn for the sleeves is slightly different, so I couldn't use that, so I was forced to put it away for the rest of the trip.
I then turned my attention to the socks I was knitting for my father in law, and knitted on them for the remainder of the trip over. I was working on the legs, a nice k2p1 rib, simple enough to keep up with and still take in the scenery.
We drove through the morning, passing through Whyalla at around 8:30 AM, on down through Cowell and then across the peninsula, passing heading toward Cleve. It was about then that we started looking for a nice spot to pull over and have lunch, preferably with a picnic table. We would have settled on just stopping in Cleve, but interestingly, about 5kms before reaching the town, we saw one of those blue picnic table signs, with an arrow off to our right, so we decided to see what was there.
What we found was a lovely little picnic area, complete with facilities, and walking trails leading up to the Yeldulknie Weir, an old weir built in the early 1900's to provide a water supply for the area. It's old wheelhouse had been restored, and the rock to build it had come from a nearby quarry. In these much dryer days, there wasn't much water behind it, but it was very interested to walk and look around.
The trail down to the picnic area:
We did a short stop in the town of Cleve proper, and I checked YET another newsagency for the Winter08 edition of Interweave Knits. Once again, I was unsuccessful. I also visited an op shop there, and did find a drinking glass for Chris very similar to one I broke recently, which he was quite happy about.
We left Cleve and continued our journey west. Roadside art being popular in the region, as we neared Elliston we saw this display, and had to stop for photos:
Then there's Mount Wedge, whose shape is the product of a rare geological event only Chris can explain properly, so I won't try, but I did find it interesting to look at:
Finally, we arrived in Elliston and checked into our cabin in mid-afternoon. I didn't get any pictures of the cabin, although heaven knows why not, as I seemed to get a shot of everything else. It was roomy enough, with two full bedrooms and a living room/kitchen area. The only drawback was that it only had one arm chair and the kitchen table, when I so love to have a couch, and of course, the beds were in different rooms, so one of us had to set in one of the less than comfy table chairs to watch TV at night. Still, with it not getting dark until after 9PM, due to it being mid summer and how far west they are in the time zone, well, we didn't watch much anyway.
It also had a huge veranda, where I spent most of my time at the cabin, happily puffing away on my fags and knitting ferociously.
On the first day there, we wandered down to the jetty,
and out on it were I took this picture of part of the township of Elliston:
And the caves that are on each side of the jetty:
And me on the rocks near the beach:
That night, having finished as much as I could do on Kaitlyn's jumper, I started a gauge square in "tree stitch" for the textured block pattern cardigan (aka the Bustaroony cardi). The stitch pattern is quite intricate, with lots of counting, and demands your full attention every step of the way, but it was quite interesting.
The following day, Wednesday, we headed out for points north, namely Port Kenny and Talia. I did take heaps of pictures of Port Kenny, but they are for one of my ressies, and nothing really worth repeating here (or on Flickr). It's a nice little town, but not so very picturesque.
The beaches, cliffs and caves around Talia, on the other hand, are breathtaking, and rate up there in my top five places on the planet. There are steps down to the Talia caves, which makes them quite easy to access.
Right at the bottom of these steps is a cave called "The Woolshed". Well, with a name like that, you know I would have to love it right away, now don't you. It's quite deep, and there's a tidal stream that runs up to it with the tides and the crashing waves.
The Woolshed from the outside:
And a shot of the inside:
Me on the rocks outside the Woolshed:
The picture at the top of this blog post is a picture of the rocks and ocean as seen from the smooth rocks in front of the Woolshed. I could have stayed there all day. Heck, all week.
But there was more to see, and just a short distance away is "The Wash Tub", another one of Talia's caves. I wish I could describe it better, but essentially it is a big roundish hole in the cliff, that fills up with water during high tide and the force of the waves makes it churn. Also called the "Devil's Washtub" it is quite interesting and beautiful, but the edges look none to stable, so I admit I was a bit skittish about getting to close to the edge. Consequently, the photo's could have been better if I had had the nerve to get close enough to shoot down into the "tub".
After that, we traveled a bit further down to Talia beach, where we carried my beach umbrella, knitting, eskie (cooler), a few healthy snacks and fishing gear down to the beach. My mission, of course, was to relax and knit under my umbrella, and look out over the beautiful beach:
Knitting on the beach isn't the easiest thing to do. It's rather damp, and the FIL's socks I was working on at first were simply sticking to the needles and not sliding as they should, so I switched to the fluffier cardigan swatch, and that went much more smoothly. I'll have to rememeber that those "tiny" stitch projects are the best for knitting far away from the damp salt spray of the ocean.
Chris, on the other hand, wanted to try a bit of surf fishing (something I have neither an interest in or the talent for).
He did have fun, but he didn't have much luck in actually catching any fish, which of course suited us fine, as neither of us eat them. As the afternoon crept away, the sea breeze became rather chilly, and we finally packed up and headed back to the cabin in Elliston, where I prepared dinner (yes me, imagine that).
I might add here, that due to my changed eating habits of late, I'm avoiding eating out if I can, and so in preparation we packed enough meals for each night but one, and plenty of sandwich stuff for lunch, fruit and healthy snacks. I thought this might be tricky, and even boring, but it was great in the end. We ate our lunches in some beautiful and interesting places, and it was not trouble at all to pack it all in the eskie and make our sandwiches on the spot. Better by far to eat on the cliffs overlooking the ocean that in some dimly lit restaurant or pub! I would highly recommend it, whether you are on a special eating plan or not. Plus, heaven only knows how much money it saved us, even though that wasn't our primary concern. Still, I think we probably saved $400 or so using this method.
Thursday we set out to sightsee along the coast south of Elliston. But first, Chris had a special mission. He wanted to visit some farmers who live out that way that he knew back 20 years ago when he used to teach at Wuddina. So we dropped in on the house, and sure enough, the fellow remembered Chris. Chris wanted to revisit the ruins of an old coachhouse where he and a fellow teacher, and later some students, came to visit way back when. So after obtaining permission, we drove back onto his property, down varous field rows and thru paddocks until we found this ruin.
It seems an old coachhouse road, circa 1880's or so, ran straight through this area.
The coachhouse was now a pile of rock and ruin, but Chris wanted to do some fossicking, so he pulled out his shovel and went to digging. Meanwhile, I sat in the car and begin highlighting my size on the cardigan pattern I was going to start soon, and generally doing doing knitty stuff. It didn't take long for my woolie pursuits to attract the interest of a couple of wooly guest wandering the paddock, who were gracious enough to pose for a photo:
Chris managed to find a few buried bottles from the 1860's or thereabouts, and for my part, I had a marvelous time setting in the beautiful weather in a lovely setting surrounded by sheep while working on the preparations for getting the cardi started. There was a nice breeze that kept most of the flies at bay, and it was just lovely and peaceful, I wouldn't have minded if he stayed there digging all day.
But after an hour and a half or so, Chris grew tired of the shoveling, and had found several prizes and was ready to move on. We drove down to a lake in the paddocks looking for other ruins he knew of, and then returned to the main highway. It was, by that time, past time for lunch, but it was only a short piece down the road to Sharinga Beach. We didn't go to the beach itself, but drove up a nearby cliff road to a point overlooking the beach, and there we made lunch, and ate admiring the scenery:
After that, we continued our journey south, winding up at Drummond Point. It was quite cold there on the cliffs. The wind coming in of the ocean was chilly and fierce, and these pictures don't do justice to how high the cliffs actually were:
We didn't stay long before deciding to head back for Elliston. That evening, I managed to finally finish the FIL's socks:
Honestly, I had hit a knitting black hole with them. I had just knit and knit and knit and the leg never seemed to grow an inch! So I was vastly relieved that they were finished.
I then cast on a new pair of toe up socks, two at a time of course using magic loop, from a pattern I'd downloaded to my laptop off of Ravelry called the Overlapping Leaves Toe Up Sock Pattern. I had carried along my Colinette Jitterbug sock yarn in greenish brown shades that I had bought at the sheep and wool show in Bendigo, which I thought would be perfect.
The next day was Friday, our last full day and night there. We had decided early on that we weren't doing any real driving that day, but were devoting it to Elliston. We headed out early in the morning for a long walk. We started out on the trail across the street from the caravan park, walked along it until we came to the road leading down to the boat ramp, and then headed down the Esplanade, all at a brisk pace.
We wound up at the base of a large peninsula that effectively separates Waterloo bay from the Ocean. It had tracks running out onto it, so our brisk trail/street walk then turned into a bush walk. We headed up onto the Peninsula, and the view from there was spectacular in any direction you looked. I took lots of pictures from there (again, I'll refer you to my Flickr page for the bulk of them). But here are a few...
As you can see by my shirt, it was quite windy, but the day was warmer overall, and the outlook from there quite remarkable.
The rest of that day was spent loafing around, not doing much of anything. We did go into town and got a few souveniers and a few top up groceries, but otherwise, Chris watched TV, napped, or read and I sat on that lovely big veranda and knit. I finally cast on the Bustaroony cardigan and started knitting the garment proper.
The next day, we packed up and said goodbye to Elliston. We were headed for Port Lincoln, but decided to take a slight detour and visit the small seaside town of Coffin Bay. I had never been there, and Chris hadn't been there in decades, and was quite surprised by how much it had been developed.
We ate lunch by "Shell Beach" during low tide:
and later watched people out in the sand gathering cockles to use as fish bait.
The bay itself was beautiful, and we stopped at a little roadside park near the boat ramp where I took this shot:
From there, we headed on down to Port Lincoln and found the cabin we had booked there. It was a nice place, more resembling a motel suite than a cabin, and after comparitively "roughing it" in Elliston, it was pure luxury (albeit, it did have a measley porch in comparison to the cabin in Elliston.
After arriving, my mobile phone suddenly came to life, and I had a text message on there from one of my Ravelry friends, Jane of Moseley Park who was letting me know that she would be in Tumby Bay Sunday, so we texted back and forth with details, and I made plans to stop by the arts and crafts show where she would have her fibres and yarns set up.
We walked around the town area that afternoon, and then drove up to the Lookout overlooking Boston Bay and Port Lincoln.
That night, we ate out at a local Chinese Restaurant that was simply devine. I splurged and had the Mongolian Beef, my favorite Chinese food, but not exactly a part of my new eating plan.
The next morning we left out on our long journey home. First though, a stop in Tumby Bay's Arts & Crafts show. We had a lovely chat, and I had a look and a feel of all the fibre goodies Jane had displayed there, and then decided on a few small purchases (as there wasn't enough room in the car for any BIG ones ;). I bought a skein of handdyed bamboo sock yarn, merino tops and EL/mohair tops to spin. Yummy!
And later, I snuck back in and got a photo of Jane "hard at work"...lol:
Then it was on to Whyalla, where I had plans to meet up with another RAV friend, one who I had never met f2f before. We arrived in Whyalla in the early afternoon, and ROSIE was there waiting for me. Chris and I had lunch while she had a cuppa, then Chris politely excused himself to go wander over to the shopping mall while we talked "shop". I had a great time looking at ROSIES spinning work, and some lovely glitz fibre she had dyed, then I took her out to the car, showed her the projects I was working on, and the things I had bought from Jane. Shortly before we reluctantly had to leave, Chris took this shot of the two of us:
The rest of the trip home seemed to not take nearly as much time as I thought it would. I worked on the cardigan most of the way, and the pattern was interesting and difficult enough to keep my mind occupied. By the time we had gotten home, I had almost finished the 17cm's of tree pattern of the bottom part of the back piece of the cardigan:
The socks hadn't been totally neglected. I managed to make quite a bit of progress on them as well:
And I came up with a name for them. Due to the color of the yarn, and the way the stitch pattern looks on the yarn, it resemble crocodile skin. Thus, my "Croc Socks":
Well folks, I have done a few other things since arriving home, mainly spinning more wool for Kaitlyn's jumper, and also I've spun up half of the EL/Mohair blend I bought from Jane, but piccies and details will have to wait until the next post. This post is entirely too long, and has taken entirely too much time.
So without further ado...that's all folks!