On our way home from Toowoomba and the very epic Easterfest, we had a few adventures 😉
The first was finding a crazy dinosaur on the side of the road. I can’t remember what small little town it was but we decided to stop the car, turn around and all get out for a few photos 😀
Secondly, we visited the Nundle Woollen Mill. Nundle is a small little country town about an hour out of Tamworth (think Golden Guitar and Keith Urban) and about 5 hours drive from Sydney. I was positively beside myself with glee at this little adventure and couldn’t wait to get there.
The mill itself is set back from the road a bit and there is off road parking, however Nundle is such a quiet town that parking on the street is no drama. Outside is a lovely place to picnic, there are a few tables around and some trees to shelter under away from the hot Australian sun.
Inside is knitters heaven! When you walk in the door you are immediately in the shop. On the left hand side is yarn, lots and lots of Nundle yarn that has been spun on the premises (and possibly some Noro). There are lots of colours to choose from and a few different weights and blends. There was also a beautiful display of Art Viva knitting needles, made from Tasmanian oak in Tasmania (ok, they were arranged in a tin bucket but that doesn’t sound as nice “display”)
The night before we went to Nundle I sat with my phone trying to decide on what pattern to buy yarn for, I was thinking of knitting up a cardigan, but when I got to the mill I realised that I would need around 1000 yards of yarn and that seemed to be a bit too much for my bank balance. So I settled on the Hopsalots slippers by Tiny Owl Knits. I came across this pattern a week or so before we left on our adventure and was totally in love with the idea of knitting and then felting slippers – something that I haven’t tried before. The only thing that concerned me that there was no mobile phone coverage in Nundle and I couldn’t access ravelry to find out how much yardage I needed.
On the right hand side of the store were a range of clothes, socks, locally knit scarves – I didn’t pay a great deal of attention to these as I was there for the yarn, not the already made goods. At the back of the store was a door that lead through to mill viewing area. Essentially the mill is a 2 storey building, with the shop and the viewing area both being on the top floor. Unfortunately I think everyone was out at lunch so I didn’t get to see the mill in action, BUT just seeing the machinery pretty much put my excitement levels into overdrive and I almost cried (I’m an emotional being). There was also more yarn, a lounge to relax (and possibly knit) on, more clothing items, Ugg boots, lots of different books for both knitting and crochet, and a basket on a table full of beautiful ready to spin braids that have been dyed locally.
After settling the kids down outside for lunch (they were going a little silly in the mill) I went back in to make a decision about my purchases. That wasn’t easy. In the end I settled on 4 balls of the 100% Merino 8ply in hot pink, perfect for felting (and if you’re wondering, my guess about yardage was spot on 😀 ). When I got to the counter I asked the lady a few questions, trying to suss out if the yarn was completely 100% Australian, and happily it is (the ball band even has the Australian Made symbol on it). Although that’s not true of all the yarns available from Nundle, it was for this one and I walked out of the store so happy to not only be supporting the Nundle Woollen Mill, but supporting the Victorian processing plant and the hard working Aussie wool growers.
By the time I had finished my rather large family had moved from under the tree where they were enjoying their lunch to the playground that sits just to the side of the mill. For such a small town it was one of the best playgrounds I have come across, with a cubby house, slide, swing set, and other various climbing on and over things. It was great and the kids were having such a ball, it was hard to get them back in the car.
The entire playground had a farm/ yarn theme, which for a fibre enthusiast left me wanting to play too. Above and beyond all the sheepy and farm inspired equipment, there was one thing that stood out from the rest…
A swing set, made of knitting needles and yarn :p
Wish I could have one in my backyard!
Have you ever seen a knitting themed playground? If so, where? I’d love to see it – even if they are only pictures 😀 .