Hanno and I had a lovely weekend. Cricket was being played in Adelaide so I knitted while watching it in bits and pieces, and Hanno came in and took a break every so often. It's great to be in this stage of life when we can do what we like. It brings peace along with the relaxation to know that our time is our own now.
I thought some of my readers outside Australia might like to see inside one of our shopping centres, although I'm pretty sure these places are much the same the world over.
We went shopping on Friday! It was our one day for Christmas shopping and we drove into the south side of Brisbane. We thought we'd discovered a new shopping centre but when we went inside we realised it was just an extension of the already huge Chermside mall. We decided we'd have a good look around when we walked inside but all we did was walk into Target (and bought nothing) then down to Myer (and bought one thing) and back to David Jones, stopping for a cup of tea along the way. I love David Jones, even now it's like the British Country Living magazine to me. I don't go there any more but I still love the look of the shop. We bought what we needed there and had a look upstairs and down, but we were out of the shopping centre in less than two hours. We only bought what we needed and we started and finished our Christmas shopping in that short period.
A blue Christmas tree!
Then we went to our real target for the day - the American Yarn store at Grovely. Now theoretically, that should only be a short drive from the shopping centre; I'm guessing maybe 20 minutes in city traffic. Well, one hour later, after completely frustrating Hanno with the Google map I printed out (I insisted we didn't need our city map book which we left at home), we arrived. Gabrielle, the owner of the shop, is a lovely woman and the walls of her shop are packed with all sorts of cotton, wool, soy, bamboo and mixtures of those fibres with acrylic. She even had stretch sock yarn which I'd never heard of before.
A wall of yarn.
Other yarns of interest were my favourite Lions brand cotton, Sugar n Cream, Debbie Bliss and many luxury yarns that felt wonderful to the touch. Gabrielle also has a lot of multicoloured yarns that make up into interesting socks, bags and shrugs. There are plenty of knitting needles and crochet hooks to buy, bags, handles for bags, pattern books, looms, and much more. Free project sheets for the little bags on the side are available at Gabrielles online store. It's a small shop but it's stocked by someone who knows her crafts and graciously shares what she knows. There are yarns in this shop I doubt you'd find anywhere else in Australia. I loved it and will definitely buy from her again, although maybe next time it will be from her online store. I ended up buying a huge ball of Bernat 100% cotton and two balls of pale blue and pale pink cotton. The cost? Under $25. I keep looking at the big pale yellow cotton and smiling. It's really lovely. I'll start working with it over Christmas.
Another thing I really liked about American Yarns was that Gabrielle was crocheting a pair of shoes! She's using hemp for the soles and cotton for the tops. Amazing!
Have a look for yourself because there is so much to see at her online shop and also her blog. If you're on the brink of learning how to crochet or knit, this will tip you over the edge into the wonderful world of yarn, and if you're already there, you'll probably love this place as much as I did.
All those sheets hanging at the front of the yarns are free project sheets.
Generally I'm hesitant to buy online from small stores but I can recommend American Yarns to you. Gabrielle knows her yarns and will give you good advice. She has also generoslly offered a 10% discount to all Down to Earth readers when buying from her store. Please use the code: "Down2Earth" to get your discount. Thanks Gabrielle!