Thursday, April 1, 2010

Ashford adventure

Yesterday I arrived in Christchurch at 9.10am after a smooth flight. Mum and I got some brunch and then visited the Hands Ashford craft shop in Christchurch which has all kinds of crafty goodness. I bought some proper eye buttons for my rag doll and Mum bought my little cousin a kit set doll's house that was on sale for her 3rd birthday coming up in June. I'm going to buy her a little Sylvanian family to go with it and maybe some furniture. Sylvanian stuff is SO cute (again with the tiny things, I just love them).

Then we headed to Ashburton to the Ashford craft village.

I think my expectations were a bit too high because I wasn't hugely impressed by it - the yarn in the Ashford craft shop was all pretty much the same as you could get anywhere else but their own brand, Ashford Tekapo, had some cool colours.

The other two shops that were open in the little 'shopping village' weren't very exciting and the cafe's milkshakes were pretty much flavoured milk with froth at the top. A disappointing milkshake can really bring you down. I'm glad we went though because what I loved was the big old house which is home to the craft shop, museum, and cafe. Built in 1914 as the Mill House it is huge as you can see here:

It was full of beautiful wood and I'm a fan of old houses anyway so I was very impressed.

There were a wealth of spinning wheels and some cool examples of weaving:

The biggest surprise of the day was that Mum decided she might like to knit something again - for the first time in at least 22 years because I have never, ever seen her knit. She tells me she knitted my Dad a jersey when they were first married and it took her forever and then he came home one day and had lost it. Mum said, 'If he didn't like it he could have just told me, he didn't have to pretend to lose it'. She said she didn't knit anything again after that because she didn't want anyone else to lose something she'd put so much time and effort into. Probably lucky because I was a very fussy child, for a couple of years when I was at primary school I suddenly refused to wear undies because they were 'too tight'. A strange and fussy child.

This is Mum's pattern and wool choice, a simple one-button cardigan and a really nice teal:

I bought one ball of wool, but I can't reveal its intended purpose just yet because it's closely related to something I bought for Anita. Here's the colour though, just a nice blue.

I found a book I would have really liked to get, Vintage Knits for Modern Babies, especially as when Mum was looking through it she said, 'I had a pixie cap just like this one!' and it was very very cute. The book has really clear patterns labelled beginner/intermediate/advanced and so many cute things to knit. I think it will have to go on the birthday list as it's about $50.00.

Overall a nice day out. It's really hot here in North Canterbury, tonight I'm looking forward to Project Runway and I might try to enthuse myself about picking up some more stitches on the Baby Shrug.


  1. Oh i hate when places don;t live up to expectations. with a name like ashford craft village i imagine loves tables and chairs and cafe with big pots of tea with knitted tea cosies and jam and scones served all day long.
    and samples of all sorts of knitting and knitted installations

  2. Exactly! I think it's in need of a serious update - maybe they should employ you for some advice!