After we completed the Queen Charlotte Walk in early December, Kenn and I visited Akaroa near Christchurch, before catching our flight home. Friends had said it was a ‘must see’ and they were so right. Cruising along in our little Yaris hire car, our first surprise unfolded as we drove down, and I mean down and down some more. Akaroa is situated on the edge of a beautiful harbour, a harbour which was once the centre of a volcano. We realised we were driving down the sides of a caldera and the views were magnificent.
Akaroa is charming. Originally settled by the French, it is so ooh la la! The french influences are everywhere: from names, french blue lamp posts and public seating, to the tricolour flying in the breeze. A word or two of my schoolgirl french returned to assist in translation.
There are flowers everywhere. From beautiful cottage gardens surrounding delightful BnB’s
to fences and shop fronts garlanded with hanging baskets.
We took leisurely walks along the foreshore to the little lighthouse and various points of interest sampling the coffee and friands in one establishment and the coffee and croissants in another. We indulged ourselves over breakfast, lunch and dinner. A highlight for me besides the Sunday morning chocolate crepes served by our motel, was the fish. It was superb. There must be something in the water in New Zealand that we don’t have because fish always seems to taste better there than here. I noticed a Cooking School but alas no classes were running while we were there. I would have loved to take a unique recipe home and know how it should taste and be cooked.
All however was not lost. I found something lovely to take home while souvenir shopping. I was on a bit of a mission. Before departure, Melissa and Ben had shared the happy news that they were expecting a honeymoon baby. Our second grand child was on the way! What special something could I buy the baby? It was while I was buying a cute woolly sheep for the nursery that I spied some special baby wool. It was relatively expensive at nearly $14.00 NZ but felt so soft. It was DMC’s 100% Baby, extra fine pure merino wool. Made in Italy, it looks like a 3 ply yarn but knits as a 4 ply. I have never seen it in Australia, so bought two balls of white. Enough to knit a little something. Then Kenn spotted some great buttons and my purchases were complete.
But as every knitter knows, it is one thing to buy wool, another to knit it up. What would I knit with this special wool? A jumper? Maybe booties? Perhaps a little hat? The hat I had knitted Genevieve had been a hit.
In the end, I decided to knit a cardigan in the newborn to three month size. Luckily vintage is in, for I decided to use a pattern from the ’70s that my mother-in-law, Betty had given me. It comes from Patons Pattern book 792, 10 Baby Knits which, to my amazement is still available on ebay. It was easy to knit and the buttons give it a unisex, contemporary finishing touch, don’t you think? By the way, the cardigan took just one ball of wool! I think a hat and maybe some booties will be making an appearance.
So what have I been doing since I finished this project? I’ve started a baby blanket which hopefully will be finished by June. It’s definitely not heritage in any way. An interesting project, it’s something to do after I’ve been for my swim and beach walk or perhaps shared a coffee with friends. It’s a wonderful world out there.