Knitting Culture

Exciting news for the Austinmer International Knitting Circle: a knitting and wool shop opens in Thirroul!

Knitting for the Soul just opened in the Thirroul village on Lawrence Hargrave Drive next to Ekho (our favourite gift shop)! Hollis and I checked it out yesterday. It sells more luxury-type yarn including Jo Sharp, Louise Harding and Debbie Bliss (not a discounted yarn barn, I’m afraid). It has a selection of patterns and books. They are also selling Symphonie/ Knit Pro and KA needles (unfortunately not any of my favourite Japanese bamboo makes). The lady who runs the shop (I think her name is Terri) is thinking of having some Thursday night knit-ins.

Added to this is the fabric shop, Wattlebird Fabric, on Moore Street in Austinmer, that opened in March. Austinmer/ Thirroul is on its way to be the boutique craft captial of the Illawarra (I hope they stay open).


Another friend, Louise, indulged my hobby on the occasion of my birthday by giving me: Knit Knit: Profiles and Projects from Knitting’s New Wave. The author, Sabrina Gschwandtner was commissioned this project after her zine of the same name achieved much popularity and success. The book consists of interviews with knitters, featuring their cutting-edge, or somehow, unusual practices. Read More

Since I took up knitting, never has waiting been so pleasurable. The famously slow train service from the Illawarra to Sydney (a mere 60km takes 1 hour and 20 minutes +) is now an enjoyable experience¬† and an opportunity to knit! Pictured above is the front of Redmond’s ‘Men’s Alpaca Sweater’ on 3.75mm x 40cm circular needles sitting against the book, ‘Science of the Oven’ by Herv√© This, and an iShuffle loaded with selected podcasts. Read More


The drive to the now world famous Blacksheep Wools shop involved steaming up the M6 motorway and then wending through country lanes to what turned out to be a local store for local people. Since we two had travelled so far, distance from store to home became part of the chit chat with various other customers. The shop was heaving, mostly with people who ‘only lived around the corner’. One poor woman was trying very hard to resist taking home some Louisa Harding tweed, while my companion was doing all she could to persuade our new friend that she couldn’t live without it. “I have a bedroom full of wool already that I couldn’t live without” she sadly confessed. She didn’t really have much chance anyway since we both stuffing our baskets with it. I think she may have been the ghost of knitting future pointing the route obsessions take. Between us we came home with around ¬£300 worth of yarn.

My stash is pictured above: Louisa Harding gold tweed; Luisa Harding hand-dyed, maroon silk and wool; Classic Yarns baby alpaca DK in gooseberry and silk/cotton in Brick; and Patons 100% mercerised, machine washable cotton DK in navy.

I was wearing an icebreaker which was spotted by another customer who told me that there are periodic icebreaker sales sales at Asda the big supermarket chain, but I may have missed them this spring.