Tuesday, January 12, 2010

is this home?

We're home. And a bit jetlagged. The fact that here in Europe we're in the middle of a very cold winter doesn't help either.
I am slowly going through the thousands of photos we accumulated and it will be a while before I can fully realize the impact this holiday had on us.
We keep saying we want to go back. This is not acceptable. We just returned home!

Everything on this holiday seemed to have happened by magic, or it was just because we simply relaxed and got along with the flow

One day while on our way to Christchurch I saw something happening with some sheep in a field by the road.
A very patient husband stopped the car to let me take some pics and - never underestimate the friendliness of Kiwis - on seeing me the owner invited me inside to have a better look.

It turned out they were crutching the ewes and they told me a lot of things about sheep husbandry, included stories about the famous black merino wool used by Loro Piana.
Unfortunately we didn't get to see those, but I was lucky to get the name and address of a special person who dealt with top quality fleeces.
And so we went.
It turned out this man was the first breeder who sent over to Italy ten merino rams of various colours in 1997. He and his wife were so kind to welcome us in their home and spend some time with us telling us stories about sheep and wool. And I walked away with some beautiful raw fleece to take home for spinning!

But as raw fleece can be very bulky - even if very light - he had the very good idea to vacuum pack it.

Who would have ever imagined that we would end up in the back room of the village butcher just before Christmas learning how to vacuum pack fleece while the butcher was busy preparing his orders for Xmas dinners?

I love New Zealand!


Joanne said...

It sounds as though your vacation was filled with gifts of all kinds. Happy New Year.

Susan said...

That fleece room and galvanized walls looks great. Vacuum packing fleece is so ingenious.
NZ seems to be where everyone wants to be lately, Doni, don't you remember Stockholm????

Donatella said...

Joanne, Happy New Year to you too!

Susan, Stockholm is still in my heart, but now there's a place for New Zealand too. I wonder what will come next? ;-)

Meg said...

Corrugated iron: New Zealand's second favorite material only after the Number 8 wire!

ladyoftheloom said...

Hi Donatella! I got here from Margreet's blog and I love your pictures of those beautiful sheep and fleeces. It sounds like you had a wonderful time in NZ! I have it on my list of places I would love to go.

Alice in Richmond, VA, USA

amyfibre said...

Ah, you bring back happy memories of my trip to NZ three years ago. Who was the breeder you stumbled on? Stuart Albrey, by chance? I bought several gorgeous naturally colored Polwarth fleeces from him, and would love more someday (although shipping to the US is still breaks the bank a bit).

Amy in St. Louis, Missouri

Donatella said...

Hi Alice and Amy! Glad you stopped by! I am now in that phase where I desperately want to go back to NZ, especially as here it's cold and dark! The man I met is Bruce Anderson, but he's not a breeder: he only deals with show fleeces.
I wish I could be in South Island now!