Great Ocean Road. Also, A Crocheted Shoulder Bag

Gentle reader,

So, it’s been a wee while since I posted something substantial, and the reason for that is because my parents were visiting from Queensland, which was so wonderful. But, they’ve since returned to the sunshine state, and life has returned to normal, and so, it was time to share!

I’ll get the crafting out of the way first. My Ma’s birthday was at the end of January, and even though I’d sent her gifts already, one of them – a crocheted beret – I was really unhappy with. So, to rectify this I worked super hard to get this crocheted bag done before she got here. I didn’t get it done before she got here, but I finished it before she left.

Crochet Should Bag

This isn’t the greatest picture as I snapped it hastily before Ma left. It’s crocheted using rows of single crochets followed by rows of double crochet with front post stitches to make the V pattern. I think it turned out really beautifully, and I’m even pondering making another as a store sample for the shop.

I used the 210-43 Shoulder Bag pattern from Pierrot Yarns. I’m kind of obsessed with Pierrot’s patterns, and I’m also making two of their other patterns – one for me and one for a gift. They’re a Japanese company, and only some of their patterns have English translations, but the crochet ones are so well charted that you really don’t need to speak a word of Japanese to understand it. The only change I made to the pattern was to repeat the pattern rows once, because I felt it was a little shallow.

For the yarn, I used Cleckheaton Natural Cotton. I picked it up from the sale bin at work for $2 a ball. I’ll be honest with you; it felt almost like stealing. This yarn is so beautiful to work with. The colors are subtle, but beautiful – the picture can’t do it justice – and it feel so soft and clean and it’s very co-operative to work with. It didn’t split very much and didn’t un-ply too much either. I definitely give this yarn five stars, and I can’t understand why people don’t seem to buy it. If you see it around anywhere, snap it up!

Mama love it too, and was pestering me to hurry up and finish it and photograph it so she could use it already. The only problem was that the strap stretched out a bit over a day or two, but that’s easily fixed. I probably ought to have done a crab stitch edging but it slipped my mind.

Now, onto the adventuring!

While Ma & Pa were here, we did an overnight trip along the Great Ocean Road which was incredible. Leading up to the trip, I was so inspired by Jules‘ amazing photography on her blog, and I had been reading a few articles with tips on how to improve your photography, so I tried to take some decent shots that aren’t too garbage-y. So, here’s some of my favorites as a sort of photo journal of the trip.

On the first day we stopped for lunch in Lorne.

Beach at Lorne

Then, after lunch, we made out way to the Cape Otway Lightstation, which I have to say was the biggest stand out of the weekend for me.

The Telegraph Station at Cape Otway

After purchasing your tickets in the gift store, you then walk along a path towards the lighthouse, which at first you can’t see for all the greenery. First up, you come to the Telegraph House, which you can wander through. The museum-type exhibits are a little sparse, but super interesting and well presented, which I kind of preferred because it wasn’t information overload.

The Lighthouse!

Next, you go past the Lighthouse keeper’s house and some other buildings, and then there’s the pathway to the Lighthouse itself, which is at the end of stony bluff. Best of all, you can right up to the top and out onto the little gantry. I don’t have any pics that really demonstrate very well how high up you are, but it’s really amazing. And the wind up there is insane! I literally had a few moments where I thought my heart would fall out of my face because I thought I was about to be blown right over the railing. The sound of the wind howling and the waves crashing is out of this world; it’s not hard to understand why the Victorian coast has the most shipwrecks of any coast in Australia. This was my favorite experience of the whole trip!

A Few Apostles

We stayed the night in Port Campbell which was really nice; our hotel was on the edge of a natural cliff-walled little inlet, which was kind of amazing. The next day we went and a look at the Loch Ard Gorge. It was really excellent, and there are little placards here and there that tell the story of the Loch Ard wreck. I really enjoyed this; it was super interesting and the Gorge itself is quite a marvel. Then we went to the little cemetery at the top of the Gorge to pay respect to those who were lost in the wreck.

Then we went to see the Twelve Apostles, which are arguably the most famous sights on the Great Ocean Road. They’ve built a little visitors’ center and a walkway to go out and see them. It’s all respectfully done, and it is a really amazing sight, but it didn’t appeal to me as much as the Otway Lighthouse or the Loch Ard Gorge. I couldn’t say exactly why, and it wasn’t necessarily because the Apostles are more touristy – they are, but they’ve done a great job of being quite respectful to the landscape as well. They’re still incredible and well worth seeing.

One of the Otway Fly Tree Top Walk platforms

Next up we went to the Otway Fly Tree Top Walk which was also really awesome; third place to the Lighthouse and the Loch Ard Gorge. If you’ve ever been to the O’Reilly’s Tree Top Walk, it’s a very similar experience. They also had a dinosaur garden, which was kind of cheesy, but I loved it all the same. You can also see the forest from a flying fox, but it was quite expensive (though, probably worth it) so we gave that a miss. The gift store wasn’t too nasty either; and they had lots of beautiful photo books and history books about the area.

Meadow

Strangely, one of my favorite parts of the Otway Fly was the meadow you had to walk through to get from the parking lot to the visitors’ center. It was a beautiful green slope covered in little yellow daisies and dandelions (the photo from my last post); I half-expected Maria Von Trapp to skip out from the trees and burst into song. There was also this pretty grass. I took the opportunity to snap a few close up shots like this one which I thought came out quite well.

Then, we made our way back home. It was really lovely trip, and I’d gladly do it again. Next time around I think I’d like to go further along to Warrnambool and visit the Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village, since the shipwrecks and that sort of thing I find incredibly interesting. And now, here is me looking grumpy.

Grumpy McGillicutty

I wasn’t actually grumpy, but the wind was so blustery, that even with glasses over my eyes, it was getting all up in my face. So awesome. If I remember correctly, this was at Loch Ard Gorge.

So, that was my little coastal interlude, and it will be back to crafts pretty soon, I’m sure. There are some exciting things happening that I hope to share soon!

- R

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