Kiwiyarns Knits

A blog about New Zealand yarns, knitting and life


The Putangirua Pinnacles

Last weekend, friends invited us to join them for a walk to the Putangirua Pinnacles.

Putangirua Pinnacles

I first heard about the Pinnacles (as they are known here in the Wairarapa) from a colleague, who said they were very interesting rocks.  I have to giggle now at his description.  They are definitely interesting geological formations.  The tower shapes are called hoodoos.  Formed by erosion over thousands of years, they make a spectacular landscape!

This particular photo cost me 45 minutes of hard climbing, and a very badly blistered heel that meant I wore backless shoes to work all week… I think it was worth it.  Now that my foot has stopped stinging!

The Pinnacles 2

This photo shows the Pinnacles as seen from the bottom of the formations.  We walked from the lookout down to the bottom of the riverbed, only a 20 minute walk or so.

Putangirua Pinnacles

You then walk along the riverbed and into the base of the Pinnacles.  I don’t think it would be a good idea to come here right after heavy rain – this riverbed would not be as friendly!  A fact born out by the numerous pools of thick mud we came across during our walk – the children had a lot of fun poking sticks into them.

Another interesting fact about the Pinnacles which I discovered more recently, is that they are the location for the scene in the Lord of the Rings where Aragorn travels the Paths of the Dead to summon the Army of the Dead.

Putangirua Pinnacles

The kids decided it would be cool to investigate the narrow pathway to see if it led to a cave.  They chickened out before they got to the end.

THe Pinnacles 4

The shapes of the hoodoos and the feel of the canyon that we walked through it certainly does give this area an other-worldly feel.  It really does look the part of a scene from the Lord of the Rings.

The Pinnacles 5

Peter Jackson’s location crew chose well!

The Pinnacles 6

Can you see the naturally formed head sculptures in this photo?  The Young Boy said one of them looked like an Easter Island head, and I think he is right!

The Pinnacles 7

We were lucky to go on the day we did.  Almost as soon as we got back to the carpark, a strong wind blew in and lasted for the next few days.  It would have made walking here particularly unpleasant!

I was very grateful to be invited to go for that walk.  It was much more fun with company.  Young Boy was even more pleased – he got to have a sleepover with his best friend that night as well.




It’s the last week of the school holidays, and I have taken three days off to spend with the boy.  It’s a lovely break for the both of us, and a much-needed bit of time off for me.

As New Zealand readers will know, we had the first polar blast of the season this week, and temperatures plummeted to most agreeable winter levels.  Aaaah!  To be able to snuggle in front of a roaring fire, toasty and warm in my possum merino sweater!  And to find a reason for having all those woollen hats, gloves, scarves and coats in my wardrobe!  It was a great way to spend the first day of our holiday together, just decompressing.  Me knitting, him playing on his tablet, while a bitter southerly blew outside.  Pity we weren’t far south enough to see any snow (much envy of the South Islanders happening here), but it was still nice to have far cooler temperatures than we have had!

I finished Gladys.


They look so neat, I’m very pleased with them!

These socks were a bit different in that the gusset was decreased at the beginning and end of the instep (to fit in with the seed stitching).  I rather like that look, and might adopt it for future socks.  Closer detail shown below.

Instep feature

If I was to change anything, I think I’d look to knit a different heel.  I like my heels to be snug, and although the continuation of the pattern into the heel looks pretty, it doesn’t quite give me that ‘fitted’ feel that I enjoy in handknit socks.  Also, this yarn is slightly heavier than the usual sock yarn, and combined with the style of stitch pattern, created a slightly wider sock that I would normally get from a 64 stitch cast on.  If I did knit this again, I think I would decrease four stitches in the main part of the sock (two less seed stitches in the centre panel in the front and back) to get a 60 stitch pattern which would have made a snugger sock.

The only mod I made was to have single rows of knit and purl on the toe, as I thought it looked nicer.

All in all, it is a lovely pattern, and I now have an appetite to knit MORE gansey socks!!

The yarn is from Woolrae Studios.  It’s the merino/silk/nylon blend.  She only sells on trademe – just do a search for “woolrae” on trademe, and you’ll find her listings.

Today, the plan was to go into Masterton to buy the remainder of the boy’s winter uniform.  However, being home during good light (it was a stunning day today!) I suddenly noticed all the spider and fly spots on the walls… and got busy with step-ladder and cleaning cloth… and then the floor demanded to be vacuumed, and then, having brought in some wood for tonight’s fire, decided to finish stacking the last of the outside wood into the shed to keep it dry (and prepare for the next load that I’m having delivered).  One rather long distraction later, we were finally ready to go.

I shut up the house, and taking a breath to pause and appreciate the day, realised that there was no urgent hurry to rush into town.  We could always go another day, given we had three more days of holiday left.  It was such a nice day, why not take advantage of the lovely weather and go to the park instead?  And so that is exactly what we did!  It was a reasonably chilly 13C/55F or so, but the boy is very warm-blooded.

Afternoon in the park

It is so nice to be able to be spontaneous for a change.  To be able to stop and smell life’s roses, and be with the ones we love.

Tomorrow, we might go into town.  But then again, perhaps there is another adventure that might call us instead!?

Park oaks