Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Fondling the yarn

This yarn screams out "fondle me!". It's 40% possum fur and 60% wool. Yum!

Possums (or opossums as they're correctly called) are an introduced noxious pest in New Zealand, though I understand they're protected in their native Australia. Here they do huge amounts of damage to our native forests and bush, and ruin the habitat for native flora and fauna. They are not nice cuddly animals when alive - they have razor sharp claws and have been known to shred curtains and soft furnishings when accidentally baled up indoors.


Some clever person decided that their fur which, like any fur, is wonderfully soft and warm, would go well mixed with wool and used in clothing. Yes, it's disgustingly expensive compared to plain wool, but the yarn is wonderful to the touch and lovely to wear - I have a hat, gloves and socks in it. These were commercially made as the yarn has only recently become available to use.

These hanks are green, turquoise, blue and navy, and just gorgeous. Each hank is only 100 grams but 420 metres long, so 4 hanks will make a garment.

Now.....what to make????

13 comments:

Ali Honey said...

Lovely! I have socks, hat and gloves in Possum fibre and love it's light softness. How much per hank please? Has everywhere got it? Were there other colour ways?

What are you going to make? ( sorry that's a lot of questions )

Suzi-k said...

wonderful colours.... Is it ok for people with allergies? Mohair from Angora goats is really popular here in SA but I itch horribly if I put it near my skin.

sharon young said...

How interesting! I'm ashamed to say I had to ask my OH to describe what a possum looks like.
The yarn looks scummy!
Thanks for your lovely comment on my blog post, much appreciated.

Webfrau said...

So where did you acquire this gorgeous yarn? Curious locals want to know! :)

Shirley Goodwin said...

Ok, Curious locals! I bought it from Artisan Fibres in the Arts centre, Christchurch, where it's $7 a skein cheaper than at Knitworld!

Karen said...

Occasionally a pair of Opossums wander through my back yard. They are not the most attractive of animals are they! I am surprised that the fur is soft to the touch- I learn something new every day! Lovely yarn and what a beautiful color. Almost makes me want to learn how to knit...

Knifty Knitter said...

I saw your comment on the Yarn Harlot's blog and had to see if you were being for real about the possum yarn. How odd! I have seen enough possums in my life that I usually think of them as oversized rats with rabies...I would *never* think of shearing one for fiber! I wish there was some in my LYS so I could feel it but I think there are probably some people who would be repulsed by the very thought of possum yarn. I'm totally intrigued now though!

luneray said...

I also wandered over here from the Yarn Harlot...

A few months ago, I bought some handspun possum/merino yarn from a NZ artist listing on Etsy. I bought just a single skein because I was curious about possum yarn, and I made fingerless gloves with it. I loved the yarn so much that I bought the rest of her possum handspun. (Her shop is MerryMonthofMay, if you are curious.)

It is so amazingly light and soft, and I hope to make a lap blanket with the rest.

Knitting Linguist said...

Ooh! Excellent choice -- I considered those colors, too, they were so beautiful. I can't wait to see what you decide to knit with it!

M-H said...

If you can get the Australian Yarn magazine there is a pattern in the latest issue called 'Veronica's cardi'. I designed it and originally knitted it in Touch possum merino. You can see it in my ravelry profile if you're on Rav - look for WittyKnitter.

T said...

Oooo-kaaayyy. It truly is a 'regional' thing, I guess. :-) In the U.S. Pacific NW, opossums (the first 'o' is silent) are truly repulsive oversized rats, most often seen as roadkill. They were originally brought to "The New World" because the European settlers weren't sure that there would be enough game for food. When they found "the land of plenty", they let the little varmints go, and well, the rest is history (so to speak).

Around here, we have a saying(?): Why did the chicken cross the road? To show the opossum that it could be done!

If we could get past the roadkill eeewww, just think of the spinning opportunities!! ::shudder::

Deb H said...

Now I've never heard of using possum fur in yarn! How funny, but very pretty too!

Webfrau said...

Thanks for letting us know where you sourced this. Artisan fibres is one of my favourite places to visit when in Christchurch. I had some lovely lace weight hand dyed merino from them last time.