8.16.2009

slouchy knit cap: wool, silk, cashmere, alpaca, possum?


i can hardly wait to knit this slouchy cap by cathy carron from the fall 2009 issue of VK. the yarn is a brand i've never seen before: kia ora's zealana "rimu." which all sounds very exotic in a holly-hunter-in-the-piano kind of way. upon closer inspection, however, i note that the fiber content is new zealand merino wool...and...possum.

come again? possum? really? my mind immediately changes channels from "the piano" to "flight of the conchords;" and anyone who watches that knows what the aussies say about NZers and sheep. now...this.



with apologies to bret and jemaine, not to mention ellie mae and granny, i can't quite envision myself knitting with yarn spun from a varmint. a few years back, my friend laurie and i attended a knitting retreat in camden, maine. strolling through the picturesque harbour town, we spotted a woman knitting in her car. we poked our heads inside to inquire what she was working on. i can't recall what the garment was, but i will never forget the fiber. it was yarn spun from dog. her dog. she swelled with pride. we recoiled in horror.

don't get my wrong. our norwich terrier mac will always be my BFF, but i simply can't imagine merrily stockinetting away with the fur off his back. let alone wear it on mine.

how 'bout you? do you share any of my knittiosyncracies with fiber content? or am i being just a hair too fussy?

16 comments:

Team Knit ! said...

I love that hat too. possum yarn!! That's nwe to me, too. But then I recently heard about Kollage Creamy,t he yarn made of milk protein.... yarn is being made of everything these days.

- Julie

Rose Red said...

I'd never knit with pet hair (fur?) but can assure you that NZ possum is not like US possum!! It's very soft and very very warm!

Overanalyzer: said...

it's true, australian/nz possums are extremely cute, unlike freakish US possums.

MacGregor said...

You can see the whole story at www.wild-wool.com, but this fiber is a by-product of New Zealand's conservation efforts. Spun with wool, it is softer, warmer and lighter than plain wool. It is amazing stuff.

sneakycrafty said...

Ah ha haaa yes they 'look' extremely cute but they have very sharp claws and make an ungodly sound at night! That's what I love about our seemingly docile looking national animals... e.g. a koala, if you've heard one, sounds like a pig having a heart attack. But I digress - the possum fur feels amazing, I got a Supreme Possum Merino 4ply shade card and the colours and feel are amazing...

clairity123 said...

wow,I'm surprized dog fur lovers havent commented as of yet. I can't believe how we always pick the same projects. LOVE THAT FREAKING HAT!!!. lit a bit a possum ....hmmmm, I'm game.

Wendy said...

I wouldn't use possum hair (fur) or dog fur. I just couldn't do it! I think possums are kinda creepy and the only things I can think of that smell like dog hair are vacuums sometimes and people's cars, and I can think of other things I would DEFINITELY rather smell like.

knitlit kate said...

very interesting...i will certainly have to check out that wild wools link...and who knew possums down under were cute?? we had one in our garage a few years ago and it totally freaked me out. the thing would not MOVE. and it was huge. not a single cute hair on its head. and little beady eyes. sheep and lambies? cute. llamas? cute (even if they do spit). bunnies? very cute. but i just can't like possums.

Lolly said...

Ha!! love the possum photo! that is hilarious. My sister went to NZ and mentioned all the possum yarn and garments there. Who knew? Yeah, Bret and Jemaine never sang a song about that :)

Love that hat too. There were several in that spread that I liked.

clairity123 said...

ok, now I gonna get some. I really love that hat, and that color, and that yarn!!

Michelle said...

It sure isn't fox fur from Aspen ;)

Mandy said...

I once used black walnuts to dye some wool/mohair and it came out the same color as my hair. I simply could not knit with it (even though I'm told often what a "pretty red" color I have). Just the idea skeeved me out too much.

But I've heard there are different possums over in NZ, so I would totally try that yarn.

I LOVE that beret, too. It caught my eye when I saw that issue.

Cricket said...

Hi! I have recently caught the spinning bug, and today was checking my Norwich terrier out as a possible fiber donor... and I agree with you. EEWwwwww! It looks fine on her, but I'm happy vacuuming up her, uh, "donations".

Eliana said...

Great choice! This hat is so cute! I can't wait to see your yarn choice.

Ilene said...

I think that NZ conservation means they are trying to eradicate the possums. I read somewhere that they are not native and are causing big problems. Meanwhile I overcame my squeamishness about walking around with a possum on my head and I'm making the hat. Actually I'm remaking it because since I have a big head I sized it up one more increase round, and when I finished it, it slid down to my nose. The revenge of the possum!

knitlit kate said...

ha! well, you should sew some elastic on the brim and show that possum who's boss!

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