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Possum Yarn

June 11, 2011

Back  in the winter on the island I decided that I wanted to start knitting again.  I learned during my third year of university and I’ve knit off and on since then, but it’s been awhile.  I learned to knit toques (hats, for you non-Canadians! ;)) in the fall of 2007, while working at Mackenzie Nature Observatory.  I’ll be back there this fall so perhaps that is what inspired me.    Or maybe it was because for a week I misplaced the toque my sister Michelle had knit me and I didn’t have any good backups.

Anyhow, I went through a yarn-buying phase, visiting three– no, make that four–  yarn stores and stocking up.  I used to buy cheap yarn from Wal-mart but I wanted natural fibres.  I was very excited to find this yarn at half price:

It’s 60% New Zealand merino, 10% silk, and 30% possum fur.

Not this kind of possum.

(Virginia Opossum, Wood River, Nebraska 2008)

This kind:

Common Brushtail Possum

(Wallaby Creek, New South Wales, Australia, 2006)

This one was eating vegetable scraps we had put out for the horses (when I volunteered with satin bowerbirds we lived in a horse pasture.)  They are native to Australia.  But they were introduced to New Zealand where they’ve caused havoc with the native plants, the native invertebrates, and the native birds that weren’t adapted to deal with mammalian predators.  (You can see a short video clip of a possum raiding a kokako nest hereKokako are one of the most beautiful birds I saw in New Zealand; I travelled there for 2 1/2 months in early 2007, after I left Australia.)  They also spread bovine tuberculosis.  So there is an eradication program.   It is sad to think about the poor possums that are killed but something has to be done to control the problem.   And at least the fur of some of those possums killed is being added to yarns such as the one I bought.  It is lovely, soft and warm.

I have been working on a new toque with that yarn and it is almost done, I’ll share pictures soon.

Do you knit?  What’s your latest project?

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 12, 2011 7:24 am

    Now I want to knit and all my yarn is packed. :)

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