Saturday, May 22, 2010

Hello Possums **

Last year, the week after I had surgery, my friends Karen and Lorene, headed over to the Land of the Long White Cloud for a clogging convention [ Appalacian tap dancing to the uninformed ]
Usually my souvenir of choice is a postcard, but I think they figured post-major-surgeries-me needed something a bit more comforting.

So they bought me two balls - one mauve and one kiwi fruit green - of possum/merino yarn.
Now do they know me or what ?

I do have to say was horrified the first time I saw a garment made out of possum fur yarn from New Zealand but after reading up on the subject, my viewpoint has mellowed a bit.

Here in Australia possums are cute little animals. Moderately annoying when they decimate the garden.
Very annoying if they get into the roof and pee.but cute

[ they are not to be confused with American Opossums which are nasty and ugly ]

but across the pond in New Zealand, where they are an introduced species with no natural predators, they are a major headache.THEY are the predators and are decimating native NZ wildlife

so they have to be culled
it's that or lose a host of beautiful and unique lifeforms
et voila, the possum fur yarn industry.
Possum is a hollow fibre and one of the warmest on the planet, so almost too warm for even a freezing Central Victorian morning [ did I mention that it's not even winter yet and it was minus 1 this morning ? ] so a possum/merino blend is just about ideal
sooooo soft
Of course, you're limited with only one ball of a given colour, so I immediately thought hat ... one of those poochy slouchy ones that everyone's wearing.
Unfortunately as it progressed, I realised that - on me with the super short hair and middle aged face - it looked like something I should wear to muck out the goats.
SO the planned decreases for a crown never happened and it evolved into the
Hello Possum Cowl

you'll have to trust me on the colour - it looks pale greenish grey on my monitor but is really the colour of kiwi fruit flesh

The cables 'pop' so beautifully, and there's a short fuzzy brown halo of possum fur all over.


1 ball of Utiku Possum Merino 8 ply

[ supposedly a DK weight but I didn't like the super dense fabric on the recommended 4mm - I'd call it more of an Aran / Light Worsted ]
5mm KP Harmony circular
pattern :
improvised - could be a freebie if anyone needed it

** "Hello Possums" is the catch phrase of a certain iconic cross-dressing Australian comedian


Lynne said...

It's amazing how colours change when photographed/digitised!

I, too, was horrified at the idea of knitting with possum but when I heard the facts I also modified by opinions! It is lovely and soft - perhaps a narrow scarf from ball #2?

PS MY word verification was "abear" - appropriate for your blog, don't you think?

Lynne said...

Of course, that should be "modified my opinion"!

lisette said...

yum - looks gorgeous and possum is soooooo soft

Alwen said...

That's right, our opossums have nasty sharp pointy teeth and generally hiss at you before falling over in a dead faint.

And their fur is so stiff and coarse, I can't see how you'd knit with it no matter how much merino you had to blend it with!

gayle said...

I had no idea possums and opossums were such different creatures.
Years ago, I bought a book for my granddaughter called "Possum Magic" - very sweet book. I just thought the drawings of the possums were cute because all cartoon animals in children's books are drawn cute. Never dawned on me that it was a whole different animal than our American Opossum...
So, by knitting with NZ possum fur, you're actually doing a good deed. Knitting validation!

catsmum said...

Gayle I doubt that there are too many aussies of my kids' generation who don't have fond memories of that book. It's a classic ... and yes, my grandsons DO have a copy.