Friday, 5 December 2014

On the needles: Possum fur beanie...

Yes. That's right: possum fur. From New Zealand. where Australian possums are a pest, and it's ok to kill them. Not wanting to let the beautifully warm and fuzzy possum fur go to waste, the Kiwi's are mixing it with Merino wool and making lovely, lovely woolly warm things for the cold climate that New Zealand experiences.

My lovely little sister went skiing there a year or so ago, and while she made a point of not buying touristy things for friends and family, she made one exception: me. She saw the wool mixed with possum fur and couldn't leave it behind. She bought me two skeins: one sock weight and one lace weight (I can't remember if this skein actually has possum fur in it or not). I brought the sock weight with me because it gets really, really cold in Kansas.

The skein I brought over was a Touch Yarn skein of Possum Yarn, in C1, and I tell you what, it's not an easy colour combination to photograph - let alone work out what to do with it!

A quick cold snap after our road trip convinced me that I needed a beanie of my own. Michael has a few, Jimmy has a few, but me? Nothing. So, I decided to turn this lovely yarn into a hat...

After posing for some silly selfies, of course... I had to make sure that the colour combination would suit my skin tone, right?

In addition to deciding what to knit, choosing a pattern, and actually knitting said beanie, there was the task of turning the skein into a usable ball of yarn... And I very sensibly started this task outside, with Jimmy, while he was wandering around and while he had a little feed too... yep... I take my multitasking seriously...

I didn't wind it all in the one session and ended up improvising one of these, by turning our laundry basket upside down and slipping the skein over it. (Actually this worked really well, and I would recommend it to any crafter on a budget.)

Yarn wound, all I needed was a pattern... I loved the way the colours dispersed as I wound the yarn, but I knew it would pool a little during the knitting, so any pattern would have to work well with that. After a quick search on Ravelry, I decided that the Wurm would work better with the yarn than the first pattern I liked, that uses the same wool (but in a solid colour) - I'll make in with a different yarn, if I get around to it...

The Wurm is an easy knit, and a little appropriate for this arthropod lover. I added an extra 2 purl sections, for a little more length, but I'm not sure that they were needed. I'm also not sure that I knitted the right size for my head, but that's what you get when you don't do a gauge swatch... ah well, it's a good beanie, and probably just needs a warm (hand) wash or two to get it a little more snug around the ears.

Once all the knitting and tieing off were done, I tried to get Jimmy to model it for me, but he had more fun taking it off before I had time to take a photo. I wore it when it snowed, but am yet to block it. I'll wash it sometime this week, while we're enjoying a warm spell.

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