These days, I’m working with some super fancy yarn named Rimu by Zealana. Believe it or not, this yarn is made of possum fur! My love for animals being so overwhelming, the first questions that pop in my head when I work with animal fibers are “how is it taken from the animal?”, “does the animal dies before giving its fur?” and on top of all, “is it an ethic product?” I made some searching to understand how that yarn have been made and to get answer to my questions. Zealana is a company for who sustainability of the flora and fauna is the priority. So yes, the possums are dying, but I found out that this is by no means a problem in this case. In some part of New Zealand, non-native possums that were introduced by fur traders in the late 19th century are now a nuisance to the echosystem. There are too many, they eat everything and some native bird species are in critical condition at the moment because of possums invading their nests. While controlling the possum population, Zealana uses the fur and makes lovely yarn. Possums are cuties and my heart melt when I think they must die but my reason is stronger than my heart – that company is the perfect example of why ethic actions are sometimes hard to take.
About the yarn… well… it’s delicious! It’s a 60% fine merino and 40% brushtail possum blend. It’s very soft, warm, a little fuzzy and has a beautiful drape. I’ve been working a cable pattern with this yarn and the definition is perfect, it creates a dense yet soft fabric. It’s machine washable and based on the comments from the lady at the yarn store, it gets even prettier and softer after a good wash. I can say it’s a very luxurious yarn, sturdy, well made, well dyed, with all the greatest care. Talking about the dye, the colorway I got is a deep red with a hint of pink. If they’d ask me, I’d call it “raspberry” but it’s only labeled as R11. While knitting, I noticed some very short black hair blending in the color. It’s subtle but it adds a nice touch reminding heathered yarns. About the price, well, it’s a luxurious yarn! I haven’t found the retail price, but it’s around $16-19 US for a 50g ball on all the online shops I looked up. At my local yarn store though, I got it for $13.95 CAD which is the best price I saw (and I think I’ll go get all the balls they have!)
If you’re ready to pay $300 and over, I think this yarn would make the perfect sweater or cardigan. I’m pretty sure it would last virtually forever, without pilling, stretching, losing it’s shape and all those fatalities that happen everyday to knitted sweaters. For a more realistic yarn budget, I think it’s perfect for all kind of accessories – warm socks, mittens, hats, etc. I decided to do a headband with my skein and even my overly sensitive skin agrees with that idea. I made it my spring headband and I love it, but I can’t wait for the headband season to be long gone…!