A quick podcast from https://MenKnitting.net covering my recent trip to New Zealand and exploring the yarn stores of Auckland. https://goo.gl/v4M3vN
Hey guys, it's George, and I've just come back from New Zealand. I have to say, from a knitter's perspective, New Zealand is the most amazing place to visit. My God, the yarns from New Zealand are just incredible. So I was really fortunate that I was able to visit a couple of yarn stores and get a little bit of extra stuff for my stash. But, I've been a big boy, and I have chosen mostly some projects that the yarn will go towards. But sometimes, you know, it's just like, "Oh, it's so nice and so squishy."
What I have really discovered is possum yarn, and I was really funny. When a knitting friend of mine here in Melbourne has made some really beautiful cowls with possum yarn. I was always a bit funny about it, 'cause like possums here in Australia are considered, like they're a native animal. In photos they kind of look cute and fluffy and stuff, but really they're grumpy little turds. And certainly when I lived in Brisbane, which is in the north of Australia, my dog caught a few possums. They're feral, horrible little things.
But anyway, possums, I didn't realise that the fur is really quite warm. And they say that it's warmer than merino, warmer than alpaca, and lighter than alpaca. So I was genuinely surprised about that.
Now somebody did comment to me over the weekend that they were concerned that if they were using possum yarn, how does the pelt get collected? The point of the matter is, that in New Zealand somebody introduced possums to New Zealand. They're not native, and they have no predators that kill them, which means that they've had carte blanche. They have gone through, and they have devastated the fauna and flora of New Zealand.
So they are considered a feral pest. For that reason, they are culled, and that is how that the pelts are come to be gotten to used for the industry. It's a bit of a weighing-up game, they were originally introduced to New Zealand for the fur industry, and it hasn't really taken off. So the question is like, chicken and egg and all of that sort of stuff.
But the point of the matter is, at the moment, they're causing havoc in New Zealand, so I'm okay if they're being culled. If they're being culled, and the fur shouldn't go to waste if they're being culled. And it does make really beautiful squidgy yarn.
So this was one of my first purchases, a beautiful pooling yarn and a nice contrast to go together. So these are going into a cowl. And I got these from New Zealand Fabrics and Yarns which is in Queen's Arcade in Auckland's downtown.
This is an amazing store. I came upon it by chance, 'cause when you're in New Zealand, one of the big things that they always talk about is, you know, you got to buy woollens. You got to buy merino. So I went to a couple of wool stores and I was looking to buy yarn. These wool stores were just selling machine-knitted jumpers. I was like, "Oh, okay. Well, let's have a look at a price," and picked out a decent solid jumper. It was $750 dollars for a machine-knitted jumper. I was like, "Fuck that shit. I'm buying my own. I'll buy my own wool, and I'll bloody knit it myself." But $750 for a machine-knitted jumper? So yeah, $750 for a machine-knit. No. No, no, no, no. I'll knit that myself. Good luck with the tourist industry, but seriously.
Even in the airport yesterday, they had a beautiful ... it was just a leather vest with a fur lining. And they wanted $1,700 for that. I'm like, "Far out." It doesn't cost that much. You could go to Langlitz's Leather and get a beautiful jacket and pair of pants tailor made for $1,700.