Yarn Ho! I received the possum fur yarn from Fuzzy Mabel. Let me say that I had a great experience with them. They shipped my order in two packages for speed, even though it was free freight. They were accurate and quick, and they wrapped the yarn in pretty tissue paper, so they get lots of points.
This is not, I hasten to add, American opossum fur. That might be nice stuff, for all I know, but frankly they seem too rat-like for me to want to knit with their fur. This is the New Zealand possum, which has fur of the same molecular structure as a polar bear, and is a pest on the order of our kudzu, so we do not have to feel bad about using their fur. (Indeed, we are assured that “every possum fur product you buy helps to protect the rain forest [and] the ozone layer.”) This means that the yarn — Possum Lace from Cherry Tree Hill, 40% wool, 40% possum, 20% silk — is a sort of super-fiber that allows you to swan around on cool evenings feeling toasty while looking nice in your lace shawl.
It does not, at first blush, seem like a super fiber. It seems like a nice laceweight wool. But we will see. If you are considering this yarn, let me warn you about the colors, as I was warned. The fur does not take dye well, apparently, and the colors end up uneven and showing some brown. I chose “slate,” a useful gray, rather than a light or bright color. There is definitely unevennesss in the color, but it does not seem a negative with this shade.
If you care to, you can look at Silkenshine’s comment on yesterday’s post and find a link to see shawls made on #50 needles. The picture above is four rows of a shawl made on #1 needles. Knitting is indeed versatile.
For the past couple of weeks, I have been searching for a super shawl pattern to go with the super yarn, but I have not found exactly what I wanted. I have been like the customer yesterday who, rejecting all three dozen planbooks in the store, assured us that she “just can’t think horizontally.” I found a lovely online pattern, the Leaves and Flowers Shawl, which is almost what I was looking for, but not exactly. So I am going with my back-up plan, a rectangular stole in Lotus stitch (from The Pattern Library Traditional Knitting). Here are the factors that led to this decision:
* The yarn arrived and I want to knit with it, so there is no more time for shilly-shallying.
* The Leaves and Flowers Shawl calls for slightly more yardage than I have. The gauge is larger, so it would probably work out just fine, but the possibility of running out of yarn would add undesirable stress to the knitting experience. The thought of frogging lace is one that will make the strongest knitter quail. With a stole, you can just quit when you run out of yarn, and no harm done.
* Last month, I predicted that fall fashions this year would include a romantic trend. The news from the runways shows that I was correct, so I might well find that I could use more than one lace shawl. (Here I am pretending that I care about fashion. I don’t. However, I do always get a kick out of correctly predicting retail trends.) The stole can be a run-up to a more complex shawl.
* The number of knitting books I have been buying in the course of my unsuccessful pattern search is beginning to be alarming. I had better quit.
#1 son is not a licensed driver, by the way. He is not despondent, though, and is intending to practice more and try again.