I’m a sock knitter who has poor circulation and lives in a cold climate, and therefore I’m always on the lookout for the most interesting and warmest sock yarn.
And just the other day, at Toronto’s Creativ Festival, I found it: Cottage Craft’s Qiviut blend sock yarn.Â It’s a yummy blend of qiviut, merino, bamboo and nylon, so it will be wonderful to work with, fabulously warm – and hardwearing. (Be warned, there’s none of this currently listed on the site, it looks like they are sold out.Â Sorry!)
I bought it at the Rose Haven Farm both.Â Linda, the lovely proprietor, only had one skein left.Â She was very apologetic about the lack of color selection.Â It happens to be a gorgeous rusty red, but honestly, it could have been the worst color in the world and I would have still bought it.
What’s the big deal?Â It’s the Qiviut.Â Qiviut is the undercoat of the muskox.Â Muskox live in the arctic reaches of North America, and have the wooly coats to deal with the climate up there.Â Qiviut is 8 times warmer (and significantly stronger) than sheep’s wool, softer than cashmere – and it doesn’t felt.
Muskox are aggressive creatures, so Qiviut is hard to collect, and therefore expensive. It’s gathered by hand during the molt, or from bushes that the muskox rub up against; or combed from pelts after the hunt.
The muskox is an important animal in the ecosystem, and to the Arctic peoples. They are still hunted and used for meat, their pelts, and their fiber. To learn more about this, I highly recommend Donna Druchunas’ book, Arctic Lace.
The most important thing to me right now is that I’m going to have very warm toes this winter.
A Quick NaKniSweMo Update from Jillian
I’m about 5,000 stitches in, my gauge is defying all logic, I’ve had to ‘fit in’ a few increases, I’m behind where I want to be and there’s not enough time to knit. In other words, I’m loving every minute of it. How are your NaKni sweaters going? Don’t forget there’s a group for us on Ravelry. Here’s a peek at my Goodale so far: