Possum tales: A Supreme fur

This post is the fifth of my series of reviews on possum fur yarn.

Supreme Possum Merino is another of New Zealand’s major possum fur yarn brands. Founded by Laurence Gordon, this company is a heart-warming example of a possum yarn company dedicated to the preservation of New Zealand’s native flora and fauna.  Not only is Laurence personally actively involved in possum and other pest control, according to Supreme’s website, 5% of its sales also go into the preservation of the New Zealand environment.

Supreme was the first possum fur brand to put 40% fur content into its yarn.  (Zealana’s Rimu is the only other possum fur yarn that contains the same percentage, most other possum fur brands containing less fur).

The yarn contains 40% possum fur, 50% merino wool and 10% silk.  I like the addition of the silk. Combined with the already light possum fur, it adds even more loft to the yarn.

Spun by Quality Yarns (one of the three major spinning mills in New Zealand), Supreme’s yarn comes in three weights – 4 ply (fingering), 8 ply (worsted) and 12 ply (chunky).

4 ply – 210 metres per 50g ball.  Recommended tension is 28 stitches x 36 rows on 3.25mm needles per 10cm (4 in).

8 ply – 120 metres per 50g ball.  This yarn is much chunkier than the average 8 ply (DK-weight) yarn.  In knitting weight, I’d say this yarn is a worsted weight, or more like a 10 ply.  Although the ball band recommends 4mm needles, Supreme’s website states 5mm needles, which I believe is more accurate.  My stocking stitch swatch using 5mm needles produced a tension of 18 sts x 26 rows per 10cm, which I feel is just right.  This is also the tension stated in the free patterns provided on Supreme’s website.

I’m rather in love with this green.  It’s so foresty.  The colour is slightly heathered, enhancing the yarn’s richness and depth of colour.  The silk has also given this yarn more lustre than most other possum yarns.

12 ply – 100 metres per 50g ball.  This is incredible meterage for a chunky-weight yarn.  The same weight in a 100% wool is usually around 65 metres!  Although Supreme’s other yarns are priced at the higher end of the market, at NZ$12 a ball, this chunky yarn represents good value given you don’t need as much yarn for your project.  I haven’t seen this weight in the yarn stores, but Supreme sells direct to the public from their website – a very helpful way to get hold of their yarn!

Comparing this yarn’s softness and strength against other possum fur yarns, the 4 ply is quite fragile, but the 8 ply is reasonably strong (although not as strong as The Wool Company’s or Zealana’s 8 ply merino possum).  I haven’t got a sample of the 12 ply weight, but the fact that it’s a chunky yarn suggests strength.

Supreme’s website is also one of the few New Zealand yarn websites offering a number of free patterns including pullovers, hats and gloves and a cute child-size hoodie.

This yarn is definitely a quality addition to the stable of New Zealand possum fur yarns in the market.  Supreme is certainly an apt name for possum fur yarn – it is supremely soft, warm and nice to knit!

I’m pleased that this yarn is available in New Zealand in weights that suit patterns from overseas (particularly the worsted/aran and chunky weight patterns) as this weight of yarn is not commonly available here.

Currently, my budget doesn’t allow for a large purchase of this yarn, but when I find myself in happier financial circumstances, I’ll definitely be experimenting with this yarn in a worsted-weight pullover pattern – something by Norah Gaughan comes happily to mind!

In the meantime, I’ll be knitting my sample balls into a nice, warm, cuddly hat and pair of gloves for Eric for the coming winter.

6 thoughts on “Possum tales: A Supreme fur

  1. A comprehensive and detailed review!
    How does the yarn wash and what do you think the itch is like? 😉

  2. Very informative as usual! I love the snuggliness of possum yarn but touching it gives me possum flashbacks!!!
    Hope you’re enjoying the weather, that sun is brutal isn’t it!!!

  3. I have used the 4ply as a substitute for 8 ply using 3.75 needles to make a ‘Wicked Eyelet Rib Vest’ and loved knitting with it. The resulting garment was looser than anticipated, but works well over a buttoned shirt. The ribbed areas did not draw in as well as I would have liked, but wonder if this is a property of the possum yarns, from what I have observed in other garments I have knitted with possum. The silk just adds to the luxurious feel. As I have become rather addicted to the Wool Company’s 8 ply I haven’t tried the Supreme’s yet version but think I need to give it a go – they have some yummy colours available.

    1. I think you are right, and that is a good point – when I rib with it, possum doesn’t ‘draw in’ as much as a pure wool either. For pure economy and value, I don’t think you can beat The Wool Co. on the 8 ply pricing, but it’s always nice to have variety isn’t it?

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