The Heron lands

It’s not every day that a New Zealand yarn gets launched, so this winter knitting season is an exciting one for yarn lovers!

This is Heron, Zealana’s latest addition to its Aspire range of soft-spun yarns:

Some months ago, I was lucky to receive a preview of this yarn and gave you a sneak look in this post.  Since then, I’ve been excitedly looking forward to its release.  Now that it has been released, I have been able to find out more about it!

Eight gorgeous, heathered shades of green, blue, reds, browns and charcoal.  The ones you see above are called Raisin and Charcoal.

This unique blend is soft spun but strong.  Composed of 80% New Zealand merino, 20% possum, Heron is very light and soft, and it will be ideal for warm, snuggly winter hats, mittens, scarves, cardigans, sweaters and vests.  At 100m (109yd) per 50g ball, this is good meterage for a worsted-weight yarn.

In my test, garment tension worked out at 18 sts x 24 rows over 5mm needles in stocking stitch.  After washing, the yarn blooms nicely and provides an engaging textural interest, but the halo is not as extreme as you get in Rimu or Kauri.  This is good for those who want a ‘smoother’ yarn but still have the softness and warmth of possum fibre.

It’s quite cruel.  Here I was, happily trucking along with the yarns that I have, and then a naughty little bird told me that Heron had arrived at Knit World!  (At the time of writing, it has not yet been loaded on their website).  Of course, I had to go and investigate.  And a few balls “accidentally” fell into my bag…

The plump balls of soft yarn sit in pride of place on my table, tempting me with their snugly gorgeousness… Aaargh!  I need to knit something with it now!!!  But no!  I MUST finish Stomp first!

There are three great things about Heron from my perspective:

  1. It’s a 10 ply, or worsted weight.  There aren’t many yarns in that weight category to choose from in New Zealand.
  2. It’s heathered!!!  I just love the visual interest of a softly heathered yarn.
  3. Its colours are easily translated into masculine knits, which is a something lacking in a lot of New Zealand yarn colour palettes.

The charcoal shade told me it wanted to be a neck warmer for a very nice Someone I’m getting to know. Hmm. Do I tempt fate???

Now, some of you are probably wondering why I gush about Zealana quite a lot on this blog.  Let me use the words of this lovely lady in Australia whom I recently sent some Zealana (not Heron though) in a swap:

“What delicious yummy luscious balls of fabulous softness!…My neighbour visited this afternoon for a crochet session and she literally drooled over those balls and coveted them badly!!

Just trying to decide if I should attempt a cable or go with those lovely understated diamonds like Alice did, her arm warmers were divine! I think I will have to stroke and fuss over these lovelys (sic) for a while first and really enjoy them.”

I had to laugh out loud when I read that.  See?  It’s not just me!

12 thoughts on “The Heron lands

  1. I wish we had such interesting yarns in the UK, seems that everyone raves about a yarn then you find it isn’t UK based or the shipping makes it so expensive. Still ho hum, I am looking forward to seeing it knitted up. Trying to work my way through my vast stash of unusual wool before I buy anymore, then maybe it will be a possum yarn I try as you have made it sound a must to try!!

  2. I agree 🙂
    Go on its only a neck warmer and if he really gets to know you he will understand how privileged he is to be getting some of that deliciousness!! It looks lovely…..that Raisin colour, mmmmmm! I’m in the middle of trying to figure out a small bobble pattern for my arm warmers. Alice’s diamonds looked fabulous didn’t they, I liked the subtleness of it and the wool seemed to carry it off perfectly, I’m thinking a cable will be too chunky for us in the tropics. I found a pattern in Spin Off Winter 2010 for a lovely little shawlette so thats on the to-do list 🙂

    1. That Raisin is delectable. That one is mine, all MINE!!! In fact, looking at it, I realised I made a mistake, and instead of knitting myself a lovely cabled jumper in another yarn I’ve gone and bought, that it actually wants to be made in Heron! Oh dear. What to do. 😉 Alice’s arm warmers are beautiful and that simple diamond pattern came out so well. Small bobbles would be good too. In fact, I was imagining something similar today for a pair of winter mittens. Do send me a pic of the shawlette when it’s done!

  3. Yah for worsted weight yarn, it’s fabulous the manufacturers are catching up with the popularity (pattern support) for this great weight. I love it for being quick to knit up but not so chunky to accentuate a chunkier figure! Go Zealana.

    And for Colette above, I’ve seen possum yarn available here in the UK via Jamie Possum and had a most interesting chat with a rep at a small fibre festival in Liverpool last year. We bemoaned the damage of the possum and he filled me in on how they are humanely trapped. Interesting discussion!

    Enjoy your Heron once the time comes to knit it up. Are we taking beats whether Stomp will be finished or not? 🙂

    1. Thanks so much for the helpful comment for Colette. Yes, Stomp will be finished. It must be finished. It’s Expected! Only a quarter more to go, so not much further. I make it sound awful, but it’s actually quite nice to see it coming together. I’ll be proud when it’s done. 🙂

    2. Brilliant. Might just have to go and visit. Thank goodness for the internet. (think I need to tick both the boxes below else I’d have missed that!!)

  4. To all the Zealana fans in Europe and the UK.
    Visit the Lanamania website and click on Wool Stores for a list of knitting shops that stock some Zealana yarns. All of these shops will have easy access to any Zealana yarns from our European distributor and can order anything you like from our range.

    Good Luck, and I hope you all get to try the new Heron Yarn soon.

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