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:
- It’s a 10 ply, or worsted weight. There aren’t many yarns in that weight category to choose from in New Zealand.
- It’s heathered!!! I just love the visual interest of a softly heathered yarn.
- 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!