Kiwiyarns Knits

A blog about New Zealand yarns, knitting and life

It’s all in the yarn


When I started knitting again back in 2006, I quickly became enamoured with yarn.  Yarn in all its fibre possibilities, weights and textures.  Any yarn interested me.  Any yarn store was an instant magnet.  Any place that looked like it might have yarn had to be investigated.  I spent hours trawling the internet, looking at yarn, dreaming about yarn, reading about yarn… I was a “yarnaholic”!

I also quickly discovered a few things about yarn.  Such as natural fibre was much nicer to knit with.  And that what yarn you use for a project actually matters – fibre content and weight being very important considerations. And that some yarn brands were not equal to others… I became instead a bit of a yarn snob.  I’m not ashamed to admit it.

In fact, my love of yarn is what inspired me to start my blog.  Because I wanted to share the information that I had acquired (and discovered was not widely known).

I’d largely “forgotten” how important yarn is to a project because it’s now so integral to my decision-making process when starting a project that I don’t consciously think about it.  Recently though, the yarn issue came home loud and clear.  In a good way.

As you know, I’ve been doing an Autumnal Cardigan KAL with the sweet Evelyn.  While she has been very diligently churning out gorgeous Christmas knit creations, and put aside her Autumnal until after Christmas is over, I have been impatient and finished Autumnal.  Maybe it’s because it’s hot here at Christmas, but I never feel like giving knitwear at Christmas – it’s usually around April (our Autumn) that I start feeling the need to warm my friends and family with cosy woollen goodness.  They get their goodies then, and I have a few planned which you’ll start to see in the next few weeks.

Anyway, back to the Autumnal… this cardigan is an easy knit.  The only thing that’s a bit heavy is the ribbing.  Miles and miles of it around the collar and fronts.  It’s great for mindless TV knitting though, only I don’t watch TV.  I realised that when I got to this part that the only thing that was keeping me interested in this project was the yarn.

This is Zealana’s Kiwi in Fingering weight.  It’s a 40% merino, 30% cotton, 30% possum yarn.  The mix is beautifully balanced. You cannot actually notice the possum fibre in this yarn, which is interesting as it’s a full 30% (almost the maximum amount of possum you can put in a yarn).  Some possum yarns can get quite fluffy looking, but this yarn gives you a very matt texture.

The cotton has given my garment a lot of swing and lightness, the lightness being ideal for this time of year when you need warmth, but not weight.  And the wool balances it all out, binds the fibres together and provides just enough give to make it comfortable for your wrists to knit.  It’s the perfect yarn for this project.

Here is a sneak preview pic of the Autumnal.  I’m waiting for Evelyn to finish hers before we do a joint ‘ta da’, so you’ll have to wait until she’s done before you can see the properly finished, blocked garment.

However, you can already see that the yarn has given this garment a lovely drape and polished look at the same time.  It’s also a pleasure to knit with… which is what inspired this post in the first place!

At first, I wasn’t sure about this cardigan.  Did I look ok in it?  The garment lines are quite different to what I usually wear.  Again, the yarn came to the rescue.  It’s just too nice not to like.  I’ve been wearing this cardigan every day.  It’s that good.


Author: kiwiyarns

Welcome to my blog where I talk about knitting in New Zealand and the beautiful yarns you can find here.

14 thoughts on “It’s all in the yarn

  1. Your sneak peek looks so lovely. The yarn does look so soft and flowing. You are an amazing “master knitter”. xoRobin❤

  2. Agree with you on all points! Your cardi is really beautiful, and I can understand you love it a lot. And how important it is to have the right yarn for the right project… I feel blessed having the opportunity to get the perfect yarn for my Kakariki Cardigan 😉 (Almost complete now by the way, just the fronts missing but I want to wait knitting them until I have the buttons which were sent from USA yday…) And, yes the more I got to learn about fibers and yarns, the more different kinds of yarns I want to explore. Now, high on my wishlist is some quiviot (muskox) from Alaska, but it is so terribly expensive… but I would love to feel and touch it and see how it knits… A bit snobbish – I know 😉

    Now close to xmas – last xmas sock is on the needles and soon some extra days off – nice!
    Hugs from a rainy Sweden

  3. Love the sneak peak, and a joint “TA DA” will be great!

  4. Yarn can be very addicting! I’ve come to discover that very much so in the past year since my knit/crochet love blossomed. I just wish I could work fast enough (or spend enough time knitting) to really use up some more of my stash. So many items I’ve already decided on! You and your pretty posts about pretty yarns and pretty projects is an inspiration. I’m very excited to see your cardi in its entirety! From what you’ve shown us so far, it looks marvelous!

  5. You’ve only been knitting since ’06? Quick (and diligent) learner! That cardigan is gorgeous! I’ve never found possum in yarn; obviously I’m visiting the wrong yarn shops. lol Am glad you are enjoying it. 🙂 The process is what it is all about for me.

    • My grandmother taught me to knit when I was a teenager. But I stopped knitting when I went overseas, and didn’t rediscover the joys until 2006. 🙂

  6. I love you for your patience and I’m really looking forward to getting back to my Autumnal especially so we can do our “ta da” moment together. Now, to get to YOUR Autumnal … it is absolutely gorgeous — color, yarn, tension — and as I’ve had the very special privilege of seeing you in it, the cardigan is really beautiful on you. I’m knitting as fast as I can (I promise). : )

  7. The sneak-peek looks gorgeous !
    I can agree on the yarn-thing.. wouldn’t really call it snobbish though.. I’ve been seriously knitting for only a small period yet, but already found out that somehow certain ‘bargains’ in yarn just won’t turn out as good or promising…

    I don’t quite understand how cotton gives the garment lightless though.. I experimented some with some pure cotton, but that garment to me seemed to weigh tons… Is it the blending that does the trick then ?

    • Yes, I should have clarified. Cotton by itself is very heavy. But when it’s blended with the other fibres, I think there’s something in it that is contributing to the lightness. Perhaps it’s the spin (it is spun in traditional cotton method – 8 very thin plies spun together).

  8. It’s funny how yarn can really rescue you when the knitting gets a little bit monotonous. I can’t wait to see a full picture of that cardi. Although I can already tell that it’s beautiful.

  9. That yarn looks and sounds absolutely beautiful. Can’t wait for the big reveal!

  10. looks great, and I don’t even normally like grey as a colour.
    I like doing ‘tv knitting’ while reading, though of course that only works with magazines and books that will lie flat…

  11. That does look lovely in that yarn, looking forward to the reveal 🙂 Hope you are having a lovely Christmas, Jen xx

  12. Beautiful cardi from the looks of it – very smart!