This is one of my favourite online wool companies. A smallish, but very successful e-business, their only physical presence in the retail market appears to be at their store in rural New Zealand.
It is possible to buy this yarn online. I’ve found their service quick and very efficient. Travellers can visit the well-signposted shop situated on State highway 1, just south of Taihape in the centre of the North Island.
The Wool Company started life as a wool broker. Along the way, they started selling yarns made from the wool they obtained. It’s now a specialist retailer of wool products made in New Zealand. This business a very good example of the good quality and good value that you can get by buying NZ made and supporting the local economy.
Here are some of my favourite yarns from them:
Merino Possum, 8 ply (DK)
Tension (gauge): 20s x 30r on 4mm needles
30% possum, 70% merino
100g ball, approx 220m
Some of you may need a small explanation about why I am supporting a fur yarn. Kiwi readers will know all about it. In short, possums (brushtail possums) are a pest import from Australia. With no natural predators, and the run of New Zealand rich in plant and bird life, these possums very quickly bred and now number in the millions. They have caused untold damage to both our unique bird life and forests. They eat eggs, nestlings, fruit and plants, so the destruction is across the board.
One way to control these pests in a reasonably humane and environmentally friendly way is to use their fur, which involves trapping and killing (and plucking the fur).
Gore aside, this fur is many times warmer than wool and because it’s fluffy, makes knitted garments much more windproof and snuggly than just wool alone. The yarn also does not pill, so you get a fabulous looking garment that stays nice looking. I knitted myself a gansey-style pullover in this yarn a couple of winters ago and wore it almost exclusively because it was so comfy and warm. New Zealand houses are generally not centrally heated, which means you dress more warmly indoors than if you lived in the UK, Europe or the US.
I even went for walks along Wellington’s famously windy beaches in the middle of winter, with a howling Southerly blowing in from the Southern Alps and didn’t need a coat. The thermal qualities of merino and wool combined mean that the jumper isn’t too warm if worn indoors either.
100g ball, 350m
200g hank, 380m
I’m sitting on my hands trying very hard not to buy any more of this yarn until I destash a bit more. The colours are so beautiful. My favourite is Oasis (top of composite image), although Smoke (pictured in the lower left of the composite image) is also lovely. I knitted my niece a dress in Watermelon and it continues to draw admiration when she wears it, even though it is now a little too small for her.