Wednesday, July 01, 2015

yarn along: qiviut!

Some good friends recently went on a cruise to Alaska and when they returned, they asked if they could stop by.  I asked if they could have a cup of coffee and visit a little and I was so blessed by the time they took to come chat (not to mention that they came back later that evening to babysit so we could have a quick date - such a blessing!).  Their reason for coming by was to give me a gift they bought in Alaska. They visited the Large Animal Research Station at University of Alaska Fairbanks and brought me back the softest, most beautiful yarn, called qiviut.  This is incredible fiber and I thought my yarn friends would enjoy clicking through the links to find out more! To summarize the website, the muskox disappeared from Alaska in the 1800s and was reintroduced in the 1930s with 34 muskoxen captured and brought from Greenland.  There are now an estimated 4000 in Alaska and 140,000 between Alaska, Greenland, Canada, and  Siberia. Muskoxen shed their underwool once a year for just two weeks "in a highly synchronous manner" - you can even comb it off in one big fleece if you are really careful, and skilled, I'm sure!  This underwool is the qiviut and is incredibly warm.  The blend I was given contains 30% merino to add a bit of elasticity since pure qiviut doesn't have much stretch.  The yarns produced and sold by LARS are undyed.   I can't wait to decide what to use this yarn for, it's a treasure for sure!  There is a video on the website of someone combing the qiviut and my girls were completely amazed and watched the whole thing.  

I'm still "working" on my Adama cowl, on which I continue to make strange mistakes, never ending up with the right number of stitches even though that number should be the same over the course of many rows.  You'd think I'd have learned by now I can't watch TV and work on this project at the same time but I'm being stubborn.

But let's be real:  there hasn't been time for knitting in these parts much anyway, because food is coming out my ears (not literally ::shudder::). Y'all, how could I pass up a box of cherries for $1.75/lb when they have been at least $4 everywhere else?  A row of sweet Bing jars now line a shelf in my root cellar and are lonely, so I went ahead and transformed the rest of the box into Marisa McClellan's Pickled Sweet Cherry recipe.  Just for kicks.  And since we finished our last jar of lacto-fermented cucumber pickles a couple months ago, I picked up several pickling cukes at the produce stand earlier this week, so I popped those into brine this morning before the heads of dill went bad.  If you've never tried "real" pickles made the old-fashioned way, you might want to.  It took me literally 20 minutes from start to finish this morning.  Once done pickling, they will be salty, sour, tangy, contain healthy probiotics, and their fizz from the lactic acid is amazing. Yum.  

I am completely drawn into Big Stone Gap, and listening to Sense and Sensibility and The Scarlet Letter (both via CraftLit).  Big Stone Gap is completely fluffy summer reading which is just the little escape I need for a 20 minute period before hitting the pillow-  except I am enjoying it so much I don't want to put it down!  

Joining --later than usual-- the Yarn Along crowd over at Ginny's today!  I will hopefully make it over to visit some blog friends later on!


  1. that's interesting about the quivit, I have never heard of it before.

  2. what generous friends and my I would love a gift like that!! So exciting!