Monday, May 17, 2010

Preparing for the move back to the country.... or spilling the family secrets.

C likes to joke about my growing up in an "Appalachian hollow" which, isn't really a joke. We were in the Appalachians, and there was a hollow. What else? My mom owns, and makes use of the L.L. Bean Game Cookbook. There was once a dinner involving squirrel {no joke}, there were snakes in the basement, there was an outhouse {until it burned down}, .... what am I forgetting?
Anyway, once I heard about 'possum* yarn, I knew that eventually I would have to own some, particularly as we prepare for a move back into the Appalachians. There are a couple of possum blend yarns out there, I used Supreme Possum Merino {a 50% wool, 10% silk, and 40% possum blend}. I can't recommend this yarn enough! It's so soft, has a lovely halo, and is just all around awesome {more on that below}.

I didn't know of any Boston shops carrying it, so I ordered mine at

I used about a skein and a half for this project. It's the the Little Arrowhead Shawl ~ a free pattern from Interweave Knits. It's in the "Sweet Somethings" document at the bottom of this page. I made a slightly bigger shawl than the pattern suggests {it's an easy pattern to just keep repeating until you're satisfied}.

Now, back to the possums. The Common Bushtail Possum is native to Australia, but invasive to New Zealand. As with many invasive species, it was originally transported to New Zealand as a resource ~ for food and pelts. Most invasive species that cause ecological damage don't have predators in their new home and many native plant and animal species are defenseless against the predation of the alien species. In New Zealand the possums feed on both the native vegetation and bird populations. They also transmit bovine TB throughout the cattle populations, causing an economic hardship to the communities. SO ~ when you buy possum yarn, you're helping, in a small way, to remove possums from New Zealand... Of course, that means your purchase also requires the killing of possums, but that's what the L.L. Bean Game Cookbook's for, right!?

*I always felt like it was very "country" to say possum, but saying "o"possum. It appears that if you're referring to the North American varieties, then opossum it is, but if you're referring to Australian relatives, possum's the word.


sarah said...

nice post Kate!

Nicole said...

This is the best post I've ever read. It makes me want to order the yarn immediately and I'm already trying to choose a yarn in my stash to knit the Arrowhead.

Now, if I could only find some spare time....