I was planning to do a yarn crawl in Dunedin. I researched several yarn shops in advance. On my first day in Dunedin I had a little bit of time, so I went to the first couple of wool shoppes on my list. The first was unfortunately typical of New Zealand. Here I am in the land of the best wool in the world and the yarn and patterns are all targeted to Grandma. It is shocking how the fashion knitting craze has completely evaded NZ thus far.
The name of the next shop held some promise: Seriously Twisted! I walked up to the Octogon and found the shop. At first I thought it was only ready made knit wear, albeit of good quality. Then I spotted Janene Weir working on a project in the rear of the shop. She was weaving what looked like luxurious fur into a crocheted scarf. It was lovely. I quickly learned that the shop owner and knit wear designer Linzi Irving created a way to take the pesky possum and treat the fur to make it look remarkably like mink.
Possum were introduced in NZ by some demented person years ago and now threatens native bird and bush species. You can feel good about wearing this fur as you are doing something for the environment. It is a hollow fibre so it holds the heat and provides warmth. It can be combined with merino wool for the warmest gloves I’ve ever owned. Or used as a fur trim as Linzi does.
At first I was focused on the beautiful scarves, and then Janene showed me a beautiful wrap. I tried it on and it was so light, and soft, I did not want to take it off. After wearing it around the shop to look at their lovely NZ yarn selection, and other sweaters, I realized that it was the perfect topper for my World of Wearable Art outfit.
Linzi arrived about now and the three of us had a fun conversation about the status of knitwear design in NZ, the World of Wearable Art, my blog, and a dozen other topics. It is amazing how knitting can foster kindred spirits. I left the shop quite pleased with my purchases and happy to have made two new Kiwi friends.
P.S. I did find a couple more yarn stores and they were all like the first–too much acrylic! and too many designs from 1980.