Yeah, I didn’t either. Yet again science has taught me something. I was polling this week for something… okay I can’t even remember why I ran this poll because I was blown away by what I learned. I’m just going to share my results post from Facebook here because I am still trying to wrap my mind around it:
This week I am just going to get right to it because there is simply no need to wait to tell you that Qiviut is no joke, price wise anyway.
Apparently Muskoxs are a thing, that I had no idea existed. They kind of look like a mix between a yak and a buffalo. Qiviut is the inner wool of these animals. Oh, I’m just going to insert from Wikipedia here:
The muskox has a two-layered coat, and qiviut refers specifically to the soft underwool beneath the longer outer wool. The muskox sheds this layer of wool each spring. Qiviut is plucked from the coat of the muskox during the molt or gathered from objects the animals have brushed against; unlike sheep, the animals are not sheared. Much of the commercially available qiviut comes from Canada, and is obtained from the pelts of muskoxen after hunts. In Alaska, qiviut is obtained from farmed animals or gathered from the wild during the molt.
Qiviut is stronger and warmer than sheep’s wool and softer than cashmere wool. Wild muskoxen have qiviut fibers approximately 18 micrometres in diameter. Females and young animals have slightly finer wool. Unlike sheep’s wool, it does not shrink in water at any temperature, but this means that it also is not useful for felting.
It is most commonly used for hats and scarves, and is among the softest wools. It is very expensive; a high quality knitted scarf can cost more than 300 U.S. dollars, but will last over 20 years with good care.
And I would believe it seeings how some of our members have paid the price to obtain some of this! The highest being $135 USD for a qiviut & cashmere blend.
Cashmere is the second most expensive fiber our members have spent their money on. For those of you who don’t know cashmere is harvested from the neck region of goats.
14.89% of you are like me, Scheepjes whirl is the most you’ve paid for yarn. $18.71 USD being the lowest amount paid and $29.43 USD being the highest.
A popular high end brand of yarn that isn’t one of the “big names” we’ve seen before seems to be Lorna’s Laces. Glancing at their website I can see that the yarns are hand dyed but I cannot tell if they are hand spun. I am going to assume they aren’t because one would think that would be something they would brag about if it were. If they aren’t and the yarn is ordered like many other hand dyers do (and we all learned last week the likelihood of where that yarn is coming from) then this is rather expensive yarn! At least in my mind. I am now curious about what makes their say, superwash merino wool better than others. There is in some cases a $20-$30 difference in price with skiens!
50% of members have paid the most for handmade yarns, which makes sense. I’d expect to pay more for something that was hand spun and hand dyed.
A couple of our members have jumped on the hand dyed rayon bandwagon, and it is expensive! We’re talking $50 USD for 500 yarns or so. I’ll admit, it’s not as expensive as qiviut or cashmere but still! If you didn’t know, like most people, rayon was the first ever manufactured fiber but it isn’t synthetic. It is made from wood pulp! I had no idea rayon was so expensive.
You’ll be happy to know that Wolltraum and Scheepjes Whirls are priced right about the same amount as each other when you look at the grams/meters you get. The upside to Wolltraum is that you can order extremely large cakes or smaller cakes depending on how much you need so you’d never have to worry about attaching another if that is a concern. The downside/upside is that Scheepjes is sold at many more online retailers and there are often sales for it so you can, if you are patient get a good deal.
1/3 of the responses from the polling were for cashmere or cashmere blends and I think it’s pretty safe to say that it’s the cut off point for most judging by the numbers.
I don’t think after the polling last week I’ll ever be able to look at yarns the same again. Between last week and this week I have learned that there are many times when the price of yarn is really (like clothing times) just for a name. I saw a lot of new brand names I hadn’t seen before that I spent time Googling and had the same thoughts that I did with Lorna’s Laces. Why are you so expensive!? Are you going to crochet yourself? Are you going to make me breakfast in bed? Are you dyed with berries that can only be found on one island in the middle of the Indian Ocean? No? Then what is the justification for this massive price gap?