When sheep meets possum

Dear Diary,

Jesse: I love to knit for the boys which is a good thing since I'm not great at sewing.  In the past, when I would see an old doll with a wardrobe of only knitted clothing, I wondered why. Now, I assume it's because the (grand)parent responsible for outfitting the doll couldn't sew! I have recently been knitting jumpers for Hans; I can finish one in about 3 days of interrupted knitting.  I've been using a wonderful New Zealand knitting wool named 'Amuri'.  It is made of 75% Merino wool + 25% possum hair.

In New Zealand, we raise some of the finest Merino sheep in the world.  These sheep have without a doubt the softest and finest wool of any breed.

Then, we have possums which are incredibly horrible and destructive pests. Don't be fooled by this cute photo:

Here is their true nature: 

They are New Zealand's greatest threat to our natural environment and there's absolutely nothing cute about them.  

They do have only one good aspect: when their fur is spun with Merino wool, it produces the loveliest and softest knitting wools imaginable.  I would like to knit something for myself with this yarn but it's very expensive and it would take many skeins to cover me!

The following photos show garments I knitted using this knitting wool.

A while back I knitted this for Armand and he has worn it in a photo on an earlier posting.

Cardigan side

Jumper side

Over the Christmas and New Year holidays, I knitted these for Hans.

Cardigan side with cables

Jumper side with cables

Jumper side

Cardigan with vintage buttons and tussy mussy

Front of jumper with cables down the centre and along the sleeves

Cardigan side

The top-down raglan sleeve pattern is very popular because it is so easy to make.  The only fiddly part is the sewing-up of the arm seams.  I vary the collar sometimes so that the front-to-back has a turtleneck.  I never pull a garment over the head of a doll so the back must always open up, allowing the garment to be slipped on up the arms.  This works out well as it provides 2 garments in one - a jumper and a cardigan.

My apologies that some of the photos are a bit dark.  The colourway is heathered with black which at times makes it difficult to get the light to bounce off the fabric.  It can also obscure the cables which is why Aran patterns are done in light colours. I noticed that the clarity of the photos depends on which monitor I view them.  I hope your monitor shows clearly!


  1. Your photos aren't too dark on my monitor!

    I do love the informations about Merino, Possums and wool. I didn't know about possums being a pest there.
    And I'm admiring your knittings skills. Armand and Hans are looking great in their Jumper/Cardigans.

    Btw, I like the KaetheKruse-Dolls. Hans is really a matching name. My hubby, my boys and a grandson were named Hans -and Johann, who are variations of Johannes=John. (Hans-Jakob, Johann-David, Johann-Amos and Johann-Cornelis ;)

  2. What handsome boys and beautiful knits! How interesting about the possum being a pest who is not so nice as it looks! Also that if the fur is spun with the Merino wool it gives it added softness.
    Love all your jumper/cardigans and I can see the colours very well.
    I think maybe people tended to knit more for dolls because you can take and do your knitting anywhere.
    I know thats why I knit more.
    Thanks for a very interesting post

  3. Gorgeous jumpers Jesse, Hans and Armand look very appreciative of them. As you know I love knitting with these wools as well, they really are beautifully soft and in my mind the best! I think I have a couple of these colourways as well. Still to knit something with the green.

    I sometimes do half back openings - this way the sweater can go over the head without messing up the hair, but equally so it doesn't have to as it can be brought up the dolls body. Henry needs sweaters that are either opening fully at the back or this way I just mentioned. I too also really like the raglan sleeve style - I like patterns that can be knitted in one piece with the minimum amount of sewing.

  4. I really like the blue jumper; what a gorgeous deep color! What, however, is a 'tussy-mussy'? John

    1. Yes, -that's what I forget to ask!

  5. I have heard about how nasty possums can be and what a problem they are. Where we live we have a lot of problems with invasive species too, especially of an aquatic nature. I love the rich jewel tone colors you have used. Turning the garment around really does give a completely different look. It's always a pleasure to see photos of Hans and Armand; they're such handsome lads.

  6. Such beautiful knitting Jesse, they all look splendid in their knits. I'll have to try out this gorgeous-looking wool in the future; it sounds wonderful to work with.
    I'm about to start some more knitting of my own tonight. I feel inspired!
    Best wishes, Jonny

  7. The colours are gorgeous and the cable pattern works really well with them. Hans looks very smart in his new jumpers.

  8. Love the sweaters...wish I could knit. I'm just learning Tunisian crochet which looks a lot like knitting. Hope I can figure out how to make some items for my dolls (mostly Bleuettes)using that technique.

  9. I can't knit, so I greatly admire the the sweaters you've made for your boys -- especially those beautiful cables that are the correct scale for dolls.


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