Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Vicuna -- the rarest, finest, most expensive fiber -- is here!

It's here! It's here! And it's sitting on my desk! Brought to us by the wonderful folks at Jacques Cartier in Canada, we have the luxuriously soft and almost insanely expensive Vicuna. This is the yarn you dream about! It's the yarn you'd use to create a family heirloom, and then go right out and start a family just so you'll have someone to inherit your beautiful heirloom.

For only $299.85 per ball you can knit a shawl...or a scarf...or anything light and airy and so wonderfully warm you won't believe your thermometer.

The critters that give us this luxury live at the highest altitudes of the Andes Mountains. There are not very many of them left because they were nearly hunted to extinction. But thanks to conservation efforts, the numbers are improving, and they can now safely be used for yarn. Each animal produces only about 4 ounces of harvestable fiber, so it takes a lot of vicunas to make a sweater. One ball weighs 28.5 grams...which is about 1/4 of an entire vicuna.

Only one color is available and that's the natural cinnamon shade of the animal. The folks at Jacques Cartier don't dye it because the fiber is delicate and sensitive to chemicals, so it's best just left alone. (Hey! It just occured to me that Jacques Cartier is probably plain old "Jack Carter" in America. Boy, those French can make anything sound luxurious.)

If you really, really, really, really love somebody, you might want to make them something out of this gorgeous, unbelievably soft and wonderful Vicuna. It would have to be someone you love more than anyone else in the world. Someone like David Bowie. (Hey, Iman! Wouldn't your husband look nice in beautiful Vicuna sweater?)

I'd be happy to make my husband a scarf out of this Vicuna, but he assures me (in the interest of keeping his savings account) that he's really not worth it!

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