A Good Yarn

Sock wool dyed to resemble the colours of various native birds plumage.

This’ll knock ya socks off! There’s a very talented lady in Dunedin who hand dyes wool in various colours to resemble the plumage of New Zealand native birds. Her name is Loris Ives and I met her about a year ago when I wandered into The Potters’ Co-operative shop at 14 Stuart Street on a Saturday. There was a container with lots of single skein gift packs, each with a label identifying which bird the colours represent. Each skein is dyed separately so even skeins representing the same species will always vary from one another (and from the website sample photos).

According to the website the yarn is 10% Possum, 15% Alpaca, 20% Nylon and 55% Merino. “The feel is soft and luxurious while the inclusion of nylon guarantees sufficient strength for socks.”

On Monday we had lunch at Orokonui Ecosanctuary. Knowing that they sell this special wool in their shop I found it and requested permission to photograph it. Nigel and I put it out on a table in the cafe area and Nigel photographed it with his cellphone camera.


On the day we visited there were wool skeins dyed to represent the bellbird (korimako), blue penguin, tui, and New Zealand pigeon (kereru).

Native pigeon (kereru)


Bellbird (korimako)


Blue Penguin



NB: You can see wool skeins outside of their packaging (and dyed to different birds) at this Knitting Wools Gift Packs web page.

A year ago I published a blog-post about Orokonui Ecosanctury Visitor Centre and Cafe

Outlets that I personally know of:

Online Shop

Orokonui Ecosanctuary (in their retail area)

The Potters’ Co-operative, 14 Stuart Street, Dunedin, NZ (also on Facebook)

Text by Liz and Photos by Nigel; Exploring Colour (2018)
— All photos taken by Nigel at Orokonui Ecosanctuary on Monday 09 July 2018



13 thoughts on “A Good Yarn

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    1. Hi Elizabeth! I can only tell you that its common in New Zealand to have possum in the wool mix for things like hats and gloves e.g. merino/possum, and in jerseys. I’ve had a few different things and they’re always very comfortable to wear. Cheers, Liz


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