Qivuit Cowl

My adventure girl daughter bought me a skein of qivuit yarn from a shop in Skagway, Alaska, when she was working there for three months in the summer of 2019. Qivuit is the fine underfur from a musk ox, which is eight times warmer than wool and softer than cashmere.

Qivuit yarn is expensive due to being very desirable but labor intensive to produce. You can’t exactly shear a musk ox like a sheep. The qivuit wool underlayer is shed each spring during molting. Fiber is collected during the molt, picked off pelts after a hunt, or gathered from objects the musk ox has brushed against.

The shop in Skagway provided a web site with a few patterns that could be made with a one ounce skein of qivuit yarn. I selected a cowl with a simple stitch pattern that could be knit without constantly looking at the directions. Cast on 141 stitches on circular needles, knit 10, purl 10. Experienced knitters will know that makes a pattern of diagonal bands of knit and purl stitches. I tend to use a lot of stitch markers to keep track of things, making it more obvious when to do something different and easier to notice of you drop a stitch.

Getting started with the qiviut cowl

It was slow going due to tiny stitches with fuzzy yarn, and I had to undo and re-knit a few sections to fix mistakes. I have had more time to knit than usual while traveling and in our rental unit in Gold Canyon, so I finally finished the cowl after starting it last fall.

The completed project

When it is bunched up on my neck, the diagonal pattern does not show very well. However I like that it results in a reversible cowl, the same inside or outside.

I would be wearing this cowl if I was back in Minnesota, but it is not needed here in Arizona. It will have to wait in my closet until next winter.

Published by Meg Hanson

Hello. I am a recently retired empty nester. My husband and I moved to Jewett Lake in Otter Tail County, Minnesota, after living most of our lives in the Minneapolis area. I have no trouble keeping busy with knitting and spinning of wool, selling yarn and handmade goods, reading, walking, watching movies, surfing on the internet, traveling, doing bookkeeping for our family cabin, and spending time with family.

5 thoughts on “Qivuit Cowl

  1. Beautiful cowl, Meg!

    See you in a week😍. There are two yarn and knit stores nearby, and I will give you the addresses. Any questions you might have? Love, ME

    Sent from my iPhone



  2. That was quite a purchase for Britta. How lovely that you could find a pattern the used just that amount! And what an interesting story about the yarn itself! The COWL turned out so well…. The the color was perfect for you…I can totally understand about having to use markers when you have that many stitched in the circular needle,while using even a simple pattern! And especially with a fuzzy yarn and small stiches. I admire your perseverance! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

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