When I turn on my computer each morning, the first thing that comes up is www.bing.com. I don't use Bing as my search engine, I use Google, but I love seeing the Bing picture and trying to answer the three questions about it. This was today's picture:
Wow. Is that spectacular or what? Two male muskox near Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, battling it out for breeding dominance. Well, the fighting is not the spectacular part. It's those big rough shaggy bodies that hide qiviut underneath their long guard hairs. Here is a great picture of a muskox in the spring when the soft undercoat sheds:
When you live in the far cold north, you need protection from the elements and the soft undercoat of qiviut is about as warm as you can get. In the wild, these animals rub that soft undercoat off on rocks and fallen trees in the spring. The soft tufts can be collected by industrious people and used for a similar purpose - to keep us warm.
I would love a muskox. Well, probably not. I would love a self-renewing source of qiviut, though. These animals are huge and are perfectly suited to the cold north - Prudhoe Bay makes so much sense. And I'm not looking to move up there. But there is a muskox farm in Palmer, Alaska that I would love to visit.
Check out this video. It's about 5 minutes long but shows you just what a musk ox farm looks like. They are working to domesticate this wild animal, something that hasn't been done in thousands of years.
I wish I could say we had qiviut fiber for sale. We do not. We do have a wonderful scarf for sale that I hand knit using qiviut and qiviut/silk yarn that I bought in Calgary, Canada. It's a stunning dark plum color and amazingly soft. The price on the scarf is very reasonable given what the yarn cost me. That's how wonderful, expensive and in demand the qiviut fiber is.
Now I think I need to follow up and find some qiviut fiber. I loved spinning it in the past and I'm sure there are more spinners out there who would love to try it. I'll let you know when I find some.