Superfine Merino yarn is a creature that requires some knowledge and care. In this lesson, I am not referring to the variety of yarn that has been treated to become machine washable. Rather, to the “lesser domesticated” species of Merino yarn that remains in its more natural state.
Take, for example, this fine specimen of White Gum Wool. As you can see, it is exceptionally soft. And if you know anything about this sort of creature, you’d be aware that the softer ones do tend to pill more. This is nothing to be concerned about. You will simply need some equipment. I’ve been using a Classic 50 Shaver from the Fabric Care Company on all my creatures for years, with excellent results.
As with all wool, White Gum Wool is a very breathable creature. This means that it can be taken out again and again, and again, without starting to smell like a Cave Troll. Occasional airing is good. A spot-clean here and there can do wonders. And when it really does need a wash, the process is quite simple.
When giving your White Gum Wool creature a bath, do remember not to agitate it. On no account put it in the washing machine, as this could cause it to spook! Simply fill a basin with tepid water, and a good quality wool wash. I like to use Eucalan because I don’t have to fuss about rinsing it out. I put my White Gum Wool in to soak for a half hour or so, then lift it and gently press some water out. I have a clean towel or two at the ready, and I place my White Gum Wool creature on the towel, rolling it and gently treading the excess water out, without wringing. My White Gum Wool loves to dry flat out (like a dragon drinking) in the shade.
Injuries can occur. But the wonderful thing about White Gum Wool is that it heals darned well. I have had some success with the Swiss darning (or duplicate stitch) method for thinner patches as well as holes.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that your White Gum Wool creature is a pedigree wimp that will cause problems and arc up at the first sign of a neighbourhood cat. The White Gum Wool temperament is placid and loyal. You can expect many years of companionship from your White Gum Wool creatures. You will find that other people love to pat them too, due to the soft pelt.
In summary, White Gum Wool is a very worthwhile companion, particularly suited to those who understand the value of a long-term investment. And those who enjoy a good cuddle.
*with apologies to J.K. Rowling