Friday, December 13, 2013

Review and Giveaway- Zealana Air and Knitter's Pride Karbonz

I was recently sent a few more goodies to share with you guys! Well, one lucky winner in particular ;-)



First up is a newish yarn from Zealana called "Air". As you might suspect, Air has a bit of a light and airy quality to it- though at a substantial aran/chunky weight, it's definitely got body. It's made of 40% cashmere, 40% brushtail possum down, and 20% silk...and is about as soft as it sounds! It claims to be "ultra soft, durable, pill-resistant, and lighter & warmer than 100% cashmere." It's got a fuzzy, brushed texture, something which can be a little itchy on sensitive skin, but I actually think I could possibly wear this on my neck without a problem (and definitely my head or hands), which is saying something, especially this time of year when my skin is bone dry and itchin' all over ;-P

Air has pretty decent stitch definition for a brushed yarn, and the different fibers give it a lovely color depth. It appears to be chained plied (it's a little tough to tell with the fuzziness) which I always find pleasant to work with- nice and round. 

Educational Sidebar: 
Possum down, for those who are unfamiliar, comes from a type of marsupial native to Australia (NOT the North American opossum, which is significantly less cute... though I am one of the few people who actually does find them a little charming, heh.) While kind of cuddly-looking, the brushtail possum is a major invasive species in New Zealand that is causing any number of ecological issues. By harvesting the down from these critters, companies like Zealana are extracting some good out of their sad-but-necessary eradication. The down is extremely soft and luxurious- often even finer than cashmere, and with an angora-like halo minus the pokey-ness! 



Second are the needles! These are Knitter's Pride Karbonz needles, which I had not tried before. They have a sort of... masculine beauty. Handsome. Man-pretty, even. Kinda sexy. The tips are nickel-plated brass and are delightfully slick and pointy. The black part is a "high-tech carbon fiber"- I'd say it feels like extraordinarily smooth wood. It's somewhat entrancing to look at, almost like... black-iridescent. Like some sort of strange black gem stone, even. In any case... the carbon part is a bit grippier than the metal part, which causes the needles to handle rather uniquely. I will say it takes a few minutes of getting used to after using pretty much exclusively all-metal or all-wood needles, but I've cast on a larger project with them now and am quite enjoying them. The joins are very smooth, which is always a perk. The cord is your usual plastic cord- not too stiff, though. I suspect it will loosen up in time, too (they usually do.)

Wanna win some??
All you have to do is comment on this post. I'll pick a winner at random at the end of the day next Friday (Dec 20th)- the winner will recieve one ball of Zealana Air in shade "L07" (the greenish one in the pic) and a set of Knitter's Pride Karbonz circular needles, size US 9/5.5mm, 40". Good luck and happy knitting!

112 comments:

  1. Air sounds like an interesting yarn to work with... as do the Karbonz needles. Probably would not have bought new needles since I have circular 9s ,but would love the chance to try! Thanks for the giveaway!

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  2. Yes, please! I've heard possum is very warm, so one way or another possum mittens are in my future.

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  3. Those needles look very cool, and I also think opossums are adorable.

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  4. the needles are so space agey, like for astronaut knitting or something.

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  5. I'd love to try the yarn and needles. Never have...Me, me, me! Lol.

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  6. That yarn! Those needles! Yes please :)

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  7. I have a friend who worked out in New Zealand on possom eradication and I strongly considered applying but came to Hawaii instead to kill ants and study bugs. Looks like I didn't have my fiber priorities properly in order when deciding on a career path. Still, what an awesome idea to harvest fiber from invasive animals.

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  8. This yarn sounds yummy. Thanks for the chance.

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  9. I am commenting on this post.

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  10. Hell yeah, awesome. Great giveaway! I'd love to try that possum, and those needles look damn sexy.

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  11. Those needles sound intriguing! That is very interesting about the possum, I was not aware of the issue.

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  12. the yarn looks so great to have going through your fingers as you progress in the knitting.

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  13. Interesting, I've never heard of possum yarn before. They always look so mean but apparently they are very gentle creatures.

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  14. Oh Karbonz <3 We sell them at my store, but I haven't plunked down the moola for a pair... They certainly are drool-worthy though!

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  15. They are culling hedgehogs where my sister lives (in the Western Isles). Something tells me they will not be harvesting yarn from them. :)

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  16. Come on, random number generator gods, pick me! I'm a fan of the Karbonz, and would love to try Air. Zealana Kiwi and Rimu are both lovely.

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  17. Ive been wanting to try those needles for awhile!

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  18. I have been wanting to try Karbonz for quite some time! Thank you for posting a giveaway and giving us a chance!!

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  19. I have been wanting to try Karbonz for a while now!

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  20. Ooh! I've never tried that yarn before and would LOVE to try out anything that involves possum! I've only tried Karbonz in a sock size and wouldn't mind trying them out in a larger size. Thanks for the giveaway!!

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  21. :) pick me pick me :) very nice review on Zealana, would love to try it soon or later and the new karbonz are sooo beautiful!

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  22. Ooh, I'd love to try those needles. I just bought a wooden set from Knitpicks, but those look really intriguing!

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  23. Getting over the flu and have been watching Trololo all day to cheer myself up. I need a new project.

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  24. Cashmere, possum, and silk? Sounds heavenly.

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  25. Oh man, Australian possum is so soft! I kept petting the possum products when I was in New Zealand and didn't feel bad at all because they really are such a menace to the (fascinating) local wildlife.

    Thanks for the giveway chance!

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  26. I've been wanting to try those needles. Thanks for the giveaway!
    JavaPurl on Rav

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  27. Lovely needles, very stylish and the yarn looks lovely too :) Thanks for doing a giveaway.

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  28. The yarn sounds amazing, and I'd love to try those needles.

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  29. I bought some possum yarn years ago....I got a LOT of it in this beautiful cranberry....it knits wonderfully, is VERY warm, has the most beautiful halo and an item I tried to full and it got even better looking...so this mix would be to die for.

    I've always wanted to try out the Karbonz....here's my chance??? :)

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  30. enter me into the contest.....
    the yarn looks very warm and I woul love to touch it!

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  31. I love the look of this yarn. I also love using pride needles

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  32. I love the look of this yarn. I also love using pride needles

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  33. Is this one of the new fluff-blown-into-a-mesh-tube yarns? Looks interesting, and uber soft, regardless.

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  34. I've wanted to try Zealana Air for ages, it looks so beautiful.

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  35. I've been wanting to try the carbon needles - thanks for the opportunity!

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  36. The carbon needle sound interesting! I love the slip of metal, but the lack of give in metal metal gives me killer tendonitis, so I've been stuck with wood/bamboo for a good while now. Would be interesting to see if these are best of both worlds!

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  37. What fun yarn! I'm glad to hear the circulars have sharper points than the straights, because I've tested the straight Karbonz and found it tricky to work more than two stitches at a time. I'd love a chance to work with that yarn.

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  38. I think they eat the possums in NZ as well as making yarn from them;) Kinda Doomsday-ish, wouldn't you say?

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  39. I've never knit with possum. Pick me ,pick me!

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  40. Oh my goodness this is 2/3 of my Christmas list. The other third being mythril yarn from stansbourogh. Though thanks to my husbands job change I'll probably not get any of these things but a girl can dream. Not to mention that I've never won anything in my whole life. I even suck at scratch offs. I'm a yarn junkie though I try to limit myself to one laundry basket so it doesn't take over the house.

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  41. Ironically while in New Zealand they are culling the possums as an invasive pest, here in Australia where they are native fauna they are protected. Even if they cause damage or get into your roof all the pest control people can do is move them away a maximum of 50 metres!

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  42. The yarn looks and sounds amazing! I'd love a chance to knit with it. Yay possums!

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  43. Thanks for explaining about the possum! I'd love to try out those Karbonz needles. Appreciate the give-away opportunity!

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  44. This looks lovely. I'd love a New Years project.

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  45. Consider me sold! Love to gift this to my husband who just learned how to knit a few months ago! Thanks for the opportunity!!!

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  46. Oh, wow! I'd recently seen both of these and am so curious to try them. Thanks for the chance!

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  47. This yarn sounds incredibly soft--and the Karbonz are way cool. Thanks for the great giveaway!

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  48. This yarn sounds fabulously soft and your sample looks (as always) amazing. Thanks for the chance to win.

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  49. This yarn sounds fabulously soft and your sample looks (as always) amazing. Thanks for the chance to win.

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  50. The "Air" looks lovely! And I've used Karbonz dpn's and really like them, but I had no idea they were made as circs, too. I'd love to try them out. Thanks for the review and giveaway!

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  51. I haven't tried the Karbonz needles, but have been planning to. I have used a possum blend before for socks and they were super warm, but not this brand. It would be great to try another yarn that is kind of local to me- I'm in Australia.

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  52. Fun! I'd love to try this yarn and the needles too!

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  53. I am so curious about that yarn! And the needles look and sound fantastic!

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  54. Loving the sound of the possum yarn!

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  55. I would love to try those needles.

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  56. I would love to try the yarn, and am already a fan of the needles. I have only the size 9 DPs and I love their satisfying click when they knit together. I have only used them to make leg warmers, but as it is Christmas and I haven't nearly enough knits, I guess I shall cast on for another pair tonight!

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  57. I've been dying to try out some of those karbonz but being unemployed has it's disadvantages. And possum yarn is great, i've used both Touch Yarns (Merino/Possum/Nylon) and Supreme's (Possum/Merino/Silk). It is really soft and silky to the touch and it's warm without overheating.

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  58. Oooh I've wanted to try possum yarn for awhile.

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  59. That yarn looks divine and the needles are killer!

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  60. I have knit with possum once...my sister sent me some possum in lace weight which became a beautiful shawl for my Mom. possum is a great fiber it was light and very warm and took dye beautifully.
    but I think beauty is in the eye of the beholder as far as the American possum...I think they are very cute. as long as they are not cornered in my shed picking through the garbage ; )

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  61. That looks incredibly squishy and nice!

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  62. Those look like beautiful needles! I've traditionally always used wood, but I'm looking to maybe migrate over.

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  63. Those look like beautiful needles! I've traditionally always used wood, but I'm looking to maybe migrate over.

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  64. I am so very interested in this yarn. I feel like it would be good hat yarn. Oh, the possibilities. (And the needles too! Oh my!)

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  65. That yarn looks luscious. Definitely intrigued by carbon fibre needles!

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  66. Hockey sticks are made from carbon, too .

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  67. Hockey sticks are made from carbon, too .

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  68. Whoa, what an amazing sounding yarn, I'm definitely going to keep an eye out for this- I wonder if they stock it anywhere in Canada?! If not, I'd love to win. knittedblissJC on Ravelry.

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  69. I used a Zealana yarn for a baby sweater, and it came out great. Very soft.

    Man-sexy needles? I'd love to give those a try!

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  70. It would be really interesting to knit with some possum yarn! Not something I've seen here in the UK.

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  71. I think the yarn and needles both sound fun to try, based on your reviews. (sjn821 on Rav)

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  72. I'd love to try these needles and that yarn looks super yummy! thanks for the giveaway!

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  74. I'd love to give these a try - I don't know which I'd enjoy more the yarn or the needles? Hope I get to find out.

    Ravelry - Ragdoll

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  75. Those look lovely, and have always wanted to try possum. Commenting! :)

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  76. Ooh, I'd love to try those needles and yarn. I'd make a cowl.

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  77. How can I not comment? These new needles look so cool. Also, thanks for your blogging. I've learned many a thing from you!

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  78. That yarn looks like it'd make a good little hat for the weather we've been having in Colorado! Beautiful colors too :)

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  79. I would love to try this new-to-me yarn and also the Knitter's Pride Karbonz!

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  80. I just ordered some Air in laceweight to try out; it looks gorgeous in this chunky weight. I have some textured cowl patterns that would look great in this! And sexy, handsome needles? Mmm, mmm, mmm!

    lindaran (on Rav)

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  81. Thanks for the giveaway! I wasn't aware that you could knit with possum fibers. Now I'd like to try it!

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  82. If I remember correctly, New Zealand lacks native land mammals (except for bats), which is why the introduced ones have been so terrible for the adorable and often flightless birds such as the kiwi. Because small furry critters aren't common in New Zealand, my [human] kiwi friends have been very excited to visit North America and see all of the common mammals that we take for granted, such as raccoons and squirrels! Very cool to feature yarn with the possum fur!

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  83. Such a great giveaway! I'd love to give these a try : )

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  84. The perfect combination ..... Zealana Air and Karbonz!

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  86. so cool, thanks for the giveaway!

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  87. winner winner, chicken dinner! :D I'd love to knit with something fanncyy

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  88. Oh how I would love to try BOTH the Air and the Karbonz!!! What a thrill it would be :)

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  89. I would love to try Karbonz. I was looking at them on a website, wondering if it is a good choice. ;)

    The yarn looks lovely too!

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  90. What a lovely giveaway! Both the yarn and the sticks give me the wants!!!

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  91. Oh oh oh! I have been wanting to try Karbonz for a while! My limited knitting budget has not allowed that to happen, sadly :(
    I would love to win!
    My email address is nicole at mercantile519 dot ca
    -Nicole
    Mercantile519

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  92. I've knit with Karbonz before and seriously love them - way too slippy for cotton, but amazingly comfy for animal-based fibers! :)
    And being new to knitting, I am always eager to try new yarns... :)

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  93. Thanks for the giveaway! The yarn sounds so exotic! I'd love to take those Karbonz needles for a test knit :)

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  94. This needles sound great, I can't wait to try them out. And, the yarn too.

    jenlovescali@gmail.com

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  95. I would love to get the yarn against my skin and just play with it before I make something from it. Also, I have heard good news about the needles so am ready to try those as well. I think getting my fingers on either would be a real treat.

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  96. Thanks for holding this awesome giveaway! I'm almost ashamed to admit that I only have one pair of circulars (size 10) so this will expand my collection if I win. Heh. *fingers crossed*

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  97. Great giveawa! Thanks for the chance

    Anna

    anna_k67@yahoo.com

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  98. Oh boy, that is so beautiful! And how fitting that you're giving out a Зелёный (Russian for green) Zealana!

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  99. Very pretty! I bet that possum yarn is super super warm :)

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  100. I am curious about the needles. Been wondering how they'd be to knit with. Great giveaway!

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  101. That swatch looks SUPER tasty. Would love to have the chance to play with that yarn myself! Thanks for the giveaway!

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  102. I am in love with your patterns. I popped in on your web site to find this awesome opportunity to win some gorgeous yarn and smart looking needles which I would love to knit with, (thanks for the detailed descriptions and the chance to win)

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  103. I am in love with your patterns. I popped in on your web site to find this awesome opportunity to win some gorgeous yarn and smart looking needles which I would love to knit with, (thanks for the detailed descriptions and the chance to win)

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