I've been playing around with some really lovely yarns lately, super-soft and luxurious! I thought I'd tell you about them all at once. ;)

Two of the yarns have been knit into swatches for a secret project - a design submission to the knit magazine Twist Collective. It's my first submission to a publication, so it's been pretty exciting (and nerve-wracking)! I can't show you the swatches, but I can show you the fancy yarn: "ethical superfine merino" from Tasmania's White Gum Wool, and the merino/silk blend "Scrumptious" from Fyberspates, both in 4ply/fingering weight. The silk content in the aptly-named Scrumptious gives it a nice sheen, which helps highlight textured stitch patterns like moss stitch and garter stitch.

White Gum Wool 4ply, and Fyberspates Scrumptious 4ply

Next is a brand-new luxury yarn from New Zealand, which I just had to get my hands on: "Vanitas" from Outlaw Yarn. It's a DK-weight blend of alpaca and a little bit of merino. I love the design of the ball-band!

The colours are inspired by European 'vanitas' paintings of the 16th and 17th centuries. A couple of examples (click to enlarge):

Philippe de Champaigne, Still-Life with a Skull, c.1671

Adriaen van Utrecht, Vanitas - Still Life with Bouquet and Skull, c.1642
Johann de Cordua, Vanité au buste, 1665

So you can see why this yarn appealed to me! I chose the colours 'Vanity' and 'Mahogany'. I'll probably turn them into a cowl and a hat. :)

Lastly, I managed to get my hands on some very special yarn through a bit of luck. I entered a contest on Instagram by posting a photo of a past-or-present knitting project using Zealana's yarn. I entered this photo of my 'Bushwalk Beanie' knit in their Kauri 4ply:

And I won! My very generous prize arrived last week - four balls of the cashmere/possum/silk blend Air laceweight, along with a book of patterns.

It's very, very soft and has Zealana's usual subtly-heathered look and slight halo from the possum fur. I think a striped scarf or shawl will really make the most of this yarn. :)