Thursday, July 25, 2013

Q is for Qiviut

This evening Jeff and I splurged on dinner at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. Um, we're not staying there. While we were there, we nosed around this famous place, looking in all the lounges and shops and admiring the fancy decor. It's really quite an amazing hotel in a stunning setting. The view is indescribable. But bring a sweater. When the sun sets, it gets chilly sitting under a glacier. I don't know if the breeze was technically katabatic, but it was noticeable. I think I'm finally starting to wrap my head around the concept of a "summer sweater."

One of the shops (well, actually, there were two of them) was called Qiviuk and featured garments made of qiviut fiber from the undercoat of the Arctic Musk Ox. Very warm, very light, and very expensive. I had never seen dyed examples, and the garments for sale, while well out of reach for most people, were very beautiful. I asked if I could take some pictures and was told yes, but after I tried to get a shot of a ball of yarn, another sales person told me otherwise. Oh, well. I suppose you can imagine what an $85 ball of yarn the size of a fist looks like. But, to the store's credit, they were actually selling yarn, marketed alongside books about one-skein projects. I did manage to get this picture of some men's sweaters before my photography permission was rescinded. Didn't particularly care for the argyle, but the others were nice.

There were some 10% types in there, shopping for sweaters in July and asking if they could just be tossed in a washing machine. It was time to go -- it was all a bit much for me. If you live somewhere where a rediculously warm fiber is called for, you can't get any garments warmer for the weight, but you might consider getting them from the Oomingmak Co-operative.

Tomorrow, we head off on a long hike amongst waterfalls and glaciers. We don't expect we'll see any musk oxen. Good thing, I suppose. I hear they're cranky.


  1. I like the offset argyle! But purple isn't your color. Maybe in shades of grey?

  2. I like the Argyle too, but maybe a symmetrical design would be better. And grey does seem to be your colour!

  3. Great photo of the view from the Chateau - one of my favorite vistas from the park. Also great hikes around there - I hope you enjoyed!