Qiviut is the downy undercoat from the musk ox. Musk ox range wild on the Seward Peninsula of Alaska. There are several musk ox herds in and around Nome, Alaska. Qiviut is much warmer than wool. It is also generally finer and more fragile than most wools. Before spinning the qiviut into yarn I blend in small amounts of wool or silk to give it some additional strength. These additional fibers do not diminish the warmth or softness of the qiviut.
I make warm knitted accessories from qiviut, wool, dog fur and other fine fibers. Some of the yarn I spin myself and some I send out to a commercial spinning company.
The dog fur I spin comes from my kennel of sled dogs. I have participated in many sled dog races in Alaska, including the 1993 Iditarod, the Cooper Basin 300 Sled Dog Race, and the 100th Anniversary of the All Alaska Sweepstakes (Nome 2008). My dogs are Alaskan Huskies and they happily share their cast off fur with me.
My name “Qiviut Fever” is a play on the phrase “gold fever.” Nome was founded in the early 1900s when gold was discovered on the beaches. Gold fever is a term used to describe people who become so obsessed with hope of striking it rich that they give up everything to go to the gold fields and try their luck. Most gold miners of the past died of “gold fever”; few struck it rich. Musk ox roam all over the Seward Peninsula, like the gold of the past. When I see musk ox I want qiviut. While I don’t think I am quite as obsessed as the gold miners of old, I recognize the potential to go overboard; hence the name.
There are random photos on my header – go through the various pages and you’ll see some different sights: musk ox, my dogs, holiday lights, some of my knitted articles.
Use my contact page to contact me or email me: kirsten[at]qiviutfever.com