The Nemean Lion was infamous for prowling and terrorizing the valley of Nemea. It was larger than any other lion and benefitted from fur thought to be impervious to human weapons, making it virtually unstoppable.
The Nemean Lion is generally considered to have come from Echidna and Typhon, the mother and father of all monsters. However, according to other origin stories, it was the child of Selene and Zeus and fell to the Earth from the moon.
The lion spent its time guarding, stalking, and lurking around the mountain of Tretossurrounding Nemea. It was known for its viciousness and proudly displayed huge sharp teeth and claws that were sharper than swords and could tear through any armor. As an animal child of the gods, the lion also possessed thick golden fur and skin that was impossible for any weapon to penetrate. Its cunning was further emphasized by its ability to change its form and shape-shift. Would-be slayers would be tricked into lowering their guard, allowing the lion to devour them at will before offering their bones as a sacrifice to Hades.
Hera was angry at Zeus one day. She raised the Nemean lion possibly to get revenge on her husband. She dispatched the lion to guard one of Zeus’s temples in Nemea.Viciously standing guard, it kept the people away from the temple and unable to worship Zeus, just as Hera had hoped. Hera’s vengeance continued as she saw the opportunity to kill Heracles, the son of Zeus. She suggested to King Eurystheus to make killing it the very first task in the myth of the Twelve Labors to be completed by Heracles. King Eurystheus had ordered Heracles to complete, and complete it he did.
After being tasked with killing the lion that had been preying on the people of Nemea, Heracles began by studying his opponent from afar. Heracles followed the lion as it returned to its den. Before reaching the den, however, he shot one arrow after another at the lion, but none would pierce its hide. Each one just bounced off and dropped to the beast’s feet.
After realizing he would not be able to use his weapons, Heracles continued following the lion back to its den. He trapped the beast by blocking off one entrance and going in through the other. As he walked further and further into its lair, Heracles felt around in the dark until he stumbled upon the lion. The lion lunged but was clubbed on the top of the head and began to sway, clearly rattled by the blow.
Seeing an opportunity, Heracles seized the moment and managed to wrap his mighty arms around the beast and put it in a chokehold, completely ignoring its huge teeth and powerful claws. In the end, Heracles merely lost a finger, and the lion was strangled to death.
When all was said and done, he then tried removing the lion’s hide, but his knife couldn’t cut it. He tried and he tried, but even after it was dead, the lion’s skin wouldn’t budge.
Finally after noticing the hero’s plight, goddess Athena, told Heracles to skin the creature using its own claws. It worked. He successfully skinned the beast and made a lion skin cape, which was one of his most distinguishing features.
Hera loved the lion so deeply, she is said to have placed it amongst the stars after its death, forming the constellation Leo.
Available in the following yarn bases. For a listing of all yarn bases click here. Yarn Bases
Care of your hand knit garments
Please hand wash cold or lukewarm water and lay flat to dry. Even though this yarn does contain superwash merino, I do always recommend that you hand wash your knitwear. We use colorfast acid dyes for dying our yarn, and rinse until water runs clear. There may be a chance that some dye may bleed slightly in the first wash of your finished item. This does sometimes happen for speckled yarn and stubborn colors that are prone to bleed. For the first couple of washes, hand wash separately to be sure that no further bleeding.
There are no dye lots. We always try to sell from same dye lots but if not sure, we recommend blending the skeins as you work. Color saturation can differ from different dyelots.