New Knitting Pattern: Spikes

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For quite a while, I had the idea of a three-dimensional statement hat in mind. It should not be too complicated to knit and when I had received my Schoeller + Stahl chic & warm sample, I knew it was the right time to work on that idea. The result is a bottom-up knit hat. The spikes are constructed by simple increases and decreases paired with a tight gauge. There are no short rows involved, so you should be able to knit this hat as an advanced beginner already.

Spikes is available as individual Ravelry Download for €6.00 plus VAT. I hope you enjoy the pattern and am looking forward for your interpretations!

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Free Knitting Pattern: Lazy Hearts

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When I first saw the pink, red and purplish colours of this yarn, I just had to knit some heart ornaments from it. As the yarn is a gradient one, I was looking for a one-piece, bottom-up construction with short-row shaping to form the top and minimal sewing. Sadly, I could not find what I wanted on Ravelry, so I made up my own pattern.

You can download it for free on Ravelry, but I would be happy if you mentioned me or linked to my Instagram when you knit it.

I used Schoeller + Stahl Limone Color in colourway 315, but the pattern is adjustable to any yarn weight and a matching needle size. One ball (50g) was enough to make nine hearts, in my case. Now grab your needles and knit a heart (or more) for your valentine! Happy knitting!

Testing Schoeller Yarns

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In July, I received a pretty large package of Schoeller yarn samples to try them out and show my results at the Inside Schoeller blogger event. So here is what I made, including three designs of my own:

Alpaca Star

I already have tested this yarn earlier this year knitting my Wrapped in Leaves shawl. I really like this yarn and have bought some more to knit myself a cardigan for next spring.

Mohair Dream

This is a very fluffy yarn with a high meterage (250m/50g), consisting of 30% mohair, 30% cotton, 25% Nylon and 15% wool. I have knit a classic beanie with a folded brim to showcase the mohair fluff better. Sadly, the Nylon content is high enough for me to feel it when I touch the hat. But if you are less sensitive, you may want to knit yourself a super light sweater from it, e.g. Four balls of yarn should be enough.

Chic & Warm

If you like gradient yarns and need to knit on a budget, this yarn might be interesting for you. It knits up very evenly and is pretty soft although it has a 75% acrylic content. I do not really like gradient yarns, so I chose to knit another hat, but this time a spiked one (without short rows!). I am very pleased with the result and am sure I’ll wear it a lot this winter.

Big Flame

Looking at this beautiful black and gold striped i-cord filled with burgundy fibre, I was really looking forward to knit with it. But, as the name already suggests, it has a thick and thin construction and is pretty stiff on the thicker parts. This resulted in two days of pain in my hands after I had finished my project. However, the yarn could be really nice without the thick and thin effect. My project, by the way, is a bum bag with belt loops to put it onto your favourite belt. It is embellished with a rose gold zipper which I accidentally found at my local yarn shop and which adds a perfect detail to the red and gold bag.

Kid Silk Dégradé

I had been thinking about knitting a Striped Esjan by Stephen West for ages, when Schoeller sent me the perfect addition to black sock yarn and white alpaca fluff (in this case a ball of Lana Grossa Alpaca 400 from my stash). The colour gradient is very soft, so it adds some spice to the Beetlejuice body of the shawl. It perfectly meets my expectations of a kid silk yarn although there are more luxurious, softer (and way more expensive) blends on the market. I am super happy with the result, a typical Westknits shlanket. Due to its size, I had problems to find a cat-safe space to block it and ended up using my bed. I still had to fold the shawl and forgot to increase the number of towels underneath, so I had to spend one night on a wet mattress. Please learn from my mistake, it was not comfortable at all. But look at this beauty, it was totally worth it!

Let me add a remark on Lana Grossa’s Alpaca 400, a chain plied Nylon tube filled with alpaca and merino fibres. As I knit with a very high tension which results in a prestressing of the yarn, this yarn cuts into my fingers and loses all its softness. It regains a bit of its fluffiness after blocking, but this kind of yarn construction and my way of knitting do not go together very well.

All in all, I was very happy to have had the chance to test these Schoeller yarns. Thanks a lot for this opportunity!

Inside Schoeller

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I was super happy when I received my invitation to the Schoeller blogger event, particularly as it included a factory tour at their dye works in Hard, Austria. A perfect combination of my degree in engineering and my love for knitting! Of course, I confirmed the invitation and was delighted to meet Rebekka, Alice, Kiki, Miki, Fritzi, Stefanie, Janine, Jasmin, Katha, Simone, Steffi, Marco and Julia-Maria. We were welcomed with a cup of coffee in a beautifully decorated conference room.

First, we were introduced to the company, whose main branch are industrial yarns. With their dye works located within sight of Lake Constance, they had to fulfill a lot of environmental requirements very early. The result is, that their yarns are bluesign approved, the treatment for their machine-washable yarns is chlorine-free and as a bonus, they are mulesing-free as they use south-american Merino only.

The tricky part is, not all their handknitting yarns are manufactured by themselves. So the Austermann Merino yarns, Schoeller Zimba and all sock yarns are produced to the Schoeller standards, other yarns may or may not be chlorine-free or bluesign approved, depending on the individual case. However, I am deeply impressed, Schoeller is working on a sustainable production.

If you are interested in my pretty technical summary of the factory tour, you can find it in my Instagram story highlights. Nonetheless, I want to write about some details here.

This is a poster showing the fineness of sheep wool depending on the animal part it is shorn from. The lower the number, the finer is the fibre. As you can see, the shoulder part (1) is where you find the finest hair with only 14,5 micrometers in diameter. This is how it looks like as a wool top:

Sadly, this quality is so hard to spin that fine hand knitting yarns usually start from 16,5 micrometer fine fleeces.

As industrial yarns are knit on knitting machines, they must not have considerably thicker or thinner sections. During quality assurance, these sections are cut out and the yarn is joined with a technique known as “Russian join” in hand knitting:

After lunch, we were introduced to the design philosophy behind the Austermann and Schoeller+Stahl hand knitting yarns as well as their knitting patterns. They also had brought a lot of their knits to take a detailed look at them. As all of us had received a large package of yarns to play with beforehand, we were asked to show our projects and to share our opinions about the yarns we had used. My favourite projects were a cardigan and a hand bag knit by Fritzi and a cowl by Alice. I will show you my own projects in a separate post, soon.

Thank you so much for inviting me, it was a blast! It was totally worth the 20 hours I spent in Flixbuses to get to Lake Constance and back. The day passed by way too fast with an amazing insight into the company and some really good talks. Well done, Schoeller!

Inside Schoeller

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So, I’m invited to Inside Schoeller, a German blogger meeting organised and hosted by Schoeller Süssen. I’m really looking forward to get a little more insight into their production and corporate philosophy. Hopefully, I’ll meet Rebekka, Alice, Miki, Janine, Steffi and get to know some more fellow knitters in person.

I already have received a box full of yarn samples to play with:


I am not overly happy with the colours as you can imagine, but I already see two hats, a shawl and a scarf (possibly two new designs!). Are you as excited about the results as I am?

Thanks a lot to Schoeller for everything so far!