Yarn Review: Schachenmayr Regia Premium Alpaca Soft

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During Yarncamp 2018, I was offered a ball of Schachenmayr Regia Premium Alpaca Soft. After some initial problems (testing a set of dpns at the same time, a very bad idea for a convinced magic loop knitter) and some Christmas knitting, I finally have finished my pair of socks.

The sport weight yarn is a blend of 62% wool, 23% Nylon and 15% alpaca, which is pretty close to the classic Regia blend of 75% wool and 25% Nylon. The alpaca adds a light halo, but I have used way softer alpaca yarns before. I have followed a textured pattern, petäja sukat (free but Finnish only), to test both stockinette stitch on the soles and stitch definition on the patterned parts. The yarn looks very elegant in stockinette stitch and the halo surprisingly even highlights the textured pattern. There only is one point I did not like at all: the yarn fuzzes horribly. Whenever I worked on the socks, my pants were covered in short alpaca fibres afterwards. This raises the question how the yarn will behave over time and I am a bit worried the yarn might keep losing fibres. This probably will keep me from using this yarn again, but apart from the fuzzing, the yarn looks really good both in textured knits and in stockinette stitch.

I am very thankful for this testing opportunity and am looking forward to testing the yak version of this yarn, soon.

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Fibreshare 2019-01

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Yesterday, sign-ups for the first round of Fibreshare in 2019 have opened. You can register until next Saturday for a small fee of $8. I totally have enjoyed Fibreshare the two last times and got to know some awesome knitters! Do you like yarn swaps? Have you signed up yet?

A package from Finland

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Maybe, you remember me freaking out about the Rowanberry Sweater I saw at this year’s H+H Cologne at Novita‘s booth?

Well, Novita just has sent me the pattern booklet! I couldn’t be happier! They even have included yarn samples of Nalle and Nordic Wool in colours suitable for the sweater! I mean, it’s not a secret I have a weakness for Shetland and Scandinavian style yarns, is it?

I’m so looking forward to knitting my Rowanberry Sweater, thank you so much, Novita! But I wonder why they still do not have a German distributor. Are you so focused on ultra soft Merino wool, Germany?

Saturday Surprise

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When I checked my mailbox this morning, there was a small package from Mirjam in it. I had expected it, as we had discussed swapping some yarn leftovers, recently. But when I opened it, I was completely overwhelmed:

I had expected a package of leftovers, not this! Look at how beautifully the yarn is skeined and labelled! The greeting card is handmade, a stitch holder added and everything was nicely stored in a small project bag alongside a lavender sachet. This totally made my day and I can’t wait to try out the Retrosaria and Onion yarns! Thank you so much!

Wollfestival Düsseldorf 2018

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After several years in Cologne, this was the first Wollfestival to take place at Rheinterrassen in Düsseldorf and I prefer this location a lot from the old one! The market place was located in one large hall instead of three smaller rooms before. The charity events were on a small stage, the designer booths perfectly visible in the corridor in front of the hall and there was an array of different spinning wheels to try out in the basement.

The Saturday opening queue was pretty long, as usually, but I got inside the building in less than 20 minutes, which I find very appropriate. The overall colour concept was bright pink, which I dislike a lot, but the concept was implemented very subtly, with small yarn samples hanging at the handrails, e.g.

As shortly after the opening the market place was so crowded that I could not make it to any booth, I decided to take the opportunity to knit a while and wait for the afternoon. There were a lot of lovely places to sit and knit, inside the building as well as outside in particular. Apart from using the restaurant terrace behind the building, you could sit on the quai wall and knit overlooking the ships sailing the Rhine.

Now to my personal selection of sellers, that I would like to introduce you to. First of all, I was more than happy to see Wolle Willich once again. They are one of my favourite German yarn shops and specialise in Shetland yarns and rarities. They even have started their own range of locally grown natural yarns recently.

Sadly, I did not have the time to visit the Atelyeah brick and mortar shop in Mönchengladbach before I moved to Leipzig last year, so it was a perfect incident they were showing a selection of their product range in Düsseldorf. Very lovely booth!

Another interesting seller was Alice im Wunderladen. They carry a lot of high quality and rare yarns from the US, UK and Scandinavia, The Fibre Co., Fyberspates and BC Garn, e.g., to name some of my favourites. They even have a seller from Leipzig! 😎

Lanaphilia also had a booth and it was a pleasure to see the beautiful colours of Zen Yarn Garden and Olann. They also had brought some String Theory Caper Sock, a yarn I particularly like for its softness and stitch definition at the same time.

It was a pleasure to meet Bodolina in person and to have a look at her handcrafted knitting needle organisers. They come in a large variety of colours and sizes, so have a look at them if you still have not found your perfect storage solution.

The biggest surprise was Mohairdesign, actually a breeder of angora goats, who sells yarn from her own goats. I particularly liked the bouclé yarn, but everything there was stunning.

Of course, I have bought some yarn. I needed two Madelintosh unicorn tails to contrast some leftovers in Victorian Gothic, so I bought one in Silver Fox and one in Duchess. My purchase of two skeins of black Lanamania Pearl fingering was completely unplanned, but I just could not resist. As currently I get more and more disappointed by my KnitPro needles, I bought a pair of interchangeable Chiaogoo Red Lace circulars to try out their system. I already like their fixed circulars, so hopefully, the interchangeable ones are just as good.

I spent most of my Sunday visit at Kölner Herzkissen knitting a charity hat. I do not exactly remember why I cast on an intarsia in the round hat, but at least, the result is pretty unusual.

My next public knitting event this year will be YarnCamp in Frankfurt. Do you have your tickets, yet? If not, the last ticket opportunity will be September 12th, 19:30 on their website. Good luck and see you there!

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!

Fibreshare

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I finally have participated in a fibreshare round! In case you never heard of it, it is an organised, Instagram based, international fibre arts swap with one swap every few months. The short sign-up period of one week is announced on Instagram, so you have to check the fibreshare account on a regular basis to make sure you do not miss it.

The procedure is easy. You pay an 8$ sign-up fee, fill in a short questionnaire, and wait for an email with your fibreshare partner details. The questionnaire not only asks the usual colour preferences and allergies, but also your craft preference (knitting, crocheting, weaving, spinning, punch-needling, macrame, felting), your skill level, your fibre preference (natural yarn, vegan, sustainable/ reclaimed, any yarn) and whether you like to ship a domestic or an international package. You then get matched with two partners, one you are receiving from and one you are sending to. This means, you can and shall contact both of them as fibreshare puts an emphasis on building a community. There are two shipping deadlines, one for domestic and one for international packages to have a limited period of time for all packages to arrive.

The only restriction for the package you have to send is that it must contain at least 200g of yarn. You can send some of your stash, some specifically ordered or both. Fibreshare also teams up with a group of indie dyers where you can order discounted yarns for a short period of time. The rest is totally up to you! Find a nice card, sweet treats, crafty accessories, handmade items or whatever you think your fibreshare partner might like. If in doubt, check your partner’s Instagram account or just ask. I did ask and I was asked, both conversations were a win!

However, this is the wonderful package I received from Norway:

300g of gorgeous, untreated Norwegian yarn in colours I adore, tea, accessories, vegan chocolates and a lovely note. I can only recommend Fibreshare! Although it might be stressful to put together the perfect package on time, most people try to make their partners happy. Apart from that, you’ll meet a lot of nice people via Instagram. It was a blast!

Fun fact: I had a lot of problems to take proper pictures of my package as my cat instantly claimed the yarn, laid itself on top of it and started to defend it against me. He obviously shares my yarn preferences.