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Insider tip – Hamburg wool factory

August 16, 2010

I’ve been in Hamburg almost 7 years and knitting for 4. But only recently did I become aware of the fact that there’s a wool factory here! Their regular prices are already unbeatable, and they have a big 1-week sale twice a year. I went there for the first time during their spring sale in April, just to have a look. I was expecting it to be crowded like the Holland fabric market but absolutely not. Some elder women even sat at a table for a piece of cake and cup of tea/coffee. Every employee I had to do with was courteous, helpful and knowledgeable. I could tell they’re knitters and yarn lovers themselves.

They have about 300 different basic yarns, each in about 200 colors available.We’re talking cashmere, merino, mohair, silk, angora, cotton, chenille. They’re not sold to the ball, rather they’re individually spooled according to one’s own need and liking. For example, I needed 400 g of 100% extrafine merino wool. The knitting pattern called for 100 g of a 120m/50 g yarn. Here’s how the wool factory set the price form my yarn: 50 g of 1-thread merino wool accounts for 750m. The more you fold that thread, the thicker and heavier the yarn gets, the bigger a needle you need to knit it. A 6-fold merino thread comes up (or down, rather) to 125 m/50g. I hope it’s  making sense to you. For my purposes, I got 400g.  For 12€! And all on one spool, which means no loose threads to deal with after you’re done knitting. This process also allows to create a one-of-a-king yarn by mixing colors.

The downside:

– for the subway knitter that  I am, a 400-g spool is rather unpractical to carry around but hey, it gives me an excuse to get myself some extra big handbags;

-as far as I could see, no possibility to have yarn with color gradient;

-a gauge is a must. Just like I skip the muslin step when sewing, I had gotten used to not making a sample when knitting, especially when using the original yarn. Not so on my merino poncho project, although the result turned out to be exactly the gauge given in the pattern instructions.

Is Hamburg too far away for some yarn shopping? Don’t worry, the wool factory will ship worldwide on request. Individual color cards and a catalog with samples can be ordered in their online shop.

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