FiberStories: Gesa & Flo

From left to right: Fauke, Flo, Gesa and Wiebke

Do you ever wonder where yarns get their names? Well, in the case of Gesa & Flo by Zitron, the answer is adorable. Gesa and Flo are the grandchildren of business owner Klemens Zitron. 

We think the name is fitting, especially since this yarn (just like all the yarns from Zitron) is certified safe for children. From the production to the dyes and materials used, it has been tested to ensure that there are no harmful substances in the product. Make that baby blanket and let the little one teethe on the corner with no worry. 

Gesa & Flo comes in 25 gram balls that each contain about 98 yards. Made of 16 micron count ultra fine superwash merino, it comes in lots of wonderful colors. It's ideal for stripes, slip stitch, mosaic, intarsia, or even cables! Looking for a companion yarn with more yardage? Consider Feinheit

So, we ask you. What could be better? A certified organic, safe-for-babies, superwash, super-soft yarn with a myriad of color options that is produced by a small family company... and it's named after those sweet babies!

What will you make with Gesa & Flo? Share your projects with us on social media using the hashtags: 

#MakersMercantile     #Gesa&Flo     #AtelierZitron

  • 100% Ultrafine Merino
  • 98 yards per 25 gram ball
  • Approximately 7.25 stitches per inch on US 2-4 (2.75 - 3.50 mm) needles
  • Recommended size E (3.50 mm) hook
  • Fingering weight
  • Winding not required
  • Machine wash cold, lay flat
  • Made in Germany
  • Pattern Inspiration

    © Andrea Bierbach-Macha

    FiberStories: Trekking XXL

    The Trekking family of sock yarns from Zitron have been in the hands of knitters for over a quarter century. The name XXL refers to the size of the skein (now 100 grams vs the former 50 gram offering). The line is constantly updated with solids, heathers, varigated, and self striping colorways.

    Zitron is known as the "green yarn manufacturer" because each product in their line features all natural materials (with the exception of the nylon that is used for strength).

    We have also mentioned before about the Oeko Tex 100 class 1 rating that their yarns have earned. The rating means that the yarn is safe for not only next to skin, but also in the mouths of babies. 

  • 75% Superwash Merino Wool, 25% Nylon
  • 459 yards per 100 gram skein
  • Approximately 6.75-8 stitches per inch on US 0-2 (2.00 - 2.50 mm) needles
  • Recommended size US 4 (2.00 mm) hook
  • Fingering weight
  • Winding not required
  • Hand wash cold, lay flat
  • Made in Germany

  • Pattern Inspiration

    © Yarnmonster on Ravelry

    FiberStories: Simplicity Spray

    This yarn is a huge sigh of relief for fans of HiKoo® Simplicity who like larger projects! One 200 gram cake contains the equivalent of 4 hanks of Simplicity! That means many accessory-sized items can be made with one cake, while larger projects may only need 2-5 cakes.

    Featured as Michelle Hunter’s final KAL before her hiatus, the Audition shawl (pictured above) takes one hank of Simplicity Spray, and 2 hanks of your favorite Simplicity solid 50 gram hanks!

    Featured in a fun array of ‘spray-dyed’ colors, this mix of spray-tonal and spray-multi colors all match well together, making for fun multi-color and fade projects.

    Tell us what you’d make with this yarn!

    • 55% Merino Superwash, 28% Acrylic, 17% Nylon
    • 456 yards per 200 gram cake
    • Approximately 5 stitches per inch on US 4 - 6 (3.50 - 4.00 mm) needles
    • Recommended size G (4.00 mm) hook
    • DK to light worsted weight
    • Winding not required
    • Machine wash cold, lay flat to dry
    • Designed in Seattle, made in Taiwan

    Pattern Inspiration

    © PostStitch


    Discover the full color range of Simplicity Spray by HiKoo® HERE.

    FiberStories: Edition 3

    Gerhard Schoppel, yarn designer extraordinaire, active knitter and owner of Schoppel-Wolle, developed this yarn based on his experience knitting garments. Creator of the Zauberball series, Mr. Schoppel knew that the colorways of his well reknowned Zauberball Crazy were loved by sock knitters and shawl knitters alike, but they wanted more – they wanted something a bit thicker to knit garments and accessories with... so he took out the nylon and made the yarn pure Merino. He also thickened up the twist in order to create a heavier weight – a borderline Sport and DK weight, a more requested option for sweaters and accessories.

    The color options, although not as vast as the Zauberball line, now has 14 colors. Two were added this season. The balls are put up in 50g, enabling you to buy many colors to mix and match for items such as the ZickZack Scarf  by Christy Kamm and The Shift by Andrea Mowry – two favorites of knitters!

    Lest we forget those of us who crochet! Edition 3 is also an excellent choice for those who crochet!  With the yarn doing all the work of changing the colors, even simply granny squares look amazing!

    Edition 3, not only being super soft, is a superwash as well, making it suitable for children’s items! Baby hats can be created with one ball, and small sweaters with as few as 3.

  • 100% Merino Wool
  • 164 yards per 50 gram ball
  • Approximately 6 stitches per inch on US 2.5 - 4 (3.00 - 3.50 mm) needles
  • Recommended size E (3.50 mm) hook
  • Sport Weight
  • Winding not required
  • Hand wash, lay flat
  • Made in Germany

  • Pattern Inspiration

    © Christy Kamm

    FiberStories: Concentric Cotton

    Concentric Cotton was created after the success of it’s worsted weight, baby alpaca counterpart: Concentric.

    This 100% Peruvian Pima Cotton, fingering weight alternative is truly a bundle of joy. With a generous 929 yards in each 200 gram cake, just one or two is enough to create nearly any project!

    Best of all, this yarn is alluring for multiple crafts as crocheters, weavers and machine knitters will also appreciate the reasonable price point, lack of ends to weave in, and cake put-up for easily usability.

    • 100% Pima Cotton
    • 929 yards per 200 gram cake
    • Approximately 5.5-6 stitches per inch on US 4-6 (3.50 - 4.00 mm) needles
    • Recommended size G (4.00 mm) hook
    • Worsted Weight
    • Winding not required
    • Hand wash, lay flat
    • Designed in Seattle, Made in Peru

    Pattern Inspiration




    Discover the full color range of Concentric Cotton by HiKoo® HERE.

    FiberStories: Boots

    If you’re in the market for the look of a hand-dyed yarn, look no further than Boots from Schoppel-Wolle! Made from a blend of wool, cotton and nylon, this yarn is the perfect blend for socks, garments, shawls and more!

    The shawl House Down Boots is a great example of this yarn’s versatility as it combines both knitting and crochet techniques, and blocks like a dream with just steam!

    Pro Tip: To protect the hand-dyed beauty of this yarn, we suggest testing your preferred blocking method on a swatch which uses all colors to assess colorfastness before doing so on your final piece.

    • 44% Superwash Wool, 42% Cotton, 14% Nylon
    • 437 yards per 100 gram hank
    • Approximately 7 stitches per inch on US 0 - 1 (2.00 - 2.25 mm) needles
    • Recommended size B (2.25 mm) hook
    • Fingering Weight
    • Winding required
    • Hand wash, lay flat
    • Made in Germany

    Want to dye your own? Shiloh is the exact same yarn base as Boots, which means you can dye your own colors, and then combine your handiwork with the colors already available! You can find this wonderful undyed yarn HERE just waiting for your colorful inspiration.


    Pattern Inspiration


    Discover the full color range of Boots by Schoppel-Wolle HERE.

    FiberStories: CoBaSi DK

    The perfect wool-free yarn, CoBaSi DK by HiKoo® features the same blend as it’s popular fingering weight counterpart. This washable yarn is a super-soft option that wont sag overtime, thanks to the inclusion of elastic nylon.

    Wether you’re making a large project like a throw or cardigan, or something smaller like slipper socks, the versatility of this yarn is truly endless. Available in both solid and tonal colorways in 50 gram hanks, they’re great for colorwork that won’t break the bank! 

    This yarn also comes in a sock worsted weight. Check out CoBaSi and CoBaSi Plus!

    • 55% Cotton, 16% Viscose from Bamboo, 8% Silk, 21% Elastic Nylon 
    • 140 yards per 50 gram hank 
    • Approximately 5 - 5.5 stitches per inch on US 4 - 6 (3.50 - 4.00 mm) needles
    • Recommended size G (4.00 mm) hook
    • DK Weight
    • Machine wash cold, tumble dry low
    • Made in Taiwan

    Pattern Inspiration




    Discover the full color range of CoBaSi DK by HiKoo® HERE.

    FiberStories: Cotton Ball

    Talk about summer comfort! Long-staple organic cotton is harvested in Greece and brought to Schoppel's factory, where it is spun and dyed in shadow colors. The processes used are environmentally friendly and use less water than traditional dyeing methods. 

    Whether crocheted or knitted, Cotton Ball has an amazing drape. The finer stitches create a wonderfully simple, polished fabric. We love the Easky top designed in this yarn by Anna Maria Busch! Its simple construction provides a playground for the subtle color variations to dance across each row of stitches. 

    What will you make with this wonderful yarn? We can't wait to see your creations. Remember to tag us in social media @makersmercantile when you share your finished objects!

    • 100% Long Staple Cotton from Greece
    • 459 yards per 100 gram ball
    • Approximately 7 - 8 stitches per inch on US 0 - 2 (2.00 - 3.00 mm) needles
    • Recommended size D (3.25 mm) hook
    • Fingering Weight
    • Winding not required
    • Machine wash, lay flat
    • Made in Germany

    Pattern Inspiration


    © baggel

    © Heidemarie Kaiser


    Discover the full color range of Cotton Ball by Schoppel-Wolle HERE.

    FiberStories: Kimono

    An ideal yarn for between-season garments, Kimono by Zitron is made of  3 plies of Mulberry silk wrapped around a core of Merino wool. It is available in a number of wonderful colors, and works up to reveal gorgeous textures in both knitted and crocheted projects.

    More than just a pretty yarn, Kimono is also manufactured in accordance with Oeko-Tex Standard 100, product class 1. That means it tests free of harmful substances, and is ideal for next-to-skin projects for anyone (including babies!)

    All Zitron yarns are:
    • Manufactured in Germany
    • Guaranteed mulesing-free (that is, no wool-bearing skin is removed)
    • Yarns and dyes are certified in accordance with Oko-Tex Standard 100 Product Class 1
    • Baby saliva resistant
    • Absolute top quality in their segment
    • Manufactured in accordance with the most stringent environmental and social standards
    These statements are confirmed and vouched for by:
    Marita & Klemens Zitron, Atelier Zitron
    Michael Thierling, Textilfarberei Hischhorn

    • 54% Merino New Wool, 46% Mulberry Silk
    • 328 yards per 100 gram hank
    • Sport Weight
    • Made in Germany
    • Hand wash cold, lay flat to dry

    Pattern Inspiration





    Discover the full color range of Kimono by Zitron HERE.

    FiberStories: CoBaSi

    In 2007, skacel collection, inc. , the wholesale distributor of  addi, Schoppel Wolle, and Zitron Yarns in the USA, found that despite representing over 150 yarns, there were still products that customers wanted that were not available on the market.  With this in mind, they decided to create their own line – and the Hikoo® brand was born. 

    One of the first goals for this new brand was to create a wool-free sock yarn. The design team got together (they are all avid knitters and crocheters) and began to build a prototype on paper on what would be the perfect sock yarn – without any animal fibers.  Of course the biggest concern was what is referred to in the industry as "memory".  Sheep’s wool, as well as most other animal fibers, have good memory, meaning after being stretched out the fibers will return to their original shape. Other natural fibers, such as plant based fibers, do not do this.  Making a pair of socks out of plant based fibers usually leaves one disappointed, as the socks continuously fall down the leg and stretch out.

    UNLESS, of course, you add in elastic. 

    So there was a start – a plant based fiber mixed with elastic. Hemp, Flax and Linen were all considered, and although these fibers are  strong, none of them are really soft on the skin. The team wanted durable and comfortable. That left cotton, as a synthetic was out of the question. So, cotton was specified, and a sample of a 90% cotton and 10% elastic yarn was requested. One would think this would be perfect, as most socks  purchased at the store are a cotton and elastic mix, usually around 95% cotton and 5% elastic, but it was not. Socks were knit from the sample, and unfortunately, the blend ended up not only being a bit rough on the foot, but the 10% elastic did not keep the sock up on the calf for very long!

    Back to the drawing board.

    The next go around, the elastic percentage was raised to 15%, and bamboo was added for softness. Once more, when the sample arrived,  socks were knitted – and they were better – but not good enough. They still pooled around the ankle after a few hours. So it was back to the drawing board.

    Again.

    The next sample had 20% elastic in it, 60% cotton, and 20% bamboo.  When it was delivered, socks were knit. And, they actually stayed up on the leg! They were not stretching out! But, the socks lacked luster, and seemed rather dull. Shine was needed. Where do you find shine?  The team already felt they had too much synthetic in the blend with the 20% elastic, so it had to be a natural fiber.

    Enter Silk!

    Silk is strong and has a glossy sheen, so the cotton content was reduced to 50%, the bamboo and elastic remained at 20%, and 10% silk was added.

    When the yarn got to Skacel, the team got to knitting socks.  And this time they felt great on the foot, they didn’t slouch at the ankle, and they had just enough sheen to reflect a little light. The team thought they had it.

    But no.  The silk was making the yarn too expensive.  So they lowered the silk content to 8%, lowered the bamboo to 16%, and raised the percentages of the cotton and elastic, to 55% and 21% respectively. 

    The samples arrived, socks were knit, and they were perfect!  A new yarn had been developed. 

    Now – came the tough part – what to name it. After a few weeks of deliberation, it was decided to that since the yarn has so many different components in it, to shorten them all, sort of like abbreviations used on a chemistry chart – and call it Cobasi Cotton (co), Bamboo (ba) and Silk (si).  The elastic part was not mentioned in the name, but no one seemed to miss it... although if it wasn't there, we'd be back to square one. 

    • 55% Cotton, 16% Viscose from Bamboo, 8% Silk, 21% Elastic
    • 220 yards (201 meters) per 50 gram hank
    • Available in Sock, DK and Plus weights
    • Made in Taiwan

    So there you have it. The story of CoBaSi and how it came to be. Who knew that developing yarns took that much effort and research! And now that it has been a while since CoBaSi first came out, there are DK and Plus weights as well.

    The weather here is cold and snowy, so we decided to share this fun photo from the Socks Appeal Boxers pattern. Want to make some amazingly comfy boxers? We know the perfect yarn.