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.

Fridays with Franklin: More Fun with Felt

fwf-logo-columnsizeFor an introduction to what goes on in this column, click here.

With preparations for our February 2019 Victorian Knit-Along running at full steam, this is going to be a brief (but breathless) edition of “Fridays with Franklin.”

I found some time to continue work on the artfelt upholstery project that began here.

If you’re not familiar with artfelt, there’s a whole lot of information (and a link to Karin Skacel’s how-to video) in that column.

This time, I was determined to avoid ending up with too little fabric to cover the cushion. I cut out a piece of artfelt paper the full size of my felting mat–nearly two-and-half feet square.

Out came the artfelt roving, and I started laying it out with no particular pattern in mind. Last time, I tried a floral and was extremely taken with the results. This time, I started with sort-of stripes.


The roving naturally pulled apart into what you might call wedges, sections with a fat end and a tapered end. So as I worked across the paper I started to let the shape of the wedge determine the shape of the next splash of color.

The visual energy in the piece grew.


Once I’d finished covering the paper, I stepped back and was absolutely gobsmacked by the result.

It’s not that it was a flash of genius. Not but any means.

It just didn’t look like what I think of as my style.

I have many shortcomings as a designer, and near the top of the list is a certain timidity. This was so bold, I would have sworn someone else had done it. Surprising. Exciting.

I often say, and I’ll say it again, that when a medium is new to you, it’s a good idea to let the medium tell you what it likes to do before you try to tell it what to do.

About 45 minutes of tumbling in a low-heat dryer gave me a beautiful fabric which was–again!–smaller than estimated, but large enough to be useful.


I try not to use the word “magic” in here. But that’s how the transformation feels. I love the way all those separate fibers on a sheet of paper become a length of fabric. I love the way the process reactivates the natural crimp (waviness) of the wool.

I could have gone ahead with the upholstery after the felt was dry…but no. A friend sent me some snapshots of a cushion her great-grandmother had embroidered with silks in the early 20th century. The cushion was ragged, badly in need of conservation, but still undeniably gorgeous.

And I was conceived of an irresistible desire to embroider the felt with silk.

Happily, Makers’ Mercantile has a line of hand-dyed embroidery silks that you can buy in small, reasonably priced bundles. So I went nuts and ordered a dozen different colorways.

The pure mulberry silk itself is so divine that I’ve started working it into the swirls and wedges in small running stitch, about the simplest embroidery stitch there is.

Where is this going? What’s it going to look like when it’s complete? I…um…I don’t know.

Right now, I’m about the furthest out I’ve ever been, doing something wholly unlike me. It’s not just fun, it’s exhilarating. I don’t want to stop. So I’m not going to.

For better or worse, I’ll show the results next time we meet.

Meanwhile, if you haven’t yet bought your skein of Infinito to join in our merry knit-along, there’s still time. We set out on February 1, 2019. It’s going to be grand. Full details are here.


Tools and Materials Appearing in This Issue

artfelt paper
artfelt wool roving
Makers’  Mercantile Pure Mulberry Silk for Embroidery
Zitron Infinito (100% extra fine merino, 550 yards [500m] per 100g hank), sample is shown in Colorway 2

About Franklin

Designer, teacher, author and illustrator Franklin Habit is the author of It Itches: A Stash of Knitting Cartoons (Interweave Press, 2008). His newest book, I Dream of Yarn: A Knit and Crochet Coloring Book was brought out by Soho Publishing in May 2016 and is in its second printing.

He travels constantly to teach knitters at shops and guilds across the country and internationally; and has been a popular member of the faculties of such festivals as Vogue Knitting Live!, STITCHES Events, the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival, Squam Arts Workshops, the Taos Wool Festival, Sock Summit, and the Madrona Fiber Arts Winter Retreat.

Franklin’s varied experience in the fiber world includes contributions of writing and design to Vogue KnittingYarn Market News, Interweave KnitsInterweave CrochetPieceWorkTwist Collective; and a regular columns and cartoons for Mason-Dixon Knitting, PLY Magazine, Lion Brand Yarns, and Skacel Collection/Makers’ Mercantile. Many of his independently published designs are available via

He is the longtime proprietor of The Panopticon, one of the most popular knitting blogs on the Internet (presently on hiatus).

Franklin lives in Chicago, Illinois, cohabiting shamelessly with 15,000 books, a Schacht spinning wheel, four looms, and a colony of yarn that multiplies whenever his back is turned.

Follow Franklin online via Twitter (@franklinhabit), Instagram (@franklin.habit), his Web site ( or his Facebook page.