The indicated needle thickness is only provided as a rough guide, as every person has his/her own knitting style and this style is also significant for the strength of the knitted design. That is why only the knitting tension rather than needle size is important for a successful knitted or crocheted item.
The knitting tension indicated on our shade charts and on the ball bands always relate to a flat piece of plain knitting at medium tension. For the patterns in our instruction booklets, the knitting tension (or crochet tension) is always determined for the respective pattern and design. Always create a test swatch for each item before you start knitting your item, even if you have already used the same yarn for a different item. In order to do this, knit a 12 x 12 cm test piece. Then mark a 10 x 10 cm square with pins or put a commercial counting frame on it. Now count the stitches within the selection or within the counting frame. If the knitting or crochet tension does not correspond to the number of stitches/rows indicated you should change needle thickness. If you count more stitches or rows then you should knit more loosely or use thicker needles. If you count less stitches or rows then you should knit more tightly or use thinner needles.
Fisherman’s rib or English rib knits
Especially fisherman’s rib and half fisherman’s rib knits do not keep their shape particularly well and are not very hardwearing. That is why they should always be knitted tightly with smaller needles than suggested on the ball bands.
Luxury materials such as silk, alpaca and fine new wool or trendy open cotton yarns are generally not as hardwearing as slightly more robust standard fibres. These materials are usually loosely spun to accentuate these fine materials and to make them soft and give them volume. That’s why it is highly recommended that you knit qualities from these materials tightly.
Soft and loosely spun qualities and yarns made from particularly fine fibres often produce little naps when they have been worn often or have been used harder, this is called pilling. If the clothing is used the way it was intended, natural pilling should not cause any problems. You can very carefully shave off these little naps or carefully pick them off. Pilling will reduce with time after the short fibres have made their way to the outside.
Cotton, silk, linen, viscose and synthetic fibres do not felt. A layer of scales lapped over each other in a regular manner surrounds woollen fibres. These fibres contract in the cold and expand in the heat. Moisture, harsh (alkaline) detergent and strong rubbing can enhance this effect. When this happens, the fine scales of the individual woollen fibres interlock so they cannot be separated any more. This is a totally natural feature of wool, which is used for producing certain materials such as felt fabric.
Of course, felting is not desired for hand knitted designs. That is why you should treat your garments made from pure new wool or blends with new wool with particular care. These textiles are best washed by hand in lots of water (not warmer than 30°C): Simply squeeze them gently, do not rub or wring them. These garments can only be machine washed if the woollen yarn is treated with Superwash and if indicated on the label.
Superwash means that the fine scales of the woollen fibre are covered with a very fine layer of synthetic resin. That way they cannot interlock as much and felt less. Woollen garments equipped with Superwash can be machine washed on delicate at up to 40°. The information on the label indicates the recommended temperature.
You will find the care symbols for the respective quality on the ball band and on the shade card. You should always wash knitted socks inside out. That way you protect the beautiful exterior. Knitted items may not be soaked; they should be washed as quickly as possible. Please use mild detergent only. You should not use fabric softener for hand-knitted garments: The substances contained in softeners encase the fibres and soften them. This has the effect that garment become longer and wider, and that they loose their shape. Yarns equipped with Superwash will loose their elasticity if fabric softener is used.
If the label indicates machine wash: Choose the wool or the delicate setting. It’s better if you properly load the machine, because under loading or overloading can damage knitted items. Do not use softener and only spin briefly or use a delicate spin cycle.
If the label indicates hand wash: Move the item softly in plenty of water. Please do not rub or stretch it. Rinse until the water is clear. Add some vinegar to the last rinse; that brightens up the colours again.
The risk that the knitted item is unnecessarily stretched lengthwise is great when it is in a wet state. You should thus lift it out of the wash container in a slightly scrunched manner, wrap it in a towel and squeeze it out thoroughly. Do not wring. Most yarns can be spun a little before drying; this is particularly recommendable for large and heavy items.
If the knitted item is spun before drying, wrap it into a white towel so it won’t loose its shape.
Spread the knitted item on an absorbent Turkish towel. Do not stretch it lengthwise or width wise, but fluff it up gently when it’s lying flat and then let it dry loosely and slightly scrunched up. That way you can also get knitted items that have lost their shape back to their original shape.
Knitted items may never be hung up to dry, as they will stretch. Hand knitted items with a high content of natural fibres should not be dried in the clothes dryer as wool will felt and cotton can shrink. Do not dry your items in the sun or directly on the heater, as this will cause bleached colours to yellow and intensive colours to fade.
If the material permits it (please refer to the care symbols on the ball band), a steam iron is best suited. Otherwise put a damp cloth on the knitted item to avoid shiny spots. Always steam carefully and without pressure.
Dry-cleaning uses other solvents instead of suds. Chemical solvents prevent the fibres from swelling; hence items will not shrink or change shape.
Please recommend to your customers to keep the labels until they have finished the item so that we can refer to the spin and dye lot in case of possible complaints.
Dye lot number
You should only use balls of the same dye lot when knitting a single-coloured design. Only then can irregularities in colour be avoided. Please recommend to your customer to take sufficient material from one lot.
Synthetic yarns hardly absorb any moisture; a ball weighs about 49-50 g. The sales weight of wool yarns is calculated with an innate humidity of about 18%. The moisture content can be reduced to 10-11%, especially if the wool is stored in heated rooms for long periods of time but also in summer. A 50 g ball will then only weigh 46-47 g. This loss in weight does not have any effects on the quality and productiveness of the yarn, however.