A knitting trip would not be complete without the opportunity to see, touch and buy yarn. We drove through the Ruhr region to arrive in Wickede, about an hour east of Dusseldorf. We were greeted at Atelier Zitron by the proprietor, Herr Klemens Zitron.
Right away, Herr Zitron took us into the yarn showroom. (If you are a knitter, you can only imagine how difficult it was to keep from running and throwing myself onto the yarn.) Zitron yarn is sold throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. They are more widely known for their sock yarns, and we saw plenty of sock yarn in bright colorways. But the range of Zitron yarns goes far beyond socks.
Their lace weight yarn is exquisite. Herr Zitron showed us various pieces knit with their lace weight yarns – light and airy shawls with intricate patterns.
We spent a good deal of time on the Gobi line. Gobi is a particularly high-quality worsted weight yarn that comes in a series of solid earth tones. It is made from a blend of three luxurious fibers – 40% extra fine merino wool, 30% camel, and 30% alpaca. (I brought home 15 balls in black.) Herr Zitron explained that it is not necessary to knit with chunky yarn to keep warm. One must use high quality yarn that feels good against the skin. A good yarn will keep you warm without overpowering you.
Back in his office, Herr Zitron shared his insights on the fibers that go into producing Zitron yarns. He took out small bags, each filled with a natural undyed fiber. As we touched each one, he made us guess what the fiber origin was. We touched raw merino wool, mohair, and camel, among others. The camel was the most surprising. It was incredibly soft, and strong. He had us feel raw wool typically used for sock yarn. He then placed the wool used in Zitron sock yarn in our hands. The difference was instantly noticeable. Both wools were soft and felt good on the skin, but the wool used in Zitron yarn was splendidly soft and supple. Herr Zitron has discerning taste and only chooses the highest quality fibers to produce the yarns that carry his name.
At Atelier Zitron, they are constantly innovating. Herr Zitron gave us a sneak peek at their Spring yarn collection. All I will share is that it is exquisite. The colorway has a special sheen to it that any knitter would find enchanting. Other than that, you will have to look for it in 2012.
By the end of our visit, we finally had an opportunity to shop. Here is a sampling of my purchases.
Zitron yarns are made especially for hand-knitting. All yarns are made in Germany. Learn more about Zitron yarns at their website.