Ep. 143 – Swiss Yarn Festival 2024

Episode 143 is all about this year’s Swiss Yarn Festival! We’ve put together a collage of the event for about 70 minutes, giving you a really good idea of what the Swiss Yarn Festival is like. So, if you couldn’t attend yourself, you’ll hopefully feel like you did attend after watching this episode. Included in our coverage is an interview with the festival founders Meret Bützberger and Asita Krebs. We interviewed some vendors, filmed the marketplace, the daily fashion show, some snippets of the workshops and also talked to some of the visitors in our Vox Pop segment!

Festival Founders - Asita & Meret

Asita Krebs from Sidispinnt and Meret Buetzberger from Butzeria founded the Swiss Yarn Festival (SYF) back in 2019. In our short interview they talk about some of the highlights of this year’s festival, including the twice-daily fashion show, an exciting array of knitting workshops catering to a range of skill levels, and much more! The festival is held at the Riverside Event Hotel, a former spinning mill located in the countryside right next to the river Glatt. 

The festival also had a special Knitalong: This year, it featured the Cordelia Tee by Rust Knitwear! Many knitters stayed true to the original design using a single colour, others changed things up with speckled or variegated yarns, or even added stripes. Once a day, festival attendants could gather together in their Cordelia Tees for a group photo.

Asita and Meret are both knitwear designers and during the interview they each show and talk about one of their more recent designs. Asita recently brought out her May Top, a summer top that, using a Bamboo, Linen or Silk yarn, is not only elegant, but perfect for summer! It has a simple rib, but features a delicate lace panel down the front. Madeleine immediately fell in love with this design…

Meret is wearing her Misty Mountain top, inspired by her Misty Mountain shawl below. The shawl, made with Penny Lane Yarns’ Kidsilk Lane, is 166cm long. Its lace pattern reminds Meret of mist creeping up a mountain, with the peaks visible towards the top center. At the festival, we saw some other ladies looking very elegant in their own versions of the Misty Mountain shawl.

Patron Discount - Sidispinnt & Butzeria

Meret and Asita are both offering Fruity Knitting Patrons a 25% discount off all their patterns in their Ravelry stores. Thank you also to Meret and Asita for this generous offer! Patrons can find all details here.

Vendors

Penny Lane Yarns

Penny Lane Yarns is one of the vendors we interviewed. Deborah is the hand dyer behind this company and her yarns are absolutely stunning. She is also a very thoughtful dyer and very fun to talk to, so you’ll enjoy meeting her!

In the interview, Deborah shows us her popular Fingering Lane Merino yarn which comes in a multitude of colours, often within one skein – both variegated and speckled! Her Kidsilk Lane yarn range features many of the same colours but more “blurry” due to the way the silk and mohair take the dye differently to a Merino base. Finally, she shows us her Wonder Lane, which is a luxurious blend of 50% mulberry silk and 50% baby camel. This yarn range was especially developed for the festivals Knitalong: The Cordelia Tee by Simone Ryan.

Finding Penny Lane Yarns

Patron Discount - Penny Lane Yarns

Deborah is kindly offering Fruity Knitting Patrons a 10% discount off all her yarns. Thank you very much to Deborah! Patrons can find all discount details here.

Erika Graf - Bespoke Felted Garments

Erika Graf designs bespoke garments from felted fabrics. Her aesthetic is romantic and whimsical, and her designs have even been featured at the Miami Fashion Week! Her felted fabrics are thin and usually have a silk base, giving her garments a soft, delicate look. Erika often adds flower motifs to her fabrics during the felting process by carefully placing different colored pieces of brushed Merino fleece onto the fabric – a little like painting. She also likes decorating her fabrics with finely woven Silk fabric as it makes her garments shimmer.

Finding Erika

Annika from Wollreste

Annika’s yarn business is called Wollreste, which is German for “leftover yarns.” Her company collects second-hand yarns and sorts them into bundles according to weight and color. She sells these yarn bundles to individual knitters, artists, and institutions like schools, clinics, and homes. Annika has a fun and spontaneous attitude towards using yarn leftovers. She also has a talent for using leftover yarns to make unique knitwear with character! (Just look at her groovy cardigan featuring those frizzy shoulder pads!)

Finding Wollreste

Dagmar from Mährle Wolle

This is Dagmar who started her yarn brand Mährle back in 2020, when she saw a gap in the market for woollen yarns sourced from local German sheep. Mährle now has 5 yarn ranges and each can be traced back to a particular sheep farm in Germany.

Finding Mährle Wolle

Fashion show

One of the highlights was the twice-daily fashion show organized by Wolle Schweiz, the organization for yarn stores in Switzerland. One of the sponsors of Wolle Schweiz is Regia Yarns, which is a well known sock yarns company. And they found that even today, 70% of knitting projects are socks. So, they featured a lot of socks in the fashion show, along with some fun dance choreographies to celebrate sock knitting! And the choice of music was excellent. Lots of classics from the 80s and 90s. We both had the urge to dance during the entire show.

This year, the designers and yarn producers attending the festival had the chance to enter their own designs into the fashion show. You’ll also see two beautiful, felted dresses and a coat made and designed by Erika Graf, who we feature in our vendor interviews.

Marketplace & Vox Pop

The festival’s marketplace is really lovely. There are three big halls filled with colorful booths and the atmosphere is super cozy and friendly. We continued our tradition of chatting with some of the visitors for our Vox Pop segment. The market halls are usually very busy when we do the Vox Pop interviews. Because so many languages are spoken in Switzerland and many visitors come from neighboring countries, you’ll hear many different languages at the festival. We even found someone who speaks the rare language Romansh, a descendant of Latin from the Roman Empire!

Special Announcement: Pura Vida Knitting Retreats - February 2025

For some time now, I have been dreaming of bringing smaller groups of knitters together to share our love and excitement for knitting and create closer, more personal connections. To do this project, I wanted to find a partner for Madeleine and me to work with. WelI, I found my retreat partner in Claudia Quintanilla from Eweknit. After interviewing her last September, we realized that we both shared a vision of creating an unforgettable knitting retreat and that it would be fun to do this together with our combined skill sets and interests. Claudia grew up in El Salvador and knows the region very well. There are many wonderful knitting retreats on offer. So we thought that we might try something slightly different and offer a mid-winter retreat, especially for the northerners who might get extra gloomy during the long, dark, cold winter months.

So next February, perhaps you’d like to escape the winter blues for the Costa Rican sunshine, where you’ll be surrounded by lush rainforests with diverse wildlife and pristine beaches! We’ll stay at a Nature Resort and Spa with the most fantastic atmosphere and incredible views over the Pacific Ocean. The facilities and personal service are excellent, and it’s the perfect setting to relax and be rejuvenated while sharing our mutual passion for knitting and learning new skills. For the workshops we will offer, there will be one teacher and three skilled assistants to help you. Both Claudia and I think it’s important to accommodate individual learning speeds within a group.

There will actually be four retreats during the month of February. But, we are still limiting the number of participants for each retreat because we want to keep our groups intimate. Therefore, we would like to offer them first to our Patrons to say thank you for your loyalty because Fruity Knitting wouldn’t exist without your support.

Booking a spot - Pura Vida Knitting Retreat

Visit our website yarn-journeys.com to learn all about our knitting workshops and gift bag, other activities, accommodation and to view the retreat schedule.

Register for a spot at one of our four retreats in February 2025 here!

Support the show

We love creating this program, but it does require many resources. Besides travel expenses, we must buy and replace our equipment, pay for editing software, and sometimes employ tech support when things go wrong. Working with film, you also use a lot of storage and electricity. And, of course, there is our time that we invest in the podcast. All of this requires financial support. And that is why we ask our viewers to become Fruity Knitting patrons so that producing the show remains financially viable to us. Patrons make a small monthly contribution starting at the price of one coffee per month. So if you are watching, please support our work. Thank you!

What we're wearing

Andrea is wearing her Aquila by Louisa Harding during the interview and her Zweig by Caitlin Hunter on the couch. Madeleine is wearing her Indie Vest by Kim Hargreaves during the Vendor interviews and her Celyn by Michele Wang on the couch.

Music Credits

  • J. S. Bach, The Well Tempered Klavier, Prelude No. 3 in C-Sharp major, BWV 848, performed by Kimiko Ishizaka, Creative Commons Attribution 3.0
  • Oesch’s die Dritten, Jodel Time, Licensed to YouTube by: Rebeat Digital GmbH (on behalf of Tyrolis), and 6 Music Rights Societies
  • Oesch’s die Dritten, Dr Louf vom Läbe, Licensed to YouTube by: UMG, WMG (on behalf of Universal Music); CMRRA, ASCAP, and 3 Music Rights Societies
  • Grüezi Mitenand performed by Jodlerduo Anny & Nelly, Willy mit Trio Alpengruss, Lüzerner Ländlerkapelle, D’Schwyzerbuebe, from the album “Telstar Serie Edelweis: Grüsse aus der Schweiz.”
     1979 Telstar, Auto-generated by YouTube.
  • Michael Jackson, Beat It, from the album Thriller, written by Michael Jackson, Produced by Quincy Jones and Michael Jackson,  SME on behalf of Epic
  • Hildegard Knef, Ich möchte am Montag mal Sonntag haben, from the album Ich Seh die Welt Durch Deine Augen, composed by Charly Niessen, written by Hildegard Knef,  ℗ 1966 TeldecᐳᐳTelefunken-DeccaᐸᐸSchallplatten GmbH, Provided to YouTube by EastWest Germany
  • Gene Kelly, Singing in the Rain (Remastered), from the album My Best, released on 8.2.2019, ℗ 2019 Universal Digital Enterprises, provided to YouTube by Zebralution GmbH
  • Queen, I want to break free, from the album The Works, released on 1.1.2011, ℗ 2011 Raincloud Productions Ltd., under exclusive licence to Universal International Music BV, provided to YouTube by Universal Music Group

1 thought on “Ep. 143 – Swiss Yarn Festival 2024”

  1. Hello Andrea and Madeleine, I wonder if you know the pattern for the sweater Dagmar is wearing in the most recent episode, it’s so beatiful.

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