I love to check out new designers on Ravelry, and I recently stumbled upon a great design label from Austria called Umschlagplatz created by these two lovely and very friendly ladies, Kat and Vera. (If you don't read German, here's the link to their Ravelry page.)
In 2007, they formed a knitting group in Vienna as a way to socialize and perhaps drink a few beers while knitting. Their group grew quickly, and they were soon asked to sell their original knitted hats at an art fair during the holidays. They met with great success at the market, and they branched out to sell their knitted items in their Etsy shop as well. Lucky for us knitters, they have made their patterns available online as well, several for free.
Kat and Vera are both working while they finish their graduate studies, and knitting helps them to relax and think about their studies while taking a break. Their designs are inspired by everything from their beautiful city to small details on plants, clothing, and flowers. I recently knit one of the newest designs from Umschlagplatz, Anna Karenina. I love the architectural little towers and the nice slouch.
I used Lana Grossa Cool Wool 2000 for my hat. It's a great machine washable merino. We have a nice range of colors from bright and variegated to some dark and subtle solids. It is soft and smooth, and would be perfect for kids and those sensitive folks. This is one of those yarns in the shop that just doesn't get the attention it deserves. Several of their hats would be great in Cool Wool, as well as Rowan Pure Wool DK, the new Cascade 220 Superwash Sport, and Rowan Wool Cotton.
I'm working on Bloom (a free pattern) in Misti Tonos Chunky. Kat and Vera's version is below, and mine will be in the shop soon.
In German, Umschlag literally means yarnover, but the definition has evolved to mean a sudden change as well. Their design label, Umschlaplatz, can be interpreted to mean the place where sudden changes or movements meet, and that seems very appropriate for a knitting label.
Thanks to Kat and Vera for all photos except my Anna Karenina hat.