Otto and Spike
Otto and Spike make well made, well-designed knitwear, that you’ll love to wear on your head, around your neck and out on the town, using beautiful Australian extra fine merino and pure lambswool.
Otto and Spike is as much about a place as a product. They have been knitting in Brunswick (an inner suburb of Melbourne) for the last 50 years. Melbourne is a great place to knit because you never know when that scarf or beanie will come in handy. Wearing warm woollies is part of life for the Melbourne dweller and they love rugging up in winter whether it be to go see the footy, explore her many laneways, feast from her food trucks or take to her slopes.
Back when Otto and Spike first started knitting, Brunswick was the centre of Melbourne’s textile industry. Nowadays things have changed - hardly anyone knits in Australia. Companies chasing cheaper prices moved their production overseas. Gone are the days when they made custom cardigans for the Sharpie Gangs in 1970’s Melbourne. The Sharpie’s and most of Melbourne’s textile producers may be in the past, but Otto and Spike are still there, designing and producing fine knitted goods.
Otto and Spike is a result of circumstance. Through the hard times, as many knitters around them were forced to close their doors, Otto and Spike accumulated an abundance of surplus yarn that would have otherwise contributed to Australia's landfill. Surplus from an industry that has gradually disappeared from our country. This wool was made up of a veritable rainbow of colours – small precious amounts of each, none enough to knit a large run of garments. Beautiful Australian wools, which seemed crazy to waste since Australia produces some of the finest wool in the world. So the Otto and Spike story began – with some careful planning they were able to integrate these yarns into their ranges. In fact, their first five ranges were predominantly made of surplus wools. Over the years, the Otto and Spike brand has grown, whilst continuing to collect and reuse leftover wools, they now also have the luxury of adding additional Australian merino and lambswools to their collection.
As well as taking great care with their choices of yarn, each of Otto and Spikes machines have a special role in the making and creating of their knitted pieces. They have an amazing collection of antique and vintage knitting machinery - enough to document the last century of knitted history.
Made in Australia.