On trips abroad I discovered knitting clubs, sewing cafés and creative workshops in many large cities. What works in Berlin, London, Zürich and Vienna should also be possible in Radstadt. And thus I initiated the WOLL-LUST knitting group, which after a short test period soon became a fixed part of Radstadt’s cultural programme.
Since November 2010 around 25 keen knitters from 9 different towns and villages in the area meet up every two weeks in the “Zeughaus am Turm”. Here in a cosy living room atmosphere ideas and materials are swapped and there’s plenty of knitting talk and laughter too.
Traditional long socks to wear with Lederhosen trousers
Many of the ladies are real experts when it comes to knitting complicated patterns for traditional long socks, Norwegian knits and other creative knitting projects. Happily and patiently they pass on their knowledge and skills. It’s not just the handicraft itself that’s important to us, but also the community spirit, a network of support and further education. Therefore we also visit places where wool is produced, such as the alpaca breeder Brigitte König or the Loden factory in Ramsau.
We regularly undertake hikes too, one in winter and one in summer. We hike dressed in our traditional Austrian dirndl dresses and one or other of the women is sure to have packed her knitting needles.
Wool ball in the Town Square
We have attracted much attention with some of our knitting projects. Since 2014 a ball of wool with a diameter of 2.60 m stands in the Town Square, an elaborate construction made of 250 mineral water bottles knitted together. Here living creativity is visible, the wealth of colours and the richness of patterns is unsurpassable. We’re constantly being told that the ball of wool is the most popular photo motive in the Town Square. And believe it or not, TV was also interested. In 2013 we received an award from the Salzburger Volkskultur (Salzburg Folk Culture) for the creative development of a traditional handicraft, and that motivates us immensely.
Snow White and “Cleopatra“
Maria, with a hand-knitted Snow White wig was the star of the last knitting get-together. The golden blonde long-haired wig, a piece by Maria in “Cleopatra style” suited not only Elisabeth. Fun and games aside, everyone was busy: Herta had finished her long socks and Monika three cute bears. As agreed last time we wanted to try and knit little woollen cars. Renate and Anneliese had brought three small prototypes with them. However, as the two “patient angels“ moaned about the effort required, it was clear, that this is for the experts only. The cars are cute, racy and an ideal toy for small children, but a complicated feat of counting, dropping and picking up stitches, not to mention actually knitting and sewing in the many threads.
Photo credits: Elisabeth Schneider, Kulturkreis „Das Zentrum“, SN/Robert Ratzer