UnRaveling Germany


If you’ve never heard of Ravelry, you’re living under a ball of wool. For those of you who are, it’s a veritable Facebook for knitters and crocheters. But instead of posting happy snaps of social gatherings from every possible angle, Ravelers post photos of their knitting projects. Instead of joining groups called “I like finding shapes in clouds”, Ravelers join groups called “Xtreme Fair Isle Knitting” and “Nurses who Knit and Crochet”. It’s intense. The best thing about Ravelry is the access it gives to local kitting circles. After hitting the six-week low point on the curve of expatriation, I decided it was time to take the plunge and go in search of some human interaction (with a little knitting to smooth the way).

My first attempt involved wandering for several minutes around busy Karstadt in search of Stuttgart Purlingurlz. I was in the wrong Karstadt. Second attempt. A forty minute train trip took me to nearby Backnang, home of the the Backnanger Stricktreff. The group meets at the Wollstube Wollin, a knitters’ paradise flanked by walls and walls of delectable yarn. I took my courage in hand and edged towards the group who were brandishing their needles at lightning speed. Fortunately I was met with a friendly welcome and treated to a in-depth tour of the store by the lovely Kadri. The most obvious difference I noticed was the abundance of sock wool (and four-ply wool generally) compared to wool shops back home. Maybe Aussies are too impatient for four-ply. We love our fast growing DK and Aran.

Feeling somewhat bolstered, I went along on Tuesday to the Stuttgarter Stricktreff, this time to the right Karstadt store. Though there were only three of us (most of the group meet on Wednesdays), Rose and I had a wonderful time with Ulli, Kerrie and their children. Amazing how a length of yarn joined by a series of interlinking loops can cut across all barriers. Thankyou Ravelry. I now have three friends and some lovely Merino Superwash.



8 Responses to “UnRaveling Germany”

  1. 1 Arthur Kelly April 15, 2010 at 9:50 am

    The best of friendships have formed over a ball of wool or a piece of material.I still have the strongest of relationships with those friends.Push on Ally and you will find that despite the difference of geographical backgrounds you share the commonest of grounds.I am loving this direction you are pursuing.
    All my love Mum.

  2. 2 lesley April 15, 2010 at 10:02 am

    I join your Mum in loving the direction you are taking Ally – good on you and God bless.

  3. 3 Ali Smith April 15, 2010 at 10:28 am

    Good on you for persisting, I think I would have been very tempted to just give up and go home when I realised I had ended up in the wrong place!
    We’re following your adventures, Ally, and we notice Rose is growing and looking just gorgeous. We often think of you.

  4. 5 pete April 15, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    I’ve never heard of it Ally.

  5. 7 Jude April 16, 2010 at 6:36 am

    Hi Alley,

    Had lunch with Mum and Gerri today and we shared some of your adventures. I am following you too and really enjoying hearing of your new finds and space. Keep it up – you will be pleased you persevered. How exciting for you all!

    Love Jude x

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A girl with a camera, a toddler and a sewing machine. Making sense of Germany... and life in general.

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