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Saturday, January 15, 2011

Do you like sweaters?

I do.
I love hand knit sweaters.

When I was a very young girl, my Mother, my Sister and I would knit sweaters like the one you see pictured.  We would sell or trade them in our village of East Germany.   Sometimes I would knit the sleeves or one of the fronts.  My Mother would assemble the pieces and we would finish the sweater with embroidery.  We always had some kind of cottage industry going on in our house.  We made beautiful leather millinery decorations, we sewed pieces of pre-cut fabric to make little girls' dresses.  Often, we were without power and one of us would turn the wheel on my Mother's sewing machine by hand. What I never liked was when we had an order for knitted wool socks.

Years later I purchased this sweater in Austria.  It was very plain.  Before boarding the plane for the long flight home, I purchased a little colored wool and embroidered the sweater.  It made the time go much faster.

While in Munich, Germany, Gene bought this lovely sweater for me. The knobby part is crocheted.  Wish I could find the shop again.  The shop sold beautiful handmade items.

On the next trip to Europe, I spotted this sweater in the window of a shop in the Burgenland of Austria.  This sweater goes to Europe with me every time we make a Fall trip.

And then I discovered a shop in a small village in the South of Tyrol, Italy, Toblach or Dobbiaco as it is called in Italy.

From the same shop inToblach (Dobbiaco) the next year.  If you knit you can see that all of these sweaters are knit on No. 2 needles.  That is why they are so indestructible.   

 My last trip, my last sweater purchase.  Next time I'm in Toblach I will most likely visit my Tyrolean Stuebele.


  1. My goodness Gina!
    What a wonderful and stunning collection! Absolutely beautiful, I envy you! And lovely photos.

    I used to knit my sweaters and also for friends. Learned knitting when I was 7 years old and loved it. A very "mind-calming-relaxing" work. Wie jede Handarbeit, haekeln, stricken, naehen und sticken!

    Just have not the time anymore, "leider". I seem to remember that the last one I made was last century in the 80s.

    Best wishes for a sunny weekend, keep warm!
    Lieben Gruss - Karin

    P.S. Just started "meine Reise in Deine blog-Vergangenheit", but it will take me a day or two!

  2. What a wonderful post Gina! Why didn't you like knitting socks? (I've never made socks). Hand knitted garments have a history, or have the power of evoking memories.

  3. Hallo Gina,
    such wonderful *Trachtenjacken*!

    Eine schöner als der andere!

    Ich liebe auch Dirndl,aber die Tracht wirkt am anderen Ort meist deplaziert.

    Ich habe mir letztes Jahr von dieser Firma eine schöne Jacke gekauft.

    Meine Freundinnen sind sehr begabte Handarbeiterinnen!
    Wir haben jeden ersten Freitag im Monat unseren Strickclub.
    Ich bin sozusagen das Ehrenmitglied, weil ich nicht so leidenschaftlich gern stricke. :-)

    Viele Grüße und passen Sie auf, dass die Motten nicht kommen! :-)

  4. When I was young, I had a very expensive sweater, large cable knit with squirrels, acorns, leaves and ladybugs embroidered in the open spaces. I dearly loved it and can see the designs in my head to this day! Your sweaters are heirloom quality!

  5. Dear Karin, I think that you and I were lucky in that we had school teachers (mine was an old spinster) who taught us how to knit and crochet and embroider. Also, my Mother loved to sew and knit and embroider all of our clothes.

  6. Dear Tasiaa, that is the wonderful thing about living somewhat isolated and in the countryside... I can weat whatever I please.
    Great that you belong to a group that gets together to knit. And, you are right, I do have to look out for the pesky moths. So far so good.

  7. Dear Francesca, The reason I didn't like to knit socks is because of the many double pointed needles it takes to knit the heel of the sock. And when you are knitting the heel you have to set aside a bunch of stitches on a stitch holder, then once the heel is finished (which is complicated) you pick up the reserved stitches and finish the sock, remembering to reduce stitches as you go along. My mind always wanted to be occupied with more important things.

  8. Dear Theresa, There are some things one should always keep. I wish you still had your special sweater. I would have loved to have seen it. It sounds so fabulous...right up my alley.

  9. Love your sweater post Gina ! they're beautiful made and so you...i was quite addicted to knitting some years ago but alas i don't have time these days. Wish i could make hand knitted socks ! :-)

  10. Dear Lala, Knitting can be addictive. However, I am so involved with painting ceramics that I do not take the time to knitanymore.
    Knowing how to, makes one appreciate the fine hand knitting that can still be found.
    Knitting socks is time consuming but with the help of a good instruction book it's not such a big deal.
    Leave knitting of socks to someone else. I would rather see you spend your time doing your beautiful art work.

  11. You have an incredibly beautiful collection of sweaters!

    I took a road trip to Rome during fall of 2009 and spent the first night in Toblach.

  12. Dear Merisi, Some of those sweaters are more than forty years old and I still love everyone of them.
    Merisi, which route did you take to Toblach from Vienna? Did you go Salzburg-Spittal or Salzburg-Lenz? I'm planning another trip.

  13. I THOUGHT I liked sweaters - - - then I saw these and now I'm in LOVE!!!

    I have NEVER seen such exquisite sweaters in my life - - - -

    Now I'm wondering when I can schedule my next trip to Europe!!!

    Came over today from Sunday Faves.

  14. Hi Keetha, They still make wonderful sweaters in parts of Europe...the kind that last many, many years. Hope you can schedule your trip soon.

  15. My mom was so good at everything hand crochet and needle, (she doesn't anymore) she would make me dresses, vests, winter hats and gloves and, of course, sweaters, also tablecloths. This are gorgeous and you must be so talented knitting, so nice, so relaxing! In my neck of the woods they make great hand made sweaters too, all kinds, just beautiful. Thanks for sharing, Keetha. Have a nice Sunday. FABBY

  16. Oh such gorgeous sweaters. It's amazing to think that you and your family made such amazing things. It's great to have you being a part of Seasonal Sundays.

    - The Tablescaper

  17. Oh, my. These are too pretty to wear!!!!! Amazing! Have a great week!

  18. Gorgeous sweaters. They are truly works of art.

  19. Hi Fabby, you are a lucky girl to have a mother who made you such beautiful things.

  20. Hi Tablescaper, thank you for letting me be part of your beautiful blog.

  21. Hi Snap, That is what is so great about sweaters, they last many, many years.

  22. Hi Babs, Thank you for your visit and your lovely comment. Hope to see you here again.

  23. Oh MY, Such beautiful sweaters. Your collection I'm sure servers you well and as you say with a little TLC, indestructible. Those are so gorgeous I would leave out and display. Thanks for sharing these in your post.

    The French Hutch

  24. du u sale ur fabulese sweaters joyce miller

    1. Hello Joyce. No, I'm sorry but I do not sell my sweaters. You can find my sweaters under the company called "Wolkenstricker" of Austria and Germany. Hope this helps. Thank you for your visit.