Knitting and other yarny crafts such as crochet, weaving, and spinning are becoming increasingly popular. The demand for all things yarn is growing. There are more and more businesses catering for knitters, artisans in the whole world are creating so-called “gourmet yarns” from fibers such as yak, possum or the “old good” cashmere, there are new kinds of needles for knitters, and also new events.
Vienna Wool & Design Festival took place this April in Arcotel Wimberger in Vienna, near the Westbahnof. It was not huge, but Vienna is a small city and the selection of thigs to see was of top quality.
There were about 25 stalls with shops and presentations from European companies (Austrian, English, German…). You could see people spinning yarn or you could chat about how it is to have a llama farm and produce alpaca yarn. The big trends – sock yarns, lace shawls, naturally dyed fibers, variegated and ombre yarns, handspun stuff – were all here. It was a good opportunity to shop, and many a knitter brought home a hank or ten.
What I found especially great were the workshops. Designers who know a thing or two about the craft were teaching 2-3 hours long classes about unusual and new techniques, about garment shaping, and about finishing it in a professional, neat way. I tried two of these and was impressed how many things you could learn in a few hours. It is super useful to have an arsenal of skills as one can get more creative and have more fun knowing how to do this or that.
I really loved the organization. Everything ran smoothly, started on time, there were just enough chairs and everyone was so helpful and kind. The whole atmosphere was pleasant, nice and the joy of having this new festival was shared.
I traveled to Vienna just for this event and did spend a chunk of money on travel, lodging, and tuition but I do not regret a cent. I brought home not just the yarn for my new sweater (yes I had to unpack it first thing when I came back, haha), but a bunch of new skills, new experiences and a great mood. Hopefully, the event will become a loved tradition!