© Holzknechtnockn (photo: RudiKainPhotografie)
Holzknechtnockn is a traditional dish in the Holiday Region Dachstein Salzkammergut (photo: RudiKainPhotografie)

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They have to be green, the patterned socks

„Wo san den meine G’medelten?“ or „Wiaso ziag’st heit nit die G’medelte an?“ are also for most of the German speaking people only very strange questions. The local - and he doesn't have to be a big fan of traditional clothes - knows the meaning. "G'medelt" means patterned and "meine" means the mine (in plural). So the first sentence translated ist "Where are my patterned socks?". "Die" means "the" (singular) so the second sentence means "Why are you not wearing your patterned jacket?".

The patterned socks and jackets

This already outlines what is so lovingly knitted and proudly worn in our region: Socks and jackets with and without sleeves knitted with artistic patterns. Where this art of knitting comes from must remain in the dark, because a circumstance must also amaze those who believe that the diverse patterns have grown out of the ground. On the west coast of Ireland, not exactly in the vicinity of the Salzkammergut, sweaters have exactly the same patterns as on our jackets. There the different families of fishermen had their typical patterns, because this made it possible to identify drowned fishermen who had washed up on the beach.

And who knows, perhaps Irish monks, who came to our region until the first millennium (see founding of the monastery of Mondsee) and consolidated Christianity, left their traces in the form of knitting patterns?


Each pair of socks has another pattern

But back to the mountains. Allegedly there are no two pairs of socks that are similar, so many different patterns are "knittable" and the ambition of the knitters is to make each pair different. The technique of "model" knitting requires a lot of experience, special skill, endurance and highest concentration - only then can the beautiful patterns succeed. Your author will always find knitting an unfathomable mystery, therefore the sentences quote from a professional mouth. The "smooth stitch" has to form the "model" (=the pattern). It is not normally knitted smooth, but always "interlaced" (=english); thus it stands out from the ground. The ground is formed by inverted stitches. These are therefore the interlaced, smoothly knitted stitches that must be crossed to the right or left to form the pattern. "Kennst di aus? " (You know what it is about?)

Citizens or nobility can be recognized by the patterned socks

Originally, not all patterns were used equally in all social circles. There were those that came from the so-called "bourgeois and aristocratic high culture" and those that adorned the peasant needles. Today the patterns have mixed, and knitting instructions such as those available in local knitting shops have contributed to this.


The colour, the pattern and the wool of the socks and jackets

The predominant colour of the sockets in the Inner Salzkammergut is green, next to it you can also see grey. The blue sockets can be seen in the Vöcklabrucker area. The jackets are more multicoloured, also natural white or brown. The names of the various patterns are often taken from our region. There are Almwege, the Tulipan (tulip), herringbones and small windows, a lot of braids and Ketterl, the forgotten or burning "Liab". All this flows over the cleverly moved knitting needles made of wool, the universal basic material that grows on the backs of our sheep.

Earlier more than today, sheep were shorn, wool washed, laid out to dry, pantled and finally spun. On the occasion of a "Rocka Roas", a cosy spinning and truffle evening," the women devoted themselves to this work. The tradition of the "g'medelten Stutzenor Joppen" is very much alive in the Salzkammergut to the delight of the knitters, wearers and "viewers". Only the sheep seem a little astonished when the wool is pulled over their ears in the cool autumn.


Now it is only two questions that have not being answered. Where do you get such special and traditional patterend socks? The best place would be the HAND.WERK.HAUS in Bad Goisern at Lake Hallstatt. There is an exhibition of all traditional clothes and in the shop you will also find some of these socks. And what fits perfectly to a patterned jacket and patterned socks? Of course, the LederhosenLederhosen!