Thursday, June 30, 2005

Florence Loot!

I'm eternally grateful to Lu for tipping me off to this fabulous yarn shop in Florence. It was located only a few blocks from my hotel and it was very easy to find. The front room was lined with shelves overflowing with 100g skeins of cotton and novelty yarns for the unheard-of price of 1.50 Euro. Seriously! But the real treasures are in the back of the shop where cones of fabulous yarn line all the shelves. You simply tell the clerk which yarn you'd like and the amount (in grams) and she winds it off onto a smaller cone. Yarn Heaven!!

As a result of my too-short stay at Campolmi Filati, I added these lovelies to my luggage:

1,500 yards of laceweight 100% cashmere at the amazing price of 20 Euro per 100g


3,000 yards of laceweight 100% merino in my all-time favorite color (a true terra cotta) at the equally amazing price of 2.90 Euro per 100g

These additions necessitated my subtracting the following items from my luggage:

One pair of nearly threadbare denim jeans, 3 pair of socks, one cheap umbrella.

I'd say that balances out in my favor, wouldn't you.

And nothing tastes better after a hard morning of yarn shopping than a gelato at Vivoli:

Va Bene!

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Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Wednesday = Stash Sale

I have a couple of balls of novelty yarn for today's edition of Stash Sale Wednesday. First up are two skeins of Crystal Palace Splash color # 7232 ("seafoam").

Retail is around $10.00 per skein. Both skeins can be yours for $12.50 plus shipping.

I also have one skein of Knit One/Crochet Too Tartelette in color #652 ("ocean storm").

This retails for $11.00 a skein and I'm asking $7.50.

Email me if you're interested in either the Splash or the Tartlette.


After our two days in Venice, we hopped on the Eurostar train and headed to Florence. I'd forgotten how hot and crowded Florence can be in the summer. Yuck! But the day we arrived we dropped our bags at the hotel and made our way to the Accademia. Fortunately, the line was fairly short and we waited only about 20 minutes to enter. We used the same approach the next day with the Duomo and the Uffizi (i.e., getting into line about 1.5 hours before closing time). Although the early morning line for the Duomo was huge, we literally walked in without a wait that afternoon. And around 4:30, the wait to enter the Uffizi was less than half an hour. That morning, we had taken a bus to the town of Fiesole which is situated on a hill overlooking Florence. What a great view of Florence, huh:

There are some Roman ruins in Fiesole and a small, but nice, museum.

Before we left for our trip, Lu sent me an email with a couple of Florence yarn shop recommendations. Tomorrow I'll have photos of the loot!

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Monday, June 27, 2005


The first stop on our trip was Venice. Because we were unable to book seats on a direct flight from the U.S. to Venice, we had to connect through Rome. So our travel day was: Salt Lake to Boston to Rome to Venice. Yikes! Because of a last minute change by Alitalia, we were facing a 4.5 hour layover in the Rome airport; we would miss the last morning flight to Venice by mere minutes. However, we spoke to the woman at the Alitalia counter in Boston, told her that we had no luggage to check through (we each carried only one bag with us), and she added us to the stand-by list for the earlier flight but cautioned us that we'd have to "run for it." Run we did, and although the flight was actually boarding when we got to the counter, the Italian Alitalia employee worked a little magic and got us on the plane. Fabulous! This gave us an entire extra day in Venice. We arrived in the early afternoon and took the water taxi to our hotel. Here's the view from the hotel window:

The next day it was rainy and cool; perfect for walking and sightseeing. We went to our favorite, not-to-be-missed Venice church and then made our way to the old Jewish ghetto which is located near the train station. DD composed the following verse which she insisted on repeating for the remainder of the trip:

Today we took the vaporetto
Over to the Jewish Ghetto

Unfortunately, it was a Jewish holiday so the museum and the shops were closed. But we found a great pasticceria and made the best of it. Can anyone explain to me why DD's hair looks fabulous despite the rain and mine looks like crap???

Things took a slight turn downward that evening when DH realized that he'd left the battery charger for the digital camera on the plane we took from Rome to Venice. The impact of that screw-up became immedately clear to me, dear readers. No endless shots of my WIPs against the backdrop of famous Italian landmarks. Instead, we were forced to conserve our precious battery power for essential photos. Crap.

Venice Knitting

I brought 200g of sock yarn with me from the U.S. and intended to knit a pair of fingerless gloves and some socks on the trip. I finished both gloves on the trip over to Italy (sorry, I can't show you a picture because I gave them to my cousin on the last day of our trip). Gulp! Would I actually run out of yarn!! Fortunately, I managed to procure some sock yarn in Venice in the strangest of places; a lingerie shop! DS stopped to look at some Murano glass in a shop window and I wandered across the street, looked into the interior of a lingerie shop, and saw skeins of yarn lining the back shelves. WTF?? I ventured inside and noticed some pattern books also. The bulk of the yarn was cotton and I got an odd stare when I asked for "lana." The sales clerk spoke no English but with some skillful pointing I scored myself some Regia 6-ply. Pictures of the finished socks later this week! And does anyone know why Italian lingerie shops sell yarn and sewing notions?? I saw this again when we were in Rome.

First Day of Camp

Today was DD's first day of camp.


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Sunday, June 26, 2005

Back In The U.S.A. and WIP of the Week

We're back! After a 20-hour travel odyssey on Friday, we arrived back in Salt Lake City late Friday night. One of the smartest things we did was to spend our last night at the Hilton which is situated adjacent to the Rome airport since there was talk of a strike by the train workers the day of our departure. Now that would not have been fun! But, we just woke up Friday morning and walked across a sky bridge straight to the airport. Slick.

It seems to be taking me an inordinate amout of time to adjust to the time change so I'll be posting more detailed news of the trip starting tomorrow or Tuesday. Today I'm still a little fuzzy. But, I do have a WIP of the Week to show you.

I started this yesterday evening. Can you guess what it will become??

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Thursday, June 16, 2005

Greetings from Italy!

We made it! I'm posting from an Internet cafe and am almost out of time. But I have to report that I found the most amazing yarn shop in Florence. Laceweight, 100% cashmere for 20 Euro/100g!! Details when I return. But now I must go back to the hotel and decide which pieces of clothing I'm going to leave behind so I can fit my new yarn in my suitcase!


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Thursday, June 09, 2005

WIP Revealed

There were several interesting and clever guesses this week, but Jayme's guess (the first one posted) was right on the money.

The WIP was a footlet, knit from the vintage pattern I blogged about last week. As is obvious from the photo, I didn't Kitchener the toe yet or weave in the ends. Although DD loved it and said it fits like a dream, it's destined to be unraveled because I don't have enough yarn left to knit the mate. So, this was more of a learning experience; a testing of the pattern, if you will. Actually, I found the pattern fascinating; the increases and decreases after the heel make a clever shape that curves to fit under the ankle bone. I did, however, knit the foot in the round instead of on two needles. I just switched to double-points after completing all the increases. Then I finished it with a regular wedge toe. And, there were a couple of minor typos in the instructions, but they're obvious.

Next time I knit these I won't knit the heel using the typical k1, sl 1 heel flap; it's a bit too wide and bulky. I'll probably just knit a plain stockinette stitch heel over fewer stitches. Given DD's positive reaction, I can see many more of these in my knitting future. Then again, given her documented prowess at knitting, she should probably make her own darn footlets.

Next Project Please

I've recently finished up several "secret" projects that had deadlines. Now I'm experiencing a bit of knitter's burn-out, not to mention some aching in my wrist. Of course, that doesn't mean I won't be knitting on my trip! Hopefully, my SIP will have a fun time touring Italy with me. When I return, though, I'd like to start a new project without a deadline. But I'm having a difficult time of coming up with a fun idea. I know it's been dubbed by some as "The Summer of Lace," but I have my Baltic Sea Stole to finish (yes, I still love it) so I'm not taking on another big lace project just now. I won't be posting or responding to comments for a while but, if you feel the urge, please leave me a comment and tell me what you're knitting now. Hopefully this will give me some ideas of a project I can knit when I return from my vacanza. Plus, this way I can keep up with all your current projects just by reading my comments. Grazie!

Ciao For Now, Amici

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Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Stash Sale Wednesday

I'm not offering anything from my stash today because I won't be able to go to the post office for a while. But check back in a couple of weeks and I'll post something else from my stash for sale. And speaking of stash, does anyone know of a good yarn shop in Venice or Florence?

Birthday Grrls

We had a special Stitch 'n Bitch last night for all the members with June birthdays. Kim and Miriam (both of whom have June birthdays) drove all the way down to Salt Lake from Logan. Laurie, another June birthday grrl, arrived a tad late, but we quickly forgave her.

Here's a photo of (left to right) Margene, Teri, and Anne before the rest of the knitters arrived.

And here's Laurie, having a quick snack before diving into some of her prezzies:

Unfortunately, it's not a very flattering photo, but you should have seen Miriam's image before I cropped it out. You'd thank me, Miriam.

As usual, the projects being knit were varied. Teri was working on a scarf, Miriam on a pair of socks, Summer brought her Clapotis, and Margene had her domino wrap. The rest I can't remember. Although I do have a vague recollection that Laurie didn't bring anything to knit on. Too busy opening gifties and chatting, I guess.

Happy birthday, Kim, Miriam, Laurie, and anyone else out there with a June birthday.

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Monday, June 06, 2005

WIP of the Week

I didn't resurrect my poor, little deceased bear for this week's WIP. Instead, I have something different for you to guess:

What do you think it is??

And here's a photo of the last peony (and my favorite) to open in my yard.

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Friday, June 03, 2005

WARNING! Stylized Violence; Some Content Not Suitable For Small Children

In an amazing stroke of genius, Janice in GA correctly identified my WIP of the week as a "Magic Friends" stuffed bear from the book, Knitter's Stash. The pattern is clever; the entire project is knit on two needles. You knit one stitch then slip the next. This creates a tube that can be opened up at the end and stuffed with fiber-fill. I was so excited about this project, I knit the whole thing in one day. Here's the photo I took when I finished the neck:

Then, my luck ran out.

While inserting the stuffing, I dropped half of the stitches that should have been more firmly secured by a piece of waste yarn. Have you ever tried to pick up six stitches knit in fluffy eyelash yarn? Not fun. I'm sure you would have used the same technique I did:

RIP, dear WIP.

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Thursday, June 02, 2005


Today, DD's school let out for the summer. As I dropped her off, I realized it was the last day I would drive to this elementary school. After 9 years of driving one child or the other to the same location each morning, I felt a bit sentimental. No more elementary-age children. *sigh*


DD had to produce a large research project this year. Her topic? Knitting, of course! And she turned out to be quite good at it. Here are the swatches she included on her board:

Her first cable:

Her first stranded pattern:

And her first lace:

She deemed the cable "fiddly," the stranded pattern, "too tangly," and the lace "really fun." Aaaah, a lace prodigy. WooHoo!

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Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Wednesday Stash Sale

In honor of the warmer weather, I'm offering some cotton yarn this week. Behold, GGH Bandola, a cotton-blend ribbon/tape yarn that knits up at 14 stitches and 20 rows in a four-inch square on size 6-7mm needles (so it's bulky or chunky weight). There are 65 meters in each 50g ball.

I have nine skeins of green:

And nine skeins of light purple (you need this, Beth).

This is one of the yarns recommended for the pattern, 3timesChic. Or, use it to make this extremely cute tank top.
The original retail was $9.95 a skein, so how about 50% off. That means, for $45.00 you can have all nine skeins of the green and for a mere $45.00 more, the purple is yours, too. Email me if you're interested.

Coal to Newcastle

I've been adding to my stash nearly as quickly as I've been knitting and selling from it. Yesterday, I got a wonderful skein of Opal Handpaint in the mail from Amy:

Can you believe; I won a contest on her blog! Oh, and go leave her a comment congratulating her on having her sweater pattern published in the Interweave Knits Fall '05 Issue. Way to go, Amy!

And last week brought some yummy angora/wool roving and handmade soap from Kim:

And some equally gorgeous roving from Julia:

Aren't those colors just to dye die for!

Next Sock

The next pattern in the Six Sox Knitalong was announced today. Here's the child-size pair I knit for Children in Common:

Cute, isn't it. The pattern is called, "Chutes and Ladders." Clever!

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Running commentary on my unending quest to knit up my stash.