Sunday, June 17, 2012

Summer is for knitting

When I was living in upstate NY, where the cold season is pretty long, my yarn of choice was mostly wool: merino, cashmere, camel, alpaca (my Achilles heel) and whatever I could lay my hands on. Where I live now the weather is mild, it's not like Florida but still... How can I keep knitting millions of shawls and wearing them? You are thinking, what is she talking about? She could use cotton. Yes I could but for some reasons it not my cup of tea. The web is my muse. There are so many options. I couldn't believe it. Digging out from my stash was a revelation too.  In April I switched to silk, I knitted two stoles using this amazing fiber that is like butter. Next was hemp which was the inspiration to a new shawl design. Let me tell you, hemp was a truly new experience. I wanted a very light shawl so I knitted it using a loose gauge, this helped the knitting process easing the stiffness of the fiber. I'd been told to keep the faith because the hemp would soften up once I had done one cycle in the washing machine. My shawl in the washing machine???? Yes I did wash it with jeans and I was staring at the washer window (I have a front load) during the spinning cycle, frightened for my "delicate" lace shawl. I took it out and blocked it. It didn't shrink, it didn't grow dramatically, no holes. I was like a child amazed with the world of magic. The new design is testing at the moment. Stay tuned...

The other fiber I had the pleasure to work is linen. Thank to a new knitter friend I machine knitted a scarf  with some linen gifted to me back on February. I purchased from a destash some bamboo which is lost in some warehouse, I pray everyday for it!!!!! Last but not least thank to knitaly, I entered a swap. I, now, have a blend of fibers: soybean, silk and wool. Sweater quantity.

In May I had the pleasure to get together with an old friend of mine. We visited the Rose Garden in Rome and Villa Torlonia. Two must see places if you are visiting Rome.

Villa Torlonia was the residence of Mussolini during his dictatorship. When the ally freed us, the Villa was abandoned and vandalized. It was recently restored. We spend the day, touring the house and the museums, having a drink at the outdoor coffe' shop and lounging on the grass under the lovely roman sun... Next time I'm going to have a picnic!

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