I visited Italy on my twenty-fifth wedding anniversary and I think it will be forever in my heart.
As a lifelong historian, I’ve long been fascinated with the history of Italy. The month of April draws me back to Tuscany because that was the month we walked through the streets of Florence and Rome. My brother has a heart much like mine, loving Italian history and art. He is an archaeologist and lives in Rome so maybe someday I will return. But for now, I will appease the restless traveler within me by taking a look at Italian knitting.
Did you know that Spanish nobles introduced knitting to Italy during the Renaissance? Of course, their brilliance in all things artistic took knitting to a much higher plane. The knitting designs in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were very elaborate and complex. They were knit with a very teensy gauge (17 stitches per inch) and involved floral patterns almost making them look like brocade.
Today Italy is an important producer of yarn. Some favorite Italian yarns I have knit with are Debbie Bliss Cashmerino and Sublime Cashmere Merino. I’m knitting my granddaughter a sweet little baby sweater with Sublime Baby Cashmere and it has a luxuriant feel to it. I have knit several pairs of socks using the Regia Kaffe Fasett line and the colors are splendid.
Have you ever been to Italy? Care to share a memory? Do you have a favorite yarn made in Italy?