Saturday, November 28, 2009

Mormor Kal

Here's my Mormor's shawl from the multitalented knitter-designer-woman-and-friend emma. I joined this kal an it seems to be really addicting, as many of my friends are knitting it. You can find it also here and there.

And... Oh la la la! A brand new haircut!

And for those who wanted to know something about bharata natyam:

Sunday, November 8, 2009


November is already here and it's full of new challenges: a new teaching job, a new translation project, and I also joined a class of bharata natyam, Indian classical dance that I started several years ago and dropped with pregnancy and relocation. I found a teacher in my town and I'm sooo happy with it. I'm a really lazy person, but bharata natyam makes me feel so well and powerful that I think I can commute for 30 mins every week. Really.

Very few knitting projects, but the family need new stuff for these chilly mornings.

Honeycomb hat pattern is from the Japanese magazine ヨーロッパの手編み (European Handknitting). The superfast ribby neckwarmer patter can be found here. Both in Sesia New Jersey, 100% soft merino.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

I'm back

It's been a long time from my last post... I spent my summer in Japan, then I was back here with hundreds of pages to translate. Busy days, a wedding in Maggiore Lake, a Japanese friend in Italy, but here I am.

At my return there was a wonderful surprise: the second package from my not-so-secret upstream pal Gabi: can you see her handspun? My son ate all the gummies...

And I made my third blanket for Cuore di Maglia: a pinwheel blanket with 5.5 needles, a quick knit for instant gratification.
 I have many projects on the needles and time is never enough!

Dopo un'estate in Giappone, centinaia di pagine da tradurre, un matrimonio (altrui) sul Lago Maggiore e un'amica nipponica da scarrozzare in giro per il nord Italia, eccomi nuovamente qui. 

Un ringraziamento doveroso a Gabi, la mia not-so-secret pal: nella foto si intravede una matassa magnifica filata da lei in persona. 

E poi il mio terzo contributo a Cuore di Maglia: una pinwheel blanket con ferri 5.5, rapidissima per soddisfazione immediata. Tanti progetti sui ferri e troppo poco tempo...

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

SP14 and summer holidays

I received this first box more than ten days ago, but I was really busy with deadlines, shopping and packing before leaving for Japan.

The green yarn is handdyed by my upstream and I think I'll knit a Lacy Baktus when I'll be back, this autumn. The winred yarn is a superluscios silk/wool blend. And now I can start spinning!!! I found a spindle and some roving to start with.


I really like my "not so scret anymore" secret pal. She's very friendly and we keep in touch frequently.

I'm leaving tomorrow for a long trip. I have translation projects to work when I'll be in Japan, but the first two weeks will be totally work-free: no mobile, and no laptop!!! I really worked hard this year and I need to stop for a while, enjoying the Okinawan sea and playing with my son. I bought a "shorty", which the shorter version of a diving suit, for loooong snorkelling sessions. 

I have just one knitting project for these first two weeks: Ishbel with some alpaca lace yarn in burgundy. I have to complete it before arriving in Kyushu, as it is a gift for my mother. 
I'm leaving here the stripy sock (just one finished), I'll knit the other in autumn. At my mother's house there's a box from Avril that is waiting for me!

Have a great summer!!!

Ecco il primo pacco dalla mia Secret Pal!!! L'ho ricevuto da più di dieci giorni, ma sono stata molto presa da scadenze da rispettare, cose da comprare e valige da preparare prima di partire per il Giappone.

Il filato verde è stato tinto a mano dalla mia pal e penso di farne un Lacy Backtus quando sarò rientrata. Il filato vinaccia è un misto lana/seta supergodurioso. E ora che ho spindle e lana, posso finalmente iniziare a filare!!

Finalmente domani parto per un lungo viaggio. Avrò con me delle traduzioni a cui lavorare, ma le prime due settimane saranno completamente vere vacanze, senza cellulare e senza portatile!!! Solo sabbia, mare e pesci. Quest'anno ho davvero lavorato senza sosta come una dannata e mi merito un po' di riposo, a godermi il mare di Okinawa e a giocare con R. Ho comprato una muta corta, per sessioni infinite di snorkelling. Parto anche uno zainone grosso come una casa, che su di me fa tanto effetto tartaruga.

E il knitting? Per le prime due settimane solo un ishbel in alpaca per mia madre, quindi assolutamente da finire prima di andare da lei.

Lascio qui un calzino a strisce, con la promessa di fargli il compagno in autunno. Poi da mia madre c'è già un pacco Avril ad aspettarmi!!!

Buone vacanze a tutti!!!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Still alive

I'm still alive. Busy, but still alive. I went to Alsace for a week for a workshop, when I met wonderful people and learned a lot of new things, but most important, I had the chance to think about myself, my work and how to improve.

Then I had a week of urging translation deadlines... and now I'm in Liguria for an interpreting job, which is exhausting, but very very stimulating. The result is that I have very little time to knit. I almost finished the thermis cowl I started on the train while going to Alsace: it took me more than two weeks!!! (I still have to cast off and sew in buttons, though)

I also have with me a pair of Noro Kureyon Sock, but I don't know if I'll even be able to cast on...

Working and working, just waiting for August: sun, beach and sea... I'm coming!!!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

SP 14

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I love wool (alpaca, merinos, cashmere blends, etc...). What I can say for sure, is that I don't like acryl or synthetics.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
Straight needles are stored in a vintage purse sewn by my mother maybe 30 years ago, circulars are in Knitpicks plastic pouch.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
I learned to knit in garter stitch when I was in high school, and I re-learned everything (from cast-on to lace patterns) in the end of 2007, by myself, with the help of the tips I found on the web.
I worked a lot, and now I consider myself... let's say intermediate.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?

5. What's your favorite scent?

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
I'm not a sweets lover, but sometimes I eat some dark chocolate. 

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
I'm trying to teach myself to sew. I never spinned, but I'd like to do. I also made some attempt in dying. Love it.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
I like any type of music, from jazz to hard rock, I don't like teenage idols pop music. My mac can play mp3s, and I have an Ipod (that I can connect to my car stereo!).

9. What's your favorite color(s)? 
Any colors you just can't stand?
My favourite colors are greys, greens and purples. I don't like pale colors and beige nuances, because they make me look sick.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
Hubby is cat-allergic and we don't have any pets now, but there's a 4 years little boy.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
I always wear scarves or shawls, never wear hats (I knit them for others), rarely wear mittens or gloves.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
Cowls are my favourite because they're quick and give instant gratification. It's also a good way to use singles or left over skeins...

13. What are you knitting right now?
A shrug, aThermis Cowl and planning my second Ishbel.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
I like bamboo/wood circular  needles. 

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
I bought a yarn winder on ebay and my knitting friends bought me a swift for my birthday!

17. How old is your oldest UFO?
mmm... A pair of slippers: I made just one.

18. What is your favorite holiday?
25th of April, Italy's liberation day, and it's also my birthday.

19. Is there anything that you collect?
Yarn and shoes.

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
I have a subscription to Interweave Knits.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
Mmm... don't know... spinning, maybe...

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
I knitted two pairs of socks, one for me and one for my son. I have very tiny feets: eu 34 (uk 1.5 and us 4)

23. When is your birthday?

24. Are you on Ravelry? If so, what's your ID?

Sure!!! azzuka!!!

Sunday, June 21, 2009


Cristiana, Emma, Franci ed io ci siamo regalate una gita a dir poco perfetta: quattro donne con la passione comune della maglia, senza bambini e con tanta voglia di fare shopping. Unfilodi, con la gentilissima e Lulù e poi verso Manifattura Sesia. 
Decisamente da ripetere. Ci siamo divertite talmente tanto che ci siamo dimenticate di fare delle foto!!!

CristianaEmmaFranci and I spent an almost perfect day: four women, four knitters, no kids, all of us eager for yarn shopping. First we headed to Unfilodi, Lulù was really really kind with us, and then to Manufattura Sesia. We have to do it again. Absolutely. At least for every season. We had great fun, but we we forgot to take pictures...

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Knitting afternoon

Last year, we promoted the World Wide Knitting in Public Day event in the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo café, we had a column in the newspaper and a lot of newbies. This year we wanted a more intimate meeting, so Franci  (hands below) chose Parco del Valentino. Emma (hands above) and I took our three kids and joined Franci and other few  knitters. It was a relaxing afternoon and I really needed it after working hard in translation with R. at home due to some fever.

Lo scorso anno, per il World Wide Knitting in Public Day, abbiamo organizzato un evento al caffé della Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo. Ci siamo sforzate di pubblicizzare l'incontro quanto più possibile e si sono presentate diverse persone. Quest'anno invece abbiamo voluto fare qualcosa di più raccolto e Franci  (mani sotto) ha suggerito il Parco del Valentino. Così Emma (mani sopra) ed io abbiamo preso i gagni e abbiamo raggiunto Franci e le altre per un pomeriggio di completo relax. Dopo una settimana di lavoro con R. a casa con la febbre ne avevo davvero bisogno...

And here's one of my latest FOs: Coachella from Knitty, the yarn is Silky by Madil, 100% cellulosic fiber (?) I bought for 
a disconted price in a LYS. The drape is lovely, but it tends to get loose while wearing. I'm completely boobless, so there's no problem with the drape in the front, but armholes are still too deep for me, even though I made it all shorter...

Qui invece, ecco finito uno dei miei ultimi lavori. Si tratta di Coachella da Knitty, il filato è Silky by Madil, 100% fibra cellulosica (?), comprato scontato in un negozio di Torino. Mi piace tantissimo come cade giù morbido, e non ho tette di cui preoccuparmi, ma dietro è un po' troppo aperto per i miei gusti, nonostante abbia apportato delle modifiche per rimpicciolire gli scalfi...

However, I really like it and I'm very grateful to the photographer that makes me look more gorgeous than what I really am.

Ad ogni modo, mi piace e sono davvero grata al fotografo che riesce a farmi sembrare più bella di quanto non sia in realtà.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


I've been busy like mad with a two-weeks almost full-time teaching job in a company, but it's over now, and I'm back to my translations and my knitting projects.

R. is growing fast and I think we'll have the same foot size within few years... I'll buy him some hyper-stylish Trippen boots or something alike, so we can share them!

I talked about my socks already. R.'s are an improvise 4/2 ribs, toe up with short row heels. There's some room to grow, I hope they'll fit next winter.
I used the same yarn, but different pattern and size: I didn't even imagine the effect was sooooo different!

R. got a fever these days, so we spent yesterday and today at home, which is quite boring with such a nice weather and no school... but a fairy came down to me for a cup of coffee, with gorgeous knitting stuff from la Droguerie - Paris!

Thank you Emma, you made my day!!!!

Sunday, May 10, 2009


Cloudy Sunday morning and hubby needed a couple of hours to work on his last photos... so R. and I decided to play with yarn... and colours.

He wanted to use a paint brush and I let him experimenting with kool aid, which has vivd colours enjoyable enough for a 4 years kid. I used the microwave, because I didn't want little hands around boiling pots...

Here's the result:

orange and orange-green are merino leftovers from my stash.
the light blue/lilac skein is a 30% acryl 70% wool.
the two in the bottom are estonian wool from paolo, the pale blue is dyed with red cabbage.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Homemade icecream

I bought these ikea ice lollies moulds and here's our recipe:

Plain yogurt

Whisk all the ingredients until it's smooth and creamy. Taste and add sugar if necessary. You can add fresh cream for a richer taste (but also more calories...). Put in the moulds and pop all into the freezer.

You can use any fruit!!!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

My first pair of socks!!!

I'm knitting my first pair of socks!!! I chose Gumperina Jaywalker in Natalia toe up version.

I used Judy's magic cast on method. I thought of knitting two in once with the magic loop, but since it's my first attempt in sock knitting, I decided it was better to knit them one by one. This first one is a little bit holey in the heel, but I hope it gets better after washing...

The yarn comes from Germany, from Pzycho, my partner for the Knitter's Treasure Swap.

Knitter's Treasure Swap

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

New FOs

All at once, my finished objects of the last weeks...
My first semi-long sleeved cardi: garter yoke cardi from Knit.1.
I added a couple of dec/inc in waist shaping and crocheted seams, à la EZ.

Then a little NOT silk but cotton shrug, from the book Lace Style, that I borrowed from croccantegentile. there are a lot of inspirational patterns and this is the first one I chose: easy and fast. I made one pattern repeat less than in the original, you know, I'm very petite sized... My first 2009 summer project!

Then I completed my Ishbel: it was a train knitting project, but I don't take trains so often, so it took a while to complete... I made the small version with a lace yarn. It'll be my spring must with my old denim jacket...

And now that it safely arrived to my sister in Japan, I can show my second Aimée, knitted in the around to avoind sewing... I added EZ'z crochet seams. It's supersoft and airy, knitted with three strands together.

By the way... after years... I had my hair cut by a real hair stylist, not a friend of mine!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Good news

A 98 years woman was found 30 hours after the earthquake. She spent the time crocheting.

Una donna di 98 anni è stata ritrovata sotto le macerie 30 ore dopo il terremoto. Ha trascorso il tempo lavorando all'uncinetto.

Friday, April 3, 2009

One day in Milan

Ormai sono anni (dodici, per la precisione), che non vivo a Milano, ma ci torno sempre con piacere. Stavolta si è trattato di un mordi-e-fuggi professionale, ma anche ludico. Ho fatto da interprete a una persona speciale, l'unico uomo giapponese con cui abbia mai lavorato che mi abbia aperto la portiera del taxi o accompagnato la sedia a tavola. Etsuro Sotoo è uno scultore giapponese, impegnato da ormai trentun anni nella costruzione della Sagrada Familia, a Barcellona. Ha parlato di fronte a un piccolo pubblico di studenti e ha raccontato della sua esperienza e del suo rapporto con Gaudì, di cosa significa per lui scolpire e di quel che si cela dietro le sue opere, della ricerca di se stessi e dell'incontro con dio (che per me ha la lettera minuscola).
L'interprete è un mezzo, un organo in cui entra la lingua A ed esce la lingua B. L'atto è meccanico e raramente le parole vanno oltre la memoria a breve termine. Ma a volte è diverso: qualcosa ti colpisce e ti rimane impresso. Questo è il bello di questo lavoro: non sai mai con chi lavorerai. Un giorno traduci brochure di pneumatici da neve per mezzi pesanti, l'altro bugiardini di creme anticellulite e poi capita di incontrare dei geni.

E poi ho finalmente incontrato lei. elisazz. Ci conosciamo ormai da mesi, ci siamo scritte email, scambiate sms e parlate al telefono. Ma solo ieri ci siamo viste. Carina e dolce come pensavo, ma con delle mani inaspettatamente piccole, tanto che continuavo a osservargliele al bar, pensando che probabilmente le mie lo erano forse di più. Trovare il piccolo negli altri, anche in un dettaglio, mi dà serenità.
E ovviamente siamo andate a comprar lana (lei cotone, in verità). E abbiamo sbirciato abiti per bimbi, ma senza far danni. E ci siamo fermate un attimo in un sotteraneo in zona Loreto, a fare due chiacchiere e a prendere due cappellini misura mela (anurca?) e babbuccette formato mignolo.

E infine un sushi al volo, in ritardo. Che disonore una figlia che fa aspettare un padre giapponese per 25 minuti! Ma ho corso e sono arrivata trafelata e sudata. Ed è andata bene, perché avessi avuto prole al seguito, mi avrebbe attesa molto, ma molto di più!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

SP 13 - Final Box

I was ill and sad and angry. I was alone and I had so many things to do... And mr Postman rang the bell with this package for me. It's the final box from sobrina, my finnish pal: 200 grams of lovely alpaca in great colours (maybe a mini triped cardi?), a candle holder, marimekko napkins (yes, I love them!!!), and a heart shaped pendant. Thank you soooo much! You made my day and the whole week!

New Finished Objects

I've been writing, translating and teaching, I've been ill and I've cleaned a house where noone lives, the more I'm busy, the more I need to knit for my mental safety.

So... here are my last FOs: the first is aimee, from the book Thrown Together by Kim Hargreaves. The yarn is a recycled mohair blend I received from my mother in law. The yarn was full of knots, sometimes after just a few rows. Frustrating, really. The result is lighter and airy, compared to the original. I like to wear it like a big cowl. Followed the pattern, but made a couple of decreases more.

The second is a hybrid: I was inspired by forever green but I worked with a completely different gauge and made many modifications. It's one of the ugliest yarn in my stash, it's recycled too: first it was a men sweater, then my mother frogged it and gave it to my sister, then it became a thick and heavy garter stitch scarf, and this is its new face, but I still have approx. 300 grams...

I decided to knit this two pieces flat to practice sewing knitted pieces, but working in the round is far better, easier and faster.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Diagonal Rib Cowl for beginners

This cowl in lilac was a last minute knitted gift for Christmas 2007: I was a beginner, but I wanted a cowl in diagonal rib.

I received some requests in Ravelry for this, so I knitted another one, and wrote down the pattern

This is my first pattern. It's a very easy and fast project, good for destashing.

I hope you like it.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

avril fukubukuro

Fukubukuro: it means 'fortune bag', and you don't know what you'll find inside. In Japan, many shops sell fukubukuro at the beginning of the year. People sometimes get in long queues to grab their hands on their favourite shops' fukubukuro. In some cases, they sell out in few minutes, as in the case of Muji.
On Jan. 5th morning, I repeatedly called Avril headquarters to book my fukubukuro, but lines were busy. When I was starting to lose any hope, a gentle voice answered.

When I first saw the box, I couldn't believe my eyes, it was soooo BIG!

I think there are more than 5 kilograms of yarn inside. Some gorgeous silk mohair, about 500 grams of tweedy wool, two skeins of silk-cotton, a HUGE cone of silk, and several other cones... No top selling Avril yarn, but it was worth the 5000 yen I spent for all this stuff!

Secret Pal 13

I was back in turin on the 13th, late night, and Mrs Postman rang on 14th morning... and this is what I found: a box from my SP13!!!
(what a box! Finnish Posts boxes are cuter than Italian ones... can you see it? it's marimekko!)

100 gr of sock yarn in great purples and greens, chunky wool in one of my favorite shades of green and little shoe shaped stitchmarker kit.

Thank you very much! I was a little bit sad of being home, with work and deadlines, but this package brightened my day, the whole week and the whole month!

Thursday, January 1, 2009


I'm Kyushu right now, and I'm typing with my legs warmed in a kotatsu table.
It's my husband's laptop and I don't know how to manage raw files with a pc, so I'll upload pictures when I'll be back home.
However, I was in kyoto before Christmas and visited Avril sanjo shop (it was just great!), and also bought some strange silk skeins in Toji market, which is held every 21st of the month.

I finished knitting the Lady February for my mother, which ended up with too large sleeves... and I almost finished also a triangular Shetland shawl. I received some gorgeous mohair yarn in moss green and some of the softest alpaca I've ever touched from miss Naganasu.

Anyway, happy new year to everybody!