The Knitting Magpie on holiday (food, wine, wool & audio books).

Hello everyone. I hope you are enjoying a crafty warm summer ( or a crafty keeping warm winter) depending on where you are.

Himself and I have just returned from a trip to Italy where food, wine and wool were the order of the day with a side helping of audio books. I’ve only discovered the joy of these fairly recently. I started listening to help switch off on my 1.5 hour daily commute home from work and then found they were the perfect accompaniment to knitting. The return from work calls usually for a thriller(!) where as currently I am working my way through the marvellous M C Beaton’s Agatha Raisin series read by Penelope Keith whilst knitting.

We started our jaunt in Venice where we were very spoilt by our friends. I also found time to pop to Lellabella for some of their sumptuous ethical cashmere. I picked a very pale pink and a dark crimson. As I hasn’t planned to shop that day my credit card was back at the house so himself paid – a bargain 😘




If you visit Venice do call in to this tiny Aladdin’s cave of wonderful woolly treats.

Venice always allows me time to craft as K likes to cook. Early mornings find us haunting the Rialto market for the best fish and in the evening after chicetti at our favourite bar I settle on the tiny balcony with a glass of wine and my project whilst he cooks. One evening this time he had just served a lovely crab and fennel linguine when on turning to fetch his own wine a large gull dived in and helped himself.



Our second week was spent further north just outside of Bardolino on the shores of Lake Garda. We were high up residing in a beautiful cream stone 15th century farmhouse which consisted of 8 suites and a pool with lovely staff on hand who provided lazy breakfasts on the terrace.


As you can see there was little inclination to leave, the hammock in the top left and the feature pic for this post show my knitting spots for the week. The bottom right shows the first outing of my Le Chic dress competed in time for the trip.

My holiday project needed to be fairly compact as I have never mastered the art of travelling light, therefore I decided on socks. I don’t know why but even though I learnt to knit 300 years ago ( you can read a little more about me and how I learnt here: About the knitting magpie. ) I’ve never knitted socks. I picked a pattern from Loop London, ( toe up socks with afterthought heel) and added a frilled cuff to peek over ankle boots. I picked some South African Nuturing Fibres sock yarn ( I do like how they even use the waste dye water to irrigate their groves) in Humbug and had some leftover Rialto Lace, which used double was perfect for toes, heels and frill. As the World Cup was on ( football – yawn)  a couple of evenings  post dinner found us in a very nice bar in town where he could watch the match and I could hunker down with a negroni or two,  Agatha Raisin through my earphones and socks clicking away. He was amused to see how many folk found themselves watching my needles rather than the screen. I’m really pleased with the finished result and also mastered the Kitchener stitch for the heels. A further bonus is that there is enough yarn to make another pair in a reversed colourway.


Now we are home and back to work and reality although the weather here remains unbroken. As usual I have far far too many projects on the go but I haven’t been able to resist casting on the pink cashmere. I am using this for the beautiful Eternal Optimist scarf from Mindy Ross, I am also part beading it with rose quartz. The pattern really appeals as it is made up of distinct sections from ‘seed pods’ through to ‘reap what you sow’ in different panels charting what happens in the garden, from propagating & planting to picking. I will keep you updated as it progresses. Currently I have just started on ‘Furrowing’.


I guess I better go and continue the unpacking before picking up my needles again – boo hiss.

For those of you who have been visiting The Knitting Magpie Facebook group page  I do hope you are enjoying it. Since creating it a little over six weeks ago it has grown to just over 200 members from all over the world. I love reading your posts and seeing your  projects.

Until next time I wish you happy crafting.


Magpie X

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