Every year, I am lucky enough to spend about a month in early summer working in Italy or Spain. I complain about it when I’m away but it truly is wonderful, lots of stuff to see, being put up in hotels I could never afford and visiting big cities and little places I’ve never heard of. More pics up on flickr.
It’s not all fun and beaches and sight-seeing though. It’s also a lot of sitting on buses and trains hoping you’re going the right way, deciphering bus timetables and trying to remember where your hotel is. And being away and usually alone on my birthday, year after year is pretty rubbish. Boo hoo, right?
Yeah, how terrible. Cry me a river. No dishes, no housework, no cooking, no humdrum mundane everyday stuff and loads of time to read, go to the gym, wander through museums, plazas, eat pasta, go to the gym again and watch TrueBlood/The Walking Dead or whatever inexplicable game show is being broadcast on Italian TV.
The problem is I really, really miss making things with my hands for the month I’m away. I’m still working full days so I don’t always want to go out for a passeggiata sometimes I just want to sit still and use my brain in a way that doesn’t involve language. So last year I decided to pack a crochet hook and some wool and taught myself how to do the basics and then the not-so-basics. I also packed a few library books on crochet and ended up with a 20 quid fine for not renewing them – the less said about that the better.
Crochet is a relatively new thing for me. I know I must have learned it somewhere along the way as a child but I don’t really remember being taught. I was really surprised how quickly things were finished especially for someone who claims to be an enemy of mathematics like me.
I made these for a friend. A Madonna-loving, turquoise blue-loving friend. Incidentally, a friend that was in Italy with me last year and took me to all the fun places in Turin. Thanks Jo x. After my first attempt I made another pair for myself.
I really like the pattern of alternating small and big shells and it was easy to make up. The only thing I’d do differently is make them shorter. Having them so long and going so far up my arm means they are a bit bulky when trying to fit them under the cuffs of my coat.