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Spring is coming!


Spring is coming! Finally!

We went to Rome and were greeted by the cherry blossoms in the park.


Many people stayed outdoor and some of them were even preparing pic-nic on the grass. Others were playing sports and children played aloud and ran around.


This is one of my favourite photo which I took through an ancient Roman arc. I think that it represents the winter which is almost behind our shoulders and the spring showing its beauty.

Before saying goodbye to winter, I knitted a wool sweater for my three years old nephew. I guess he will wear it next autumn because these days are too sunny and warm up to 20 degrees Celsius / 68 Fahrenheit. I will post some pictures soon.

Enjoy the spring!

Happy Carnival!


Last weekend we were invited by some friends to celebrate the famous Carnival in Viareggio.

I had bought for my daughter a ladybug costume a few days before and I was wondering what to put on as hat in case it was windy at the sea. Guess what, I decided to knit a ladybug hat that could mach the costume. It was Saturday evening and we had to go to Viareggio on Sunday morning, so…

I needed to knit a hat at the very last second! So I tried to knit something simple, quick but beautiful at the same time. This is how the ladybug baby hat pattern came to life.




Wedding Favors


A few days ago a friend of mine got married in Florence. This is the favor (“bomboniera” in Italian) the bride gave to us: a bottle of “Olio nuovo” (new oil) directly from the Tuscan countryside. It is so called because it is the first pressed oil of the season and it has a special fresh and fruity taste.

Inside the petals there are five “confetti”, as in the Italian tradition, which symbolize happiness, wealth, fertility, health and long life. The composition is so pretty that I haven’t eaten confetti yet.


Here in Italy it is common to give guests wedding favors. Some of them are useless and even expensive, some others seem to have more sense.

This has definitely been a very appreciated favor! Finally someting good and also organic.

Here is my personal list of useful wedding favors:

– a donation to a charity or non profit association

– a fairtrade or recycled material favor

– a homemade product (for example marmelade)

– a handmade creation (knitted or crocheted…just plan ahead because it will take a lot of time).

What are the typical wedding favors in your country?


Tomato Hat pattern now available



Yesterday I uploaded my latest pattern: the Tomato Hat.

I like it because it is easy, quick and also fun to knit. It can be used also for Carnival.

My daughter loved it and she started squeezing it as soon as I put it over her head. Luckily it does not stain like the real vegetable.

I hope you like it.

Have a nice weekend!




TV series to watch while knitting

Photo credit HBO

Photo credit HBO

A quick reflection on which programs are more


Being mum of a toddler and a knitter can be challenging, especially in this period that my child started to practice the art of climbing. Yesterday while I was not looking at her for five seconds, I found her on the sofa playing with steel scissors.

So the best time for me is to knit while she sleeps in the evening. At the same time I like relaxing by watching TV, but I found that not so many programs are “knit-friendly”.

Movies are too long and I need to concentrate to understand the plot development, unless I am knitting stockinette stitch in the round. Sport programs are terribly boring and X-factors and other similar shows after a while seem all the same.

So I started looking for interesting TV series to watch while knitting. It is even better if they are on a DVD so that I can pause them whenever I need. I was a fan of Lost, even if the very last episode left me perplexed. After it there were no other shows that captured my attention.

I have recently started watching “Game of thrones“, the second season. This serie is television adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” novels. I can’t say that I can knit complicate things while watching this TV serie, the genealogy in itself  is difficult to connect even if I concentrate. But at least, when there are blood scenes I don’t look at them, hiding behind my knitting project. It could have been a more agreeable series, with the combination of Middle Age and dragons. Anyway the violence is intolerable, especially during the first season.

The plot is twisted but if I had to describe it in brief, I would say that we are in a surreal time, similar to the middle age for the costumes and the dark atmosphere. In this world, where  summers last for years (I wish it could be so in real life!) and winters can be endless, there is an initial conflict between the Starks from the cold Winterfell (in the North) and the Lannisters from the sunny King’s Landing (in the South). Later it will develop in a war between the Houses of the Seven Kingdoms, all claiming the legitimacy of the throne.

More in the North there is the Wall, manned by the warriors of the Night’s Watch, an ancient barrier of ice and stones built to protect the country from the threat of the “Others”, some kind of zombies. Finally, there is a prince reclaiming the Westeros Iron Throne in  King’s Landing. The story is full of battles, betrayals, dragons and actions revolving all around the conquer of the Iron Throne, symbol of power.

What I can suggest is do not grow fond of anybody as it seems the author of this serie loves to kill his characters indiscriminately.

What do you watch while knitting?

What is your favourite serie?

5 ways to tell if it is real wool or acrylic



Is it really possible to determine if a yarn is real wool and not acrylic just by looking at it?
Some people say this but I sincerely do not believe it, at least not through a PC monitor.
I would rather say that there are five ways which help you to understand if the yarn is real or not:

1. Label

The easiest and most obvious thing is to buy yarn with its original label in yarn shops. The label clearly states the composition of yarn, the number of needles to use, the washing instructions, etc… There can be also the possibility of a falsification, but that’s another story…

2. Softness

Real wool is softer than acrylic. Maybe other people do not even notice that. In my experience instead, touching acrylic causes tingling in my fingers.

3. Price

This can be also a good indicator. Acrylic is a lot cheaper than wool, I know. But in my personal opinion it is not a matter of money but of quality. I do not care if I can save money by getting a lousy yarn. I am not talking about taking a bank loan in order to buy cashmere for an adult size sweater. I mean pure wool. That’s all.

4. Felting test

Take two pieces of the same yarn and wet their ends a little bit. Now fray them, push one end into the other and weave them togehter. Now rub the wet part quickly between your hands, until they are dry. If you pull and the pices stay together / have felted, it is rel wool. If they come apart again it’s some other yarn.

5. Burn test

You burn a strand of yarn with a lighter. If it has a chemical smell and melts rather than turning to ash, it is acrylic. Otherwise, if it smells of burned hair and turns to ash , it is wool.

I tried this test only at home, not trusting a yarn seller at the market. I had not the courage to test it there directly. Otherwise…can you imagine the scene?

Tuesday morning, at the Florence biggest local market. A quiet atmosphere, grandparents that walk slowly, mothers pushing baby buggies, buyers talking in dialect yet with a smooth tone. All of a sudden in one of the yarn stands a man screams aloud: someone is trying to set one of his merchandise on fire. Or just to be more precise, someone is still trying to discover whether the yarn ball is pure wool. Or not.


Baby Knit Lemon Hat



One of my knitting designs for babies I am particularly fond of is this baby lemon hat. I designed it because I could not find in the shops any baby hats for my daughter made with natural fibers only. Moreover I wanted something in a brilliant colour like the sun in a period where the sky was almost always grey. This is how the baby lemon hat pattern came to life.

I worked with circular needles, so it was not necessary to sew it. If you have never worked before with circular needles, I would suggest to try it. This project is simple enough to start with as there are a lot of pictures in the pattern showing the different steps. It will take only a few hours to be completed and the result will be gorgeous.

This baby hat is  wearable all the year round: in cotton for summer, in soft merino wool for winter season. I gave it as a present for babyshowers and the parents appreciated it a lot  because they could take funny pictures of their little ones wearing this cozy hat.

Here is an example on how to wrap it as a gift: inside a lime green organza bag. It does really make an impression!



7 reasons I love wool


Photo credit Wikimedia

I love wool

and I will always do because:

1. It resists static charges

and I am not zapped if I touch something metallic. This reason would be already sufficient enough for me to buy it 😉

2. It is natural

It is produced annually from sheeps’ hair and is bio-degradable. It respects the environment.

3. It is durable

Acrylic is cheaper, I know. But to buy wool means to invest in quality and duration. Afterall,  having knitted something unique, I bet you want your creation to last as long as possible.

4. It is breathable

It insulates you and at the same time allows your skin to breath. In plain words, it avoids the buildup of odors. Moreover, it is anti-bacterical and thus more hygienical.

5. It is versatile

It is well-known that it keeps you warm in winter and fresh in summer.

6. It is flame retardant

I feel safer just wearing a wool sweater instead of one made of synthethic fibers. If you know how to distinguish wool than acrylic (I will also write a post about it) you should know what can happen in case of fire.

7. It can also be machine-washed

I wash almost everything in the washing machine. I set the washing machine at the specific cycle,  use a neutral detergent and afterwards lay it flat to dry. Of course I follow always the yarn label’s care instructions. If something is very delicate I just hand wash it, it is not a big deal.

How I started knitting

Everyone has an obsession.

If you don’t know me, you can look at me doing some strange movements every time I take my coat off, such as lifting slowly my hair with one hand and to put it down carefully only once this operation has been accomplished. Or you can see me touching the door first before touching the doorknob.  Or to wait for someone near me to press the metallic button of an elevator. I simply do not like getting zapped by static electricity.

In my lifelong experience as human lightning rod, the shock is guaranteed with the combination of rubber shoes and synthetic clothes, especially in winter when the air is dry. But have you ever noticed how difficult it is to find a garment which is made of pure wool only? I am telling you this because I always read the labels. I pick up every single sweater I may be interested in and check for the materials used. Even the most famous brands sell products which are completely made in acrylic. And if you find one made of 100% wool, the price is unbelievably high. That’s how I started knitting.

I am a self-taught knitter. Unless it is possible to learn it through osmosis, by watching my mum creating wonderful knitted and crocheted items for the family.

Since my daughter’s birth, I discovered my interest in designing knitting patterns for babies. Hats, headbands, shoes, dresses, cardigans, tops, etc. I really love doing it and to look at my special model wearing my creations.

How did you start knitting?

I would love to read your stories!

See you soon
No acrylic


Welcome to my blog!

I am Claudia, I am Italian and I live in the beautiful Florence in sunny Tuscany, Italy.

I am married and have a lovely little daughter.

In this blog I would like to write about my life and my knitting creations. This is my first blog experience ever and I feel very excited about it!

I hope to see you around.