Thursday, August 16, 2018

Shandy (comment yesterday) – you are a good friend. That’s the answer, of course. Gudrun’s “Kirigami” pattern never made it into the WIP list in the sidebar until today, and was set aside – I don’t remember the circumstances; perhaps when we won the Calcutta Cup.

I got it out this afternoon, and made a certain amount of progress, including the finishing of the first skein. I’m omitting the waist shaping, since I’m thinking of this one for myself and I haven’t got a waist any more. Doing it that way will use a bit more yarn, which gives me something to worry about. It’s a madtosh DK called “Penny Loafers” and it’s “one of a kind”. So if I run out, it won’t just be a matter of a different dye lot…

Blog-wise, this won’t be much more interesting than Rachel’s socks. Probably less, since the circumference is so much greater. But the great thing is to be knitting again.

Not much was accomplished today, otherwise.  If we’re going to Italy in October, I must get started booking things. I’ll do that tomorrow. This idea grew from my wish to see the Riace bronzes. They are in Reggio Calabria, right down in the toe of Italy. There is an airport there, but so small that to get there from pretty well anywhere, you have to spend a long time somewhere else waiting for the connecting flight.

So I thought, why not fly to Naples and go down to Reggio C. by train? Much easier and more entertaining. We’ll stay a couple of days in Naples, having got there, eating pizza and visiting antiquities.

There seems to be no reason to linger in Reggio C., once one has seen the bronzes. But my big discovery was that from there, one can take a train to Sicily. So we’ll do that, and go to Catania, and book a car and driver one day to take us to Piazza Armerina for the mosaics. From Catania there are reasonably convenient flights home.

But thinking is no use, without some actual bookings.

It was this journey, as I remember, that killed Il Gattopardo. He was in Naples, and instead of taking the ferry home to Palermo, insisted on going by train. I’ll read that chapter again. 

One thing I did get done today was to chop up some chillis and put them to ferment, with the thought of making some more hot sauce.


  1. Anonymous8:30 PM

    This Naples/Sicily trip idea sounds excellent.
    I may just have to follow your footsteps again in future.
    Naples has been on my list for a while ...
    best regards

  2. Oh, Jean, you do make me laugh! Only you would plan a journey known to be fatal to a (Fictional) character. So is Archie likely to be available for hire as a tour guide more generally? He will certainly be experienced after this.

    Speaking of long train journeys, I had one on Tuesday when I came up for Helen's mosaic class - Essex to Edinburgh day return. We learned a lot in the class and it was lovely to meet Helen at last.

  3. Jean, although it sounds as though Calabria will play only a minor role in your travels, I would endorse Marc Rotella’s book _Stolen Figs_, about his visits to his relatives in the “old country.” Although in some ways, I found the book unsure what kind of book it wanted to be, it was my own introduction to the region, and is still one of the few good sources in English on Calabria. On Kindle.

  4. Ooh, sounds like a great trip! I know my mom's been dying to see Yosemite again, I should look into train options (it's like a 5 day drive and she couldn't do that but a cross-country train where she can sleep in a bed at night and move around as she needs to might just work). Once California's no longer on fire, mind you...

  5. Lots of Italian-Americans in my younger years were Calabrian. I look forward to hearing about it.

  6. Anonymous1:51 PM

    looked up Gudrun’s “Kirigami” pattern and found it to be delightfully & beautifully designed. Perhaps how often do we take the time for something luscious against our bod our life? Sounds like that is right up your ally these days:) have a great trip!

  7. Hey, did you know that the "weird" Italian accent/slang/family terms a lot of Italian-Americans have is/are actually old accents/dialects that are almost or completely extinct in Italy? And most of them come from Southern Italy (well, at least the Jersey/NYC ones I've heard as a Southerner). is a nifty article on it (and the history of Italian, which I had no idea was so complex!).

  8. Oh goodness: Naples. We went there for the first night of our honeymoon....