Posts Tagged With: knitting

Knitting in Italy

So this is a report on knitting in Italy in general.

For some reason I thought knitting would be more common in Europe, or at least more accepted. But I’ve gathered it’s just as odd here for a young lady to bring out her knitting while sunbathing or on the bus. In fact it’s probably more odd as they add it to the list of the strange American things I do. The boys I babysit find it annoying because they’d rather I’d be playing with them. Oh well. Every little girl I meet worships me and pretends to knit next me. One of many reasons I should’ve picked girl children. In general EVERY old lady who sees me tries to come up and talk to me. Even the really fashionable old ladies who you wouldn’t think knit. It’s really sad though because none of them speak English, and I’d love nothing more than to discuss knitting with them. It always ends up being a little awkward and they walk away. Especially while I was knitting my bathing suit, quite scandalous once the old ladies realize what it is. Oh well. My Italian is getting better, maybe sometime soon I’ll be able to communicate better. Maybe I’ll focus on knitting words.

It has been the greatest way to relax here though; the best break from stressful communication issues and child watching. I’ve tried combining the getting gelato/knitting activities, but gelato melts too fast here so I have to eat all the ice cream, then knit. Which is fine, I use the excuse to sit in the cute cafes longer. One of the best activities I’ve found is discovering gelato flavors. Some are really difficult to figure out, and if you’ve been reading my blog you’ll remember great amarena/amaretto confusion. My latest adventure in gelato flavor exploration was when I went to knit yesterday afternoon. I got the classic nocciola (hazelnut), and amarena again as I really like it, but I was intrigued by a yellow and red gelato called zuppainglese. I asked the attendant what it was as she spoke a little english, and she excitedly translated “english soup”. Well, I had gathered this much as that’s the direct translation, but I still had no idea what it could be. It looked like cheesecake flavored ice cream, or maybe raspberry lemonade. So I ordered it. At first it did taste like cheesecake so I thought I was correct. Upon further enjoyment I decided it tasted more like egg nog. It was delicious, but I still did not know what it was. Later I remembered to translate it, and apparently zuppa inglese is “trifle”! A very random flavor, but that’s half the fun!

I finally managed to snap a picture of one of lizards around here while I was knitting. It was difficult, it scuttled by a few times and I didn’t have enough time to get my camera out. This time it stop to drink some water from the base of a plant. I win.

Finished my bathing suit!

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Categories: Food, Thoughts, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Girl on a Bench

Just a quick note to all of the potential stalkers out there. Does a girl knitting on a bench really look like that easy of a target to you? Do you really think I won’t know how to use my size three metal needles when the time comes? Seriously, figure something better to do with your lives.

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Brief Thoughts

Thank goodness for audio books. It’s very nice to listen to a book and still keep your eyes on the babies.

And knitting. Although I don’t think this activity attracts any Italian men. (edit: I got asked my number while knitting. But the man was no were near attractive)

Italian men are short.

If somebody yells Marco, they are actually looking for somebody named Marco. And it’s funny when somebody yells Paulo directly after.

Roller blades are cool. Well, they’re at least used, I can’t tell if they’re actually cool or not.

Short hair is quite in fashion here. Like short short.

The sun makes me tired.

I wish I could longboard because that would make me very cool. That trend hasn’t quite gotten here yet. Then again neither has smooth paved streets, but pescara is close with that one.

Balloon Aladdin pants are in fashion, and I’m determined find some and wear them forever.

Somehow they’ve mutated all if the dogs here to be short and squat. But like… Actually.

People don’t actually go out and get extremely drunk. They go out, have a beer, then a pizza, then go home at 2am

It’s very hard to make friends when you don’t know anybody and can’t speak with anybody.

Old people hang out where the young people do. Sometimes there will even be a lady trying to push a stroller through a crowd of what looks like prostitutes.

It’s very hard to judge italian’s age.

I’ve started speaking English in an Italian accent.

The Jersey Shore seems less and less eccentric.

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Finding a Yarn Store

I found an adorable yarn store, although I can’t promise I’ll be able to find it again. I found it while out on a bike ride through town. I was looking for either liquor or some good looking pastries, so I was just wandering around. I’m still not sure what kind of store sells liquor here. But anyways, I had stopped for some other reason, turned my head and was looking into a yarn store with an elderly couple in it. They looked confused about why I was staring, they couldn’t imagine how excited I was to stumble upon it!

So I locked my bike and went in. I wasn’t looking for anything in particular. They didn’t speak ANY English as so many elderly people here cannot. I tried to tell them I knit by making the knitting motion, but they thought that mean I need needles. She kept trying to ask me what number needle I wanted by repeating “one, two, three…” which is apparently the only English she knew so she was really excited to use it. I couldn’t explain that I just wanted some yarn so I kind of just stepped behind the counter and started looking at the different kinds. I found some 50% merino 50% acrylic yarn in a beautiful mint color that I decided to buy. I just grabbed two as I didn’t know how expensive yarn is around here. It ended up being 5 euros, much cheaper than the same yarn would be in America, so I will definitely be going back!

I tried to explain that I wanted to take a picture for my knitting website, but they had no idea what I was doing so I think she felt really uncomfortable I was taking their picture. Oh well! Hopefully I know more Italian by the time I go back.

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First Play Time

So yesterday we headed to the beach in the morning, but it was very windy, so we didn’t go back after going home for siesta (still don’t know the Italian equivalent for siesta). Madda has also become sick so it was my job to entertain the boys for the afternoon. Dealing with these boys is a love/hate relationship so far. I know I would love hanging out with them and doing little kid things but not speaking the same language clearly frustrates them, which in turn then frustrates me. I have decided to carry around my large two way dictionary in order to look up words that could be important in telling them what to do, and have instructed them to look up words if they really need to communicate something to me.

While playing yesterday I was greeted by Antonio in an adorable lion costume, which he was too shy to pose in. The boys then had pillow fights and made forts out of pillows, all of which I watched while knitting. I’ve discovered that knitting around a child translates into “I must unravel this ball of yarn now”. I don’t mind that as long as it doesn’t get tangled or hurt the actual knitting, so I let him run around with my yarn ball. When I tried to ball it back up he stole it from and tried to ball it himself. Apparently this is hard for a child, and led to him unraveling it even more. All in all- ball of yarn: at least an hour of distraction for a hyper child. Winning.

At this point I decided it was time to give them the Knex toy I brought them in order to distract them from my yarn and stop bothering their sick mother. This was the best decision ever. At first they were wary of the toy as I couldn’t explain to them what it was. But I sat down and taught by example how to build things. I was just messing around and ended up making something that spun like a top, and they thought I was a GENIUS. They stole the invention, copied it, and kept spinning it around yelling “Ninja Go!”, which I later learned is a show about lego men who are ninjas. The Knex kept them busy all the way into the evening until papa came home and my duty to entertain was over.

While hanging out at home there was a strange scene out in the water with the helicopter policia, I’m not sure what they were doing but here’s a picture of it. 

For dinner we had kind of a fancy chicken noodle soup made with baby penne shaped pasta and apparently very fresh chicken stock. Then we mixed in crumbled Parmesan which surprisingly completely dissolved and made Parmesan flavored broth. Papa also made a strange chicken burger thing, but it was fresh from the butcher and flavored very nicely- not really a chicken burger.

It was a nice dinner and with Madda in her room it also allowed me to bond with my host dad more, as he hasn’t been around very often. For some reason I thought he was an economics professor, but I found out he’s actually an architect as well. He apparently won an award for designing “the most beautiful lamp in the world”. He also got his PhD at Berkeley, but can still barely speak English. His family is from Brindisi and he has two brothers and a sister. We drank good wine over dinner, and when we were finished he got really excited and brought out a strange liquor from the freezer. It was homemade so there was no label on bottle and looked like it was frozen. Apparently it was homemade by a friend out of the lemons from Naples. It was a very think gooey texture and opaque. It tasted EXACTLY like a lemon sandwich cookie (if you’re reading this sisters, you know the ones that dad always buys), but after the initial cookie flavor I realized it was probably as alcoholic as strait vodka. It was a struggle finish the shot. Maybe some night I am trying to drink more I will try it again. After the alcohol I go extremely sleepy (it was about 10:30) and I decided I will actually try and nap during siesta from now on. I fell strait asleep.

Well, we visited the police station today again, and I am officially a legal resident!

Categories: Au Pairing, Food, Kid Time, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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