Italian Knitting

I visited Italy on my twenty-fifth wedding anniversary and I think it will be forever in my heart.

As a lifelong historian, I’ve long been fascinated with the history of Italy. The month of April draws me back to Tuscany because that was the month we walked through the streets of Florence and Rome. My brother has a heart much like mine, loving Italian history and art. He is an archaeologist and lives in Rome so maybe someday I will return. But for now, I will appease the restless traveler within me by taking a look at Italian knitting.

Did you know that Spanish nobles introduced knitting to Italy during the Renaissance? Of course, their brilliance in all things artistic took knitting to a much higher plane. The knitting designs in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were very elaborate and complex. They were knit with a very teensy gauge (17 stitches per inch) and involved floral patterns almost making them look like brocade.

Aren’t these splendid jackets? I can’t even comprehend the skill involved in making these but, you know those Italian artisans! They were extremely talented in all areas of art, weren’t they?

Today Italy is an important producer of yarn. Some favorite Italian yarns I have knit with are Debbie Bliss Cashmerino and Sublime Cashmere Merino. I’m knitting my granddaughter a sweet little baby sweater with Sublime Baby Cashmere and it has a luxuriant feel to it. I have knit several pairs of socks using the Regia Kaffe Fasett line and the colors are splendid.


Have you ever been to Italy?  Care to share a memory?  Do you have a favorite yarn made in Italy?

One Comment on “Italian Knitting

  1. first of all, I hope you know that my man card is in jeopardy by my even reading this post – much less the way that I smile when I read about your knitting. There have to be some amazing spiritual analogies in knitting – with the gauge of the needles – and the care, and the precise nature of it, and how you go back and fix mistakes – when you write one – let me know – I want to make sure I don’t miss it – and I might write one myself sometime soon – there MUST be a reason why I smile when I read your knitting posts .oh, and before I go, my favorite thank you from your thank you list – #285 – peace be still.. Peace be still, and the sea obeyed. God bless and keep you and each and every one of yours Rebecca.(the drawer of socks was second)

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