Thursday, 18 September 2008

La cage aux folles

As I mentioned in my last post I have just been spending a week in Italy, Umbria to be precise, or Casa De Diavalo to be even more alarmingly accurate. I have been staying with my very hospitable friend Juergen and his dog Effi and have been dividing my time equally between adventure and quietly knitting away in his olive grove - more of which later...

If I were left to my own devices I would probably spend all day every day sitting on the veranda knitting and spindling but having a host who is a retired head teacher means that this holiday needs to have just the tiniest element of the educational side of a school trip. Umbria is full of the most amazing hill top medieval towns and villages and, this being my third visit I am becoming quite familiar with them.

We discussed our itinerary on my first evening;
Me: So what shall we do tomorrow?

J: I thought we wold go to Gubbio.

Me: We've been there before haven't we?

J: Yes, but this time I thought we would visit the monastery up on the rocks behind the town.

Me:(gulp)Is it a long climb?

J: No - (airily) They have a sort of....cable car.

Me: (naively) Oh that's all right then....
Imagine my surprise and delight when we arrive in Gubbio next morning and park next to this!

When someone says 'cable car' to me I expect something nice and solid with windows and doors and even seats - not a string of flying birdcages. How I laughed when I was told to stand on a large red spot, wait for a man to grab one of these contraptions which is moving at quite a clip,I can tell you, prise open the door, shout at me to start running then bundle me in and slam the door behind me. It was only the fact that I was surrounded by a coach party of surprisingly nimble SAGA pensioners that stiffened my resolve.

I mean look at the things -and look how high we are...

I could barely look down.

Thank goodness I had my knitting.
but for views like this I would probably do it again.

After all this exercise and excitement I needed some quiet time with my stuff. I'd soon made myself at home on the veranda, surrounded by everything I needed. This, I might add is not all the knitting and spinning I brought with me. Packing at 3.00am meant that I may have been a bit dazed and confused and might have over packed just a little. When I finished the first two projects within 24 hours of arriving I did have a momentary vision of running out of knitting but I did the maths and realised that technically I probably had enough knitting for two weeks of knitting solidly for 24 hours a day.

And here is a close up of my latest spindling project.
Of course, sitting on a veranda knitting is a particularly fine thing to do if you have a view like this to enjoy as you click away gently.
It's even beautiful when the weather is like this:
And there really were olives on the tree.

I could have quite easily whiled away day after day knitting away and staring down the valley but someone else needed to indulge their favourite hobby too.

How could you resist a game of ball with a little face like this?
In my next installment I will discover that the Yarn Harlot was right. Knitters only seem patient until they are separated from their knitting...


Auntie Noo said...

You've just reminded me of my first ever skiing holiday in Italy - we had just those kind of lifts. I was about 10 so had to go on my own (my sister at 6 was allowed to share) I was petrified. Got the hang of them by the end of the week though. Looks like you had a great time. :)

Suse-the-slow-knitta said...

it looks like some kind of medieaval torture cage! well done for not fainting!

Woollywarbler said...

That's definitely Extreme Knitting!

LittleBerry said...

What a lovely sort of holiday.. the views are tsunning I'm quite envious.... what was the green sock yarn is was a lovely colour?

littlelixie said...

That 'cable car' looks quite astonishing! Very brave. Handspun looks lovely!

knit nurse said...

oh, that did make me laugh! Granted I've just had a couple of pints but still... cable car?!!!

Squiblet said...

Your green knitting matches the paint of the "cable cars" and the scenery and olives. I can't wait to see what your extreme knitting is. Glad you're having a nice time.

Anni said...

Not quite what I would call a cable car. But I bet it was worth the view. Wow, what a fab place for knitting.