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Brooklyn Knit Chick

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Knitting through Italy pt. 3 (Venice to finished object!)

When last we left our heroes. . . they were leaving Cinque Terre and taking the (maybe crazy) four different trains to get to Venice. That's right folks, three different train transfers. We only have 10 minutes to make the first train transfer. Our first train is (ahem . . . ) 12 minutes late. We're screwed. But wait, a clever couple (not us) asks the conductor to radio ahead to the next station to have the train (that we were trying to catch) held. YEAH, one mad dash and the next two train transfers went without a hitch. We arrived in Venice just in time to check into our hotel in the Lido, clean up and take the Vaparetto back to Venice to see the Grand Canal in some pretty dramatic light.

Here's the famous San Marco from the Grand Canal.

We spent the evening wandering through the lovely streets, weaving around the tiny inner canals. We've been to Venice before and hit all the big tourist places, so this time around we were free to enjoy the city and just wander. After a nice dinner and a rainy Vaparetto ride back to the Lido it was time for sleep and 1 1/2 more fabulous days in Venice.

The next morning started overcast and chilly and then turned sunny and gorgeous.

Here's David by the famous Bridge of Sighs. The city has to be one of the most photogenic in the world. We took about a hundred pictures in two days.

Wait, before you start reaching for the "quit" button on your browser . . . I've only selected a few.

After spending the morning strolling and eating. . . it was time for a knitting break. Sitting by the Grand Canal with San Marco in the background seemed like a good spot.

Followed by more strolling, eating, some art museum, eating, visiting gardens, eating . . . you get the point.

The next day there was more "knitting by landmarks"

If you haven't been to Venice. Sign up for some fare watcher alert e-mails. Find and off season flight and GO. I love this city. It's even more beautiful at night, but the camera could really capture how beautiful it was

The next morning we enjoyed our last 1/2 day in Venice doing what we do . . . walking, eating, taking photos. Before we took our plane back to London. We were only spending one night in London just to make our flight in the morning easier.

Because we were only sleeping in London, we booked a small hotel by a convenient rail station. London is crazy expensive, so we spent a whopping $100 for a room with no breakfast. This is what $100 can buy you in London:

Yes, that's the whole room. What the hell it was clean. We ate at a pub, walked around Picadilly Circus, went to the river and went to sleep.

The next morning it was time to head to the Max Jet departure lounge to eat and eat and eat. I can't believe how much food they set out for the business class traveler. We had another fantastic plane ride home filled with food, liquor and movies.

Unfortunately, on the coach plane ride back to San Francisco, American Airlines lost my luggage AGAIN. urggg.

Thus ends my tale of Italy. Now I've been back in San Fran for a week and a half, with rehearsals and shows nearly every day. I did finish Jenny Lee's bikini. So without further ado . . . My first finished object for someone other than a family member.

She was kind enough to model for me before the show outside the Jersey Boys hair room. I'm pretty thrilled with the way it turned out, and she said it's really comfy. I love that Cascade Fixation. It really hugs the curves and it doesn't sag at all when it gets wet. Very cool.

Here's my personal favorite shot. Both because you can see the detail of the pattern, and because her tattoo is priceless:

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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Knitting through Italy pt. 2 (Cinque Terre)

Back in Italy . . . The next day it was time to set off to explore the rest of the towns. We started by hiking above Monterosso. It gave us a better view of all the tiered farming.

On the way to visit the Monastery on the hill Jenny’s bikini top stopped to pose by the Italian Rivera

Next stop, Vernazza. It was our favorite little town. The harbor was beautiful.

and there were lots of cats (what could be bad)

Here's the view of the town from the goat path above.

After sitting on the beach for a good couple of hours, eating focaccia, gelatto, and sampling some wine, it was time to set off on our hike. It seemed like the natural thing to tackle the hardest hike after sitting in the sun, stuffing our faces and getting a little liquored up. It was a tough hike, it took about an hour and a half, and it was VERY climby. Here's our last peek of the town before we left it behind to hike back to Monterosso

We were pretty damn hot and thirsty when we saw a mirage in the hillside. Right on the trail there was a GENIUS fresh lemonade stand. Right off the tree, just squeeze add water and sugar. At two Euros a glass the guy was racking it in, but what the hell

After a refreshing 4 Euros worth of lemonade, it was time to pause on the trail for some knitting

The next day it was time to tackle the second hardest trail from Corniglia to Vernazza. The first thing that greeted us on the trail was another cat.

There were several places on the trails with bowls and big tubs of cat food and signs asking hikers to fill the bowls to feed the unwanted cats. The hike was great, and the town (big surprise) was adorable. We wondered if the quaint old Italian woman hanging out colorful stripped sheets against the peach and yellow walls and the blue sky were hired by the office of tourism. "Okay, here come some Americans . . . hang out your colorful laundry - now"

After eating, resting, and browsing around town it was time to walk down the 33 flights of stairs to the Corniglia train station to head back to the beach. Ah, what a life.

We spent our last day in Cinque Terre exploring Riomaggiore, and Monarola. The day started looking like rain and turning gorgeous. Another colorful and beautiful harbor

led us towards a path to a quiet rocky beach. It was still early in the morning, so it was time to settle in for a little a.m. knitting

before exploring the town

Then we took the Via dell' Amore to Monorola. It's the easiest path (and therefore the most popular). All along the path there were stairs that led down to the water

At one end of the trail there is a statue of lovers covered with locks. It is a tradition to put the names of lovers and lock them around the statue

Here's Manorola, a little town clinging to the hillside

After a fabulous dinner in Vernazza it was time for bed and to say goodbye to Cinque Terre.

Next stop . . . Venice

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Knitting through Italy pt. 1 (Pisa - Monterosso)

I've been back in San Francisco for a week, but haven't had a moment. We were putting a new Nick Massi into Jersey Boys. Members of the artistic staff were here, so we had rehearsal everyday. It's a foggy Monday morning, so I thought I'd do a little blogging about Italy.

The trip got off to a bit of a rough start. First, my luggage was lost flying from San Francisco to New York. I was really worried I wouldn't get it in time to go to Italy. We got my bags back the morning we left for Italy, so I had time repack the bags and head off to Kennedy. David booked us on a fancy airline called Max Jet. It's an all business class airline. The plane looks really odd, because it's an entire plane with seats that can fully recline. Our fun began in the departure lounge. We finally got to see what's behind those glass doors. MUCH better than sitting at a gate. It's full of comfy chairs and couches, computers w/internet, food and lots of liquor! Unfortunately our plane was three hours late. This meant we would miss our connection to Pisa. Fortunately because we were flying Max Jet they agreed to pay for a ticket to Pisa on another airline. This means we only ended up arriving in Pisa 1 hour later than planned. Not bad.

Flying business class is crazy. First of all, it's non stop food and liquor, then there's the entertainment system you're given w/tons of movies, tv, music, etc, but best of all there's getting a good nights sleep.

We really weren't that jet lagged when we got to Pisa. First stop (after a fantastic dinner) was to take the nighttime snap of the leaning tower.

The next day we took a train to Siena and I cast on Jenny's bikini top on the train. Then the knitting through Italy began.

First stop was the famous Campo and some lounging in the sun and knitting. David was my official knitting photographer.

Siena is a fabulous city. Little winding streets, great views everyplace you turn. The Duomo is amazing.

After walking our feet off it was time to relax in a square and knit (me)

or nap (David)

Before heading back to Pisa, it was time for Pizza and wine in the Campo. We liked the building reflected in the wine

The next morning we headed over to check out the tower, Cathedral and Baptistry. It was nice getting there early, very quiet. Here's the first view as you come down the street.

Here are some morning pictures.

We bought a ticket to the Cathedral, but it wouldn't open for an hour, so we walked around the University area, and of course, knit for a while

Since the first cup of bikini top was coming pretty far along, it was time for it to pose by its first landmark.

That morning also began what I called, "David's job as official staff photographer of Italy". He would never walk past any couple or family who was splitting up to take photos of each other without stopping to ask "Would you like me to take your photo".

Speaking of photos . . .

We were cracking up at all the people posing holding up the tower. It's hard to tell from this photo, but there were tons of people lined up having people take the same picture.

After marveling at the inside of the Cathedral...

it was time to take a lovely train ride to Cinque Terre. We were staying in the town of Monterosso. Cinque Terre is on the Italian Rivera, and it's made up of five fishing villages connected by goat trails. It was a relaxing train ride with
plenty of time to knit, read and look out the window.

This was our very first view when we got off the train

We crossed under a tunnel to the old part of town where we were staying, and were greeted by views of fisherman and sparkling blue water

Our hotel had a tiered roof garden with fabulous views of the water. This was our first glimpse of the terraced gardens that are carved into every inch of the hills of Cinque Terre. We could not get over how much food this place grew. On our hotels little roof garden they grew lemons, grapes, plums, tomatoes, figs, squash, tons of herbs. Here's our view

That evening we got dressed up and went out to a fantastic dinner. The fish was so amazingly fresh and the pesto (which they are known for) was to die for.

Here I am in my Honeymoon cami from Knitty.com

Next post Monterosso - Riomaggo

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