Good News!!!

Have you noticed… there’s a crisis out there!!

Enjoying that good news I’ve thought myself if it was smart to start a new blog about knitting: to many people knitting could appear just a tedious and expensive activity for old lazy ladies who need something to keep their hands occupied.

Then I’ve thought that in my experience knitting is something very different from that: it got to do with self-production of clothing and accessories, sometimes with recycling materials, with creativity of course and it is convenient too!

The relaxing side of knitting is not to be despised too.

Here in Italy reading newspapers becomes every day a little more depressing. I must confess that knitting and listening some music helps me in estrange myself from reality (just for a little while, then I listen to the breaking news…).

It seems that this incredible economic crisis will have a particular bad ending for lower and middle classes especially in my country that seems to be in the eye of the storm this days. We’ve been taught to be good and enthusiast consumers, no matter what our real economic situation was. Now, while continuing stimulating our desire of new things, new clothes, new gadgets, those who caused the crisis are telling us that we must retrench our lives. We’ll only be allowed watching them consuming, but we should be enthusiast just the same.

I’ve always thought that the refuse of the consumerism attitude is the best choice, so I think it could also be a good reaction to this situation.

When you make yourself your clothing or knitwear you can choose fabrics and yarns (and very convenient ones if you find near you an wholesaler or a company store or even if you keep an eye on offers in your usual shop) and create something that fits not only your body but your personality too. What’s better in knitting, when you don’t like a piece of knitwear no more, you can always undo it and make a new one!

Having skills in drawing, pattern making and sewing, I make myself practically everything I wear since I was round twenty (some time ago). I love being inspired from fashion history combining it with new tendencies or just following my personal taste (maybe not an excellent one, but mine!)

I think it’s not very important to be a master in knitting, to start doing something you really could wear (in fact, even after many years of knitting, I think I am not), all you need is a little inspiration, the knowledge of basic stitches and some time.

Buone notizie!!!

Ehi, ve ne siete accorti…c’è la crisi!!   

Gioendo per la buona notizia mi sono chiesta se fosse intelligente iniziare un nuovo blog sulla maglia: per molte persone lavorare a maglia è solo una noiosissima e costosa attività per vecchie signore pigre che hanno bisogno di tener le mani occupate.

Poi ho pensato che nella mia esperienza lavorare a maglia è tutta un’altra cosa: ha a che fare con l’auto-produzione di abbigliamento e accessori, a volte col riciclo dei materiali, naturalmente con la creatività ed in più è economico!

Anche la capacità di rilassare che ha la maglia non è da disprezzare.

Qui in Italia leggere i giornali diventa ogni giorno più deprimente, confesso che lavorare a maglia ascoltando musica riesce a farmi estraniare da tutto (almeno per un po’).

Sembra che questa incredibile crisi finirà molto male per le classi popolari e per la classe media, specialmente nel mio paese che si trova in questi giorni nell’occhio del ciclone. Ci hanno insegnato a diventare consumatori entusiasti a dispetto delle nostre reali condizioni economiche. Ora, le stesse persone che la crisi l’hanno provocata, pur continuando a stimolare il nostro desiderio di nuove cose, nuovi vestiti, nuovi gadget elettronici, ci dicono che dobbiamo ridimensionare le nostre vite. Ci sarà permesso di veder loro continuare a consumare, ovviamente non smettendo mai di  mostrarci entusiasti.

Ho sempre pensato che il rifiuto di comportamenti consumistici fosse la scelta migliore, quindi non posso fare a meno di pensare che in questo momento sia una buona reazione alla crisi.

Confezionando da sole i propri abiti o realizzando a mano i propri maglioni si possono usare tessuti e filati di qualità (che diventano particolarmente convenienti se si trovano grossisti, spacci aziendali o se comunque si fa attenzione alle offerte nel negozio dove ci si serve di solito) e si possono realizzare capi a misura non solo del nostro fisico, ma anche della nostra personalità. Riguardo ai lavori a maglia poi uno degli aspetti più intriganti è il fatto che quando qualcosa non ci piace più possiamo disfarlo tutto e trasformarlo in qualcosa di nuovo!

Disegnando, costruendo i cartamodelli e cucendo creo da sola praticamente ogni capo che indosso.

Amo ispirarmi alla storia della moda, combinandola alle nuove tendenze ma anche semplicemente seguendo i miei gusti (magari non eccelsi, ma miei).

Credo che non sia necessario essere dei maestri della maglia per realizzare dei capi che possano realmente essere indossati (in effetti, anche dopo tanti anni che lavoro a maglia, non mi sento certo una “maestra”), basta soltanto un po’ d’ispirazione, la conoscenza dei punti base, e un po’ di tempo.


80 responses »

  1. emilyjeane says:

    Ella V, I love your take on knitting and the fact that you acknowledge how expensive of a hobby it can be! It’s so refreshing to know I’m not the only gal trying to knit on a budget already!

  2. handstitch says:

    Great post. I knit to keep me sane so comparing to a therapist’s cost and yarn/fiber….I think I am ahead ‘cuz at the end I have some knitwear to sport 😀 Just saying…and I’m sticking to it LOL

  3. Lu says:

    Great blog Ella V!
    I agree that knitting can be all too expensive, if you want to stick to getting the “correct” yarn required for a specific project. It’s great when it turns out to be a hobby that can incorporate recycled yarns and materials, or uses up stash bundles – stuff bought in sales, or cheaper times!
    I knit because I can… 😉

  4. Lesley says:

    Hi Ella,
    Thank you for liking my Blog!
    The good thing about knitting is that it’s such a broad community. You can knit with luxury yarns, or budget yarns, you can knit for pleasure, for profit or out of sheer need because you can’t afford not to! It’s a great leveller too – put a group of knitters together and they will all be talking like old friends in a very few minutes – wherever they come from!

  5. Thanks for stopping by and liking my Blog!

  6. susanbright says:

    Hi Ella, I also love to knit, although I am hooked on knitting socks these days. It is not too expensive, is easy to take with you where ever you go and makes a great gift. Most of my friends have at least one pair of my hand knitted socks! The one sweater I attempted to make is still half done and I am not sure that I like it. I should proably take your advice and take it apart and start over…I I just can’t bring myself to do it!

  7. IeVa Janus says:

    I completely agree with you in that knitting for me is also mainly a means to and end, that is to say, knitting provides the opportunity to have some original handcrafted clothes that suit my style, my mood and everything else that’s basically me. Not to mention the relaxing aspect of the process itself 🙂 (I can only imagine how distressing it must be for italians when all the world is sitting there and guessing if the whole country will go down or not…Hold on, guys!)
    That’s exactly why I knit what I knit – it’s something between knitware and jewellery, it’s both practical, wearable and highly decorative, and it takes a LOT of time and dealing with smallest details – which I absolutely adore 🙂
    It’s sooo great when other knitters like my work!!! Thank you so much for stopping by my blog and my knits 🙂
    I also saw your “Easy Clint” scetch – that’s an absolutely marvelous way to plan a project!

  8. The Taxi Dog says:

    my daughter owns a knitting shop in Burbank, CA… my mom was a master knitter in the day.

    i’m a one handed typer [sic] and a wonderer. I wonder about this and that and blog my wonderings.

    Strange, i guess! But i’m retired so i don’t have to worry much about it.

    saw you on The Daily Post site and just wanted to say kello.


  9. Hi Ella,
    Thanks for stopping by my blog – I’m a new blogger so I appreciate the encouragement. I enjoyed reading your philosophy on knitting. For me, it is the journey, not the destination. I like planning and creativity of a project – it kind of takes hold of me and drives itself 🙂
    Best wishes to you and all the Italians in this difficult time.

  10. Ella, thank you for liking my blog. Your’s is also very interesting as I used to own a weaving studio and yarn shop…many years ago!

  11. Carolyn says:

    Thanks for stopping by my blog….and inviting me to check yours out…enjoyed!

  12. catsmum says:

    buon giorno da Australia [ I probably got that wrong but you know what I’m attempting to say , yes ? ]
    My abruzzese mother-in-law used to knit all the time. Simple things as she couldn’t follow a pattern.
    She is now blind and very frustrated that she can’t keep her hands busy
    … but she did prove to us not long ago that she still remembers how to use a drop spindle [fuso ] She still had hers which is 100 years old and gave it to Nadie who is the hand spinner in the family. I prefer a wheel myself.

  13. TLS says:

    Thanks for visiting my blog! I love yours, especially that adorable photo above!
    I feel inspired to whack out the knitting needles and get knitting Gain! It’s been aaages, only ever managed a couple of scarves and a pillowcase.. 🙂

  14. theyarnfix says:

    Thanks for liking my blog. I hope you enjoyed it!

  15. amishevy says:

    Hi Ella, Thank you for reading a bit of my blog . I have 48 alpacas and all the yarn I could ever want but I do not like to knit. I do love the idea of knitting and love all the projects that my friends create. I have a great appreciation for what people can do with one to four needles. I love to spin the yarn and I love to paint the fiber and yarns. I love the poncho you created and may try that as my next knitting project with yarn that I spun. Could be the project that will make me want to finish. Hope your winter turns to spring soon. Evelyn

  16. Tanaya says:

    thanks for visiting and liking my post! I like your blog a lot and the the posts about knitting, especially. I am a beginner in it and I would love to be able to make clothes like you do. Reading your blog is a great inspiration.

  17. My peep so wishes she could knit. I guess She could if She tried. Nice blog! thanks for visiting my place at The Scottie Chronicles!

    Arooooo! Stuart

  18. pictfamily says:

    Thanks for dropping by my blog, it’s always great to “meet” a fellow knitter. I certainly wouldn’t be able to blog in two languages though!

  19. stitchknit says:

    Thanks for stopping by my blog! I love this post…. I teach knitting (& crocheting) and am always reminding my students that knitting doesn’t have to be just an expensive hobby. It can be a way to SAVE money.
    My favorite way to buy yarn is to have someone GIVE it to me! I put an ad on Craigslist a couple times a year and it never ceases to surprise me how many people have boxes
    /bags of yarn they are just looking for someone to give them to. Happy to oblige!

    Happy Knitting!

  20. sued51 says:

    I’ve tried to learn twice…my grandmother tried to teach me when I was a child…she thought I had it and left me alone for a while. She came back, looked at it, said, “You missed a stitch” and proceeded to pull out almost everything I did. I lost interest…I tried again a few years ago…forgot what I learned now. I WILL try again someday in the future and I WILL succeed…3rd time is a charm as they say!! LOL I admire people who do it!

  21. MakeSomethingMondays says:

    I have received the Liebster Blog Award and would like to pass it on to you!

  22. lesliesholly says:

    Thanks for visiting and liking my blog. I love the look of your site! And I admire anyone who can knit. My grandmother crocheted all the time (which I know is a lot easier than knitting) but I cannot even sew on a button!

  23. ladyoftheloom says:

    Knitting and music should be recommended for all stressed people everywhere!

  24. MakeSomethingMondays says:

    I have nominated you for the ABC: Awesome Blog Conetent Award. Visit for details!

  25. fancyhollow says:

    Ciao! Ho visto che hai visitato il mio neonato blog… e così ho potuto conoscere il tuo! Complimenti!

  26. Hi Ella

    Nominated you for a Versatile Blogger award. Love your blog
    Have fun!

  27. loulouandlillybean says:

    Hi Ella,

    So glad you stopped by my blog! Your work is BEAUTIFUL!!! And I totally agree with your thoughts on the economy! The poor and the middle class are feeling the pain in the US as well! I find knitting and simple pleasures to be a comfort in these unsettling times.

  28. Hi Ella,

    Your sketches and knitted projects are lovely! Ho visitato in Italia con mio marito in 2010. Devo praticare, forse provo leggere il suo blog in Italiano! Grazie!

  29. camillagullits says:

    Dear Ella

    Thank you so much for liking my work! I love your blog, and i’m crazy about knitting, so this was a pleasant visit 🙂 Keep in touch!

  30. Anche se non ho mai imparato a lavorare a maglia, sono sempre stata invidiosa dell’aspetto meditativo “del fare la calza”. Questo blog e’ carinissimo e mi da’ la possibilita’ di leggere (in italiano) le faccende del mio paese d’origine. Va bene, c’e’ sempre Repubblica ma questo e’ piu’ divertente. Thanks Ella and thanks for stopping by. It gave me a chance to find you.

  31. seekraz says:

    Hello there – I saw that you stopped-by my blog today…thank you for visiting and for letting me know you were there.

  32. Hi There Ella! What a wonderful blog that you have put together. Love the Farrah posts too. And by the way, thank you for visiting our blog today!

  33. I’m not a knitter, but I can sympathize. My crafting can look (and can be) a little pricey, but it makes the world retreat for awhile when I shape my own. And it’s a lot cheaper than therapy or going out often!

  34. Ciao Ella,
    thank you for stopping by my blog. In fact, another blogging friend has recommended I check your blog out..
    I hear what you are saying….I grew up in Switzerland (a crisis there???), but my mum and nonna come from Milano. I spent my growing up years going back and forth visiting family….miss Italy, but don’t miss the consumerism and the crisis….but we’ve got our problems in OZ too. And knitting keeps you sane and balanced I say. It has saved me many times from yelling and getting angry. I just knit and then feel better….
    Keep knitting and all will be good!

  35. maxcowan says:

    Hello Elia

    Thank you for visiting one my posts in my 365 Short Memories – I think it was #126 Two Theatres – art deco vs no deco.

    Anyway, I am really pleased you dropped in and liked because – I know this might sound unusual – I think your blog is wonderful.

    I do not knit … but my mother is prolific. I have watched her all my life and listened as the needles clicked – and marvelled at watch she produced. I always suspected that the act of knitting was just as important as the end product.

    My daughter (the middle one) also knits a bit but her passion is designing and sewing clothes for children – she hopes to earn a living from this but I suspect the “journey” is as, or more, important as the “destination”.

    I think they will both enjoy your blog and I will send them a link – my mother is 77 and daughter is 35.

    Thanks again, and I do hope that things in Italy begin to improve.


  36. maxcowan says:

    Correction: That should have said “marvelled at what she produced”.

  37. marissafh says:

    Marveling at your dual-language blog! keep it up! and thanks for the like on my blog-post.

  38. Shelley says:

    Hey, thanks for stopping by our blog. Knitting and Italy, eh? Super interesting combo. We’ll be heading to Italy in September, and I’m pretty curious about how it’s changed since were there last year…

  39. Anne Bonney says:

    Because of your outstanding blog I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award. Read more about it here:

  40. Thanks for liking my “finished projects” post!

  41. Thanks for the like! This looks like an excellent concept for a blog (yikes this sounds like one those spammer comments!)

  42. Hey Ella, thank you for passing by my blog and liking one of my posts! I totally agree with you that knitting and listening to music is much better than reading the newspaper!


  43. bollychees says:

    I’ve tried knitting but goodness me, could never get round to mastering it. So I gave up. Kudos to you for being so good at it! Thanks for liking our post on our blog. Much appreciated! 🙂

  44. Thanks for liking my Dordogne post!

  45. Many thanks for liking my post! It’s great to see chic knitting designs like yours.

  46. Thank you so much stopping by my blog and liking a recent post. What a lovely blog you have here. I will definitely visit again.

  47. goldencoach says:

    Thanks for stopping by The Golden Coach, who is enamoured with the current very charismatic Italian calcio team! Forza…..

  48. Meghna Sapui says:

    Thank you for the like 🙂

  49. Wish I still had time to knit. I hold an honors degree in knit design and technology, but film took me away.

  50. I would love to learn knitting…the end result is really great gifts!! Cheers to you 🙂

  51. I like the layout of your blog AND you like cats!!! We’ve got loads of them here :-S

  52. CurlsnSkirls says:

    I love that you’re posting in Italian and English!
    Although I’m not proficient, I can understand sometimes when reading, and your blog is good practice for me… as well as being interesting!
    I love watching C. Montalbano, so another Italian in my world is most welcome!

    • Ella V says:

      Thank you so much! It’s nice to know that my (imperfect) english could help you to learn my language. I love Montalbano too, in fact it’s very popular in Italy. Have you ever read any of the Camilleri’s books the series is based on? They are written in a strange mix of Italian and Sicilian dialect which makes them quite unique. I’m curious to know how it has been possible to translate it in english.

      • CurlsnSkirls says:

        Thank you for replying! Yes, I’ve read one of the books, translated to English. However, because the interplay between Sicilian and Italian languages is uniquely done, that quality lost – IMHO. I have an Italian friend here who says she notices that, too. Here, we see the English translation on the screen, but hear the original Italian soundtrack. I would hate not to hear the actors properly! They are all such a good ensemble!

        Ciao, bella!

  53. goldencoach says:

    Hi. Thanks for stopping by and reading my piece in Marilyn. Much appreciated. Kind regards from Ireland.

  54. Hello,
    Thank you for visiting my blog and liking the post ‘Raindrops, Truro Leats and Shopping (and Robert Frost).
    I,too, love knitting and it is expensive but every piece is unique and much loved by those I knit for! Have fun with your knitting! 🙂

  55. Red Toenails says:

    Thanks for liking my blog.

  56. aaronread says:

    Thanks for the like! Come back anytime!! Nice blog too, I’m about to start a knitting project, no idea how to begin – but i’ll find a way!

  57. womaximum says:

    Couldn’t agree more with why you started your blog. It would be so interesting to know if more folk are returning to these habits.

  58. Stephanie says:

    Grazie per aver visitato il mio “blog” (sta’ sviluppando) :). Il mio compagno e’ italiano e sto’ imparando la lingua. Non scrivo bene ma capisco bene. 🙂 Anch’ io ho cucito, lavorato a maglia… i miei vestiti da quando avevo 18-20 anni (ma sono molto simile (‘in effetti, anche dopo tanti anni che lavoro a maglia, non mi sento certo una “maestra”’). Sono d’accordo che avere la capacita’ di disegnare, cucire, lavorare a maglia e’ utile (e anche piacevole). Abito a Ottawa in Canada per adesso ma ho trascorso molto tempo a Firenze con mio compagno e la sua famiglia . Lei scrive bene in inglese…

    • Ella V says:

      Quando lavori a maglia c’è sempre qualcuno che ti dice che è roba da nonnine, è bello vedere grazie al blog che in tanti apprezzano il tuo lavoro e condividono i tuoi interessi! Knitting ain’t a granny thing. Hope you’ll enjoy the blog (and forgive my english mistakes)

  59. Ana Paula Carvalho says:

    Hi! How I wish I knew how to knit! It is hard for me to start because I don’t know anybody who can knit, I maybe I am also a little bit lazy! I really admire people like you, who have the patience to spend lots of time doing such a relaxed activity nowadays..
    Anyway, I promised myself I would definitely learn when I get pregnant so I can knit cute little socks for my baby. Until then, I will follow your blog and who knows if I don’t start knitting earlier than expected! 😀

  60. Love your take on knitting!

  61. bender says:

    Wonderful blog, I am excited to follow your creative explorations!

  62. Many thanks for stopping by….much appreciated! From one old movie fan to another, your blog is a pleasure to read.

  63. CurlsnSkirls says:


    I’ve nominated you for a Reader Appreciation Award, and hope you will accept.

    Your blog has been so interesting. I really admire your talent and ability to create such wonderful vintage knits – and am green with envy over your knitting skills!

    Rules, etc., are posted here.

    From a very grateful reader,

    D’ellis at CurlsnSkirls

  64. Rachel T says:

    Hi Ella,

    Just wanted to let you know I’ve nominated you for The Versatile Blogging Award! Thanks for such great writing 🙂

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