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Showing posts from June, 2008


Wherever I travel nationally or internationally, I search for crochet, crocheters and yarn! Crochet is truly an international language. Words are not needed; the love of crochet transcends words and creates an instant bond no matter where we are from.

Florence, Italy, May, 2008
My friend, Terese, from my CGOA Chapter told me about a yarn shop she loves in Florence and found the address to give to me. Sure enought, it was still there just where she said: Campolini Filati
Via Portinar 19/21 Firenza

Here's the yarn I bought there at bargain prices. Thanks, Terese!

Trenitalia from Florence to Milan, Italy; May 2008

We loved the train ride and the views. I wanted to see the dining car and as we walked through, I saw 2 knitters and one crocheter. On the way back to our seat I stopped to see what the crocheter was making. It was a lovely table runner of fine thread and she was very happy to show me. I showed her what I was working on, as well. It was a delightful moment!

Santo Domingo, Dominica…


In the Spring 2006 issue of Interweave Crochet Magazine, my article about Erika and Monika Simmons, “Double the Fun,” was published. Before I knew them, I was excited by their pizzazz and sense of fashion and I wanted to know more. It took me a while to track them down; and what I learned when I visited them in their studio was even more inspiring! Erika and Monika are “spreading their magic to the younger generation in their neighborhood and “double-handedly” giving crochet its due as artwork in the form of adventurous, one-of-a-kind flair that IS Doublestitch.

Once my article was published, the young ladies told me that, as a result, they had been offered a contract to write a book of crochet fashion for the same publisher, Interweave Press! They expressed sincere gratitude and from there I waited patiently, looking forward to the unique and exciting kind of book that I knew they would produce.

While working on their book, the twins became the local spokespersons for the Chicago Cor…


Day 8, Wednesday, May 21 We had checked out our route to the train station on Monday and had returned there on Tuesday to buy our train tickets to Milan, but we were dreading the five-block walk dragging our luggage. The day dawned beautifully, the sun was shining and the temperature so pleasant, much like we had expected the whole week to be. The Italians have been talking about how unusual this continuous rain is for them. They have told us there is rain this time of year, but it only lasts a short time, usually! The walk to the station was really not bad at all; we were considerate and so were others on the narrow sidewalk and we got there with plenty of time to spare. We chose second-class tickets not knowing what to expect of these, but were real glad we did as we boarded the train and found the car absolutely wonderful, comfortable and clean. The 3-hour ride to Milan was a joy; we saw beautiful scenery and passed through long tunnels through mountains, scooted across vineyards, …


We left Rapallo at 11:00 and arrived at Nicole and Jeff’s hotel in Monterosso at about 1:30. They unloaded and got checked in and then all five of us promptly walked down the hill to the strain station where we rode to the first and easiest trail to hike, Riomaggiore. Alan and I really expected to only visit the first village and look around a bit, but we were inspired by the other intrepid hikers; and even in our debilitated states, we found the hike manageable. The path was smooth and the views of the mountains and sea were incredibly gorgeous; and it was only a twenty-minute hike to the next village, Manarola, and we walked through the village and continued on to the next, which our map said would be 45 minutes. It took us about 55 minutes to get to Corniglio and the last part, 368 steps up, were a killer. We made it with no trouble, but were definitely ready to stop and have lunch. Uncle Jeff who had along done this hike, had recommended a restaurant, so we searched it out and fou…


Sunday May 18, 2008
After our last delicious breakfast at the hotel, we said goodbye to our concierge, Luciano and were ready to head out for the drive to Florence, including a short stopover in Pisa on the way. With Perky at the helm, we were excited to head out into the countryside!

After our nice and last breakfast in Hotel Vesuvio, we were ready to go with Perky to Florence in his car. The morning began with rain and it was drizzling on us as we packed his small Lancia with all of our luggage while double parked down from the hotel. Some of our luggage had to sit in the backseat with me, but I was comfortable. Alan sat up front with Perky and acted as navigator using the map we had. We drove for two hours in a driving rain, but traffic wasn’t horrible. We were a bit confused about the location of Pisa and talked about it being a short detour on the train from Rapallo to Flaorence, or was it on the way to Milan?

Just after we had talked about it we came to the exit for Pisa and made …