When you go to Ravenna, which you will surely want to do after reading about it here, just remember that most shops are closed on Thursday afternoon. That was when I made my first trek to the yarn store, just across from one of Ravennaâ€™s famous baptisteries. I stood outside in the drizzling rain, and it was all I could do not to press my nose against the windows.
Not easily deterred from seeking out yarn, I went back on Friday evening. â€œCasa della Lana e del Cotone,â€ the House of Wool and Cotton, was like a beacon in the gathering dusk. The shelves were stocked with all kinds of great novelty yarns. Most were Italian-made. I even found some corded cottons in pretty colors, to be knitted on about size 3 needles, which I havenâ€™t seen around in the US for a long time.
One wall was devoted to very fine yarns in many shades of color. I assumed they were meant for combining, to achieve even more colors. They could also have been for machine knitting (though they were in hanks), or just for plain old very fine knitting.
One of the three ladies in the store knitted with the yarn around her neck for tension. She manipulated the yarn with her left thumb. The ladies didnâ€™t speak any more English than I did Italian, but we understood each other well enough. I said, â€œItaliano lana es bella!â€ â€œThe best!â€ agreed the boss lady.
I left with two souvenirs: the gray and pink Mondial and the black and rainbow Filatura di Crosa. Both are Italian yarns. Filatura di Crosa is the yarn manufactured under the name of the famous knitting Missoni family. Iâ€™d like to visit their design studio, factory, etc., someday.
It could only have been fate and luck, or maybe even divine guidance, that put this pretty little yarn store in my path in Venice. It is just off the Menin Square, right next to the Cortes bridge on the island of St. Marco. You can see the steps of the bridge, reflected in the window in this photo.
It was small, like most of the shops in Venice. Maybe that is why only one skein of each yarn color is displayed on the shelves. The shop’s name was especially nice: “Lellabella.” My daughter, Ella, liked the name, too.
Tomorrow: some knit and crochet fashions I saw in Italy.