California Design meets Italian Wool

California design meets Italian wool - JenJoyce and Oropa make a great match!

California design meets Italian wool – JenJoyce and Oropa make a great match!

A tale of two valleys…

Just one ridge over from Pettinago where I went to the spinning workshop and looking down at the border between Piedmont and Val d’Aosta, is Oropa, home of the famous sanctuary of the black madonna that sits above the city of Biella but still well below the crown of the surrounding alps. Sheep that were shorn this spring are grazing on the hillsides while, in the Biellese Valley, a wool cooperative is processing the fleece into a yarn that will be named after the National Park and Sanctuary where they graze: Oropa.

Meanwhile, in California, somewhere in the green between the Sonoma and Napa Valleys, in the shade of the pines, a designer is knitting gauge swatches, thinking and writing instructions for candy striped socks that can start at the ankle and end at the toe without ever breaking the yarn. She’s testing the different sizes and designing a version that is an adorable pair of picot-trimmed baby booties. These are “Penny Candy Socks”.

A tale of two valleys - from Sonoma to Oropa

A tale of two valleys – from Sonoma to Oropa

They came together in my living room, on Lago Maggiore’s shores and in Gemonio’s piazza…

My Penny Candy Socks: "Licorice Whip" in Oropa 1 ply: Aosta Black and Grigio Perla

My Penny Candy Socks: “Licorice Whip” in Oropa 1 ply: Aosta Black and Grigio Perla

If you make these with the magic loop and split the skeins, a sock and the yarn fits in your purse and goes anywhere! When California Design meets Italian Wool they make a great pair!

Happy wool-working!

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5 thoughts on “California Design meets Italian Wool

  1. Aww Bonnie, I am touched !!! Thoroughly, deeply, irreversibly…:) Knitting & Yarn istn’t the only thing that bridges, I think you will find that there is more ! But for now, what a lovely thing to find in my WordPress Notifier, that you made this uber poetic wee post about California and Italy! Someday we will hunder beneath the rafters and like two sorceresses, bring together the knitterly magic , you think? ::) We ought to co-author something about the Tale of Two Valleys and wool. 🙂

    • I meant ‘hunker beneath the rafters’ … lol ! Or perhaps I meant a metaphorical ‘hunger beneath the rafters’… like for more time to knit more , or perhaps a mispelling is not really an accident … 🙂

    • Glad that you liked it :). I was really happy with the way the wool and the pattern worked together. Your work table looks fabulous in the last post. I think that the NW part of the U.S. and the NW part of Italy (where I live) have a lot in common. I’ll have to send you some of my favourite Italian wool so that you can design something special for it and we can write another chapter! :).

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