Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Knit Art Alla Italiana

In my daily reading of bloglines last week I read a post by Fig and Plum about her recent trip to Croatia and Italy. She has some great pictures and some in particular took me back to my trip last Fall to Italy. Italy being one of the meccas for art, she of course stumbled across some great art. This particular art happened to be knitting related. This of course jogged my memory some more and I remembered some pictures I never posted about my trip and a special surprise that awaited me one afternoon.

In my defense, I didn't have a blog back then so you can see where the problem lies.

Anyhoo, on one of my daily walks through the streets of Florence I stumbled across a very interesting studio. Actually, I was going back to my friend's apartment in the late afternoon and was totally minding my own business when out of the corner of my eye I saw a man knitting. Now usually this would have been one of those, "that's cool a guy knitting, I don't see that very often." But he was knitting with these needles:

Don't believe me? Here's a better picture:

I was totally blown away as you can imagine when I saw this man knitting with 6 foot wooden knitting needles and yarn made from newspaper. In my limited Italian I asked him about the work and if I could take his pictures. His name is Ivano Vitali and from what I gathered (from him and his website) he creates art by tearing up old newspapers into small pieces and turning it into yarn. He knits AND crochets with it! In fact he had huge balls of yarn all over his studio. You can see some in that last picture. And he doesn't dye the paper to get those colors. Instead he just gathers newspaper clippings in similar color ranges, like reds and yellows, to come up with "yarn" that's yellow or red, or blue, etc.

He's had an installation in Florence's city center and his art isn't limited to just these few pieces and type. He was very kind and obliging in answering all my questions. I would have loved to have stayed to talk some more, but my Italian vocabulary is limited when it comes to art related words. But what I learned was great.

I walked out of there with a big smile on my face, because of my little discovery. I had just started knitting only a few months before, so stumbling across his studio just made me appreciate knitting that much more.

Knitting has no boundaries I guess?


Christie said...

How cool is that?

Alison Friday said...

I was searching for an image and I came across your blog. How very cool I have large needles 5ft, but this takes the biscuit as we say in the Uk