Looks more like a painting than a photograph, doesn’t it? That’s the magic of Montisi. I fell in love with Italy, but Montisi stole my heart!
Three years ago, I was asked to teach a knitting workshop for Knitting in Tuscany (now Trips for Knitters) and, yes; I guess you could say it was a life changing event for me. I felt like – no, I knew – I left a little part of me behind on my return. I came home with a little tug at my heart strings always whispering… “come back…”
And I was lucky enough to be able to. Both in 2015 and again this fall.
What struck me so much about Montisi?
Montisi is nestled in the hills of Tuscany. Need I say more? Of course, I love the landscape. So much has been written about Tuscany in general and the beauty within that I couldn’t even begin to do it justice. But it was more than the drop-dead views everywhere I looked. It was the soul of the land. It was the people I met. They struck me as some of the most genuine souls I’ve ever encountered.
If you know me, you probably know that my passion is designing knitwear and teaching both knitting and design. Before the workshops were over, I had this overwhelming sensation to design a collection around these amazing people I had just met. Time passed, 2014 was totally consumed with other road trips not so pleasant, and then I welcomed 2015 and was given another chance to return. I won’t say I’d forgotten about the project, but let’s just say my mind was more focused on family in 2014 and there wasn’t room for much more.
The moment I opened the email from Susan asking me to teach there again, the overwhelming sensation returned. I couldn’t get it out of my head. I had to do this. I had to let these people know how special they were.
So last year when I returned, I talked to each of the five I wanted to include in the collection; what did they think? Would they like to be a part of it? Could I measure them- or one of their garments?
There was a little confusion at first, but no one turned me down. I took down measurements, notes on preferences and dislikes in a sweater (maglia, I have learned) and on and on.
I know what you’re thinking, and no- I am not fluent in Italian. Luckily, 4 out of the 5 people spoke very good English; one being a Brit. Liz, the only woman and also the Brit, immediately coached me on how to approach it and what words would confuse and so on and so forth. Thank you, Liz!
Fast forward to 2016 and the return… (coming soon…)