HOOKS & HEDGEROWS
Sara Sinaguglia ✶g
RAINBOWS & OLIVE GROVES Sara works up a pretty striped sweater ready for olive picking season.
s winter fast approaches, our thoughts and wardrobes turn to sunnier climes. Each year, in October, we swap the Dorset hedgerows for the Sicilian olive grove. The annual family olive harvest awaits us and it’s a chance for some late sunshine before we bed down for the English winter. The Sicilian always looks forwards to a trip home: his Mamma’s home cooking; his Papa’s vegetable patch full of aubergines, peppers and pomegranates; the warm sand of Siculiana Marina between his toes.
abundance of local produce and the warmth of my husband’s family. In fact, it was seeing the exquisite crochet of Aunt Nena that started me hooking with ﬁne cottons and linens. Crochet is an integral part of Sicilian culture and mothers and grandmothers still crochet intricate bedspreads and tablecloths for the unmarried girls’ trousseaus. The aforementioned Aunt even crocheted sugared almond favour sachets for each of the 160 guests at cousin Rosalba’s wedding. I’m not sure what they’d make of this more contemporary approach to the craft, but with Soﬁa quickly developing her own sense of style, it seemed only ﬁtting to crochet her a sweater for the Sicilian sun. After a long day, handpicking olives and snacking on pomegranates, we often head home via the beach and dive in for a swim to cool down. This month’s project is designed for Soﬁa to wear on these impromptu beach trips. She chose the colours in this jumper, all six of them! My instinct was to work three quarters in one of the neon colours and the top quarter in one of the pastel shades. But I’m glad I followed her lead, I think it’s a beautiful, vibrant combination that is entirely suited to her age. It’s perfect for those late afternoon trips to the beach, it rolls to ﬁt neatly at the bottom of a bag and looks instantly fresh and wrinkle-free when slipped on over a swimming costume for a stroll to Uncle Beppe’s pizzeria. Maybe I’ll have time to make one for myself in a softer colour combination more suited to my age!
“Crochet is an integral part of Sicilian culture and mothers still crochet bedspreads and tablecloths for unmarried girls’ trousseaus” But leaving Dorset is accompanied by a twinge of regret. Unfortunately, olive harvest collides with the English mushroom season and invariably the ceps (porcini) make an appearance just as we head to the airport. A good dose of summer rain means fungi foraging is in full swing by late October, the airing cupboard is ﬁlled with wafer thin ceps and chanterelles drying, whilst the stove bubbles with clinking jars being sterilised ready for pickling. So with the earthy smell of mushrooms all about us, the children and I are ready to pack our suitcases for ten days of Mediterranean sun. I’ve been travelling to Sicily for over 15 years now and I never get tired of the gentle pace of life, the
GET CREATIVE ➻ There are always patterns that I love to re-visit and others where once is enough! This month I’ve used last month’s pattern for circle, flower and traditional grannies to make this linen cushion. You can never have too many scatter cushions! And don’t be afraid to adapt a pattern to a different project. The important thing is to measure and plan how an existing design will fit a new project. Just by changing the colours and the context you can reinvent a pattern many times over. Sara is a mother of two who enjoys craft, vintage and home-making. She loves anything a bit old and a bit battered, natural yarns and all sorts of vintage finds. Read her blog at onechurchillsgreen.typepad.com
16 Inside Crochet OCTOBER 2013