I can't believe how long it has taken me to write this blog post, but as I write, I'm stuck in the Coronavirus lockdown, so now is the perfect time for wrapping up loose ends! Last May we had a little field trip to Italy where we were able to visit the Filatura Santa Lucia yarn factory in Prato.
We decided to make a day of it and took an early bus from Florence out to the Centro per l'Arte Contemporanea Luigi Pecci. We spent the morning basking in the museum's contemporary art, and even managed to catch some sunshine out on the lawn. We took the opportunity to have a little photo shoot with my Cancun Boxy Lace Top and our Loom Knit Hats.
If you ever have the chance to visit Centro per l'Arte Contemporanea Luigi Pecci, I highly recommend it. If you like contemporary art, it's an amazing space which encourages artists to fill it with huge artworks and installations.
After lunch we drove about 20 minutes out of town through the beautiful Tuscan countryside to get to the Filatura Santa Lucia factory. Established over 50 years ago, Filatura (filatura means 'spinning') Santa Lucia predominantly spins yarns for garment manufacturers to use for their machine knits.
Made from various blends of wool and acrylic, we got to see how the whole process happens. The fibers arrive already dyed in super soft pillowy strands, then it is spun and the colors are blended together to create 2-tone and marled effects. It was amazing to see how the thread gets thinner and thinner and the machines move faster and faster at each stage of the process.
Most of the yarns from Filatura Santa Lucia are very fine, but we were able to get our hands on their worsted weight line, Tuscan Snow, which provides quicker gratification for hand knit projects. Loosely plied, it looks and feels like 100% wool but is actually made up of a long stranded acrylic blend.
We brought back 10 cones to start off with. My favorite part is that you can purchase however many yards you need, and have it in one continuous strand. Which was an absolute life saver when I knitted Nancy Marchant's Willow Scarf. The pattern called for 400 yards of 2 different colors- with Tuscan Snow I was able to get all that yardage in one strand. I didn't have a bunch of tied ends to weave in throughout the project.