Sunday, April 11, 2010

Paris

Sorry for the lack of posts but I'd been sent by work to Paris for a month. Ooo how glamourous, you think. Well, unforts I'm one of those poor unenlightened people for whom Paris holds few charms. Which is a shame, because there are lots of good things.








Don't I looked tired? Yikes.

This is a life-size model of the Statue of Liberty's flame, situated next to the Seine. It's surprisingly small I thought. I always think of Liberty as being huge. Interesting.



Merci, found via Posterous, are currently doing a Liberty range. Want want want a vintage Fiat in Liberty print!! The Man won't let me do the same to my ancient Golf though. Shame.



Noticed via Not Martha, in Paris there are around 350 of these mosiac space invaders. The artist invades all sorts of cities around the world, there is a list somewhere. This is on rue Rambuteau where is crosses with rue du Temple.



Another:



A classic sort on rue Geoffroy Langvin. Would recommend the restaurant too, if you want pain, vin or fromage.



Others were also spotted on rue Renard and somewhere near Les Archives. There are loads, keep an eye out!


Cupcakes from Berko on rue Rambuteau (there's another branch near Montmartre). Yum.



Of course no self-respecting knitter can go to Paris without stopping by La Droguerie. The first visit turned out to be a recce only, I was overwhelmed.


(General apols for iphone pics btw, they're rather dark.)



One day I did a site visit to a perfume factory (the whole place smelt of Shalimar), got back into town at a reasonable hour so I went back to actually buy something. I flagged a girl down and said something like, 'pardon, je suis anglaise' to excuse my rubbish French, and she shrugged that Gallic shrug and said, 'ce n'est pas grave'. Like I had a disease or something but it was curable. Funny!


They have a really old-fashioned system. First, have a good look around and decide what you want. The yarns are mainly sock weight or so, there are ribbons to die for, hundreds of them and all gorgeous (you'll never decide), jars and jars and jars of beads and buttons and feathers and silk flowers, some jewellery making bits and pieces, and some fat squares. Once you've decided, flag down a member of staff, and they tend to work a section so do your best. They will then gather your items, cut the ribbon, count out the beads etc. The yarn at the front of the store is just for show, it's sold by weight (min 20g), so ask for what you need and they go out to the back and wind it off a cone into a ball. Then all the bits are given to the lady in the little booth (like at a really old-fashioned butcher's shop) and she does all the money transactions. If you try to speak a bit of French it's appreciated but I think they understand English quite well. There were a lot of tourists in there so they must be used to it!

They had dozens of spools of Liberty print bias binding. Be still my beating heart.


They've used this as trim on jumpers, to reinforce neckbands etc, or to trim up shopping bags, or to make corsages... How to choose? So many lovely patterns!

This made me smile - business class on the Eurostar on the final trip home. Knitting and champagne. Hurrah!

And bought for the Man (who doesn't do any chocolate fancier than Dairy Milk): coeur cheese and saucisson sec, eaten on it's own or with a very cold aperitif...



So what's happened since I've been back?


1. The sun has shone. Hurray for the clock change!

2. I've listened to the Glee soundtrack and grinned inanely at people as a result (Loon.)

3. Mum and I spent two and a half hours doing forensic gardening and discovering things like alchemilla mollis and wild strawberries buried under pampas reeds and ivy

4. £700 has been dropped with the garage but the car has stopped making strange noises so I suppose that's good

5. The Man has been over to Augusta to watch a few days of the Masters, which he was very very very very happy about (did I mention he enjoyed it?)

6. I've finished the Whisper cardigan and Bitterroot shawl. Pics to follow in a generally yarny post next time.


It's so good to be back!

4 comments:

Giselle said...

Champagne and knitting on the Eurostar! Oh my gosh, that's the life! I envy you.
Thanks for posting about the crafts shop, it sounds extremely intriguing - now I have another reason to want to go to Paris for!
Thank you for explaining their system, I would have been lost.

Giselle said...

Just to let you know: your La Droguerie hyperlink leads to Berko Cupcakes, in case you want to change that.

Katie said...

Thanks Giselle - it's fixed! K

Anne-Maria Salmon said...

I searched out your post on 'Grandma' as I was wanting to reread what you had written about my Aunty Eileen ( thank you ) , I loved this post with the beautiful shots if your knitting , La Droguerie. and the soaceinvaders on the walls in Paris.
I was in La Droguerie. a few weeks ago and in awe of the magical selection of habberdashery and wools that were for sale there.
I also love wandering about spotting the space invaders.

Anne-Maria Salmon ( Anna'B xx)