Friday, June 30

If it's Friday, we must be in...Austin

Sundara Yarns Petals Collection 'Calla Lily'

Sundara Yarn Petals Collection 'Calla Lily'

As you can tell, I am quite fond of pink and green. When these beauties arrived the other day, I thought "Sundara is speaking to me. She has a direct line to my sock yarn stash and sees what I need to be complete, to be inspired, to be blissful." Then the boys started bickering, the phone rang, and my reverie was broken. Vacation's over, lady.

I will place these skeins in a vase and gaze upon their loveliness while I cast on for the TourdeFrance KAL on Knitty. I'm thinking Eunny's Print O'The Wave stole...or just finish the 3 or 4 WIPs that are sullenly awaiting their fate, trapped in tote bags around the house.

Personally, I think the photo is so-so, but wanted to post a little something for Friday. And, so I'll remember those recent happy, carefree days with a first--a cat photo. This is our landlord's cat, Toots, improving an already gorgeous landscape.

Wednesday, June 28

A YARN IN PROVENCE

Here's some pix of my summer vacation. My Flickr page has more yarn shots. Regular, boring non-yarn pictures will appear when I get up tomorrow at 4:30 am. Who hid the #@*! Ambien?
Hockney inspired pool shot
Eucalypte New Bamboo with Olive Branches

Monoprix Perle Acrylique and garden chair
Triomphe with Raj Shawl

Wednesday, June 21

The Days of Wine and Roses

So a couple of observations about guests. The New Yorkers want high speed internet while the Parisians want a doctor. The local expats are just happy to drink someone else's plonk and not worry about the dirty dishes.

Politics are openly discussed as the house isn't bugged and we've heard all sorts of conspiracy theories regarding the Tour de France, Dick Cheney, and Mossad. Not all on the same subject, mind you. No one had read Mrs. Frisby and The Rats of NIMH, so my literary comments were kept to a minimum. I am trying to finish a book on Shakespeare--1699---quite good. I got to spend a night alone at the Nord Pinus hotel in Arles and happily knitted while watching the World Cup after an afternoon of strolling and shopping. This is my idea of heaven.

Raj shawl--DONE! It's more of a shawlette which is what I wanted. I'll block it back in the US, but it won't be a sweeping flamenco affair. Just right for covering the shoulders. Only one boo-boo and I can live with that. I'd make the pattern again, especially if I wanted a very easy repetitious pattern. I plan to photograph various yarns tomorrow, instead of banal things like my kids or the landscape.

Back next week, but not before one last seek-and-destroy mission to Le Bon Marche, where the yarn section is on the top floor next to a branch of La Droguerie.
A stasher's work is never done.

Thursday, June 15

Vini, Vidi, Went Wild

I'd normally regale you with choice moments from the past week, but with a dial-up connection and a French keyboard I'll skip the color commentary and cut to the chase:

On Monday, I made my annual piligrimage to the Pierre de Loye factory to worship at the AnnyBlatt/Bouton d'Or outlet shop and leave offerings on my Visa card. If you're going there, just drive to the Arc de Triomphe, park in the municipal lot and look hard for the tiny Anny Blatt sign. This year was different as I had a list from my knitting group and a price list that I had downloaded from Yarndex. I knew the prices were good, but wanted to make sure it wasn't just the thrill of not getting lost again that made me load up.

Sorry--pix will have to wait until I get back.

Here are a few teasers--you'll have to figure out the dollar/euro conversions. Euro amounts are the sale prices. Grab your calcualtors, gals!

Kanpur silk, $24....4 euros
Pirouli cotton $13...3 euros
Victoria $16...2.5 euros
Arpege mohair $16...4 euros
Nomade cotton/modal $12...2.5 euros
New Bamboo $12...3 euros--this is a new yarn for them and I snagged a bag in 'eucalypte,' a sage green, yummy.
Merinosoie...5 euros
Louxor cotton...2.5 euros

I felt it was my knitterly duty to buy as much on the list as I could. After all, I was saving everyone else the trip. I bought a bag of Nomade--I had a couple of skeins that were originally slotted for socks. Now, I've got enough for a top and/or jacket. I also went into another coma and emerged with a huge bag of Arpege mohair in color 'chataigne.' This is a dark ,dark cocoa bean brown. I bought some purply brown Victoria to go with it--this could be a car coat with some hot pink, mustard yellow and olive green embroidery or intarsia. Remember the YSL Russian look back in the late 70's? Something like that.

KNITTING:

I am up to chart 4 on the Fiddlesticks Raj shawl with Blue Heron rayon/metallic and it's humming along nicely. This has turned out to be a great World Cup project as the pattern is pretty repetitive. Our French is improving as we watch the games on Canal+ and we absorb the French commentary by osmosis. Frappe is not a drink but a collision and Bresil means total world domination...if Ronaldo and Ronaldhino eat their Wheaties. Allez les Bleues! (it's the only chant we know, thanks to all the commercials)

Wednesday, June 7

The Knitter Has Landed

We blew through Paris but not before having an incredible dinner at La Table De Joel Robuchon. Patricia Wells wrote a cookbook with Robuchon ages ago that we have used and enjoyed for just as long. Now, the chef has come out of semi-demi-retirement and has opened a small, exquisite little gem of a spot in the 7th arrondisement. Celebrating our...anniversary?...the end of school?...no one threw up on the plane?, we had the tasting menu which gave a clear sampling of why Robuchon still has the master touch. I won't go into every single dish, but this is the kind of cuisine that involves about 20 people just to get it to the table. And this is why I'll pay the pearls of the Virgin to eat at this level. For an evening, a brief moment, we tasted the equivalent of Matisse, Pagnol and Starck on a plate. And the French are the only people that can make aspic, well, sexy.

KNITTING:
OK, here's the list:
Socks
Giotto shrug
Euroflax linen
Blue Heron Rayon Metallic for shawl

I have almost finished the shrug or vice versa--I know I'm going to run out of the Giotto--just a few yards short. Arrrgh! It's ok, as I wanted to finish it off with a crochet edge and that would have to wait anyway. I bought a bag of Phildar Phil Jeans (cotton/acrylic) for about $2.40 a ball. It's in camouflage colors and perfect for Tex who dreams up different ways of killing things when he's not absorbed in Star Wars. I found the yarn on a table next to the tube socks and undies between the cheese lady and the sausage guy. Hey, you can even get espadrilles for $7.

We also made a stop at the Monoprix in Arles. Monoprix is the French Target and one of the high points of my vacation. There's always something really cute and cheap...zippy plastic plates done in a Hawaiian print or stripey t-shirts. They do carry yarn and usually I pass because the colors aren't right, the gauge is too heavy or light or it's too ick. Well, little Miss Stash Queen gave that yarn a once over.. and over again. I'm not sure what happened but all I know is that a bag of Acrylique Perle made it into the trunk of the car. I know you're all sniggering and saying oh, fine, it's acrylique and Red Heart is just acrylic..what's the diff?

But Red Heart never had colors like this--provencal blue, medium olive green, plum, fuchsia and deep marine blue. The gauge is finer--about 7/8 st, size 4. It's perfect for me to experiment with Norweigian colorwork without ruining my alpaca/merino or Svale. Maybe I'll come up with some cicada/cigale and olive motifs and hopefully knock off a couple of Christmas presents. Hey, I'm a fiber snob, even when it comes to acrylic, oops, acrylique.

Monday: The big road trip to AnnyBlatt/Bouton D'Or factory outlet shop. I'll try to see if I can post pix..if not I'll have to torture you with descriptions usually found in magazines with brown paper wrappers. A bientot!