I feel like the stars are aligning for my trip to Paris even more every day. Last week two Paris based Kiwis published what might just be the travel guide of my dreams.
Stitching up Paris: The insider's guide to Parisian knitting, sewing, notions and needlecraft stores by Keiry Belton and Barbara Cattoni is a gem, full of great information on where to find fabrics, yarns and notions in the world's most stylish city.
It only arrived in my letterbox yesterday, but I've already read most of it and am planning after-class outings for my trip. I think exploring Paris' arrondissements by way of knitting shops is a great way to get off the usual tourist routes and find some little-known places.
A bit about the book - Barbara is the lovely lady behind Stitching Up Paris, which offers tailored tours to different craft shops around the city. Keiry moved to Paris a few years ago and met Barbara, and the book is the result of their friendship and love of sharing their craft.
The book is broken down into several sections based on interest - knitting and yarn, sewing and fabrics, embroidery... which is a great way to focus on a particular craft. At the back of the book they also have all the shops listed by arrondissement, so if you want to visit a variety of different shops in a particular area, you can do that, too!
The only thing I think this book is missing is a map with a key to each shop. I quite like maps for planning adventures and getting an idea of locations' distances from each other. If ever a second edition is published, I think a map, or several of big areas in Paris, would be useful.
In summary, even if you're not planning a trip, I think this book is a great read and enjoyable for any Francophile that likes a bit of crafting!
Other things I'm doing this weekend... yes, I am knitting! For the last couple of weeks I've been stash busting and knitting with a lovely BFL fingering from Happy Go Knitty. I'm using one of my favourite free patterns and making some Long Lovely Mittens by Purl Soho. I had originally intended to make socks, but this red is just so great that it deserves to be seen and not hidden in my boots, so arm-length mittens it is!