Saturday, July 30, 2016

The Knitographer X Paris part two - Montmartre fabric shopping

First of all, I must be completely honest. I only purchased five pieces of fabric and three skeins of sock yarn on my entire trip. Three of the pieces of fabric were sold as coupons - 3 metre cuts of fabric, and husband kindly turned up at just the right time to 1) take some photos with me in them to prove that I really was in Paris and 2) take the fabric home with him!

He very patiently followed me around for an hour or so in Montmartre, where there is a whole street dedicated to fabric shopping. 

The shops were big and small, with so much to choose from that I practically panicked and couldn't really decide. I wandered through Tissus Reine and Sacres Coupons and Dreyfus Marche St Pierre.

There were knits and wovens, silks and heavy weight coating, shirting and chiffons , prints and patterns, something for everyone.

And of course I found a little yarn shop tucked away on a narrow street near the marche.

Stitching Up Paris was an amazing guide to all of these stores, I highly recommend getting your hands on a copy if you're visiting the city!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Knitographer X Paris part one

Bonjour mes amis! It's 6.25am and the jet-lag is doing its thing, so what better time to write a little post about my adventures over the last month. I had hoped to be a bit more productive with blogging on my trip, and do a bit more knitting too, but in the end, Paris won out, and all spare time was spent exploring. This post isn't going to cover the crafty stuff - I have a stack of that to share and will do so over the next few days, but here are a couple of highlights.

Amazing passages with tiny independent shops. This is the Passage du Grand Cerf, where you can find the lovely knitting shop Lil Weasel

Street markets. These go on for kilometres on a Sunday and where everyone in the city does their grocery shopping. I cannot stop thinking about the cheese stalls. 

The most amazing thing that happened on my trip (aside from just Paris in general) was my husband showing up as a surprise at my student residence, for a weekend! He flew over from New Zealand for four days, without telling me his plans. This is him practising his French and ordering baguettes at one of the Sunday markets.

Cool cultural stuff. In Paris, people read books on the Metro, rather than staring at phones. They go to free Chopin concerts in the Jardin du Luxumbourg on sunny afternoons. The museums are insane. 

My favourite "Jo being a tourist" moment - lunch at the Cafe des Deux Moulins, the very same cafe where Amelie worked in my favourite film.

My university campus. This was the view to get to class. After a couple of weeks being in a place, you get into a bit of a routine, then you see the Eiffel Tower and remember that you're studying - in Paris.

People having picnics everywhere. This is the Canal St Martin, one of my favourite spots.

Density done well. In my other life I work in local government, so I have a nerdy interest in city living and urban planning. Parisians having the small-living-space and well functioning city thing down. Transport is amazing, people's dining rooms are in cafes and bistros, and you don't need a car. Sure, Paris is a lot older than my city and has had much more time and a much bigger population to require denser living, but as someone who loves urban living, I thing you can still have a high quality of life if you have a little apartment. I've come home with so many ideas!

More soon on the crafty stuff.