Friday, March 29, 2013

A Knitter's Journey to Provence

The view from Le Jardin Exotique in Eze
Springtime in St. Paul de Vence

I am back from a wonderful vacation to Provence and the Cote D'Azure.  This wasn't strictly a knitting trip. I was vacationing with Mon Cheri, and we had a full itinerary of sightseeing, wine tasting and good eating to do. But I am first and foremost une vrais tricoteuse and it is impossible for me to vacation without doing a little knitting and seeking out yarn shops.

Our hotel in Nice- Hotel de la Tour 
The first part of our trip was spent in Nice.  Our hotel was well located in the Old Town and was walking distance to many sights, including the park at the top of Castle Hill, the Flower Market, and the Promenade des Anglais.
The Flower Market in Nice

Locally made yarns at La Droguerie - Nice

Our hotel was also just a 5 minute walk from La Droguerie, a large yarn shop that is affiliated with La Droguerie in Paris.  Like the Paris store of the same name, the shop sells only its own line of yarns, but they are all wonderful natural fibers in vibrant colors. They also have an extensive collection of unique buttons and patterns of their own design.

This store is well worth the visit. It's centre-ville location at 29 Rue de L'Hotel des Postes is easy to find (2 very short blocks south of the main post office). The store is obviously popular with the locals. We arrived just 5 minutes after they opened and there were already 2 other customers in the store.

La Droguerie - Nice
Beads and buttons at La Droguerie
Lovely mohair - "plumette" at La Droguerie

La Boite a Tricot - Avignon

For the second half of our trip, my husband and I stationed ourselves in Avignon, visiting the medieval sights in Avignon and the ancient Roman sights at nearby Nimes and the Pont du Gard.
With a new project already on my needles and a full itinerary of tourism, I wasn't planning on taking any time to seek out yarn shops or knitting groups while in Avignon, but this one just fell into my lap.  We spotted La Boite a Tricot (44 rue de Fourbisseurs) as we were strolling the streets of the old town, just a few blocks from our hotel. This store carries well-known commercial yarns--
Anny Blatt, Bergere de France, Bouton d'Or, Phildar and Katia.
While all these yarns are available in the U.S. or on the Internet, they are all very, very French and a purchase here would make an appropriate and memorable souvenir for any knitter.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Show and Share

Once again I had a great time at the Madison Knitting Guild's Knit In.  Thank you guild members! It was nice to see many familiar faces.  I love doing shows and having a chance to meet and chat with my customers.  And I must admit, it is the customer compliments that keep me going.

This last weekend, not one, not two, not three, but four customers stopped by to show me their recently finished projects or tell me how happy they were with the kits that they had purchased from me. Here is one of my happy customers modeling her Chips and Stones necklace.

My photo doesn't do it justice. I took this pic with my phone.  I'm not that great at focusing with my phone camera. Since I normally have a digital camera with me, I tend to forget that I can take pictures with my phone. That also explains my surprise to find I had year old pictures from Wisconsin Spin In that I had never downloaded.  This one was so cute, I had to share.

I do not remember the name of my furry friend, but he certainly is an eyeful (and an armful)!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Blue Heron Bliss

I'll admit it.  When it comes to yarn, I play favorites.  My hands down favorite yarn for the last few years has been Blue Heron's Rayon Metallic.  It is a lovely lightweight handpainted rayon, spun together with fine metallic thread.  Eye candy for any knitter, I can't resist it.  I designed 3 patterns for it so far, and I have at least 3 more pattern ideas in my head, ready to be put to the needles. Here is a sample of some of the beautiful colorways I will be taking with me to the Madison Knitter's Guild Knit In, March 8th and 9th and to Yarncon in Chicago, April 6th and 7th.