Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Woven and spun souvenirs

I don't buy t-shirts. I don't buy refrigerator magnets. I don't buy mugs. No, when I travel, I buy fabric and yarn. I wrote about travel fabric in my blog a couple years ago. It's not that I need fabric or yarn, but I also don't need t-shirts, magnets, or mugs and I think fabric and yarn are much nicer purchases. So without further ado, here is my Paris fabric:

Travel Fabric

From left to right:
  1. crushed cotton with embroidered design
  2. linen blend
  3. lightweight cotton
  4. lightweight cotton
I'm currently working on a tiered skirt out of fabric #1. The pattern is similar to this one, except I'm using a pattern from Diana Couture magazine and the proportions of the tiers are different. I believe the magazine is a German publication but I bought a French edition. I have never seen an English version and can't find the French one available to purchase online except through a French magazine-seller.

I'm thinking about making a jacket out of #2 and tops or blouses of some sort out of the others.

I also bought yarn during my trip. Naturally I bought yarn in Iceland, home of the Icelandic sweater. There were plenty of touristy sweaters to be had but even on the coldest day on record it would be too hot to wear at home. Before our trip I found a yarn shop to visit and craftily worked our itinerary to include a visit. The store, ├×ingborg Woolcenter, has a website and you can order from them. That funny "├×" character is pronounced "th." While the store did have some fiber and handspun yarn, it was mostly a store for tourists. They had lots of handmade items from wool and felt and only a small selection of fiber. But I had to buy something of course.

Travel Yarn

According to the woman in the store, the yarn on the left was dyed with lichen and the one in the middle was dyed with Birch tree (bark, I presume). I'm thinking of making a bag with the yarn - maybe felted, maybe not.

It was nice to be in a place where knitting, spinning and weaving are thought of so highly. Not only did they have special signs marking where handcrafted goods were sold (and darn, I did not get a picture of any signs!), but you can buy yarn in the smallest of grocery stores. And good yarn too. It was cool.

When we were in Paris I didn't really seek out any yarn stores, figuring that most of the yarn is available in the US. I saw one Anny Blatt store but it was closed at the time and I never got back to it. I did browse the selection of needlework, buttons, trims, and yarns at Le Bon Marche, but either nothing caught my eye or else I could purchase the item at home, for less. I did shop at a little ribbon and button store near Place des Vosge. I bought some pretty (but expensive) trim. Forgot to take a picture of it though.

I hadn't planned on buying yarn, but when we were in Le Mans, I went to the grocery store with my friend and her mother in law and what did my wondering eyes behold, but a Phildar yarn store. My friend's mother knits so stopping in was not a problem. I bought this:

Travel Yarn

It is very soft (cashmere and wool blend) and was even on sale. However afterwards I regretted not buying some more in off-white, to use as trim or accent. I thought we could stop on our way out of town on Monday, but in France stores are closed on Mondays. I thought perhaps we could stop by when we returned, but that ended up to be the 14th of July - Bastille Day, and well, everything is closed of course! I guess it was meant to be. I have plenty of yarn anyway!

I'm still working (slowly) on the pictures from my trip. Eventually I'll get them posted.

1 comment:

  1. Lovely fabric. I am sure the skirt will turn out well.