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August 29

Three Socks and No Pairs

I’ve been a very busy knitter since I’ve gotten home from France.  While I love sharing all of my travel photos, it felt like time to take an intermission.

You may have heard me mention on the blog, but I’m going to the Rhinebeck Sheep & Wool Festival this year, for the first time.  So incredibly stoked I can’t wait!!!  Anyways – what this means is that I have a new vigor for knitting from my stash before I go and add to it in October.

Having bought three different yarns while I was in Paris at Lil’Weasel, I’m on a mission to use them up as fast as I can so they don’t get added into my stash.  First up is the yarn on the far right, Riverside Studios fingering weight yarn in Fiesta.

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Since I only bought one skein I was determined on using it to make a pair of socks for myself.

And make socks I did!

This is the Hermione’s Every Day Socks pattern from Dreams in Fiber, as was suggested by Michelle since it’s nice and basic.  This is a free pattern to boot, link here for Ravelry.

Three Socks

Sock #1:

My first sock is on the far right – in which I accidentally knit the leg with 1″ extra width.  I’ve been reading up on article after article on how socks are supposed to fit & how to knit them to fit.

Everywhere I read said to make the leg & foot 10% smaller than your measurements – a 10% negative ease.  I measured my leg & ankle and reduced it by 10%, then cast on and started knitting.  Well, I wrote my 10% negative ease measurement incorrectly and it ended up way too big, so much so that it was sagging down on my ankle.  I basically knit this sock with 0% ease.  Zero ease may be fine for a sweater – not so much for a fitted sock.

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Sock #2:

Sock #2 is in the middle in the photo below:

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I knit sock number 2, casting on with the “correct” 10% negative ease using my calf measurement.  From there I reduced the stitches down the leg towards the ankle in order to keep the entire leg at 10% negative ease.  What this meant was that I reduced stitches from like 68 sts to 54 stitches – from calf to ankle.

You can see that the leg starts out a bit wider then gets narrower, in addition it is also narrower in comparison to sock #1 on the right.

I worked the same heel flap and foot part as sock #1, since I felt that fit.

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I was decently pleased with sock #2, but it still seemed to want to fall down to my ankle.  You can see it in the above photo where little folds are already forming at my back ankle area.  From everywhere I read, a 10% negative ease should be fine… but it just wasn’t for me.

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After I finished socks #1 and #2, I happened to have a knit night with Meg & Michelle.  Michelle has knit up at least 30 socks so luckily for me, she was there to assist me with fitting the sock and schooled me on how it should fit like where the heel flap needs to fall on my foot, etc.

Sock #3:

The first thing she said was – if the sock is falling down, you need more ribbing to help the sock stay up.  I increased my ribbing to a full 3″.  In row counts, I went from 20 rows of ribbing (from the pattern) to 32 rows or ribbing.

The downside here for me is that since my legs and feet are so short/small, increased ribbing length means decreased pattern length on the leg.  The fun patterns that happen on socks are reduced since my ribbing eats up a full inch.  This is valuable retail space on my extra short leg and even smaller feet, a woman’s size 4.  And I’m going to have to keep this in mind when I come across those fun cabled patterns… that I’ll have to make sure I have enough length on my leg for them to actually work.

Then we reduced the number of my cast on stitches from 68 to 64.  While that doesn’t seem like much, it really does make a difference.  I continued to do decreases down the leg to my foot and I went from 64 stitches on the ribbing, to 60 stitches (-4 stitches) on the first round after the ribbing.  Then I worked in 5 sets of decreases to get to 50 stitches at the ankle.  This 50 stitches for me is a 20% negative ease.

Michelle also said I needed to start my heel flap sooner (make the leg even shorter) & make the heel flap longer, to accommodate my high arches.

I worked the foot in the same manner as before and the toe area was finished with a kitchener stitch to seam it all up, seamlessly.

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While I don’t have a photo of Sock #3 on my foot – let’s just say it stays up where it should on my first fitting  :D  The extra ribbing really did help as did the reduced stitch count.  But… the extra length on my heel flap, I found, wasn’t quite necessary, as it feels just like Sock #2 in that area regardless.

So… I now have 3 socks and no pairs to any of them.  I think this is where SSS or Second Sock Syndrome sets in.  lol

SSS via SockKnitters‘s definition states:  “This is an affliction that prevents the victim from knitting the second sock of a pair.”

Now that I’ve knit up three socks, I’m aching to move on to using my second skein of yarn from Lil’Weasel and make some other socks.  I’ve finally figured out the stitch count/gauge that my socks need to be in order to fit decently and I’m ready to tackle a new sock pattern challenge.

Being the dutiful knitter – I’m pressing on with sock #4.  Not wanting to fall victim to SSS, it’s hard guys… it’s really hard.  SSS is a real affliction.  lolz

I totally see now why there’s so many tutorials for knitting socks and mittens two at a time.

Wish me luck on the second sock & happy knitting!  :D

August 25

Day 5 in France: Fashion Forward Exhibition

After hanging out all Sunday morning at the flea market at Porte de Vanves, I went back to the hotel and took a much needed nap.  From there, I refreshed myself and headed out to the Fashion Forward special exhibit within Les Arts Decoratifs (Decorative Arts Museum).

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The museum is in the same area as the Louvre and opens up into the same green space/courtyard area.  You can just make out the glass pyramid in the right of the image below.

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I was lucky enough to be able to attend Fashion Forward, as it closed on August 14th, 2016, one week after I was there.

The exhibit displays a collection of 300 garments from the last 3 centuries, as part of a celebration of the museum’s 30th birthday.  All of the garments are displayed chronologically of course, starting from 1715 all the way to this year, 2016.

I took lots of photos, mainly of what inspired or intrigued me the most- but could have spent all afternoon taking detailed photos of each and every garment as they were all phenomenal.

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This is not a dyed nor an embroidered floral design but a woven one, in silk taffeta from 1760.

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I like seeing how/if edges are finished in couture garments and I found that this one was not.  While the edges looked pinked, they were just ever so slightly frayed from wear.

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I’m always smitten when florals and stripes are combined – and this men’s vest in a pink and white stripe, from long ago, is lovely inspiration for me.

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The beading on this white silk wedding dress and train was amazing.  The photos do not do this any justice.

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This periwinkle blue and white striped number (from 1868-1872 in cotton organdy) caught my eye – namely the peplum with a lace-finished edge.

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Edges finished here in some silk (bias?) binding.

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Silk satin 1885 gown by Charles Frederick Worth:

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The blue pleated silk gown below is the Delphos Dress by Mariano Fortuny (1905-07):

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Evening dress by Callot Soeurs (1909-1913) in silk satin, metallic tulle and silk tulle:

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Changing eras meant stepping into a novel exhibit space; there were nooks and crannies in the wall that was also covered with mirrors.  It appeared as if there were layer upon layer of gowns, but you could see them all at various angles as well.

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The space was quite dark to capture the garments on camera.  But this Esla Schiaparelli Phoebus Cape from 1938 popped out from one of the nooks.

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Then one more bright exhibit space followed, opening with 40’s and 50’s gowns, which flowed into 2016.

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Dreams in the form of dresses:

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Dior’s New Look from 1947:

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Gold dress is Charles James:

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My (blurry) attempts to sneak a peek of the inner construction:

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It was really quite a wonderful experience to see some of these gowns from the 20’s through the 50’s in person (my favorite eras).  I’ve long seen many of these garments online, in fashion magazines, pinterest boards, etc.  To see them up close and be able to stand in awe of the embroidery and beading, as I attempt to understand their construction was a singular experience.

As the rest of my group went to stand in front of the Mona Lisa (which is wonderful too but I’ve already seen it) – I was able to stand in front of Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Pierre Balmain, Madame Gres, Cristobal Balenciaga, Esla Schiaparelli, Charles James and many, many more.

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This was a delightful end to my last day in Paris.

August 24

Day 5 in France: A Morning at the Flea Market

Sunday (or day #5) of our trip was a free day – time we could spend however we wished.  The start of my day consisted of going to a flea market in Paris – Marche aux Puces de la Porte de Vanves.

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While I said I wouldn’t need to split up my blog posts of my days in France – I took far too many photos for this one day.  After seeing the next posting of day 5, I think you’ll see why.  :D

I tried to do as much research as I could prior to leaving on this trip.  When I last looked, the flea market was scheduled to start at 7am on Sunday.  Well… I arrived a bit late or at 7:30am and saw this much to my dismay.

A near empty street:

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I should have known… in the summer months they start later.  Ugh, I woke up early for nothing!  Precious, precious sleep lost.

I knew the flea was still taking place as I spotted vans here and there packed with goods.  I just realized I arrived much to early.

Not sure how to kill time, I decided to take a long walk around the neighborhood and spotted this bit of loveliness:

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Keep in mind, I was pretty much the only person walking around the neighborhood at this time of day – which was a bit eerie.  I wandered back to the flea area and found a cafe to kill some additional time in.  I took my time sipping my cafe au lait and people watched.  Turns out the flea opens more like 9am in August.  lol

After seeing all of the vendors rushing out of the cafe themselves for the opening bell, I figured it was time to get shopping myself.

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I happened upon several vendors that I remembered from last September and even saw some of the same buttons as I did before, which was pretty funny.

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Fun little mushroom table & stool set.  Just behind that, there was a bathroom sink and fixtures from the 30’s or 40’s that I was drooling over.

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There’s always something I kick myself at – wishing I would have purchased.  This time around I wish I had inquired about the prices of these vintage makeup items (boxes with vintage lipsticks and such):

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I love a good Hoosier cabinet – and then noticed the singer sewing table base below.

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Linens:

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First of two mini sewing machines I spotted:

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Second one:

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I have no idea what was happening here!  I passed by this area twice and looked in.  Each time there was a long gaggle of people, watching a man taking items off his truck.  I didn’t see anything he had was out of the ordinary – but yet this hoard of people.  Perhaps he’s know for having treasures…

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Patient dog:

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I remembered I bought a piece of fabric from this vendor last year ( a 40’s rayon), so I spent a great deal of time digging through her boxes and such.  I really loved that little brown polka dot dress on the far right – but didn’t inquire as the waistline looked too petite for me.

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Boxes I was digging through:

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And now we’ve come to the buttons!!!  Last year I was kicking myself b/c I didn’t purchase enough buttons.  I wasn’t going to make the mistake again this year and also… I found a gentleman here who had TONS OF BUTTONS!

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He had the more expensive ones in front and I started digging through his stash not finding much I wanted that that high price (20 Euro for a card).  But the gentleman could tell I was interested and he started pulling out crate after crate of buttons for me to dig through.

This is his trunk!  And he said this is just a SMALL fraction of the new, old stock he has in his house.

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You can be sure I got his business card!  lol

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On my last walk through I saw this little ceramic bunny from the 30’s.  I took a picture (with permission) and asked how much.  It was about 10 Euros more than I cared to spend, so I walked away.

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About 10 minutes after I had walked away from this little guy… I found I couldn’t stop thinking about him, languishing the idea that someone, who wasn’t me, would take him home.  So back I went.  I attempted to haggle but the guy told me how much he paid to acquire him.  Understanding his need to make a little cash from the exchange, I ended up paying his price.  He just had to come home with me!  #NoRegrets

These are just some of my buttons.  :D But you can see I got two 50’s French vintage patterns and some seam binding, as well as the ceramic bunny and buttons.

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I can say now that the bunny made it home in one piece – as I checked my bag with him inside (wrapped in my newly acquired fabrics of course).

Upon reflection, the flea market day made my top 2 days in France on this trip.

As I was shopping around the flea, solo, I kept bumping into the same French woman – booth after booth.  We were both shopping around for sewing notions and the like.  While she was on the hunt for some specific white lace trim for a late 1800’s gown she was working on I was shopping around for well… anything vintage that caught my eye.  The more I bumped into her the more we got to chatting.  She started telling me about all of the pop-up vintage shops that were coming up as well as particular antique shops she thought I would like.

There was a bit of a language barrier, but on the whole her English was great and we communicated just fine.  This coupled with the lovely button gentleman who went so far as to offer up his house for my perusal (in a non-creepy way of course) marked how generous and kind French people really are, if you take the time to get to know them.

It was simple conversation and pleasantries with the vendors and other shoppers who made my morning a memorable one.

Thanks for stopping by & stay tuned for the second half of my day!

August 23

Day 4 in France:  Maison Cousu, La Boussole, and More

Day 4, or Saturday, was a light tour day with the group; after which we had free time.

We went to a couple of spots in the city which were no longer extant.

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One of the sites used to be a women’s prison behind a church. The building has been in constant use and remains a public works building.

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Some of the bars of the prison still remain (on the opposite side, I forgot to take a picture of.)

From there we visited a “small” local church that Louise de Marillac would have attended called Saint Nicholas des Champs.

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As you can see, this church has not been restored lately and remains quite dirty.  There’s even a mesh kind of wrapping around some of the facade – they do this if/when pieces start falling to prevent any human harm from future falling stone.

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I loved this newer stained glass from the 20’s, but any images simply fail to show how pretty it was.

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Our day ended up even shorter due to one of our stops being closed so we were let off around 11am to go and explore the city on our own.

The last fabric shop I wanted to visit on this trip, one I knew was open in August, is a new-to-me fabric store called Maison Cousu.

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I made my way over with a couple of other gals who were interested to check it out with me.  We were kindly greeted by a woman, whom I presume was the owner (but I can’t be certain).  I asked if I could snap a few photos and she obliged when I said I was a blogger and even left her my web url.

“Hello Cousu.”   :)

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They had their own branded notions section – and I couldn’t resist the plastic buttons that I can cover.  I’ve always seen metal ones at JoAnn’s but never plastic!

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They have both a yarn (knitting & crochet) section as well as a fabric area all in the one petite space.  But the selection is so expertly curated that I never found it overwhelming to shop in.

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It was hard to resist the metallic pineapple prints (in pink and yellow below):

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Fabric & Buttons:

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They had garment fabrics in both knits and wovens, quilting cottons, oilcloth, etc.  But never was it overwhelming yet a decent selection of all of these types of fabrics in the one space.

Yarn/Needle Craft Area:

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Not photographed was their selection of Indy Parisian sewing patterns.  I was smitten by a few, but hesitated since I knew they would be in French.

I came away with those self-covered buttons, 2-ish meters of a Liberty Art fabric I couldn’t resist, and a metallic grey sweater knit remnant that will be made into a cute little notions bag.

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After we left Cousu, my group of 3 became 2, Amy and myself.  We didn’t really have an agenda for the day as I had already gone to all of the shops, churches, and monuments I cared to on current & prior visits, as had Amy.  She made for a super pleasant shopping buddy and we hit the town.  :D

I don’t have tons of photos of all of the shops we went in.  But we stopped in Galeries Lafayette on Haussmann blvd to hit up Longchamp for Amy.

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We were totally overwhelmed by the sheer number of people here, so we left to find another nearby Longchamp boutique.  I ended up getting myself a grey and white tote bag with the Eiffel tower on it.  :D What sold me is that you can only get this one in Paris (or on ebay).  And the prices are around 50ish Euros cheaper if you buy it in France vs. the US.

We did some walking, stopped in some more shops, grabbed a late lunch.  We ended our excursion in a different Galeries Lafayette building, one with home goods and foods that I was at last year: it’s basically a one stop shop for gourmet chocolate, macarons, and champagne.

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Our Damage (and Amy’s feet):

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The chocolate & caramels from Jean Paul Hevin came home with me but I made quick work of the Pierre Herme macarons and eclairs from L’Eclair de Genie.  These ecalirs – heaven!  I don’t even like them normally here in the US – but these are quite different and phenomenal.

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Amy and I rested in the hotel for a little while, and then met in the lobby with some of our other tour friends to head out to dinner.

My boss, Joe, having been in France several times recommended a place called La Boussole.  Being good sports everyone consented to taking a metro ride to a different part of the city to go there.

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Since we had a decent sized group, we opted to sit indoors, although it was a lovely night.

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When I went downstairs to the washroom, I snapped these photos.  It looks like a separate, romantic dining space in the basement.

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Aren’t the stone walls amazing?!

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After dinner, I think we were all looking to grab more drinks at another bar closer to our hotel.  I honestly can’t remember if I joined them or headed to bed for the night.  Knowing myself… I probably pushed myself and went out for another glass of wine, as I hate to miss out on any type of fun.  heh

In either case, I ended my lovely day reading a couple chapters in this fun novel called Austenland.  It’s pure candy reading – but so fun for vacations and the like.  (I’d be lying if I said I only read it once on vacation and promptly came home to watch the film again.) lol

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Stay tuned for more France posts… I still have days 5-10 (or 11) to go.  :D

August 22

Updated Blog Posts from France

Hello!  I’ve officially been back a full week now from my travels to France.  It seems an age since I was in France, yet I continue to struggle to get back to a ‘normal’ 9-5 life.

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As you may have seen, I attempted to post pictures each day I was in France – and promptly fell off after the third day.  I had some technical issues with doing updates from abroad (loading issues with the large photo sizes) coupled with being entirely drained each evening from the days’ activities.

I have now been able to re-post up Days 1 through 3.  I have added in new text when relevant, as well as a better photo quality & size.  All three posts should load up properly for any of you who had issues viewing them (especially you smart phone followers).  Sorry for the troubles…

I no longer have days separated in part 1 and 2 – so these posts are very long.  :D  You’ve been warned.  heh

Day 1 in France: TissuMarket & Vagenende

Day 2 in France: Three Churches, Ultramod & Lil’Weasel

Day 3 in France: Excursion to Folleville and Amiens

I’ll be continuing to comb through my photos and write everything up from days 4 through 10, so do check back often.

Cheers, Liz.  :D

August 5

Day 3 in France: Excusion to Folleville and Amiens

On our third day, we hopped on the tour bus bright and early in the morning to head out to Folleville & Amiens.

En route to Folleville, we made a side stop to stretch our legs and see some ancient Roman ruins in the middle of wheat fields.

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As you can probably tell, this is an amphitheater.  We all climbed up to the top and there was still perfect acoustics from where our tour guide, Fr. Ed was all the way down in the middle below.

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Another adjacent area being excavated:

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From there we headed to the church at Folleville.

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We saw the remnants of the castle first. Pieces of it look as if they’re trying to restore the tower.

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Upon going into the church:

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You can see where there looks to be two different styles – mixed together.

The old medieval section in the rear combined with a new Gothic front.  As they were renovating the church they realized half way through that they couldn’t redo the rest as they had planned- so they just left the rear as is.

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The wood ceiling would have been ornately painted.

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This is quite possibly the last example of marble carving done in the Gothic style – at the same time this was being completed, Michelangelo was reinventing marble statuary, kicking off the Renaissance.

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Outside the church once again:

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I got a fellow-traveler to snap this of me in front of this amazing hydrangea shrub:

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From here we hopped back on the bus and headed to Amiens for lunch & church #2, the Notre Dame of Amiens – which dwarfs the Notre Dame of Paris.

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The Notre Dame of Amiens is so large, I couldn’t capture it in any one single photo:

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Not even in portrait:

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Fr. Ed was speaking to this floor tile.  In short it signified the path we take in life – that it is never straight, we keep winding our way through life, making mistakes and redirecting ourselves as we aspire to god/greatness.

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Every bit of this church was covered in design – which all holds a meaning or message.

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After this we got back on the bus and headed back to Paris, in time to have an independent dinner.  I was pretty pooped and couldn’t even say where I had dinner… I’m pretty sure it was tasty though.  :D

August 4

Day 2 in France: 3 Churches, Ultramod, and Lil’Weasel

Today started the official tour in Paris with my group, visiting various Saint Vincent DePaul sites.  We walked a great deal this first day which was great to work off our dinner from the prior night.

This first site we walked to was the motherhouse of the Congregation on rue de Sevres – which has a small museum of St. Vincent DePaul relics as well as his ornate reliquary.

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Sorry for the macabre here, but it really is amazing, the wax figure of St. Vincent himself.

He’s inside an amazingly detailed silver carved casket.

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While I’m not Catholic, I do love the wonderful architecture of these old churches.

From there we walked to church #2, motherhouse of the Daughters of Charity which houses the remains of St. Louise de Marillac.

This second church was a breath of fresh air… So deco looking.

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After walking for a bit more, we stopped to have an independent lunch.  Happily enough we stopped right outside one of my favorite grocery stores Felix and I discovered last year: Le Grande Epicerie de Paris.

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Couldn’t help myself with this packaging. Chocolate was good too. :)

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After lunch we continued to walk some more – slowing making our way to St. Sulpice.

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St. Suplice & Fountain:

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Walking some more… en route to Notre Dame:

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Remnant of the old roman wall – houses/buildings were built right into the old wall all throughout the city.

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Pops of Color:

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I believe this is one of the oldest houses/buildings in Paris:

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Old & Crooked:

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Notre Dame:

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After visiting Notre Dame this point it was 4pm-ish and we were officially done for the day.

A lot of folks grouped together to go see some sights. Me…. I headed out solo and searched out some more fabric/yarn/notions shops to go to.

In the past, I’ve always traveled with other people (mainly Felix of course).  It was a strange feeling, being in Paris, yet making my way to all sorts of places – having to rely on no one but myself.  I felt a bit self-conscious whipping out my phone all of the time, navigating my way or stopping to check with way on the metro I need to be headed.  A bit stressful, but I managed to never get lost.

I decided to head over to Ultramod first.

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Even though I was here last year (on my Stitching up Paris tour with guide Barbara, along with Meg & Michelle), I couldn’t resist the opportunity to go back once more.

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I ended up purchasing some silk buttonhole twist – since I’ve never found it in Chicago before (Purchased a black, white, and grey/silver).  Additionally I got a grey stretch lace along with 4 vintage plastic belt buckles (silver, teal, red, and navy) – colors I know I’ll use.

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From here, I still had plenty of time to check out Lil’Weasel.

I fired up my maps app and saw it was not a long walk – so I hoofed it through the city & through a gallery.

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Lil’ Weasel (at 1 Passage du Grand Cerf, inside one of Paris’s most lovely galleries):

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When I’m shopping around, especially for yarn – I really try to purchase items that were dyed or from the region.

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The blue on the left is a hand-dyed yarn from a woman in Paris, while the other two are not.  I believe my light blue angora is from Germany – which I already made into a beret and the Riverside Studio is from Quebec – which I couldn’t resist and currently on its way to being socks.

Additionally I couldn’t resist these two fabrics:

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The floral is a lightweight cotton (with a hint of stretch) – which haaas to be used on a lovely 50’s dress of some sort.  And the cats is a mid-weight jersey knit (I am smitten with) that I have to hide from my bunnies lest they disown me.

Lil’ Weasel is a lovely shop to visit.  They even flattered me by speaking French for a few minutes before I could interject to let them know that I don’t understand much French.  All smiles, they kindly spoke to me in English, and were telling me about some of the yarns I was looking at.   Even though I’ve already been there – I didn’t hesitate to visit once again.

After all of my trekking (solo) I decided to take a break in the neighboring wine bar (solo).  What could be a sad thing (drinking alone) felt instead so self-indulgent and peaceful.  I sipped my wine, sorted through some photos of the day.  Being the only one in the bar, at the time, the bartender proceeded to ask me if I wanted some slices of meat (on the house).  Yes!!!

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Again, not knowing any French I was able to hobble my way through just fine.  I just take my time, fire up Google Translate to type in what I want to say in French – and since they know I’m English speaking they end up responding back in English, too.  Or they use gestures – which I became quite skilled at deciphering.  When I can, I always try to ask my questions in French.  I think they appreciate my efforts and take pity on me.  :D

As I was working on my wine, I started texting with a couple other people on the tour group to see about joining up for dinner.

I took the metro to where they were, and we proceeded to walk the streets back towards our hotel, looking for a restaurant.

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This is a picture of our appetizer: Escargot (which I love) and new to me Frog Legs – which were wonderful bits of deliciousness.

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Just a quick pic down one end of the table.  For most of the dinner we were all in stitches or talking about work stuff.

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Such a good end to my busy day.

Obligatory (bathroom) selfie from today:

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August 3

Day 1 in France: TissuMarket and Vagenende

I’ve never been good at taking photos on the go.  I can remember maybe once I get done with visiting something notable…. So this ‘documenting my day’ is very new for me.

While I’m in France as part of a work tour, I do have bits of free time that I am spending judiciously.

Upon arriving in Paris, Wednesday, ss soon as we all checked into our hotel a bit after 1 pm, people were tired and decided to nap.  Of course I wanted to nap too, but I had places to go!  lol

Most of the fabric and yarn stores in Paris shut down for August.   So you can imagine my delight when I found out that TissuMarket will be open the whole first week of August, until they too went on summer holiday.

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I don’t recall going here last year with my Stitching Up Paris tour guide, Barbara… But she recalls taking us there first.  Which is honestly why I probably don’t recall going here.

Whenever I go to the FIRST fabric store no matter where I am, I generally get overwhelmed and don’t purchase anything.  I was running into the same issue on this visit.  But the longer I was lingering in TissuMarket, the more I was able to calm down and look at fabrics with a fresh eye.

I did end up purchasing a few (to me) beauties:

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The delicious pink is a silk charmeuse (2 meters) destined to be some pajamas, the black & white is a irregular pleated piece (only 1 meter) and then I got this wonderful blue mystery fabric (4 meters).  I only asked for three meters but there was a dye issue near the end of the third meter so I was ‘gifted’ a whole extra meter – I’m pretty sure it was b/c I was a patient shopper.  The one lady who was working was juggling 6 people all at the same time, poor thing.  I remained patient and pleasant, and helped her move things aside for other customers and helped tie up bolts.  I’m calling it a karma-win.

This blue is either a silk crepe or a viscose crepe.  I’m going to have to give it a burn test to see which it is.  Let’s just say I fell in love with it so hard, I didn’t care if it was silk or viscose.

I totally wished I had the luggage space for some wool coating as they had some reasonably priced aqua Melton.  Yuuummm

Directions to the train took me thru a lovely park, full of local Parisians.  I wished I had enough free time to just sit here with a book and macarons.

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I debated going to another shop, but figured I was too tight on time.  So I got cleaned up and went to our first group dinner at Vagenende.

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This meal, upon reflection ended up being one of my top 2 meals during the whole trip.  So incredibly delicious.

The interior of this place had me swooning as well.

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Glass ceiling over our table:

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Shared bathroom area:

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Other randomness from my first day, bathroom selfie with my new knit wrap dress:

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Train Platform:

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#NoFilter Eiffel Tower:

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Coordinating Eiffel Tower Lakeside Pajamas made especially for this trip – I’m a nerd like that.

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Cheers!

August 2

Date Night Drinks

Felix and I are homebodies; were pretty happy chilling and doing projects at our house any given weekend night.  In attempts to get out more, I decided (for us) that we needed to have a once a month date night.

This month it was Felix’s choice and he took us to The Aviary.


Felix and I have been watching the show on Netflix called Chef’s Table.  We can’t get enough of it and I’m pretty it heavily influenced Felix’s pick this month.

It’s not cheap, but the drinks are so cool.

 

I love trying out these new places with Felix.  While it just sounds like drinks… It was so much more of an experience.  Felix totally picked a winner… I’m not sure how I can top this one but I’ll have fun picking out next date.

Note: this is my first time using the WordPress app.  I hope it displays alright for everyone.  I’m hoping to use this while in Paris to share some photos – TOMORROW!  :)

Cheers!

July 26

Knitting for Babies

I actually really like knitting for babies; you can make a garment in a fraction of the time and you can use smaller bits of yarn to do so – hello stash busting!  So when I found out my coworker was having a little girl, I couldn’t help but knit something up for her.

Baby Dress & Booties

I had a large, but not full skein, of this cascade heritage yarn in aqua foam in my stash.  (It’s left over from my aqua waves jumper.)  Instead of knitting something up in the ‘traditional pink for girls’ I thought this is a lovely change and settled on using up the rest of this skein on a baby dress.

And to top it off, this yarn is superwash.  Honestly, what new mom ever wants to hand wash a baby garment when they’re so busy doing everything else?!  I just think it’s a courtesy to make baby items in superwash – there’s no telling what will happen to this little dress when it gets worn.  lol

While the images make it look like the dress is a blue – it really is a lovely shade of aqua.

Baby Dress & Booties

This dress was made using the Little Sister’s Dress (free) pattern.  I’m a big supporter of using free baby patterns.  I’ll gladly pay for my own patterns, but I tend to prefer free ones when it comes to (unselfish) knitting & baby stuff.

I also happened to have a set of three pearl buttons in my stash to use for the button closure.  While the closure only called for two buttons, I think things look better in sets of odd numbers.  The southern most button is stitched on for decorative purposes only.  I made the button holes with a simple chain crochet stitch.  Lots of seaming with these little extra details.

Baby Dress & Booties

I decided to knit this up in the one-year size, instead of the newborn size.  From my small experience with my sister’s babies – they were large and only wore a newborn size for literally one week!  What really sold me on this pattern is that this dress can easily be worn as a little tank top once they grow, too.  So hopefully this little dress will be something that my coworker can use for even longer.

Baby Dress & Booties

And the booties… I’m just smitten with these little booties.

Baby Dress & Booties

They’re so mini & cute!  And yes, I’m even tempted to figure out how to make a larger size for myself.  lol

The bootie pattern is the Saartje Bootie (free) pattern, and I slightly modified it.  I added an extra increase (6 extra stitches) and used one needle size larger in attempts to make a larger pair of booties – something that would fit closer to a 9-month old to a one-year old vs. the pattern being for a 3-6 month old.  I thought it would be better if my coworker’s little girl could wear the booties WITH the little dress.

I was actually trying to use my whole remaining skein on the dress – but I still had about 68 yards left over.  So, I went hunting on ravelry to see if I could use more of it up in some way; which is how I came to make this pair of booties.

Seeing as how I can’t do anything simply, I decided that I needed to do a contrast with the aqua, since I was using some white bunny buttons (also from my stash).  I think they’re so much better in two tone than they would have been in an all-aqua.  I really do love how they turned out.  And my coworker will always remember me when she sees those bunny buttons.  :D

This baby sure is getting some nice spoils from my yarn stash.  I don’t think there’s many babies that will be walking around in a merino-silk blend dress.  heh

I was so pleased with how this set turned out – I hope it gets a lot of love and wear.

Happy knitting!