Notification [x]

Use your RSS feed program on your web browser to get updates when new postings are made to this blog. Get RSS
"Travel Blog: Paris"
OFFLINE
Author:  planetpurl
Description:
The adventures of a yarn addict in Paris in desperate need of a fix.
Bookmarks:
Blog Comments:
French Yarn, Russian Knitters & Baby Stuff [Back to Blog]
OFFLINE
So after making our way on Monday to all the big stores to check out there “mercerie” departments (and buy pastries and chocolate, but that wasn't completely my fault), on Tuesday, we went in search of a real Parisian local yarn shop.  I had a grand plan with maps to all 123 alleged yarn spots in Paris, divided in files by district, and with a Google map to each location showing the nearest subway station.  Yes, I am that organized when I travel.  Of course, there was no way I could make it to all 123, plus, as I discovered, many of them are closed or no longer sell yarn, but I figured my organizational plan would maximize my chances of finding a real Paris yarn shop.  With notebook, file folder and a fair amount of cash, just in case, I headed off to the 8th arrondissement (district) with high hopes. 

Strike One, Strike Two

When I left Orlando for Paris, I had every intention of stocking up on French yarn, preferably angora and/or cashmere, while in Paris.  Although I tried to call stores before heading out, I was unable to find phone numbers for a couple of shops I wanted to check out.  Yeah, that didn’t work out too well.
  First stop was the alleged Bouton d’Or store on rue Vignon.  I figured since it still appeared on the manufacturer’s site, it was probably there.  Ummm, no.  Then on to another store relatively nearby, Lognon, on rue Boissy d’Anglais.  Ummmm, also no.  My feet were a wee bit tired and I can get pretty cranky wandering around with no yarn at all, so I decided to hedge my bets and head over to Modes & Travaux at 10 rue de la Pepiniere.  They had a website still up (though I’ve learned that doesn’t mean much) and it had been recently updated, so I thought there was a better than 50/50 chance I would find yarn. 

 
Paris Department Store


Paris Department Store




 
Paris Department Store



Paris Department Store

Modes & Travaux, 10 rue de la Pepiniere

“Thank God you sell yarn!” was my first thought on entering Modes & Travaux.  This good- sized shop has something for all needlework enthusiasts.  The ground floor is embroidery, needlepoint, and latch hooking.  The basement floor is sale items, buttons and notions.  And I saved the best for last – the upper floor is ALL YARN!  Yep, Anny Blatt and Bouton D’Or and a charming sales lady who was only too happy to help.    So here’s where the Russian knitters come in.  Fabrienne (the nice sales lady) and I had a discussion about knitting in public.  I know you’ll be impressed when I tell you this conversation was in French, my friends, sorely taxing my high school French from 30+ years ago.  So when I recount this story, it may be that she was discussing, say the weather in Germany or how to cook a perfect omelette, but this is my recount of what I thought we were discussing.
  
Oddly, I had never seen a single person knitting on the train in Paris.  Even on lengthy train rides on the high speed trains on previous visits, no one was knitting but me.  On Air France on the way over, I was the only one knitting on the plane.  In the numerous parks I’ve been through in Paris, I never saw a single person knitting.  But there are a ton of little sewing/needlework shops that sell at least some  yarn, so, I asked Fabrienne,  where were all the knitters hiding?    According to her, no one knits in public in Paris.  Her theory is that Parisiennes are too serious to knit in public.  She told me that on World Wide Knitting in Public Day next week, there would be a huge crowd in the  shop, hanging from the balcony, sitting on the stairs, on the floor, oodles of knitters venturing out of their homes to knit in the shop.  But really, is knitting in a yarn store knitting in public?  I don’t think so.  I thought the point was to knit in public, you know, in front of people who don’t knit so as to maybe encourage others to take up needles and yarn and make the world a better (and warmer) place.
 

Are you wondering where the “Russian knitters” in the title of this post comes in?  Here it comes.  I thought this was really cool.  Fabrienne has a knitting “club,” which I gather is just the French version of a knitting group or knitting circle.  Her group has a sister “club” in St. Petersburg, Russia.  They exchange info, emails, photos, etc.  They work similar projects in an international version of a knitalong.  If enough people in the group could scrape up the extra cash, they would visit each other.  All this despite a significant language barrier – only a few members of the Russian group spoke French and no one in the French group spoke Russian.  Considering the number of countries where English is either the most common language, or where English is widely spoken as a second language, my group could have sister groups in a dozen countries.  Another project for when I get home.  I think I’ll get our IT team started on a “group seeking yarn pals” section on our new forum.  I left Fabrienne my card and told her that if her club ever comes to Orlando to take their kids to Disney World, they can come knit with my group.  Hey, that goes for you, too!

 

 

Paris BHV



Paris BHV



Paris BHV

Tiboodoo's

As if the interesting conversation and the fact that I was in the presence of gorgeous French yarn weren't enough, Fabrienne tipped me off to the fact that Modes & Travaux had three shops on the same corner – the one I was in, the Hello Kitty store (?) across the street, and a Tiboodoo’s store right next to Hello Kitty.  Uh, oh.  I sensed my (pseudo) yarn diet was in danger.   

 

I come from a big family – 5 kids – and between us we have 12 children.  None of my siblings are grandparents yet.  So with that information, perhaps you’ll understand why I never understood the whole knitting for babies thing.  I just didn’t get why anyone would spend time and precious fiber knitting something to be peed, pooped and/or thrown up on.  And then my niece, who is the design and programming genius behind Planet Purl, became pregnant.  And the urge to knit adorable little baby things kicked in.  So now I get it – baby knitting is really about knitting for the parents.  So when I saw the Tiboodoo’s shop, I was a goner.
 

The great thing about this shop is that every single design has been knitted up and is hanging on tiny hangers on darling displays.  You can buy the item pre-knitted, or you can have them make you up a kit.  There’s a box on the counter (visible in the pictures) with every color of wool and cotton they have available.  The patterns can all be made with either fiber interchangeably.  Pick your pattern, pick your colors and fiber and they slip into the back of the shop and make up your kit!  Patterns are available in French, English and American (with appropriate knitting terms for the locale).  They were out of the "American" directions for the one I picked, so the saleswoman gave me the pattern in French, took my email address and emailed it to me the next day. 

Modes & Travaux and the Tiboodoo’s shop are just a hop, skip and a jump from the St. Lazare train/metro station.  There are a dozen exits from the station, so I suggest you check the map of the area (plan du quartier) as you exit the subway to get you bearings.  The shop is open from Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m.  Their website is in French, and you can find it here: http://www.boutiquemodesettravaux.com/catalog/default.php4

 

 

06/07/2008 0 comments | add comment
Copyright 2007-2008 Planet Purl, Inc. All rights reserved. eApps. Privacy Policy


Favorites
Del.icio.us
Digg
Furl
Magnolia
StumbleUpon
Google
Yahoo
Technorati
BlinkList
Facebook