Loop yarn shop had a stand at the 'needle fair', l'Aiguille en Fete in Paris last week and I went along at the weekend to help out, or rather to hinder sales with my pigeon French. I understand quite a bit of the language but tend to dry up in fear when I have to speak it, so I stuck to such reliable terms as point mousse (garter stitch) point tricot (stocking stitch - except apparently it is not, it is 'jersey' oops! See comments below), tres doux (very soft), the numbers for prices, grams, meterage and needle sizes and the trusty old Parlez-vous anglais? when all else failed!
It was really interesting to compare and contrast the fair with British alternatives such as the Stitch and Knit show. There were very few yarn stalls and the French crafters were intrigued by many of the yarns on Loop's and Habu's stands which we knit with frequently in Britain, such as the hand dyed sock yarns and unusual fibers we are used to. Most of the fair consisted of needle point and cross stitch, although there were a few things that caught my eye. There was an incredibly cute toy kit stand, la Sardine and you know that I cannot resist a plushie textiles creature.
I also spent most of the spare time I had poring over the Japanese book stall Junkudo. I have long admired Japanese craft books, but had yet to make a decision on which of the many beautiful books to buy. However, it almost proved more difficult having the hard copies there to thumb through as I found I wanted them all! I succumbed eventually to this retro styled amigurumi book which reminded me of some pictures I have of myself as a child with my own toys. I also really wanted a sewing book, however I spent most of Sunday agonising over which one to buy - I know from my previous forays into sewing that I would not end up using them all, so I was very restrained and decided on the simple tunics and one piece book, as it seemed the simplest.
The draping book, while fabulous, may be beyond me and the one with the fantastic grey dress with pockets on the front (regular readers note; my dress/pocket obsession is getting ridiculous) had no other patterns I liked.
Aside from the Japanese book stall, my favourite part of the fair was an amazing cross stitch exhibition. This was so fabulous, it needs another post, so stay tuned for a lengthy post on vintage needlepoint and artefacts and in the meantime feast your eyes on the la Tour Eiffel at the top of the post in glorious textured cross stitch to tide yourself over 'til then.
I cannot leave you without sharing a great and very apt picture, which I promised the lovely Juju I would post. Outside of the fair, it seemed the needle fever had spread throughout the city, as across from our hotel was the amazing 'Knitting Pig' restaurant. It was actually called Au Cochon de Lait, but the sight of the milk laden pig knitting ecstatically in the sign was all we needed to change its name. So there you go dearest internet, even the livestock knit in Paris; now I feel my affinity with the country of my ancestors even more...