I have no illusions to how incredibly fortunate I am. I love my work. I love my home. I work from my home. I love to sit by my window with the piece that I am knitting or stitching or hooking, an audio or podcast burbling in the background, a batch of cookies in the oven. That’s the fun part. The more tedious bit, that bit that reminds me that it is a job, is when it comes time to marketing all the new wonderful things I’ve created. The photography, the editing, the social media, etc, etc, etc. Not my favorite part. But a funny thing happened the other day: the weather finally warmed, the grass and trees were turning green, and I had a number of things that needed to be photographed. Never has a photo session been so inspired. I threw open the doors and hauled a favorite chair out under the apple trees. My dogs padded behind me befuddled, but delighted with the diversion. And never was I happier to be taking care of the business end of business.
I’ve just finished up and delivered a fantastically enjoyable project: a commissioned hooked pillow that I took through the process from beginning to end. The Landmark School was celebrating the retirement of a much loved teacher after 40 years of service and wanted a gift that would truly reflect their admiration for her and her own personal loves as she embarked on the next phase of her life’s journey. After multiple discussions and drafts, we finally honed in on the perfect design. Hooking was a joy—there is never such a pleasure as finding the perfect shade of wool to express what you are trying to convey or deciphering the direction and style of the hooked rows of wool to pull it all together.
The creativity did not end when the hooking was done. We found a gorgeous crewel work fabric to back the pillow with, and another teacher beautifully hand embroidered the date, school, and sentiment throughout the design. This project was truly a labor of love to celebrate a person who so clearly deserved it.
Nothing makes me prouder than overhearing other women in fabric and yarn shops commenting on how well behaved my husband is. My guy takes all things in stride. We enter said establishment, he reaches for my mittens/coat/bag, and scopes out the Man Seat. He sits. He waits. And waits. When I cast a worrying eye in his direction, he assures me he’s good. When I excitedly point something out to him from across the shop, he gently taps his chest. His heart is all aflutter, too. We recently reenacted this well rehearsed routine while on one truly amazing trip. Paris. Entree des Fournisseurs. And when you get to number 8 rue de Francs Bourgeois, the gentleman in the perfume store will kindly interrupt your butchered but earnest attempt at French with his beautiful English to tell you that the shoppe is just around the corner in the courtyard. Confusion resolved. Let the shopping begin. Cue the lovingly patient husband.
EdF is a small but but charming boutique of yarns, trims, ribbons, fabric, buttons, haberdashery, and all things true to a fabric lover’s heart. The quality of the ribbons and trim, in particular, just sent me into ecstasies of design imagination. I simply could not resist selecting a sampling of my favorites to return to my studio with. Even the magnificent 13 euro/meter lace and ribbon edging made the cut, though just one meter of it.
The store fixtures are just as inviting as the merchandise. There are worn and patinaed wooden antiques—cutting tables, display cases. The wrought iron ribbon displays made me envious. The antique armoires are brimming with felts the colors of confections. And then there are the oh so tempting samples of finished pieces demonstrating the design acuity of knitwear and fashion pattern designers I’ve never heard of, but can’t wait to research and study.
My time there, though not rushed, was far too brief. It was a Pandora’s box that now open cannot be closed again. I know what is out there. It’s the best I’ve seen so far in my endless search for beautiful fabrics and trim. I spent my time there, made my modest purchases, collected my sweet husband and treated him with a stop at the patisserie. While he tucked into his Gourmandise (and me my croissant), I began scheming for my next trip to Paris to continue the discovery of all its textile wares.
Craigslist: Love. It. How was the grammar there? Never mind.
Flea market junkies, bargain hunters, cheapskates–ahem, Frugal Yankees—that we are, CL is a haven. We’ve found sofas and antiques and cars, but it is also just the ripest picking ground for fiber lovers. I’ve bought and sold yarn, found rug hooking tools and supplies, and discovered vintage books of technique and design to die for. And my latest discovery?? Vintage Indonesian batik sarongs. Gorgeous. The design wheels are turning… What to do? What to do?