Stop the Presses!! Paris Yarn Store with Sofa!!

I just got back to my room in Paris after visiting Petits Points Parisiens.  (24 rue Véron in Montmartre – Metro Abbesses)  Wow.  Finally.

THIS is it. I finally found a yarn store in Paris that welcomes knitters and crocheters to come and sit a while. It’s something we often expect in the USA but it is no doubt difficult to do in Paris where space is at a premium and where the concept is rather new. The woman in charge today fills in occasionally and was there today because of the Créations Savoir-Faire expo in town. The owner was at the expo and was thoughtful enough to ask an English friend, Ellen, to keep the shop open for her.

It is a very welcoming shop with many choices of yarn not easily found outside Europe. The skeins I bought were from a co-op in the Alps. Of course they have Cascade 220 and other yarns as well as hand-dyed yarns from Europe and Canada. It’s not a big selection but it’s nice. (I’m always on the lookout for souvenir yarn.)

It was nice to find a shop in Paris where I could sit and knit for a while. They have coffee, many teas, and juice available and a restroom if needed. The shop is also guy-friendly. (Believe it or not, not every shop is.) I hope to go back soon and meet the actual owner, Anne.

(L’il Weasel is also excellent but does not have seating.)

There was no compensation from the shop for this blog entry.  No llamas were harmed but some sheep were annoyed.

My latest TV show binge/knit sessions

My latest TV show binge is The Blacklist with James Spader.  I must say however that this is one of those shows wherein knitting should be very simple and chartless.  There are a lot of action scenes and conversations that are crucial to the plot, so following a chart would be madness, I say, MADNESS!  So it’s good for my sock UFO termination plans. . . bwahahaha. Around and around in stockinette!  I can take it!

UFO Socks

Okay. I said I’d never let my knitting become like my crocheting. I’d never have more than one or two projects going at a time. I’m sorry. If you’re all finished laughing and collapsing on the floor with cramps in your abs, you can sit up and take an ibuprofen for the laughter headache you just got.

So now I’m getting out all the socks I’ve let jam up the knitting queue and finishing them. I don’t suppose it’s Second Sock Syndrome because in most cases I’ve either not finished the first sock or I’ve already started the second sock.

Socks currently in active stitch mode

Socks currently in active stitch mode

I figure I’ll be better able to concentrate on the Master Hand-Knitting Program from TKGA if I have a few UFOs cleared out of the pipeline and I can burn through socks pretty quickly most of the time. Wish me luck!

(And while we’re at it, I really need to watch my mouth and STOP PROMISING SWEATERS TO PEOPLE!)

1st Annual Tenntucky Knitting Retreat

The 1st Annual Tenntucky retreat was great! It was very well-organized and there were a lot of great people there. I just wish I hadn’t pooped out on people in the late afternoons.

I actually fell asleep around 5pm on Saturday and didn’t wake up until early Sunday morning. Sometimes working nights can be a real pain. I get jet lag from NOT traveling. Sleeping at night doesn’t keep me from being sleepy in the daytime on my off time. So I missed some really fun activities but my sister, Kelly, attended them and had a blast.

In any case, it was a great retreat and the Lake Barkley Lodge was as close to perfect as you could hope for. The staff was friendly and helpful and the rooms weren’t too far away. Each room has a balcony facing the lake and it felt like we were in a private cabin rather than in a large row of rooms.

Kelly and I decided to run over to The Land Between the Lakes just to say we’d been there. Kelly had trouble with the hat she was working on so I stopped at a stop sign at one of the park exits. Folks were curious about the fat guy in the Prius who was sitting in the driver’s seat, knitting frantically. Hey, an emergency is an emergency! I kept expecting one of them to slow down and ask if we were okay.

-Yes, I think I’ve got this. She missed a couple of increases but I think I’m getting it evened out correctly.
-Okay, sir. Let me know if you need a knitting ambulance! Have a good day!

If there were such a thing as a knitting ambulance, it might look like this.

If there were such a thing as a knitting ambulance, it might look like this.

In a knitting emergency, it helps to find a state park entrance so that you're out of the main traffic area.

In a knitting emergency, it helps to find a state park entrance so that you’re out of the main traffic area.


This year’s Knit and Crochet show was better than ever. A lot of people put a lot of work into it and it definitely paid off. There were really good classes for all skill levels. My friend, Linda, was able to find classes that suit her and she’s just beginning. All in all, it was another great success that really infused the attendees with energy and lots of yarny love. Thanks to all the people who put the show together and to the sponsors who helped make it happen! A special THANK YOU to Arenda Holladay, who tirelessly wound hundreds upon hundreds of mini-skeins for the TKGA yarn-tasting party.

Click on photos below to see a larger version:

Knitta license plate

Knitta – We are everywhere!

Steven Be models a great scarf

Steven Be models a great scarf while hosting the TKGA Yarn Tasting Party

Steven Be and Stephen West host the 1st TKGA Yarn Tasting Party

Steven Be and Stephen West host the 1st TKGA Yarn Tasting Party

Knitters line up for free drinks at the TKGA Yarn Tasting Party

Knitters line up for free drinks at the TKGA Yarn Tasting Party

TKGA Yarn Tasting

TKGA Yarn Tasting Party

Yarn Tasting Party Decor

Yarn Tasting Party decor

Yarn Tasting Entrée Table

Yarn Tasting Entrée Table – Worsted were presented as entrées, DK as appetizers, and sock/lace as desserts

Yarn Tasting Kit

Yarn Tasting Party Kit – The first gift tasters received was a Chinese food container with a free pair of 2.75mm Chiaogoo needles and a menu.

Yarn Tasting Dessert Table

Yarn Tasting Dessert Table

Decorations at yarn tasting

Great decorations at the TKGA Yarn Tasting Party. The fortune cookies contained knitting wisdom and quotes from great knitters.

Good crowd at the TKGA Yarn Tasting Party

Good crowd at the TKGA Yarn Tasting Party

Binka Schwan works the dessert table.

Binka Schwan works the dessert table.

Serenity Zone

Serenity Zone at the Knit and Crochet show

Michael Sellick and Ken McCamish at the Knit and Crochet Show, Manchester, NH

Michael Sellick and Ken McCamish at the Knit and Crochet Show, Manchester, NH Mikey is a wonderful guy who loves his craft and the people who do it!

Ken McCamish crochets in public!

Ken McCamish crochets in public!

Diva Dan – Daniel Zondervan

Diva Dan – Daniel Zondervan is a warm and wonderful guy! He makes everyone feel like he’s known them forever. Instant friend and a true promoter of yarny crafts.

Doris Chan shows off her Dr Who shirt

Doris Chan shows off her Dr Who shirt. If you ever get the chance to meet in person, do! She’s a fun and engaging person.

Torn Between Two Steves

Torn Between Two Steves – Stephen West and Steven Be on their whirlwind tour.

A sock post a lot of us need to read . .

There are many posts on knitting blogs about how to avoid pooling and weird designs using self-striping and hand-dyed yarns.  Many blogs will talk about how to make sure your socks match when you’re finished.

This post is for those of us who shudder at such concerns.  I don’t want my socks to match completely!  I can buy matching socks in the store.  I have nothing against making matching socks on purpose or on accident, but one of the things I like best when hand-knitting socks is just letting the yarn decide for itself what the socks will look like.

Yes, I also love to make Fair Isle designs on some socks and have the socks match.  I also don’t mind knitting socks in solids that I find appealing.  I’m not here to say people who want their socks to match or who hate pooling are crazy, obsessive-compulsive freaks.  Heck, I’d be happy to join them during those times I’m knitting a pair of socks for someone who wants the socks to match. . .

I’m saying that it’s also okay to just let the socks happen.  I feel the same way about some of the sweaters I’ve knitted with variegated yarn.  Some of the pooling that has occurred in those sweaters looks great to me.  Non-knitters sometimes think I did the pooling on purpose and think I’m a genius.

So if you feel the way I do, it’s okay to relax now and stop feeling guilty.  Stop feeling like you’re somehow being lazy or cutting corners.  Knitting is art!  It can be carefully planned and designed or it can be more organic and chaotic.  And in knitting, if you’re not having fun, that’s the only time you’re truly doing something wrong.



Ken and Dani meet two of their heroes.

Ken and Dani meet two of their heroes.

Well, I managed to get a pair of worsted weight socks done in time for Wizard World Con in Louisville. I was trying to knit some nice socks out of sock weight for Matt Smith, who is known for having a love of unusual socks. I had to give up on the sock yarn and switch to worsted. The plan is to finish the better socks and mail them to him. I think he’ll like the socks made from Katia Darling much more than the ones I had to speed knit in worsted. But the real story here is not about socks, it’s about OMG MATT SMITH AND KAREN GILLAN!!!! Ahem. And yes, I said, “Hello, sweetie!” even though I’m sure they heard that line 540 times that day at least. Big “thank you!” to both of them for coming to town and working their tails off meeting so many fans. They must both have been exhausted by the time it was all over.