Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Next Topic--Knitting and how it took me to France!!

Well, this picture is rather shameful, I think!! It's a partial view of my knitting "stash". You can't see all the drawers under this stuff of yarn and needles and totes full of yarn etc. Not to mention the closet behind it!! ICK! Anyway, my fascination with knitting started out with a book--what else??!! It was called the Mary Frances Knitting Book and was a reprint of a book from the early 1900's of patterns teaching girls to knit for their dolls. Then I moved on to REAL knitting stuff. I got 3 of my friends hooked on knitting also and we started having knitting weekends--which were more exciting than they sound. One friend has her grandparents' old farmhouse (it actually belongs to her sister but we borrow it). It was built from a Sear's kit in 1904 and we often go there for an overnight or sometimes even a weekend. It's a really neat place semi-out in the country. We have a campfire and hear the coyotes howl (and we even howl back!) and we knit. Among other things. We also sample some really good wine and food. We've gone on knitting retreats that one of the yarn shops puts on, those are a lot of fun too. Then one time I was looking on the web for a "knitting retreat" a little further afield. I found one in Canada which sounded really great and one in Wisconsin and then the one in FRANCE!! OOLALA!!! So...I put it out there for my friends, just really joking at first, I didn't think they would really take it seriously, but one did! She mulled it over, and we got the details and checked on airline tickets, and another of us told us about a really great hotel she'd stayed at in Paris, one that Rick Steves likes and we thought "PARIS!!!". We could do PARIS too!!! So we leaped and did it. We had all kinds of adventures, Charles de Gaulle airport was on lockdown, and the train into Paris was emptied by the garda (yes, the one we were on!!!) and then the Pope was in Paris so we went to his Mass and SAW him--he passed RIGHT in front of us!!. We almost got scammed but my friend had read about this scam in Rick Steves' book so that saved us. We bought French perfume and saw all kinds of wonderful things!! Then we went to the south of France for a week on the knitting retreat--just knitted in the morning with Louisa Harding who is a designer from England--and then toured all around in the afternoons and saw all kinds of wonderful things. Ate tons of good food ( and some that was quite different!!), swam in the Mediterranean Sea and met lots of wonderful people. The French people were very kind to us and very helpful whenever we needed directions or any kind of help, and we often needed directions! It also turned out that I said Je T'aime to a man who was helping me in a street market when what I REALLY wanted to say was that I appreciated him for helping me, not that I loved him!!! Well, I think he got the general idea eventually but he did turn all kinds of red before that!!! I had no idea that a simple little passion for knitting would lead me several thousand miles away--most likely I would never have gone to France without this "excuse". And I think I forgot to mention the best thing of all about France--the incredible chocolate!!! OOLALA!!! Roz

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