Moving on…

With the move looming upon us the Belge and I inevitably argued over the finer details. We heatedly discussed where to live, we disagreed about what the move would bring us, and we debated in earnest whether we should do it at all. Having had the move date brought forward by an increasingly impatient boss, we quickly packed boxes, booked movers and said “au revoir” to a handful of friends and Versailles. I joined the Belge to his works leaving dinner and welled up over a cocktail at a well-chosen roof top bar. Through already nostalgic eyes the views of the Eiffel Tower were particularly spectacular that night. All in all a mixed bag of feelings, and three weeks into our new life in the UK we are regretting leaving behind such beauty.

I haven’t touched my sewing or knitting projects for the entire time we have been back. I have had “knitters block”! I no longer feel inspired, everything seems drab somehow, my surroundings are harsh and angular. I never expected this move to affect me in such a way. It goes to show how we can truly take beauty for granted, and also how our perceptions can be changed by living abroad for such a long time.

I have rearranged my knitting room three or four times and it is still not quite right. Not enough light, not enough room, bulky carpet, asymmetrical shape etc. I should be grateful that I have finally got my own space, and I am sure I will be once I get it “right”.

In the mean time here is a reminder of what I have left behind:

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Bienvenue chez moi.

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I am very lucky to live in the beautiful city of Versailles. We are also very lucky to be experiencing such good weather for this time of year! Most trees are still green and the few that have started to change add amazing yellow and orange accents to the scenery.

I live in a flat on the top floor of an amazing old house, and literally there is inspiration all around! The building itself has an impressive exterior; pale grey roof tiles, orange and beige brick with eye catching blue and yellow wall tiles all surrounded by an immense, overgrown wild garden.

Our apartment is flooded with natural light and we have filled it with bright furnishings, the block colours and patterns work perfectly with our natural oak furniture and wooden parquet flooring. Old meets new; stone fireplace, retro sofa, old oak chest, abstract prints of our favourite artists on the wall, and it wouldn’t feel alive without sharing the space with our beloved house plants (the poor Yucca didn’t make our last house move). It seems that as different as me and the Belge are we certainly agree when it comes to our little “nid d’amour”!

For me, working on my handmade items environment is everything. A large 50’s sideboard hides drawers stuffed with fabric, yarn, tools and books. As much as I need a proper workshop space I am currently making do with the dining table. Got to adapt and make it work, and I am getting on surprisingly ok. Helps immensely that it is incredibly quiet here, and no one to complain about me singing at the top of my voice while I work.

My previous post shares a few photos of what I am looking at everyday (apart from the photo of the knitted outdoor stool, an example of yarn bombing over in the UK-Cockermouth. Was amazed to notice it in the street back in Feb, something quite absurd looking proudly like it belonged there, no one seemed phased by it, I of course was utterly fascinated!). There is something quite calming about being surrounded by pretty things. France is certainly the right country for that, aesthetic beauty is engrained in their culture, everything should look beautiful, from the women to the pastries, the buildings to the strategically planted trees. No going shopping in your joggers! Well not in the capital anyway..

Talking of shopping, would you consider a curly cabbage and a butternut squash exotic? The checkout girl today had no idea what they were…..

Project poncho

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So you may not think of ponchos as high fashion, however they have a special place in my heart, and are rightly becoming more and more popular!

Throw on over a pair of jeans and knee high boots and you are ready for Autumn, add a long pendant necklace and you are good to go!

Many hours were spent on the LK150 to produce this beautiful piece of knitted wool (probably too thick for the machine as pulling the carriage across was painful! Hoping I have gone up a cup size, it was a complete work out!!!).

Now I will hand knit the edges and attach a button to the collar, I also blocked it to set the size (sprayed with water and stretched out to size). It will certainly keep someone very warm! I am always so tempted to keep my items for myself! I have several different colours to try out next.

I kept the knit plain and as much as I like cables and the rest I think for such a large item keeping it simple makes it easier to accessorize and looks more modern.

Finished photo to follow.

And now for something completely different: *The French news debates Sunday opening hours (almost no shops are open on a Sunday in France by law), *the National Front party (le Front National) continue to invade the media with their claims that they are not a far right party (despite hard evidence to the contrary) and shockingly continue to grow support, *students protest in the capital for the return of a deported illegal immigrant student who was marched off a school bus in front of all her class mates and put on a plane to Kosovo with her family……