Thursday, July 20, 2006

Paris Highlights

Paris was fabulous, but I'm going to hit the highlights:

1. St. Chappelle

I think that this is probably the most gorgeous chapel that I have evern visited. St. Chappelle was built in the 1240s by Louis IX. The king believed that he had found the real Crown of Thorns and commissioned this beautiful church to house the relic. Here's the elevated podium that the crown sat upon.

St. Chappelle
Originally uploaded by amyeetx.

The stained glass was amazing. The glass at the back of the church started with creation and told a progressive story through the book of revelations.

St. Chappelle
Originally uploaded by amyeetx.

2. The Orsay

I went to both the Louvre and the Orsay. Both were impressive, but the 19th century work in the Orsay was stunning. Van Gogh is far more interesting that one would suspect from prints. I wasn't about to try to take pictures, but the gift shop contained this nifty little bobble:

French I Cord doll
Originally uploaded by amyeetx.

Becassine was an early French comic book character. She apprently worked as a housemaid in Paris--hence not surprising that she is pictured knitting. This reminds me of my Mom's little penguin i cord maker from the 40s. How cute!

3. The Mosque Hammam

A fascinating break on my trip was my visit to the Paris Mosque Hammann or the bathhouse. I went on a woman's day and bought the big package--58 euros for entry, special olive oil soap, buff, massage, and mint tea. After a bit of negotiation in my pitiful French I figured out that you strip to your undie bottoms and head to the back baths. After a soak and sweat you scrubbed and washed off, then were buffed by one of the attendants. After a shower and another sweat, you went to have a massage in the main room followed by a sit and tea drinking session. It was interesting to see who wanted to wear bathing suits, who went topless, who wore undies--one would think the French wouldn't be modest, but apparently so. It was fascinating to see behind the veil--to the women's community that we don't often get to see in the US. After my bath I had a lovely meal in the restaurant. People were pleasant and helpful, and I highly recommend this experience. Take a look at this info to find out more.

4. Knitting?

Apparently knitting is not that interesting to most Parisians. It is difficult to locate knitting materials, and I saw no one knitting in public. I did go to La Droguerie --easy to find near the Louvre. The store clearly states--no pictures, so you will have to look at the website. It was actually a bit disappointing. There were great store samples, some hanks of wall for purchase, lots of buttons and ribbons, a few patterns, and a few needles. I needed a new set of 5 points and couldn't find them anywere--the store clerk had them stashed in a lower drawer. Guess they aren't very popular, particularly as there didn't appear to be any sock yarn in the place. I didn't buy anything but the needles as I couldn't conceptualize what I might do with the yarn. But, it was an interesting view in French knitting practice.

Gallery of Finished Objects

Gallery 2007
Gallery 2006
Gallery 2005
Gallery 2004

On the Needles

Cable Cardigan

Faroe Island Sweater

Rowan Denim Seahorse


Future Knits

Lisette from Rowan

Lorna's Laces Socks

Backyard Leaves Scarf

Eloise from Jane Ellison


The WeatherPixie


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