Thursday, March 20, 2008

Paris, Part 1: the crafts

I may have mentioned this before, but Master P and I used to live in Paris. We had a strictly bohemian life where he worked on his screen play and I worked as a nanny. We drank wine all the time (but not while I was with the toddler - come on guys!) and were kind of broke most of the time.

This time around we were a little more flush, and a little less bohemian. We had a really rough list of places we wanted to go that I scribbled on the back of an envelope. It was a mixture of old haunts, restaurants we could never afford before, and for me, yarn shops.

Shopping for yarn in Paris is kind of hit or miss. There's a lot of other crafty loveliness to behold. Here's the deal:

Cat'laine, 19, rue Saint-Marc
This was the second spot we visited, in one day, that was just not there. I had a little guide book from 2006 that was way out of date. This would have been a shop called Cat'laine. I was so frustrated at this point that I took a picture in disbelief.

Marche aux Puces de Saint-Ouen

If you take the metro all the way to the northern edge of the city, on the weekend, you will find the enormous flea market. There was no yarn to be had, but it seemed as if every vendor had boxes and boxes of vintage buttons. I was totally overwhelmed and couldn't decide on any at all. In hindsight, I should have just bought a bunch. I'm still kicking myself. I did score a Cartier scarf and lovely necklace, thought. Not bad.

Le Bon Marche, 22, rue de Sevres

My American friend who lives in Paris (mother of dear Nathan) told me that the best place to shop for yarn in Paris was at the top floor of their chicest department store, Le Bon Marche. Sh wasn't wrong. They had an impeccable selection of Debbie Bliss, Rowan, Button d'Or, Anny Blatt and Phildar. If I lived in Paris, I would probably shop here. The floor also houses sewing notions and fabric, buttons, ribbons, and embroidery. However, it was a little old fashioned and didn't have anything I couldn't get (yarn-wise) in the states. I took some surreptitious pictures and skedaddled.

La Droguerie, 9 et 11, rue de Jour

This was the one place I *knew* I wanted to visit and it did not disappoint! La Droguerie is hip and young and vivacious. As is the case with most stores that sell yarn, they have buttons and ribbons lining the walls. They also sell their own private label yarn which completely won me over. The wall were lined with different fiber (mohair, silk, cotton , bamboo, wool) all in the same spectrum of colors. I had a serious problem resisting buying one of each, but had to settle one two skeins (which I'll show you later). They sell them by weight and weight them in this cute scale before you pay. If you're going to Paris, make this your number one stop! (I also bought the cutest dress and my new favorite shop around the corner on the same street. Bonus!)

Stay tuned for Paris, Part 2: the food!


margaret in manhattan said...

oh - j'ai beaucoup d'envie de toi - and I'm not going to ask froggy how to really say that - I could say je suis jalouse but that's probably not right either - anyway, I'm truly jealous and thrilled that you had a good time - no matter what the exchange rate was ...


Veronique said...

Oh, La Droguerie is one of my favorite stores! But I did find myself trying to calculate how much I was spending, and it makes shopping a little difficult... I got some great bamboo yarn though :) Can't wait to see your haul!

Macoco said...

Reading your recap gives me such the itch to travel!

libs said...

I've never been there! How lazy am I?! Will have to go check it out, babe in tow. So glad that you're shopping was successful!