Saturday, September 30, 2006
Pose with Flour
Here's the photo of the sweater being worn. Very comfortable for the fall.
And while I'm at it, let's pose for a photo with Flour!
Friday, September 29, 2006
Okay, it takes might take a while to get, and you have to be a geek, but damn funny if you are.on xkcd.com. [via]
I'm tempted to get the teeshirt.
Okay, here's another good one...
I'll just leave you these and go look thought all the archives for laughs.
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Finally got this one done. It's all ready to be worn in this fall. Nice.
- Pattern: Adrienne Vittadini Vol 15 Pattern #5: Cabled Sleeve Pullover.
- Yarn: Mission Falls 1824 Wool Colour: 002
- Needles: #8 Denise circular
- Modifications: Not much, needed to extend the width of it by about 2 inches. Either it's a gauge issue or a pattern misread.
- Completion Date: 3rd week of September, 2006.
- Make sure to check the yardage on substitute yarns just in case. As it turns out, I did over estimate enough in my purchasing, but I was left with so little that I worried about finishing the piece and had to order more yarn. It was not a good experience to have to wait and have to search for it. So, must do better next time.
- The sweater is more cropped on me than on the model... it may be a stockinette stitch knitted sideways issue or an issue with sweaters knitted sleeve to sleeve, will have to be more careful on the width (length) in the future. This looks cute, but as it may stretch over time, it may become an issue.
- To make my sewing up easier, I've got to try to remember to work in some selvages.
- The 'roll' on the sweater may start to drive me crazy, will have to put in some stabilizing stitches in the future.
- While the sweater would have been too small the width it was before I fixed it, it is rather big now since after blocking, it's not as crumpled. I have to add stitches on the shoulders to make sure it's not too big and will fall off the shoulder which may get annoying. After all, it's not the 80's.
- Will I make it again? Not the pattern as is. I liked working a sweater side to side so that I can try it out as I knit, but I'd take into account some of the above and would like to make a modify version of the sweater.
And of course, any attempt to photograph anything on the carpet, will cause Flour to come and claim it as her own...
Flour! Off. Off. Get off my sweater. [Nudge] It's mine. Not everything is yours. Get off, that's mine. [Pick up dog off of sweater. Put sweater on a higher surface. Flour promptly loses all interest.]
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Small Update and Heros
I've updated Paris Recommendations Part 2: Pâtisserie and Tea with the photos that my mom took of the patisserie display.
And the first show I've liked so far in this tv season, Heros on NBC. It rocks. I haven't been so blown away by a tv show in ages. I am serious hooked. If you've missed it, NBC is showing it again tonight.
Monday, September 25, 2006
The end of one scarf the start of double knitting.
I started a scarf back in January or maybe even earlier. I've been working on it on and off since then. It's been so long and I've gotten almost no where on it. I finally gave in last night and ripped it all up. This is what I have now. I must have ripped out over 13500 stitches and I don't regret it one bit. I have no idea what I'll do with the yarn now, but I feel free to be done with the scarf that wouldn't work out. It was a nagging mess.
I've tried carrying one yarn in one hand and one in another so that I'm knitting Continental and English at the same time. But in the end, to produce the best looking piece in both front and back, it's working better that I carry both yarns on the left hand, if I'm trying to create stockinette on both sides of the piece. I'm playing with different stitches and trying to see if I can manage to do more than just knit double in stockinette or can I manage some reversible double patterns. I've seen some colour work that's also done with this technique, I'm not quite ready for that, but I may be playing some more on my swatch and see what I can manage.
So far, a lot of fun. Here's an attempt to take a photo (by myself) of me knitting the double knit. Sorry for the poor photo quality...
Saturday, September 23, 2006
moleskine city notebooks
Wow. The moleskine city notebooks are coming out soon. This is just what I need.
I've been doing this for the last few years now for my travels: I get a notebook and for each big trip I take, I use it to take notes of les bonnes adresses and keep notes for future reference. I copy things I see from magazines and travel books and essentially make my own travel book for future trips. I never did think to use a moleskine for it, but that's probably because the bigger books were harder to find. They are much easier to find these days and would have to consider using one of them for future trips. I'll be willing to transfer it all to a new city book if they have one for my cities. It's quite inspirational.
What a great idea! I can't wait until I get to see them in stores.
For moleskine fans:
Friday, September 22, 2006
Paris Recommendations Part 6: General Advice and Comments
This is the part six of my Paris Recommendations Week.General advice and Comments:
- Walk as much as you can. It's the best way to explore the city and enjoy the vibe of quartier. Unless you are staying far from where you want to see in sights, no need to get a metro pass; get carnet(s) of tickets for metro to use the metro and the buses. The buses are really easy to use, just read the instructions on the bus stands. To buy tickets for buses outside of the metro, look for a map on the bus shelter that will tell you where the nearest tabac that will sell tickets. Some bus stops will also have electronic signs telling you when the next bus will be arriving. Love that Metro is easy to use, but stops are close together like London, so you can walk most of it if you are up to it.
- Get a Plan de Paris at a newsstand. It's a small compact map book. Much like a London A-Z. It's well worth the money, it's the BEST map book and lists everything. It's my bible for Paris. Not a guide, but you will never be lost with it, it lists bus routes, metro maps, shopping places, markets, post offices, taxi stands, everything.
- It may be difficult to do with Canadian bank cards, but with American bank cards, it's really easy to get out money from most bank machines you see. They will give you the best rates so you don't get hit with the extra exchange rates at money exchange and you don't have to pay the extra on credit cards either if you use cash. Check with your bank on if you can use your card. Many of the machines you'll find in Paris take bank cards and not credit cards.
- While it's customary to tip on top of the service that's included in the Service. Make sure you check that the restaurant is Service included when you are ordering but looking at all the pages and small print of the menus. It's often NOT printed on the receipt and if you didn't check, you'll end up paying the tip twice.
- When reading addresses in Paris, the last two digits will tell you which arrondissement it's located in. ex. 75006 = 6e arr.
- There are many many perfume shops in Paris. Do yourself a favor, buy a scent in Paris. and you'll remember your trip every time you wear it.
- Join all the chic, put-together French women, buy a scarf, start wearing it.
- When entering a shop or exiting a shop, remember to be polite and say "Bonjour" and "Au revoir". Learn as much french as you can and use it.
- Make note of all the cool places for your own list of recommendations so you have them for your friends for their trip to Paris.
Paris Recommendations Part 5: Sights
This is part five of my Paris Recommendations Week series.Sights:
There are so many great architecture and historic sights in Paris, these are the ones I highly recommend. I've still got a big list of other places to check out as well. Just can't wait to go back and see a few more sights.
- Eiffel Tower (of course, get there before 7pm and you can mail postcards from the post office, which will stamp it with a special stamp cancelling stamp) Jules Verne Restaurant is very nice (and you can get up on the tower for free on private elevator without the line) but the place books up fast, worth a try for a spot for lunch book this well in advance.
Check out the towers light up at every hour for about 5-10 minutes after sunset.
- Arc de Triomphe - getting out at the CDG metro stop will give you the best view coming up to the sight from the escalator. Take the underground path way and walk to the place de l'Étoile.
From there, on a clear day you can see all the way to the Grande Arche at La Défense.
- Afterwards, take a stroll down Avenue des Champs Élysées. Yes, it is very commercial, but I think it's a fun street to walk down.
- Jardin du Luxembourg. 6e arr.
- You should definitely take a night cruise on the seine. Great views. And if you are jet-lagged on your first day, it's a nice thing to do at night or if you are exhausted from a day of walking, this lets you continue the sightseeing but off your feet!
- Notre Dame. Street behind it heading towards the river has some well priced souvenir shops.
- Walk around Ile St-Louis, very old and quaint. All the great old mansions that many of us fantasize about living in. There's a famed ice cream place there: Berthillon, 31, rue St-Louis-en-L'ile - 75004
- Place des Vosges
On the weekends, it's packed full of people enjoying the park.
- Panthéon. 5e arr. Yes, were all the famous people are buried, but the architecture of the place is amazing.
- Walk along the Seine and look at all the bridges. Check out the bouquinistes stalls between le Pont Neuf et le Pont Scully.
- Palais Royale
- Covered Passages. Passage Verdeau, Passage Jouffroy. These covered passages were likely the first shopping malls.
- Le Viaduc des Arts. Avenue Daumesnil - 75012. Highline renovation/rejuvenation project in New York City is modeled after the work done here in paris.
- Pont des Arts. Pedestrian bridge. Very romantic and it's the one you see in all the movies. I particularly like it because you can sit and enjoy it without traffic rushing by. Also a great view of Ile de la Cité.
Thursday, September 21, 2006
My friends gets a mention on yarn harlot...
Okay, they are now famous!Alison gets a photo and a mention with her mets sock.
In this photo, I certainly see someone I know!
Photo is quite fuzzy, who else was there?!
Paris Recommendations Part 4: Museums
This is part four of my Paris Recommendations Week series.Museums:
- If you're looking to go to a couple of museums, get the Musuem Pass for the appropriate number of days. It's worth the money. When I took my parents, I allocated 1 day for the Louvre and the next day as flexible. Just so that if my parents wanted to, we could go for the second day. We did. They loved the art as well as the architectural elements of the palace.
- If you are not using the carte and have decided to visit the Louvre and find yourself facing a long queue of ticket buyers (and even if you are not), look to the left and right sides of the ticket counters for the machines. They will dispense tickets (you might need a debit card) and it would seem that most people don't use them for some reason. I found most machines that I would use for ticketing is also in English! Just look for the option on the screens.
- Louvre You can fight the crowds and push and rush and see the masterpieces in half a day. But to do any justice, you will likely have to spend two days if you like this type(s) of art. Think Metropolitan Museum, but bigger, and where the building itself is art. There's also a shopping mall underground attached. And post office. But if you make many purchases at the Louvre Museum shop, arrange for it all to be shipped home to you. They have very reasonable shipping prices and you're free to buy all the art books and souvenirs you want. They package everything up and your package gets to you in tip top shape. If you are spending time at the Louvre, it may be more entertaining to rent an audio guide to get a better understanding of the masterpieces. The signs are all in French and unless you read it, or have good knowledge of art history, you won't get to enjoy it to the fullest. You'll need a piece of id for collateral when you rent the guide. Bring your driver's license so you don't have to part with your passport.
- Musèe d'Orsay is worth a visit. Impressionist art. The restaurant on the second floor is a good spot for food and is a great setting.
- Musée National D'Art Moderne: Pompidou Centre. Modern Art. The view from the top of escalators is great for a panoramic of Paris.
Make sure you check out the Stravinsky Fountain near by.
There are many many musuems in Paris, both small and big. I've many more on my list I have yet to visit. I'm hoping the next trip I take I'll get the chance to check a few more off my list.
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Paris Recommendations Part 3: Shopping
This is part three of my Paris Recommendations Week series.Shopping:
- I prefer Saint Germain area in the 6e arr because it's more chic and has many of the same designer stores as other places but more laid back. (St. Sulpice area).
- Carry a copy of your passport on you, so you can have the numbers for when you want to file for the VAT refund. And if you do some shopping, do check if you can get the VAT back. The processing is easy and as long as you carry the products back with you, you get your refund back.
- If you've shopped too much, hit a post office and mail the items home.
- Oh, and be patient when shopping. At smaller places, they'll make effort to package up your products nicely. Most places will do gift wrap if you like. And in Department stores, you'll often have to pay at one counter and pick up your shopping at another because they are busy wrapping it all up for you.
- Hervé Chapelier For lightweight waterproof stylish bags in a multitude of colours and sizes.
- Longchamps, 21, rue du Vieux-Colombier. Stylish, classic, handbags, scarves and accessories. Great value and good prices.
- Petit Bateau for good tees. Yes it's a children's store, but look past that and check out their adult selection for women. I love their tee shirts. Very comfortable and in great colours.
- Printemps Much perferred over Les Galeries Lafayette. It's a vibe thing, when we were in GL, it had much of a Macy's in New York feeling, or a Harrods in London feeling. While Printemps felt more like a Barneys or Harvey Nichols, but with things average income folks will buy. A little more like Bloomingdales, but French.
- Monoprix where the locals shop for their daily needs.
- La Samaritaine Department store. Currently closed for security renovation. I'm not sure what that means but I'm hoping it will open again in the future.
- Eva Baz'Art, 53, rue Saint-Andre-des-Arts
- Marie Papier, 6e arr, great paper store.
- L'ecritorie, 61, rue Saint-Martin - 75004 Metro: Chatelet - Hotel de Vile. Stationery store
- Des Fils et une Aiguille, 1, rue Chabanais - 75002. Cross stitch store. Great selection and friendly staff. Near the Palais Royale.
- Les Bonheur des Dames. Cross stitch store. Look for the massive selection of great in house designs. Their location at Viaduc is huge and overwhelming. Really super!
- Entree des Fournisseurs, 8, rue des Francs Bourgeois, 3e. Buttons, Ribbons, fabrics.
- Loisirs & Creation. Fun craft store. Look for DMC cross-stitch kits and pre-finished linen fabrics and books that's hard to find in North America. Carrousel du Louvre
- Carrousel du Louvre. Shopping centre underground of the Louvre. Very 'mall' feeling, and it's even got a food court. (if you must...)
- Le Ciel est a tout le monde. A gift shop/children store with lots of great gifts.
- Anne Fontaine, beautiful good quality shirts in fabulous styles.
- Variantes, 29, rue Saint-Andres-des-Arts - 75006. Great game store. Look for games you can't find in North America.
- Colette, 213, rue Saint-Honore - 75001. Might be the first lifestyle store. Part gallery, part store, all fun.
- Le Bon Marché department store, nice food market in the basement.
- La Maison du Miel. 24, rue Vignon - 75008. Metro Madelaine. Honey, honey and more honey.
- Pain Poilâne. 8, rue du Cherche-Midi - 75006. Metro: St. Sulpice. Fantastic bread, famed in the city and worldwide.
You'll see their bread featured in restaurants, bistros all over the city. Come here and get a loaf for yourself. Staff is super helpful and quick. G loved their apple tard.
- Dehillerin, 18, rue Coquilliere - 75001 the kitchen store. Ask for help and buy some great tools at super value prices. The place where all the professionals shop and if you can't find it here, you can't find it anywhere.
- Mariage Frères, Super selection of teas
- Phidar. Yarn shop. When purchased in France, the prices are reasonable and the wool and acrylic blends are very easy to work with, and wash and wear. Their patterns are well written (even if it's in French.) and styles are fashionable and a la mode.
- Diptyque, 34, bd Saint-Germain - 75005, scented candles, perfumes, soaps.
- Shakespeare and Company. English bookstore in the Latin Quarter. Fun atmosphere, always packed of people and books. An expat hang out place. I like to go look for books in English that are hard to find or published by local publishers.
- Markets: Place du Maubert and Place du Monge are two good ones. I think the mornings are Saturday and Sunday respectively. But should check it out first.
There's Mouffetard as well:
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
Paris Recommendations Part 2: Pâtisserie and Tea
This is part two of my Paris Recommendations Week series.Pâtisserie & Tea: (ranked)
Definitely one of our favorite things to do while in Paris is to hit as many pâtisseries as we can. It's difficult to find dessert art at this level in other places in the world. I've got a few places I go in New York and Tokyo that would be comparible. But that's a whole different recommendations guide. This list is of the most famous ones that are mentioned in guides.
Pierre Hermé - 72, rue Bonaparte - 75006 Heavenly and a must! There is often a queue right out the door. But they gave us chocolates while we waited. Even if there's nothing here you'd like to try, (not that I know that feeling) You should check out the displays. They really are beautiful.
(I have to get a photo from my mom's photo collection to show you...)
My mom's photos:
And because there are more lovely photos, here's the flicker set.
Ladurée (Metro: Madelaine) Have tea there if you can! There is always a crowd at the door ordering for take out. Push your way in and see if they can seat you for tea (and yes, there may be line for that as well). The upstairs usually has more room but the downstairs tea room is gorgeous. Check out the painted ceilings!
- Fauchon (Metro: Madelaine). Great place for gifts of food to bring back home. And make sure to see if there's something you can bring back for yourself to remind you of Paris. My mom enjoys their spices. G likes the preserves. I've shared their boxed cookies and madelaines with rave reviews. I find their teas and coffees to be excellent as well. Really something for everyone.
- Gérard Mulot, 76, rue de Seine - 75006. Metro: Mabillion. Pâtisserie. Great desserts to go. Make sure to try out macarons (G ranks their macarons above everyone else). My favorite is the Pistache.
Dalloyau Closer to the Champs Élysées. A more modern and elegant tea room. Spacious seating, calm and quiet.
Monday, September 18, 2006
Paris Recommendations Part 1: Restaurant and Food
This is the part one of my Paris Recommendations Week.Restaurants and Food: (in no order)
- In general, I've only had 1 or 2 poor meals (still edible but really not outstanding) in the last 3 trips to Paris. We were careful in picking where we should eat. We consult the menus posted outside; see if locals eat there, or just tourists. The French people care about food and it shows! We ate better at the small mom and pop shops than most restaurants back home. These listed are ones I really enjoyed and have gone and will go back time and time again.
- Meals (other than fast food) are taken at a slower pace. There's little chance of putting a rush on it. You may have rush service at lunch when it's really busy and you're squeezed in with the locals or at a tourist place, but in general, count on longer service than you might be used to. Enjoy it. Rest your feet, have conversation, plan your next stop, or the next day. Enjoy a slower pace! If you have to rush it, you might be better off going to take out places and getting your meal to go. And if you are going to be heading into a busy place at a busy time, expect to be squeezed into a table. You'll be elbow to elbow with the ones next to you. If you need a lot of personal space, keep it in mind.
- Crêperies in certain areas are just as fast as a drive through at home. Go line up at the window and order something to go. Galettes are savory. Crêpes are sweet. My favorite late night snack is a crêpe nutella.
- When in France, don't drink Coke! And if you do, don't complain about the price of it. Have what the locals have, coffee, tea, wine, beer! And if you are pinching pennies, take a seat inside. Places will charge you a premium for the people watching seats.
- Always check out set menus for the day. They are usually the best bargains.
- Unless you want a bottle of water (sparkling or flat, your choice) ask for 'une carafe d'eau'. They'll bring you the tap water which is safe and free to drink.
- If you want the weak north american style coffee one might be used to, make sure you ask for american coffee. Otherwise, dive into some of what coffee should taste like, ask for "une crème' and enjoy!
- And if you like chocolate, enjoy "un chocolat chaud" at a café. It's not like the watery runny swill that is served in restaurants and coffee shops in North America.
- Be adventurous, go into the Cheese shops and buy something you don't see at home. Do the same thing at the bakery.
- And whatever you do, don't be on a diet in Paris! Do that before or after! And eat whatever you fancy on your holiday and just resolve to walk to the next metro stop!
- Restaurant at Theatre du Rond-Point, 2 bis av Franklin Roosevelt metro. 75008
- Latin St. Jacques - for the Marmite casseroles. (St. Severin & St. Jacques) 6e arr.
Le Grenier de Notre-Dame , 18 rue de la Bûcherie, 75005. (vegetarian)
- Les Cinq Saveurs d'Anada , 72 rue du Cardinal-Lemoine, 5e arr. (vegetarian)
Les Deux Magots 6 place Saint Germain des Prés -75006 Famous and of course you should go.
- Café de Flore, famed cafe.
La Procope The oldest restaurant in Paris. Behind the restaurant is a passage way that's got nice shops, cafes.
- Alcazar 62 rue Mazarine, Paris, France. 6arr
- Crêperie Saint Andre des Arts, rue Saint Andres-des-Arts - 75006 Great place for crepes!
Ladurée (Madelaine) The salad and sandwiches for lunch are delicious!
- Chez Clément Family restaurant chain. Open late, consistant, lots of locations.
- Cafe Mouffetard, rue Mouffetard.
- Le Jardin d'Artemis - rue Mouffetard (cheap eats street in 5th, lots of fixe-prix)
- In general rue Mouffetard is a great street for a great variety of food and at super prices. It also functions as a market.
- Gérard Mulot, 76, rue de Seine - 75006.Metro: Mabillion. Pâtisserie. Great take out food. Make sure to try out macarons. My favorite is the Pistache.
Da Rosa - 75006. Speciality food store. Check it out just for the experience.