Saturday, January 12, 2013

On knitting and wool in France...

   Those who know me well know that I'm just as passionate about crafts as I am about cooking and eating. It's total joy having more free time than I used to because it means I've been able to set to with my knitting needles and begin to consume a yarn stash that literally fills an entire armoire.
    A true cupboard of delights. it's crammed with gorgeously coloured skeins collected over the years in the UK and in North America. I've bought from yarn shops, from thrift stores, from flea markets, and even recycled wool from secondhand sweaters and cardigans that I've ripped apart.
   In the unlikely event that I do ever run short (and even if I don't) I can sleep at night knowing that I have an extraordinary source right in my neighbourhood.
   Specializing in lusciously soft wools tinted with natural plant dyes, my friend Andie Luijk runs Renaissance Dyeing in Lieurac, a hilltop village on the back road to Foix. Want to mend the rips in a medieval tapestry, or knit a pair of heirloom socks? She's the person to turn to.
    Among the many French crafts magazines, Marie-Claire Idées is probably the most inspirational. A couple of copies ago, an entire page featured the most gorgeous blanket crocheted from Andie's wools.
    It's available as a kit and, if you're tempted, know that she send mail orders all over the world.
Photo: Valerie Lhomme, Marie Claire Idées

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