Saturday, November 23, 2013

Yarn! Yearning for Yarn!

The yarn-yearning caption does not quite qualify for being a catchy diacope so aptly described in the INKY FOOL blog by M.H. Forsyth, in the style of "Bond, James Bond". But it is the mantra of textile crafts people and so the news of a new LYS (Local Yarn Shop), a lovely lace pattern or intricate design is making the rounds quickly.
The arrival of a LYS in any town is something all knitters or crocheters will hear with joy, fancy ideas begin to flash up, day dreams and fantasies appear on the horizon almost instantly. Read on and join us following Elisabeth's dream!
Sunflower Fields 2013 - Photo by Anne Mader
The location: Revel  is a small town in the Midi, south-western France. It mirrors exactly the image international tourists expect from a truly French town, however it is still genuine and not a tourist-adapted fake. There are magnificent timbered houses, lovely boulevards, lots of little Cafés and an exceptionally interesting and uniquely beautiful market place with a Bellfroi at the center. Ancient arcades line the square and offer shade in the heat of the summer in south-west France, justifiably also called the Tuscany of France, that has so far escaped mainstream tourism. Le Lauragais: a beautiful, gentle rolling landscape with huge sunflower fields, gliding in soft waves to the far horizons of two oceans and bordering the Pyrenees mountain range.
Every Saturday, the traditional market draws a good number of people, not only from the surrounding villages and towns but that weekly event has also managed to be on top of those visitors' "must do" lists. Easy to see why: within the old and layed back bastide town of Revel there is a wealth of small restaurants, Cafés, shops and galleries. (The picture below is from this source)
Revel Market
Artists abound, displaying and selling their distinctive art - there are painters, local and visiting, wood-cutters, sculpturers exhibiting in the Musee du Bois, musicians, leather artists specializing in the ancient craft of Guademeci... scratch the surface and you are in for a surprise. If you plan on staying for your vacation, your choice might fall on taking classes in Occitan, the language formerly spoken by famous troubadours and even by kings and queens, while these days Occitan (called lenga d'òc Occitan) is an endangered language and you can count yourself lucky to listen in to the occasional Occitan conversation, most likely held by two elderly persons during market day in one of those little Cafés bordering the stands. And recently, Revel was able to welcome the arrival of a new store, where you might take a knitting lesson or two:

Elisabeth Tricoter (Picture by Elisabeth)
Elisabeth Tricoter is the name of the brandnew Local Yarn Shop in 31250 Revel, France. It is not only well worth being visited by locals but by all yarn lovers who happen to vacation in or visit this lovely area of the Le Lauragais.
Many people harbor a dream of what they would do if... and Elisabeth bravely took the plunge, her long-cherished plan to have her own yarn store finally came true, her desire to realize her life-long dream won over despite all odds. You can share her dream by following an interview with Elisabeth in a number of blog installments (in French and  English), and I hope you will enjoy and be able to identify with this wonderful story! 
Elisabeth Tricoter (Picture by Elisabeth)
Interview Elisabeth:Starting an interview usually begins with the past – but we going backwards from today – describing the presence, unravelling the past that led to the presence, which will lead into future.
Un interview commence habituellement par le passé - mais nous reculons à partir d'aujourd'hui - décrivant le présent qui s’effiloche sur le passé qui conduit au présent et débouchant sur le le futur/l’avenir.

Q: Elisabeth, you launched your yarn shop in May of this year. Even before the lovely little shop opened its doors, I’ve been pressing my nose against the window, admiring the tempting display, the wide choice of premium brand yarns and accessories, ranging from wooden shawl pins to the attractive specialty of this region, le Lauragais, the Pastel Blue. What was the reason behind opening a yarn store in these difficult ecomical times and how come you picked Revel?
Vous avez ouvert votre magasin de laine en mai de cette année. avant meme que la jolie petite boutique a ouvert ses portes, j'ai été me coller le nez contre la vitre, admirant l'etalage tentant, le large choix de fiet d’accessoire haut de gammes, allant des broche de bois pour châle à la spécialité attrayant de cette région, le Lauragais, le bleu pastel. Quelle était la raison de l'ouverture d'un magasin de laine dans ces conditions difficiles de l'économie et comment se fait que vous avez choisi Revel?
Elisabeth Tricoter (Picture by Elisabeth)
A: The final decision to open this boutique was made in March of this year but I had been dreaming about doing that for a very long time. Yet it was very difficult for me because doing so, I knew I was going to be very busy and therefore lose my freedom and my time that I spent with my grandchildren ! Nevertheless, I threw myself into this aventure. There are several reasons for this: Firstly, I felt passionately about wool and what you can do with it ever since my childhood. The second reason is that we all get older and so the realization of this dream was " now or never"!
La décision d’ouvrir cette boutique a été prise au mois de mars de cette année mais il y a bien longtemps que j’en rêvais. Pourtant cela m’a été très difficile car ce faisant, je savais que j’allais être très affairée et  donc perdre ma liberté et mon temps que je consacrais à garder mes petits enfants! Malgré tout, je me suis lancée dans cette aventure.Il y a plusieurs raisons à cela : Tout d’abord, je suis passionnée, depuis ma toute petite enfance par la laine et ce que l’on peut en faire : la tricoter. Associer les couleurs et réaliser des ouvrages. Deuxièmement, l’âge avançant, la réalisation de ce rêve était : « maintenant ou jamais »
Elisabeth Tricoter (Picture by Elisabeth)

Secondly, I strongly believe in a return of the art. I think young people will love doing what their mothers and their grandmothers knew how . Once you knit necessity and today we will knit for fun. And we all knows we all need to find simple gestures, we find ourselves through our creative power. I also posted on my window a small article stating that knitting is therapy as well as a hobby. Another reason not least : industrial offer new materials, so new ! as beautiful and sensual as each other. We deal with a wide range in quality, colors, blends, this is fabulous!
Ensuite, je crois très fort à un retour de cet art. Je crois que les jeunes gens vont aimer faire ce que leurs mamans et leurs mamies savaient faire. Autrefois on tricotait par nécessité et aujourd’hui on tricotera pour le plaisir. Et Dieu sait que nous avons tous besoin de retrouver des gestes simples, de nous retrouver nous-mêmes à travers notre pouvoir créatif. J’ai d’ailleurs affiché sur ma vitrine un petit article précisant que le tricot est une thérapie en même temps qu’un loisir. Une autre raison et pas des moindres : les industriels proposent des matières nouvelles, tellement nouvelles ! toutes aussi belles et sensuelles les unes que les autres. Nous avons affaire à une grande diversité dans les qualités, les couleurs, les mélanges, c’est fabuleux! 

Next interview installment follows in the next post.
Store address: Elisabeth Tricoter, 26, rue de Vaure, 31250 Revel, France (Tel. 0033(0) Encouraging comments are welcome:
Visit her website at  

1 comment:

Linda said...

Thank you so much for sharing this with us! I loved reading your post - and would so enjoy going to that yarn shop! In my dreams....

Linda in VA