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colonnade collage

Like most people (everyone?) I always thought I had a unique vision and sense of style, usually shunning the overly popular and seeking out something a bit different, or even quirky or edgy if you will.  So soon after the most recent Knitty came out, I seized upon a pattern that impressed with its strong lines and multiple ways of wearing.  Something with roots in a traditional shape, but utterly contemporary.  I had to knit it at once! 

Seems like most of the knitting community thought the same way … the Colonnade shawl is currently the most popular recently published pattern on Ravelry, with hundreds of projects completed or in progress.  Seems like I’m a non-conformist, just like everybody else.

colonnade2 collage

I also loved the name, evocative of classical ruins and european cathedrals, shady arcades in Bologna and the cloister of Monreale in Sicily.  (Photo at top left is me at Herculaneum in 2004.)

Back to the knitting… I knit this from two skeins  (with some to spare) of unidentified wool purchased from an Op Shop.  It is a loosely spun thick and thin yarn in dark reds with a kettle-dyed appearance, not terribly soft in the skein, but it knit up into a nice fabric.  I added one extra repeat, as I felt compelled to, and decided a bit of extra length would be good on me.

I am very pleased with the result.  It was a relatively quick knit, and not at all difficult once you get used to dealing with the double yarn-overs.  The shape of the shawl means it wraps around generously and stays on the shoulders.  And I have learnt the basics of shawl construction.  Now for the Shetland Triangle


For Words and Pictures…  Find more souvenirs at Meet Me at Mike’s

eiffel tower sponge

A souvenir, a memento, a remembrance.  Paris, 1989, with sponges purchased from the souvenir shop on the Eiffel Tower.  (As Mr. Foxy says, they are a very good likeness of the Eiffel Tower, but they are much more absorbent.)  

I have always been in love with Paris, or the idea of Paris, so amongst the excitement of contemplating my first visit there I was steeling myself for possible disappointment … but au contraire!  Paris was not to disappoint – it was all true!  The art, the architecture, THE FOOD!  And there really were people walking around wearing berets, carrying baguettes and there really were slim designer-suited women walking poodles on leashes.  The memories of the first visit are still heady.  I was 25, travelling with the man of my dreams, staying in a picturesquely shabby one star hotel, walking endlessly through those wondrous streets, picnicing on chevre and pain poilane, dining in tiny bistros every night.  I felt like we were Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg (only without the crime, police evasion and misogyny).


We returned a couple of years later, then again in 2004  and 2006, and are still dreaming of when we can return again.  On the last visit, the exchange rate was fairly bad, so I couldn’t buy anything of great note, so satisfied myself with a buy-up at the cheap souvenir shops near Notre Dame.  I tried to buy every possible likeness of the Eiffel tour that wasn’t too expensive or too crass.  (Sadly the white ceramic salt shaker is no longer with us).  I love the iconic nature of this structure, and despite its over-exposure to the point of kitsch, it is still an impressive and magical building.


Paris, 2006.  Our first child was designed in Paris during our 2004 visit, so we felt that it was only right to take him back for a visit for his first birthday (and while he could still travel cheaply on aircraft).  

And, this post should rightly end here, but I just had to share this, which appeals to me enormously.  Wafer biscuits stuck together with icing!  This is from a little booklet for kids that I bought at the supermarket, Little Disney Library, Ratatouille: What’s Cooking (ACP Magazines Ltd, 2006).  There are also other great French- and rat-themed novelty recipes, including fabulous faux escargots made from gherkins and pin-wheel sandwiches!  Perfect for that upcoming Bastille Day dinner party (I have already bought the wafers …)


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