Gromit, of Wallace and Gromit fame, is the official mascot of my newly inaugurated series "Knitting in Public". In fact, it was during the screening of the new Wallace and Gromit film "Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit" that I decided to create this feature. Side note: Ribbit and I were the only adults non-accompanied by children in the theater.
In fact, during the opening scene of the movie, Gromit is shown knitting a lovely green pullover for his dear friend and companion, Wallace.
Knitting in Public (or KIP) is a Net-wide, world-wide phenomenon that even has its own holiday, June 11th. The concept, however, is astonishingly simple -- all you have to do is knit in public. Well ladies and gentlemen, I do that nearly every day on the line 2 direction Porte Dauphine on my way to school in the morning and on my way home in the afternoon.
Although I get the occasional stare (staring in France is a national sport but don't ask me how they stay so thin) on the metro, most people smile politely, the same way you smile at people you feel sorry for. One of my first KIP experiences was with an older gentleman who told me how his wife used to knit him socks. Obviously the whole "knitting is hip and trendy" thing hasn't quite caught on here as it has in London and New York. Therefore, I have taken it upon myself to show Paris that knitting is cool and not just for grandmas and I hope to bring to you in this series, all of my KIP adventures in Paris.
Nevertheless, KIP has taken a turn for the better in Paris, with 4 very exciting things which happened this week:
1) I saw my first Metro Knitter (besides myself, of course). She was young, branché* and knitting something blue -- I confess to being too shy to express to her my delight at seeing another consoeur* and instead feebly buried myself in my own knitting (all the while sitting across the aisle from her). Although in my defense, she didn't say anything to me either!
2) Paris Tricot was on TV!!! Remember back when I slyly mentioned that I was going to my first knitting group in Paris and it just so happened that France 5 television was going to film a segment for a tv program ?? Well, we were on tv during the show Alteliers de la Mode yesterday morning for about 1 minute. I even saw myself and Mr. Ribbit's Noro sweater. 14 more minutes of fame to go...
3) Yesterday while waiting for Mr. Ribbit at café Sésame on the quai de Valmy (10th), I pulled out my knitting (still the Noro sweater...) while sitting at the counter and drinking my café crème. The hipster barista asked me what I was making and we proceeded to have a conversation about how knitting is cool and not ringard* and that his sister was in the process of knitting lots of cool stuff for his baby-to-be-born. I will definitely go back, especially since they serve Illy coffee and the café is smoke-free.
4) PARIS-TRICOT, yes Paris knits! Last week I went to my second Paris Tricot get-together at the Café Benjamin on rue de Rivoli and stayed until 10:30pm. I have to admit that before my first Paris-Tricot I was a little worried that I would be alone with a bunch of old ladies with cats. Given the age range of shoppers at the Bon Marché knitting section, I had reason to worry. But no! They are a group of fun, funky and dynamic women (and one gentleman) from their 20s to 40s. Should you find yourself in Paris on a Thursday night, don't hesitate to stop by between 6 and 8pm. http://fr.groups.yahoo.com/group/paris_tricot/
branché: hip as in "she's hip" (I believe the actual meaning comes from brancher meaning to "plug-in" therefore someone who is branché is plugged into the latest trends)
consoeur (f) : colleague
ringard : square as in not cool
PS: I have betrayed you -- I started a new project -- a red cowl neck pullover for myself in Manos and I didn't even tell you about it. I will post pictures in the current projects album by the end of the day.