While preparing to move from Toronto to France almost 2 years ago,
I slipped right into the “desert-island” mode -
amassing the things I thought would be hard to find here.
I knew that there would be plenty of delicious cheese, fresh bread &
all of the chocolate anyone could wish for.
I was looking forward to living in an old country where some people live in buildings that were built around the time that William the Conqueror was heading for England
(of course Canada has a long history but
civilization is still a relatively new concept on that side of the Atlantic!)
My two biggest concerns were
(don’t laugh – they seemed very real to me at the time):
1) Where would I get new books ? I am a confirmed bibliophile & need a constant influx of new titles to feed my voracious habit. I assumed that this would be difficult given that the few English books I had seen in bookshops here were limited to pulp-fiction & the odd fashion magazine.
2) Where would I get more yarn?
I grew up in a handwork-family & have never known
a period in my life when I didn’t have a few projects on the go. The yarn shops that I had managed to find on previous visits to France offered
such uninspiring selections – mountains of synthetic atrocities which
made me shudder mixed in with some saggy linens & scratchy wools.
During the wild weeks of packing for our big move,
I spent precious time buying yarn & lots of it!
It took me about 6 months to solve my first problem.
It turns out that Amazon.fr sells almost any book I desire.
Now, on to my second… I finished the sweater I had begun during our move& worked on other projects, all the while
contemplating my dwindling yarn stash. I was starting to think about
placing a desperate call to my Mother, begging her to
ship some fresh provisions, when,
just days before our first Christmas here, I spotted
a small sign posted in a market in one of our favourite towns, Dinan.
“Café-Tricot” – English Speakers Welcome.
Although I had been working on my French,
I didn’t feel confident enough to face a group of ladies all
chatting away while knitting. That little sign helped me to
summon my courage & I
attended the next evening where I met
Sylvie Cambet, the owner of the Dinan’s premier yarn shop,
Fil de Lune.
Nestled in the Passage de la Tour de l’Horloge
(beneath the 15th century clock tower), I was thrilled to find that she has stocked her tiny space with a multitude of yarns, embellishments & knitting accessories. Just what I had been pining for!
Sylvie, “une créatrice textile”
(I WISH it sounded so good when you say it in English !!!)
had several careers before opening her shop in 2010.
I’m sure that her years as a
concert pianist & flight attendant taught her
many skills necessary for running a business but she was probably
born with her daring colour sense & innate love of fibre.
I’m sure that I’m not the first person
to describe her shop as “bijou” but it is the best word I can think of
– full of bright colours & yarns from many of the
best suppliers including Anny Blatt, Noro, Lang, Plassard, Fonty & Bouton d’Or -
it is a very inviting & inspiring place.
One thing that I find sets her apart from other yarn retailers that I have discovered in France, is that she’s willing to take a chance – lately she brought in some yarn made from the
up-cycled selvedges of cotton T-shirts. It is big, stretchy & completely unusual.
I like that.
Sylvie’s always working on a new commission for one of her loyal clients,
they obviously like her style too!
Check out her work at www.fildelune-tricot.blogspot.fr
Agnes & I have been attending the
café-tricots regularly for the last several months & have enjoyed them immensely.
It’s such a treat to take the time to sit, chat & knit
for a whole TWO hours !
To our future Handwork Atelier participants:
We look forward to introducing you to Sylvie & we’re sure you’ll count your visit to
Fil de Lune as one of your many happy memories of your time in France!