Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Millie is a hat - from Louisa Harding's new "Fade to Grey" booklet:

I made this one over the weekend, since I had tired eyes and just wanted to do something that didn't require a lot of concentration. It's in Grace Hand-dyed, which is a silk and wool mixture, and the colour is called Latte, which I think is a bit strange, since I've never seen pink milk, but I suppose it has got the beigey colour as well...
I'm still at home, trying to work here, which is incredibly frustrating, because I have to email every query I have about something. Also I have to put up with the noise from the building next door, whose facade is being resurfaced. I hate noise more than almost anything, but at least it should be over this week, they do the resurfacing quite quickly here.
Ah well, better get back to work - maybe I can have a stitching break later?

posted by Ally at 11:35 am ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Of Female Arts
This is a little photo of my train piece - "Of Female Arts" - which is on 32 ct country cream Belfast, with Vicki Clayton premium silk in Fish Pepper. The premium silk only requires one strand to cover 32 ct, so I'm finding it much nicer than the ordinary VC silk.

The little pin and needle box and the tape measure, they are wooden, are from Sajou. I was at Le Bon Marche today, and they have a whole Sajou display, so I picked these up. The Sajou things are not cheap, but these ones are cute.

I am at home this week, and probably next week as well, since I have to wait for a Dutch work permit, which finally will be granted. Such a fuss, they wanted me to go back to New Zealand to get my birth certificate stamped by the Dutch embassy there! And then they told me I would have to return there after three months in the Netherlands and not return to the Schengen area for three months.... um, no, I live in Paris for the past nine years....... So, in the end, I am a European tax payer and get a work permit on that basis.

I'll be happy to be back in Apeldoorn again, it's quite a nice town, although I don't know what they will find me in the way of an apartment. And it is a bit boring here at home trying to work, especially when it is something new for me, and I would like to discuss it with others.

I've been staving off boredom by ordering new Louisa Harding books and yarns, I'm in love with Grace Hand Dyed, and about to start a beret and fingerless mittens in that. At least it is warm here now, about 25 degrees all week, and warmer than that today, I would think 28 or so. You can tell who is a tourist and who is not, as the French have all got out their autumn clothes and are swathed in cashmere (I am quite serious), while the tourists and me are in summer clothes.
posted by Ally at 5:02 pm ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments
Thursday, September 09, 2010
The Netherlands - but for how long?
I am officially off the sick list now, and have been back at work for two weeks, much of which has been spent on the train. This is massively preferable to planes, in spite of such minor inconveniences as the Gare du Nord and Rotterdam Railway Station. Gare du Nord is always horrid because of the beggars (they tend to stand at the head of the taxi queue and demand money before you can get into a taxi, and the station management say they can't stop this, you have to hope to get a strong-looking taxi driver who will shoo them away), and Rotterdam is temporarily horrid, as they are rebuilding it, which seems to involve very little space to move around, plus absolutely no escalators or lifts, so nice with a suitcase, especially when they change the platform three minutes before the train is due.

At least once one gets on the Thalys, there is plenty of stitching time, and they bring you rather nice food and drink from time to time. I'm also getting used to the Dutch trains from Rotterdam to Apeldoorn and now know to get in the "Silence" compartment. I am going quite well with the Quaker sampler that is my travelling stitching at present.

Apeldoorn, where the project is based, is a smallish town, I think about 150,000 people, but it has a few tourist sites and is far from dull. There are shops! Normal shops! Including an Ulla Popken shop, where I have already made a contribution to the local economy. The hotel is also fine, with proper pillows and a swimming pool, and it's easy to get around on buses, or even walking, because the town is flat as a pancake. The only problem with this assignment is that work have done something strange with my work permit - again!!!! - and until this is sorted out, I am not allowed to be here full-time.

So tomorrow I am going back to Paris until Sunday, when I come back here for three days. I am going the long way tound this time, via Roermond in the south east of the Netherlands, because there is a shop there called "Naald en Draad" (Needle and Thread), that looks to be worth a visit. In fact, I think there are a few good shops in the Netherlands, and some of them are not too far away for Saturday trips, once I start spending two weeks at a time here. There is nothing in Apeldoorn itself, as far as I can see, but other towns nearby have some interesting shops - Zutphen, for example, which is twenty minutes by train, I think, has a shop that has great wool felt, I met the woman from there at "L'Aiguille en Fete".

The weekend will be a bit busy, because I have a ton of stuff to do at home, plus some essential shopping, and it is also opera at Les Invalides on Saturday night. This before catching a fairly early train here on Sunday, so I can get in at a reasonable time (there's trackworks and delays on Sundays at present) and have a nice swim before dinner.
posted by Ally at 9:55 pm ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments