Finding Inspiration in France

Around this time last year, I had just returned from a six-week trip to France with my mom. My mom is a college professor, and we took part in a study abroad program through her school. We took a course in conversational French together, and spent time practicing French, exploring, and generally being out of our comfort zones.

Never one to go anywhere without my knitting, I brought lots of knitting projects to work on during the trip. I planned to complete three projects during my vacation. My ambitions were a bit grand, as I think I only finished one project. Even though I wanted to knit and had plenty of time to do it, most of the time I found myself just looking around and taking in the unfamiliar surroundings. Everything was new and inspiring! For many reasons, being in Paris was like looking at the world through new eyes.

Even though I didn’t get much knitting done during my trip, I found that there was plenty of knitting inspiration to be found for later use. I found a lot of inspiration in the form of architecture and art all around Paris. After taking a wrong turn in the 19th district, I found a building covered in graffiti.

I just loved the bright, bold colors on the neutral-colored building. I imagined the building’s colors being used for a colorwork knitting design, like in Brooklyn Tweed’s Tapestry cardiganI would use Brooklyn Tweed Loft in Woodsmoke as the base color, with Sap, Tartan, Thistle, and Almanac as the contrast colors. The color combination is a bit crazy and wild, but I think all the colors would work well to pull me out of my comfort zone, just like how I felt when I was there.

During the trip, one of my friends took me to La Defense, a business district just outside Paris. I expected to see a lot of buildings and offices, but I certainly didn’t expect to find so many modern art sculptures—they have over 60! Being an avid stripe knitter, I was instantly taken by this striped sculpture. Created by artist Robert Moretti, Le Moretti is over 100 feet high and is made of 672 colored fiberglass tubes.

The arrangement and varied mix of colors reminded me of the Churchmouse Koigu Linen Stitch Scarf pattern. I love how this scarf pattern can bring just about any arrangement of colors together.

For one like this pictured, I might try using Spincycle Dyed in the Wool in Shades of Earth, Ruination, and July July!

Every time I visit Paris, I always enjoy looking at the Louvre’s stunning architecture. It really appeals to my undying love for geometry and glass. I’ve photographed it many times.

Wondering how I would translate this beautiful structure to a knitting pattern, on Ravelry I happened upon a pattern called Louvre that features the geometric architecture in a beautiful textured pullover.


© von Hinterm Stein

Brooklyn Tweed Shelter is one of the recommended yarns, and I would choose Sweatshirt, a heathered steel gray. It’s light enough to show off the details, and gray goes with just about anything in my wardrobe.

It’s incredible how many ways there are to find inspiration for knitting on your next vacation. So the next time you travel, or even explore a new neighborhood, see what unusual sources of inspiration you can find. How have you been inspired by your travels lately?

August 12, 2015 by Oleya Pearsall
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