Life consists of crossroads, doesn’t it. Constantly, we are making binary-code decisions, consciously and, supposedly, subconsciously, with all its ensueing consequences. Sometimes the road we chose appeared to be the easier one, sometimes we purposely tried the rocky path, both serving their momentary or longrange purpose. In the last post of this blog, you were introduced to Elisabeth, who had made a courageous decision to open a store – and taking that turn appears to have been an exciting, positive and very successful choice!

Being surrounded by colors is like taking a vacation for resting and stimulating the senses at the same time – and such as we perceive music quite individually, we see color just as individually, triggering sensations and feelings and bringing forth personal and individual memories – and which yarnie could resist the sight of such lovely eye-candy yarn!

Part II, Interview with Elisabeth:
The first question was: Q: Elisabeth, you launched your yarn shop in May of this year. Even before the lovely little shop opened its doors, I’ve been pressing my nose against the window, admiring the tempting display, the wide choice of premium brand yarns and accessories, ranging from wooden shawl pins to the attractive specialty of this region, le Lauragais, the Pastel Blue. What was the reason behind opening a yarn store in these difficult ecomical times and how come you picked Revel? (See Part I, Interview with Elisabeth)
Vous avez ouvert votre magasin de laine en mai de cette année. avant meme que la jolie petite boutique a ouvert ses portes, j’ai été me coller le nez contre la vitre, admirant l’etalage tentant, le large choix de fiet d’accessoire haut de gammes, allant des broche de bois pour châle à la spécialité attrayant de cette région, le Lauragais, le bleu pastel. Quelle était la raison de l’ouverture d’un magasin de laine dans ces conditions difficiles de l’économie et comment se fait que vous avez choisi Revel?

True Treasure Cove for Yarnies

A ) Elisabeth:  It is true that the economic conditions are not favorable and that is why I am renting a very small place for an affordable rent. Actually I am still a little bit anxious but my faith is stronger than my fear. And as yet I do not pay a salary to myself. I pay the rent and charges and pay my suppliers, at this time this is the most essential task. I gave myself a year to assess the trend. My choosing Revel is primarily for proximity (I live in close-by Sorèze). Revel is a small town that I love, it is also my hometown. I also think that Revel had to have in a shop in its streets offering precisely this merchandise and using the services offered: I give lessons in knitting and crochet. [[And as we have heard since even men are beginning to take knitting lessons at “Elisabeth Tricoter”!]]

Luxurious Selection

Il est vrai que les conditions économiques ne sont pas favorables et c’est pour cela que je loue une toute petite surface pour un petit loyer. Effectivement j’ai une petite angoisse mais ma foi est plus puissante que ma peur. Et puis pour l’instant je ne me verse pas de salaire. Je paie mes fournisseurs, mon loyer et mes charges, c’est l’essentiel pour l’instant. Je me suis donnée une année pour évaluer la tendance.

Si j’ai choisi Revel c’est avant tout pour la proximité, j’habite Sorèze. Revel est aussi une petite ville que j’aime, elle est ma ville natale. Je pense aussi que Revel se devait de posséder, dans ses rues commerçantes une boutique proposant ces produits là et ce service là car je donne des leçons de tricot et de crochet.   

NORO – what else!


Q: You are also carrying beautiful items related to the Pastel Colour, such as Pastel soap, a heavenly hand cream, lace doilies. Also you sell some exquisite knitted Baby clothes, which are indeed hard to resist, any mother’s or grandmother’s heart will start beating faster…

Plus, you have another store in Durfort, dividing your time between your two shops. The Durfort shop is open during the summer season and is well-stocked with many Pastel-related items, above all yarns in the incredibly intense yet very pastel blue. When and how did you become aware of these special dye-ties exisiting in the Pay de Cocagne?

Vous vendez également dz beaux objets liés à la couleur pastel comme le pastel savon, une merveilleuse crème à main napperons en dentelle. Aussi, vous vendez des vêtements de bébé tricotés exquis, qui sont en effet difficile de résister, a faire battre tres fort le coeur de toute mère ou grand-mère… De plus, vous avez un autre magasin à Durfort, divisant votre temps entre vos deux magasins. La boutique Durfort est ouvert durant la saison estivale et est bien approvisionné avec de nombreux articles lies au Pastel, et plus particulierement les articles de laine dans le bleu incroyablement intense mais très pastel. Quand et comment avez-vous pris connaissance de l’existance de cette teinture (ou pigment) speciale au Payes de Cocagne?

Perfect marriage of yarns and colors

A: The boutique in Durfort opened its doors in April 2011. I was virtually seduced, as if struck by a thunderbolt, by the marvellous color, this Blue Gold, this hue of color, the blueish gray: the color PASTEL. It is a blue that emits very specific vibration giving the senses an impression of serenity. Every day clients experience and tell me about their feeling of the same happiness, and I am also told they don’t wish to leave because it is a place for feeling wonderful. So I got interested in this dye plant with its many and varied virtues. Leaves are used for the pigment with which the fabric or fleece is dyed, houses’ shutters are painted, watercolors created…
 With the oil extracted from the seeds a whole range of cosmetics is being produced in Toulouse.  

I learned the technique of dyeing, and every day I grew a bit more passionate, always on the lookout for pastel-dyed yarns for knitting. I made many different designs and creations with the Pastel yarns, scarves, mittens, wraps, baby booties and so on. These creations sell very well and find an appreciative clientele, American, Dutch and English visiters to the store are very fond of them. 

 
<!–[if !mso]>st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } <![endif]–>La boutique de Durfort a ouvert ses portes en avril 2011. J’ai été séduite, (un véritable coup de foudre) par cette couleur, cet Or bleu, cette teinte, gris bleu qu’est le PASTEL. C’est un bleu qui possède une vibration très particulière donnant une impression de sérénité. Tous les jours j’entends les clients partager le même bonheur et nombreux sont ceux qui me disent ne pas vouloir repartir de ce lieu ou l’on se sent bien.
Je me suis donc intéressée de prés à cette plante tinctoriale aux vertus multiples et variées. On utilise les feuilles pour obtenir le pigment avec lequel on teint le linge, on peint les volets on réalise des aquarelles etc ….

Headlong into Blue
dancer and choreographer Zoe Scofield in one of Mandy Greer’s crochet works – #freeform

Avec l’huile que l’on a extrait de la graine on fabrique sur Toulouse toute la partie cosmétique. J’ai donc appris la technique de la teinture, me suis passionnée  chaque jour un peu plus, j’ai cherché partout des fils à tricoter teints avec cette plante. J’ai tricoté de nombreuses créations bonnets, écharpes, mitaines, des chaussons pour les bébés etc… que j’ai très bien vendues. Les Américaines, Hollandaises, Anglaises en sont très friandes
Some more information on Le Lauragais and the small town Revel, beteween Carcassonne and Toulouse in south-west France? Yes, because it is still relatively undiscovered, no major tourist streams, still truly a place of genuine natural beauty. Quaint timbered houses, cobbled roads, even the archetypical bistros that have been disappearing fast in most parts ot France are found here. And there are the odd finds to discover right at the center of town such as this antique car, a shop for quail eggs and one for buying everything dyed Pastel blue.

The rolling landscape of le Lauragais is soothing and gentle, pleasing and calming to the senses. There is nothing confining the sweeping view but nature itself, the majestic mountain range of the Pyrenees to the South and the wooded Montagne Noir on the other side of a wide flat channel once connecting the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, its alluvial soil beneficial to the growth of trees, wine, and many agricultural crops such as corn, sunflowers, melons, potatoes and so forth.

http://www.artisanpastellier.com/blog/public/entreprises_amies/MUSEE_PASTEL_MAGRIN/atouts_tarn_ete_2001_magrin.jpg
Musée du Pastel – Château de Magrin

The 3rd president of the United States, Thomas Jefferson, passed through this area during the time he was minister to France, however he did not see too many of those endless rolling fields, instead he admired the huge oak tree forests that were covering most of the area around Revel at that time. He visited the Canal du Midi in 1787, as told in “Thomas Jefferson’s Journey to the South of France“, by Roy & Alma Moore who followed Jefferson’s route through the south of France. The book, a gift to us from our wonderful friends Mary and Lucien from VA, includes beautiful drawings, highly interesting excerpts of letters and notes by Jefferson.

Le Lauragais (For Sale): Artist: Cisco Centofanti

Elisabeth divides her time between her yarn shop in Revel and the store : Bleu Pastel en Cocagne, 81540 Durfort, ouvert l’aprés midi, 15-19 h , fermé lundi (open in the afternoon from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., closed on Monday). http://www.artisanpastellier.com/blog/
Store address: Elisabeth Tricoter, 26, rue de Vaure, 31250 Revel, France (Tel. 0033(0)7812851)
Encouraging comments are welcome: elisabeth.tricote@orange.fr
Visit her website at http://www.couleur-lauragais.fr/faiteslevousmeme/