This past weekend my sales team and I travelled to Lyon, France for the Knit.Eat festival. It’s a new festival that started up in France a few years ago and has had wonderful success. We last attended the festival in spring 2019. Since, the festival has been on hold due to the pandemic. They were able to host their first in-person event last weekend!
Needless to say, I was very excited to get back to my favorite thing in the world… talking about yarn with all the knitters! I had no idea I would miss interacting with knitters so much until it wasn’t possible anymore. The last in-person event I attended was Stitches West in Feb 2019. Little did I know what was coming down at the time. I remember being in LA waiting for my flight back to Paris and I could feel the frenzy and stress in the air amongst the travellers. I returned to Paris and started to set into place social distancing measures at work and focused on our big move to our new atelier which was scheduled to happen on March 17th, 2020. This was the exact same day the French government announced that we were in lockdown! It was such a chaotic spring for us but we made it through.
The stress that followed made me completely forget about the amazing event I had just experienced. Before I knew it, 6 months had passed and I hadn’t even thought about one of the most important things I love about my job: taking La Bien Aimée to fiber events. I pivoted my mindset to make everything virtual, I went from selling my yarn in my shop to selling my yarn online and creating new online content to go with it.
Can I be honest here and say that I really didn’t realise how long the pandemic would last? It was not until after we were deconfined here in France which was in May 2020 that my mindset changed and I embraced the virtual world we were thrust into.
As much as I love virtual events now, I really miss talking and interacting with people in person. This past weekend in Lyon really solidified for me that taking La Bien Aimée to where the knitters are is one of my greatest passions. It felt promising to be at this event, all of us masked and safe and having a wonderful time! I could see the joy in the eyes of everyone who stopped at our booth. My heart is so full.
The designer, Nadia Crétin-Lechenne travelled from her beautiful Swiss countryside to join us in Lyon for Knit Eat. Since she was present, I decided that it would be her design from my book Worsted would be the first design I show to the public.
I have known Nadia as long as I have been a café owner. I started L’OisiveThé in 2008 and I knew having a knit café that I would need to have patterns to sell along with the yarn selection I was offering in my shop. I reached out to Nadia and asked her if she’d like to collaborate. At the time, I had not started La Bien Aimée. That dream was still just a twinkle in my eye at the time. Nadia designed Coeur de Lion, a beautiful shawl that resembles a hap Shawl with its shape and knit on border. Since then she has re-released the shawl in La Bien Aimée. Pattern is available on Ravelry. I encourage you check out Nadia’s extensive design collection. She makes very beautiful designs that are easy to wear and fun to knit for any level of knitter.
Nadia was the first designer I ever reached our to collaborate so when I started working on Worsted, it only felt natural that she was the first designer I ask to join me for my book adventure. I was so thrilled when she accepted! Azucena is a top down, colorwork sweater with a circular yoke. This sweater has the option to be knit as a pullover or cardigan. There is the option as well to knit the cropped or long version! It is a easy to memorize motif working only two colors at a time. This could be a great pattern for an adventurous beginner who wants to learn to knit colorwork. The simple motif is really fun knit even for the most seasoned knitter. The cardigan version includes instructions for a steeked button band. Let me tell you that Corrie Worsted is made for this kind of knitting technique. The fibers stick together making it really easy to secure your stitches before making the cut.
Just in time for Knit Eat, Nadia released Wannabe in La Bien Aimée Mondim and a second version in our new super springy, non superwash fingering weight base: Twist Nouveau. Wannabe is a fast favorite of mine. I love stripes, especially these Breton stripes. Reminds me of Belle ile and our many summers in Brittany.
From the designer: “Wannabe” sweater is a classical striped sweater, a “marinière” as we say in French. It’s an endless favorite. As always, I bet on simplicity and comfort: a top down, seamless construction and a straight shape with raglan sleeves. The contrasting stripes are thin, which is the perfect opportunity to add a little bit of fun. You can use a neon color, or lovely speckles for example. The possibilities are endless.”
Nadia is wearing Winter + Fluoro Morganite. Aimée is wearing Winter + LBA Yellow in La Bien Aimée Mondim. Sweater bundles now available!