If anyone is actually interested in the 1000 pictures I took, I'll post a link once I get them organized.
I figured I'd talk about the most interesting stuff first.
I didn't get a whole lot of knitting done (does that mean I had a good holiday, or a bad one?) but here are the products of hours spent at the airport, in the air and driving 'round the french countryside.
This was the first pair I finished.
The yarn is Louet Gems Merino, (the one I dyed myself) in a simple 4x1 ribbed pattern.
This pair was Yarn Pirate in Culture Club. It's the Anastasia pattern. I'd been wanting to try it out since I saw it on HeyAwesome! The pattern was easy to remember and shows off the yarn really well.
I love working with Fleece Artist's Sea Wool.
The pattern is the one that came with the skein - Bordello Socks
Just a simple pair of ankle socks. Austermann Step.
Socks and a manicure all at once. Lovely.
As for yarn stores. It was a little disappointing.
Okay, it was more than disappointing. It was tragic.
I found two that weren't their equivalent of Michael's, and even then...not a skein of hand dyed anywhere.
As I said - Tragic.
This store, la marchande de couleurs, was the most visually satisfying. Nothing hand spun or dyed, but quality. Cotton, alpaca, bamboo, merino as far as the eyes could see.
I found the method of purchase awkward, however.
I don't know if you can see the tags, but the yarn (on these huge conical spools) is sold loose and by the gram. That is 3€50/50 grams. No mention of how many metres/yards in a gram, nor how many stitches to an inch. I'm sure that method works for them, but I'm definitely not used to it. Consequently, though the yarn I bought was beautiful, I don't think I bought enough of either for the projects I had in mind.
Speaking of the yarn I bought: here it is. The 100% bamboo (amazingly soft and silky) in Merlot and some 100% cotton (glossy and gorgeous) in Sienna. The store ships to anywhere in the world, so I can get more, I just don't relish the thought of transatlantic shipping charges.
Anny Blatt is exclusively yarn. They have some decent stuff (like this superwash merino sock yarn) but most of it is novelty yarn. High quality novelty yarn, but furry (or sparkly or bobbley or whatever) just the same. Oh, and I picked up a pair of wood needles to get started on the clapotis (for which I'd earmarked the bamboo), but they turned out to be 1/2 a millimeter too big. Pfft.
In conclusion, while France has many beauties, they are seriously lacking in qualty yarn and the stores to sell it.
The problem is that they neither know, nor care about this deficiency.
The French may be ahead of us in handbags and shoes, but they are ages behind in Knitting as Art.