Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Getting my fibre fix in Barcelona

It hasn't been difficult to find fabric and yarn shops--and equally not difficult to restrain myself, realizing that the stuff that appeals to me is similar to what I already have. Aren't I lucky!

Yarn shops come in a couple different forms--there are those that are very old-fashioned where all the yarn is behind a counter or under glass with clerks standing at the ready behind the counter--and then there are the self-service type where one can browse and handle the yarn contentedly. The most common brand is Katia which is made here in Barcelona, and I was intrigued by some scarf yarns that are so thick no needles or hooks are required. Sounds weird, but in fact the instructions are to crochet a chain by hand instead. The resulting scarves are very interesting but I think too heavy to wear.

My favourite shop so far is Ribes i Casals, a fabulous fabric store near Placa Urquinaona. I found the bargain basement and for 3.95 Euros/metre bought two metres of a very interesting organza print that just might make a layered skirt...who knows what the end result will be...

Today I enjoyed a visit to a textile museum, the Museu Textil i d'Indumentaria. The permanent exhibition was well laid out showing fashion (mostly female but some male) over the last 600 years or so mainly in Spain. The exhibition highlighted how clothing has either lengthened, reduced, or otherwise enhanced the human form. It was interesting to see how these shapes have been repeated over the years, and how 20th and 21st century designers have looked to the past for inspiration. The exhibition is well laid out with each display case holding mannequins that represent the ideal body shape of that era (e.g. very narrow waist, wide hips, etc.) and then beautiful dresses from the period--as well as a modern dress that had been influenced or inspired by the period.

Lloyd and I finished off the afternoon with a visit to Parc Guell which Gaudi designed...we were amongst MANY others wanting to see the famous meandering ceramic bench. We managed to escape the crowds by climbing to the very top of the park for good views of the city, but then got drenched in a thunder storm on the way down. It's thundering and pouring again as I write this which is a real change from yesterday's sunshine.

And for those of you who are wondering, Lloyd's conference started yesterday and it has surpassed his expectations. He's been excited to hear about issues that he's keen about, e.g. succession planning and mentoring...

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