Skip to content

Dear friends,

I’m typing from a sheltered corner of a favorite café, listening to the traffic rolling by. Not automobiles–suitcases. This place is on the way to one of our main train stations, and as it’s high season the stream of travelers dragging their bags over the cobblestones never dries up.

The difference between Parisians leaving town for the three-to-four week grandes vacances and tourists leaving town is written on their faces. The Parisians have the dreamy, preoccupied air of people who are already trying to decide between an ice cream on the beach or an aperol spritz by the pool. The tourists, meanwhile, mournfully contemplate the life choices that have led to their not being Parisians.

I salute them, raising my glass of breakfast champagne.

Me, I will not be taking grandes vacances this year, only a few little ones. There are some appointments keeping my body tethered to the city, but my brain might as well be in an Hermès tote on the way to Deauville.

Not to say I haven’t been productive. The wool (a nice Romney from Foster Sheep Farm) that was hanging around my spinning wheel for almost a year is now a finished skein of yarn. That the yarn oscillates drunkenly between lace weight and worsted is neither here nor there. It’s yarn, and it’s finished.

Also filed under F for Finished, the socks I was working on at the Louvre.

Yet I feel like I have barely moved.

Assembly of the squares in my knitted crazy quilt is begun, using neat little whip stitches that will disappear behind what I intend to be entirely too much embroidery.

It’s in working on this project especially that I feel myself slipping into a delicious lassitude, a stupor entirely devoid of alarm or melancholy. There are thirty blocks to sew together. Then the seams between the blocks will be embroidered. Then the borders between the patches in each block will be embroidered. And then there will be further embellishments: mottoes, emblems, souvenirs.

How long will it take? Who knows? Who cares? There is no hurry. I will not be rushed.

I might as well be Tennyson’s Lady of Shalott, weaving away in her tower and only giving the world an occasional oblique glance in the mirror. She was lonely, though. I’m not.

We have had a few hot days, but for the most part Paris has been blessed with reasonable temperatures and my windows have been wide open to catch the breeze.

In the morning and afternoon, the bees visit the geraniums. All day long, sounds drift in from the acting school, from the bar where the old men play cards, and from the neighbor’s courtyard where the youngest grandchild chases her friend the spaniel around and around until they both topple into a happy, squirmy, giggling heap.

I keep stitching, stitching. It’s enough. It’s plenty.

I don’t know what has brought on this weird dreaminess. Possibly the breakfast champagne has helped.

Who knows? Why ask? If I poke too hard, the bubble of peacefulness might pop. And it’s nice, for once, to linger instead of always racing. To be full of breath, instead of out of breath.

I wish you the same. It’s the very best thing I can wish for you.



Love this article? We love bringing it you you. Thank you for your purchases from the MDK Shop. Your purchases and Field Guides Subscriptions support everything we do here at MDK.

About The Author

Franklin Habit has been sharing his brainy and hilarious writing and illustrations with the knitting world since 2005.


  • Thank you for your latest missive from Paris. My daughter and I were there a week ago and the temperature was very pleasant. Didn’t manage to visit Le Tricoteur Volante (not sure I have spelled that correctly) but I intend to someday. Have you exploded Sostrene Grune (again, not sure of spelling) on Rue du Rivoli? Very good prices for double pointed needles and yarn; I bought some jute and am now trying to think what I can use it for.

  • The handspun is lovely, the socks peerless, and I can’t wait for the embroidery to begin on those brilliant squares.

  • I could be in Paris xx.

    • Merci

    • Thank you!

      • Oh Frank, I wish you could send some of that peace my way. I feel like this has been the year of my discontent. Maybe just a state of mind. I need a mindless project like yours to take me away. But I do know for a few moments, reading your posts also takes me away. I love reading your letters, keep writing!

  • Mmmm, champagne for breakfast.
    Thank you for the visit, I hope to be one of the ones with a wheelie bag sometime soon.

  • You are a true delight! Your socks are quite extraordinary Thank you for gracing us with your wit, character and crafts.

    • Miss your podcasts@!! Is that a produced pattern for the crazy quilt?

      • I think the crazy quilt is a project Franklin has been working on with his Patreon members…he mentions it on Instagram periodically. You would need to join his Patreon for all of the the details – the whole concept of the knitted crazy quilt is wonderful!

  • Franklin, I love the staging of your photos, so colorful, so focused! (also the subject matter is wonderful) You sound so happy and relaxed. Stay well.

  • Definitely love the letter from Paris…calming, this one.

    • Thank you, Franklin! I love your letters and always save them…

    • Ahhhh, sitting in Paris with A glass of champagne and full of breath!What more could one ask for?

      • This move has been so good for you in so many ways! I’m so happy for you!

        I just love cobblestones. So nice you can sit back and appreciate them.

    • Ah, full of breath. Thank you for the reminder. So glad you’re content. Your hand spun yarn and the socks are superb. Enjoy your breath.

  • I was happy to see this morning that there was news from Paris. That crazy quilt has me fascinated. I look forward to hearing about your progress (and seeing pictures).

  • The second I see that we have a letter from Paris, I smile and can’t wait to read it over my morning coffee. An absolute delight to start my day this way. Your blanket is already amazing and to watch it …slowly…. progress will be fun. Thanks for sharing. ALso, love the photography as always.

    • Well said.

  • I cannot wait to see the embroidery and embellishment of that amazing crazy quilt. Hooray for the peace that you’re feeling. x

  • Simply, thank you, Franklin.

    • What a lovely read on the way to a high summer weekend.️⛱️

  • What a lovely, peaceful letter. Thank you!

  • Thanks for the reminder to slow down and enjoy the summer. It’s going by entirely too quickly.

  • Oh, Franklin, I am moved by the words “delicious lassitude”. After 35 YEARS! in the same home, I am moving to one on a lake. I sat there yesterday knitting on the “still being built” porch gazing at the water while the swallows swooped and dove. Everything seemed beautifully slooowwwww. Such an incredible place to simply breathe. Thank you for your words in encouraging us all to root ourselves in our surroundings and find joy there.

  • Your posts always make me smile. And the photos are gorgeous. Thank you.

  • Creativity is a life long gift, how blessed are we that take joy in making things that delight us! My grands vacances is taking me to Paris in September. I I’ll look for you in the corner of random cafes and give you a little wave as you look up from whatever masterpiece you are creating.❤️

    • Full of breath, what a lovely picture. Your letters always make me smile. This one made me take a slow breath and just relax. Thank you for that and your lovely descriptions of your beautiful city and its ways

  • So, it would appear that emojis are not supported. Calm pale pink, lavendar and blue hearts.

  • I always look forward to your letters from Paris! Your beautiful spun yarn is lovely, the socks just perfect, and the knitted quilt will be fun to watch evolve. We were just in Paris, eight of us grandmas, daughters and granddaughters. A graduation gift for two, memories made forever. The other grandmother and I passed on the Louvre tour as we had been there before, and instead took our small knitting projects outside our hotel along the Seine, found a bench with a view and happily people watched, chatted and knit. A lovely, quiet “time out”. A glass of champagne would have been the icing on the cake!

  • I love this post….but then I love all of yours. How ever I do think I must introduce breakfast champagne to some of my favorite knitters the next time we meet.

  • Raising a glass to You, Sir.

  • Merci! What a wonderful post. a great reminder to slow down and enjoy the show. One day I hope to visit Paris, where my father’s ancestors were from. Your posts help me see how beautiful it is.

  • Des grandes vacances chez vous – merveilleux! Champagne à votre santé!

  • I believe, monsieur, you know my opinions on Breakfast Champagne. (Oui, et merci!)

    Thank you for a lovely letter, and its reminder that the courage to press forward is what’s needed to make a necessary change.

  • Thank you Franklin. Yes it’s lovely to enjoy life. There are hidden gifts if you slow down. Savor these moments of peace. Love & peace

  • Lovely! Transporting! Great socks! Thank you!

  • Love the your knitted musings. The blanket is coming along so nicely. May we please know – what IS this sock pattern for the purple and gold sock you finished? I’m so tired of making the same old plain sock. Must get a sock going and I need to change it up!

    • Yes! The socks!

  • Love reading your letters and living Parisian life thru you!

    • Exactly how I feel!

  • I’m inspired to sit in my rose garden and let the world flow by. Thanks formmthe reminder to just be

  • I adore Franklin and wish him all the best. If he were in my bureau and Marie Kondo came over to help me organize, I would keep him because he brings me joy.

  • Thank you for sharing your delicious lassitude – it was like a mini vacation!

  • Wishing you the repose you richly deserve, peace and contentment are so very underrated….thank you for the reminder it is precious!

  • Lovely read

  • “Breakfast champagne.” God bless you, M. Habit.

  • What a nice reminder to stop and smell the roses (there are bees in the geraniums).

  • Thank you! For your words, your progress on projects and motivating me to indulge in some breakfast champagne. Love the socks!

    • I love everything about this.

  • Lovely as always! Don’t forget to stock up on some needed stuff…August is just around the corner and many stores will be closed for “les grandes vacances”. To you Paris-Plages!

  • I, too, am so happy to see your letter from Paris. I love seeing your projects. I’m breathing and doing my knitting here in the awful heat that is consuming most of the United States. I love your crazy quilt. I would love some instructions on how you constructed it.
    Thanks for your letter!! I miss your podcast.

  • This is just what I needed today, thank you. Those socks are WONDERFUL!

  • Thank You all. I just love reading about Franklin’s adventures in Paris. The stories are so soothing.

  • I hope you enjoy every moment of your summer slowdown.

  • Discovering that I could have prosecco on weekdays… Not just special occasions. It was life changing

  • I just want you to know that I love your column.

  • That blanket is spectacular. Please excuse this busybody suggestion: When doing the embroidery, put in something that dates it to the year—a celestial event would be nice if one happens. I have a tattered silk patchwork quilt with Haley’s Comet on it, not the most recent passing, but the one before that. Something about it always gives me the shivers.

    • There are two blue super moons next month and that won’t happen again til 2047 at least

  • I love this for you Franklin ❤️. Do you read Joanne Harris? You evoke the mood of Blackberry Wine or Five Quarters of the Orange here, that languid hazy heat that is somehow uniquely French. Thank you for sharing xx

  • Thank you, Franklin. The sort of dreamy vacation you describe sounds heavenly. Yesterday was spent at a theme park, and while lovely in its own way (all of my sons, husband, DILs and grandsons together for the first time in years), it was exhausting.

  • What a lovely post, in itself a small, easeful break.

  • Thank you for publishing Franklin’s messages. They are always entertaining and allow me to visit Paris vicariously.
    The world needs more articles like his.

    Nancy D

  • A reflection, so sweeeet! You captured my imagination for my own slow handwork here in the mountains of Montana. What a delicious contrast!

  • Delighted to read you are at peace with your projects and the world at the moment. Your spinning looks wonderful and the crazy quilt in progress just amazing. Morning champagne in Paris now what more could one wish for…

  • Thank you for your letters from Paris. I get lost in a “weird dreaminess” state whenever I read them and I haven’t even had any breakfast champagne! Thanks for sharing your la vie quotidienne with us!

  • Oh it sounds wonderful. Sooooo peaceful. It’s a true gift to feel contented and joyful.

  • Thank you! I so look forward to your letters!

  • The Ned Rorem setting of the Robert Hillyer poem immediately sung into my mind. Thank you for the kind wishes for peace and happiness.

    “…And in Paradise to stay,
    Very early in the morning
    Of a lovely summer day.”

  • Oh – those socks! Wow!

    • What gorgeous socks – I just love the colour. Enjoy your wonderful lassitude – time to be treasured.

  • Wow. It’s beautiful and you made that. Nice socks too. Wish my heels were so tidy.

  • Thank you for some arm-chair traveling. My body sighed as I finished reading your missive.

  • Love his articles from Paris!

  • I always love your perspectives. Thank you.
    My husband wants to make a trip to Paris, if only we can stop spending our money on home changes. They seems more urgent and necessary every year. We’ll continue to dream and save where we can.

  • Thank you for this dreamy glimpse. I’m having a different but similarly lovely small vacation and it is like heaven. Enjoy!

  • What has overtaken Franklin Habit? There has always been an urgent, pressed for time and frantic element to his writing.
    I’m not saying which I enjoyed more because I have only read one of the slow version. Even though it is pleasant, peaceful and soothing.

  • I always enjoy Franklin Habit’s posts. Love his comment about the skein he spun: the yarn oscillates drunkenly between lace weight and worsted is neither here nor there.

  • I’m so looking forward to your letters from Paris. Such delight to your witty and eloquent writing! Love your sock the colors are beautiful! Mercy, mercy

  • I love Franklin’s letters from Paris. He makes me feel like I’m there beside him. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to pick up a Book with Letters from Paris and Franklin.

Come Shop With Us

My Cart0
There are no products in the cart!
Continue shopping