Pierre et Penelope

December 2008

When I wrote about the Plum Crazy Cake, I was only beginning to scratch the surface of my wonderfully unique friend Camille!  I didn’t even mention knitting.  Knitting and Camille go together like an easy SAT analogy question.  In her presence, you are more than likely to have a clickety-clack of needles as a comforting background rhythm to your conversation.

I was fortunate to have Camille as my very own knitting ninja instructor!  When it was time to teach me to cast on, Camille came prepared with two very special knitting needles:  Pierre and Penelope.  The names balanced my love of French and Spanish, and their bright colors balanced my awkward fingers with my desire to learn to knit.  As they were made of plastic and had cute faces, they posed less of a threat in my carry on as I prepared to go to France for a six-month stint as a jeune fille au pair.


Before I left for Paris, Camille gave me a very special Bon Voyage present: a bright blue beret made by the one and only Camille Affability Shanahan!  To frenchify my new winter wear even further, she added a petit moustache.


I spent my evenings knitting while watching French television with my boss and the boy, and my weekends wandering the city.  I couldn’t help but see reminders of Camille throughout Paris.  I took Pierre and Penelope on little knitting adventures through the city as a token of thanks to my teacher.

One day, when I unlocked the mailbox, a pleasant surprise awaited me:  a package from Camille!  Inside was a new version of Pierre and Penelope Camille had sewn for me.  Gregoire made them feel right at home.

Camille and I had both been inspired by a project called Knitta Please.  I had spotted some of the knit tags throughout Paris and snapped their photos to share with Camille.

I also added my own little knit tag to the city.  I chose the sculpture as the place to leave my creation because it resembled peas in a pod.  That was how I considered Camille and me.  We were two peas in a pod, and the little scarf was a gift to the city and to Camille.

During the cold months of Pittsburgh winter, when Paris was just a memory, I warmed my oven with another Camille inspired cake- two little cakes to be exact:  Pierre and Penelope Pastry!

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