The sunflowers are nearly over and the blackberries, sloes and mushrooms are ready for picking, it feels like autumn has arrived already! Be Bop has been helping himself to blackberries straight from the bush and is covered with juice all over his nose.
The chateau at Crazannes
We had our photo club outing yesterday in the pretty village of Crazannes, it was a baking hot day and I was late as we had B&B guests the night before so walked for miles around the village and down to the chateau at high speed taking photos to enter in the autumn photographic competition. After this it was back to Dick and Jackie's for a lovely lunch followed by a trip around Les carrieres de Crazannes, the amazing limestone quarries that were used by the Romans. Stone from the quarries was used to build the Arc of Germanicus in Saintes and many of the Romanesque churches in the area. The cool shady paths through the quarries were the best place to be on a hot day, it was like being in a different world with trailing ivy and scenery straight from 'Raiders of the lost Ark', no sign of Harrison Ford but plenty of inspiration for knitting designs with beautiful leaf shapes, vivid greens and creamy limestone textures.
If you have an urge to learn how to knit, or want to brush up basic knitting skills join tutor Sue Culligan on this residential course at La Verderie in France. The course is designed for a maximum of 4 guests with workshops held over 4 days. The cost of the holiday (£295 per head for a single room or £225 per head based on two sharing a twin room) covers all the workshops, materials, full board, outings to local towns and transfers from local airports and stations. Travel to France is not included in the price.
We will go through all the basics of knitting to cover casting on and off, different stitches and simple colourwork with an aim to create a knitted patchwork cushion cover during the course.
See further details of the accommodation here and for full details of the course email firstname.lastname@example.org or BOOK HERE
An exciting little package has just arrived in the post! My advance copy of Techno Cozies, I can't believe it is finally in print. Writing and designing Techno Cozies was a real challenge, as well as knitted projects it includes sewing, felting and crochet. There are a total of 30 designs for cozies, bags and cases and all are suitable for any level of experience in each craft. It will be available to the general public the first week of September and can be ordered in advance now on many of the major websites including Amazon and WH Smiths, I will have some copies available to order on KnitKits at the beginning of September.
A huge, huge, huge thank you to everyone who helped me along the way, especially Kim, Frances, Jo and Wendy for helping me meet the deadline by making up some of the designs.
New stock! Our own KnitKits sock blockers are available now. This pair of perspex sock blockers come in three sizes (EU shoe sizes 36-38, 39-41 and 42+), they have a handy ribbon tie for hanging and storage and are just £9.99 a pair. ORDER HERE
Sock knitting gift pack. The perfect present for sock knitting fans. The kit contains two balls of Mini Mochi sock yarn, a basic sock pattern and a pair of perspex sock blockers. This is all packaged in a fabric drawstring bag embroidered with the word 'Socks', use the bag to carry around your sock knitting projects or to store socks in the drawer. ORDER HERE
Another trip to Cognac yesterday for a sunny afternoon in the park with Bo Weavil followed by the BluesEaters at the Irish bar.
Today it's a David, Yvonne and John's joint 65th birthday party, with music provided by Culli's band Bedrock. It has rained in the night, so fingers crossed for a dry afternoon and evening!
Kim leaves on Tuesday, so back to work then with a vengeance, I have two bedrooms to paint before more B&B guests arrive in two weeks!
I have just built a new website for our knitting retreats and workshops in France and will be adding more details to this every day, see Knitting Holidays in France here.
Kim arrived yesterday to stay for the weekend, I think we consumed a glass or two too many last night so things are going a bit slowly this morning. However, when the brains are in gear we will put together the programmes for the Hot Textile workshops in the autumn.
Then this afternoon another visit to Cognac for some more blues.
This week is the Blue's festival in Cognac. It is a brilliant week of free music (you pay for the headlining bands if you want to see them) but the freebies are sometimes just as good. We went yesterday for the afternoon and saw two great bands, enjoyed a few beers in the sun and avoided one downpour sheltering under a tree.
Perhaps next year a combined knitting retreat and visits to the festival every day?
I know I said never again, but as one of the guests said to me at the last Chateau workshop 'never say never......'
Sooo, I've gone and done it and booked another week at the lovely Chateau St Julien de l'Ars. Debbie Abrahams and Jane Crowfoot have volunteered as tutors and the week will run from Sunday 16th September to Saturday 22nd September 2012.
It promises to be a fun packed week, the theme is going to incorporate knitting and crochet with a view to designing an item for the home, if you would like further details please email email@example.com or visit http://www.knitkits.co.uk/ to reserve a space (they are selling out quickly!).