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Wednesday, 17 April 2013

April Knitting Retreat at La Verderie

We are into day 3 of the April knitting retreat at La Verderie and it is going brilliantly. Mum Sheelagh and daughter Fiona arrived at Bordeaux on Sunday to blue skies and a temperature of 27c, coming from Yorkshire this was understandably a bit of shock for them! It was warm enough to eat supper outside and sit there chatting until after dark.
Sheelagh has come with a plan to master crochet, starting with a simple dishcloth and then a striped cushion cover by Erika Knight, plus a knitted needle case and hot water bottle cover when the crochet gets too stressful. Fiona arrived with a suitcase full of yarn to knit a jacket for her brother, fairisle slipover for Dad and a hot water bottle cover, at the end of the week we will have a show and tell to see how much they have achieved!
On Monday we spent the day in the garden and the studio working on our various projects, I am coming close to finishing my crochet mini throw made from some of my stash of felted tweed. Sheelagh started on the dishcloth and is going great guns with straight sides and even tension. Fiona managed to knit most of the back of her jacket. In the evening after dinner of toulouse sausage and bean casserole, followed by chocolate brownies and raspberry coulis we spent an evening with our knitting and crochet in front of Star Wars IV (the original).
Coffee in Cognac
Tuesday was another lovely sunny day, after breakfast the three of us went into Cognac to visit Tissus Bonnet the fabric and yarn shop. After at least an hour of browsing we all came out clutching goodies, various fabric remnants, yarn, patterns, sewing machine accessories and a kit to make a sewing box, then on to the kitchen shop for a few gifts for Sheelagh and Fiona to take home. After a coffee in the sun we went back to La Verderie for alfresco lunch of salad, cheese and charcuterie. In the afternoon I finally finish my crochet, and at last feel confident enough to say that I can crochet! Fiona finished the back of her jacket and went on to the hottie cover for a bit of mindless relief and Sheelagh made a start on the cushion cover.

Chateau de Crazannes
Today our morning trip was to the beautiful Chateau de Crazannes. We were the only three on the guided tour and although our lovely young guide insisted she spoke no English, between my garbled translation, her very animated explanations in broken English and the written translation we learnt a lot about this amazing building and grounds. The original chateau was built in the 14th and 15th centuries and was the inspiration for Charles Perrault's tale of 'Puss in Boots'. It has been host to various royals over the centuries including the Black Prince and is now open to the public all through the year and is a Chambres d'hotes.

After lunch we settled back into our projects. Sheelagh now has four on the go, Fiona finished her hottie cover and has started the fairisle slipover and I have started a baby sweater. Tonight, Star Wars episode V!

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