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Monday, 22 April 2013

April knitting retreat

A section of my crochet throw

On Thursday morning we visited Saintes for a bit more shopping. After a long browse in the stationery and book shop we wandered down through the pedestrianised streets to one of the lovely chocolate shops so that Shelagh and Fiona could buy gifts to take home. In the afternoon the girls from my craft group came along to join us, it was a fairly noisy few hours with 12 of us working on various knitting, sewing and crochet projects and all talking at once, but the new studio proved to be the perfect venue. Fiona bravely started on her Fairisle slipover and managed to do the first block of pattern with no mistakes in spite of the various conversations going on around her.
After supper of chicken stuffed with mushroom and pancetta and tarte tatin we settled down to watch the final episode of Star Wars.
masterclass in picking up for necklines and ribs

start of Fiona's fairisle
Friday was the final full day, sunny but a bit cooler. Fiona was keen to have a go on my knitting machine so I gave a quick crash course. It is a fairly ancient chunky machine that I bought second hand many years ago and was already missing some parts, however, it still works and is a great way of using up the stash quickly. She soon got the hang of working the machine and went off hoping to find one on ebay as soon as she got home. We also had a quick masterclass in picking up and knitting stitches around necklines. After lunch we went to visit Veronique, one of the ladies from my craft group who wanted to show Fiona her beautiful cross stitch samplers and pictures, worked on the finest aida and hardanger.
dancing reindeer

Sheelagh's crochet dishcloth

In the evening we had a final show and tell to see what had been achieved through the week and it was fairly impressive. Shelagh felt that although she had un-ravelled a fair bit, she has finally mastered crochet having completed her dishcloth and made a start on her stripey cushion cover and crochet throw. Fiona had finished the back of her chunky jacket with the intarsia reindeer, started the fairisle slipover, completed a hot water bottle cover and then settled down in the evening to knit bags for the sweets she had bought to give as gifts. I was happy to have completed my little crochet throw and have made a start on a crochet cushion cover.
On Saturday morning we set off early under a cloudless sky for the trip to Bordeaux and their return flight to Luton, it has been a really lovely relaxing week and I am looking forward to the next visitors on the May retreat (we still have one space available for the 4th - 9th May if anyone would like a last minute holiday, see here!)

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