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Thursday, 27 June 2013

Knitting and crochet retreat in France

Today is 27th June, which means market day in Rouillac.

This is a massive street market that envelopes the whole town and sells everything from fruit, veg,

budgies, cheese, chickens, guinea pigs,

 kitchen utensils, wine, honey, Bergere de France knitting yarn and much more.


The market happens once a month, always on the 27th and is well worth a visit. Margaret bought a basket and a dress, Pauline bought a basket and I bought a Passion flower plant.

 Back home for lunch, an afternoon of sunbathing, knitting and crochet, Lin only has one more block to go on her Alphabet blanket, Margaret is progressing well with her crochet cardi and Pauline has started a knitted cardi.

In the evening we go to our friends Steve and Moi for a barbecue, it is the day after their son's wedding, so their garden looks beautiful with a marquee full of wild flowers and fabric bunting, more singing and dancing, this is proving to be the most sociable retreat so far...............

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

June knitting retreat in France

Yesterday we woke up to clear blue skies. After a quick walk with BeBop Culli drove us into Saintes and dropped us off at the Roman amphitheatre.

We sat on the terrace above the amphitheatre drinking coffee and admiring the view then walked down through the town calling into the yarn shop on the way where Pauline and I bought some fine multi-coloured Katia cotton, then onwards over the river to the fabric shop. I bought a book of simple sewing patterns which hopefully even I can cope with! We wandered back up the hill, with the inevitable stop at Maison du Monde for a few purchases, then one more coffee while we waited for Culli.

We spent the afternoon in the sunshine with our knitting and crochet. Pauline finished the petals on her flower face cloth, Margaret has made a few false starts on her crochet cardigan, but seems to have cracked it finally and Lin is progressing well with the ABC blanket. I have started a doily with my new yarn which is slow going.

I had a catering job in the evening, so left the girls to Culli's tender mercies and a lamb tagine, they seemed to survive and were all looking fairly jolly when I got back. We sat in the garden putting the world to rights until long after dark.
Today has been another lovely sunny one. Lin, Pauline and Margaret spent the morning reading and working on their projects while I did some cooking, then this afternoon they had a quick dip in a nearby pool that belongs to our friends David and Yvonne. Tonight it should be warm enough to eat outside again, supper of paella followed by lemon cheesecake.

Monday, 24 June 2013

June knitting and crochet retreat in France

This must have been the noisiest start to any retreat.
picnic supper at Chatageasse
Margaret arrived on Saturday afternoon, she lives in Brittany, so drove down to us with a car full of yarn, books and projects, after helping her unload the car and a quick catch up on the gossip we set off for a midsummer party at Chantageasse, where Culli's band 'The Billy Whizz band' were playing. Second guest Lin was dropped off at Chantageasse to join in the party and we bopped the night away.

 Sunday morning, the three of us settled down for a bit of knitting, whilst Culli drove off to La Rochelle to meet third guest Pauline. Lin, Margaret and Pauline all came on a retreat last October, they were total strangers to each other, all with very different backgrounds and geographically living a long way apart, however, they hit it off from the moment they arrived here and have remained firm friends ever since, it is really rewarding to see returning guests like that and the same rapport between them is definitely still there.

On Sunday afternoon Lin finished off a crochet cot blanket, Pauline started a blanket square and Margaret became re-enthused about a summer top that she was about to give up on. I finally sorted through my stash basket and UFO's. We had supper of Charentaise melon with parma ham and Pineau, followed by Provencal fish stew and homegrown rhubarb fool, then an early night for all.
Charentaise melon with Pineau chasers
Today we have been working on our knitting and crochet projects all day and have managed to make the studion look like it has been hit by a yarn bomb in the space of a few hours (admittedly mostly my mess!). Lin is working on a crochet alphabet blanket which is amazing, she is racing through it so should easily finish in the next couple of days. Margaret has started on an Elizabeth Zinnerman surprise jacket using the box of blue, grey and neutral shaded yarns that she brought with her. Her technique involves getting each of us to choose a shade for the next stripe, which a) saves her having to get up and b) gives a totally fesh view on the stripes. Pauline is knitting facecloths, having quickly finished a lovely, simple textured one she has gone on to a flower shaped version. By the evening we had clear blue skies, so sat in the garden enjoying apero's before supper of goats cheese souffle, followed by chicken breast wrapped in sage and prosciutto with roasted vegetables and then wickedly delicious chocolate pots.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Birds of Life cushion

I have finished my crochet cushion from Jane's book 'Homespun Vintage'. I changed the background to ecru because that's what was in my stash and worked the background in double crochet instead of knitting as I need the practice! But am really pleased with how it has turned out.

We have another retreat starting today, sadly the weather is still very changeable, I just caught this little lizard desperately seeking a few rays of sunshine!

Onwards with the housework..............
Knitting and crochet retreats in France