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Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Knitting holidays in France

The second knitting and crochet holiday for 2014 started on Wednesday.
Regular visitor Margaret and her hubby Richard arrived by car from their home in Brittany and Culli collected the other two guests Clare and Sandra from Bordeaux along with his old school friend John, so it is a full house.
After a few glasses of wine and late supper everyone collapsed for the night.
Sandra, Margaret and I started the day walking the dogs before breakfast, then we all settled down for a day of knitting. Everyone has brought along very different projects, Clare is knitting a Rowan pattern which her friend(!) Sandra says will make her 'look like an exploding perforated snowflake', she is also making some crochet hats for KAS (knit a square South Africa). Sandra  is leaping between a chunky hat, a pair of ribbed mitts, blanket squares and a Debbie Bliss child's sweater. Margaret is knitting her third ASJ (Elizabeth Zimmerman Surprise Jacket), a knitted mouse, a cotton and bamboo cardi and some fingerless mitts. I am dodging between finishing off a fairisle tank top and another Ballerina bunny.
We had supper of asparagus wrapped in parma ham, followed by duck breast with prune and chocolate sauce and tarte tatin, lots of wine and lively conversation.
Roman amphitheatre in Saintes

coffee and beer in Saintes
On Friday we have another early morning walk with the dogs, then go into Saintes to visit the wool and fabric shop. Sandra bought some lovely fine baby yarn, ribbons and novelty tape measures, Margaret bought a piece of fabric to make a scarf and I bought a book of sewing patterns.
After a quick visit to the Roman amphitheatre we went for coffee in the centre of town, then drove home dropping Clare and Sandra off in Brizambourg for lunch at our local bar. Margaret and I settled down in the garden for an afternoon of knitting. Margaret's husband Richard has been taking some amazing photograph's for his 365 project and I have talked him into taking a few for my website and the blog. We had supper of smoked salmon pate, seafood pasta and chocolate torte.

On Saturday Sandra, Margaret, Richard and I went into St Jean d'Angely for the market and Culli took John back to the airport for his flight home. We wandered through the market and town, stopping for a coffee in the sunshine then back home for lunch. In the afternoon I did a short workshop on knitting with beads. Clare has started to crochet a beaded cushion in a lovely soft lilac cotton with yellow beads. Supper was pear, roquefort and walnut salad, chicken and fennel cassoulet followed by cheesecake.

Clare with her wine stash

On Sunday morning Margaret and I dragged Richard along to a brocante, a definite improvement on the one last week. I bought a some jars to sort my button collection into and we both bought plants, lots of herbs and a few lettuce. We spent the afternoon in the garden enjoying the sunshine.

Clare had to leave on Monday for work, so I dropped her off in Bordeaux, leaving the others relaxing in the sunshine. A final round up of projects, Clare had nearly finished her jacket and completed one side of the beaded crochet cushion, Sandra had got a bit further with everything, but nothing completed and Margaret made me 3 mice for the Open House at the weekend and was close to finishing her surprise jacket.

Clare's cardi

Margaret modelling her almost finished jacket

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