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Friday, 27 June 2014

Knitting holidays in France

June has flown by, we have had a workshop and a retreat and I haven't had time to put any of it on the blog until now.
Two brilliant but very different weeks. The first week of June was a knitting and crochet workshop with tutor Jane Crowfoot, we had three residential guests - Mary, Dani and Barbara and four who live locally coming on a daily basis - Annabelle, Lorraine, Mel and Josie.
Jane fresh from a week in the Shetlands had brought along a project for everyone, a gorgeous knitted fairisle bag with lace edging in soft heathery shades. In addition to this there were workshops on basic crochet and how to read a crochet diagram.
Mary and Barbara arrived a day early to tie in with flights to La Rochelle, so on the Sunday morning we went to the market in Saintes to buy some fresh fruit and veg for lunch................

........................then had a coffee at the Roman amphitheatre

The next morning we settled in the studio for the first workshop, Jane also brought along a huge selection of shades form the Rico cotton DK range for everyone to dip into.

Jane's knitted bag project with fairisle design and lace edging

on tuesday morning we went shopping in Saintes

to the huge fabric and yarn shop where we all bought, pattern books, yarn and ribbon

then on to Maison du Monde

then back home for more knitting and crochet

Barbara's beautiful crochet design which she managed to complete in the first day

a visit to St Jean d'Angely for shopping, sightseeing and coffee

more finished projects being blocked

a shopping trip to Jarnac

knitting and crochet in the garden

dorset buttons

projects nearly finished

Culli has been busy making yarn bowls

Dani's beautiful crochet scarf, created from 40 shades which she is working at random

The end of another wonderful week, with Dani and Barbara promising to return next year and Mary staying on for the knitting retreat that started on the next day.

Monday, 2 June 2014

Sunday morning brocante

The 1st of June and it is a lovely sunny day.

I go for an early morning walk with BeBop & Buddy, it is my favourite time of day, just me and the dogs.

Waiting for a biscuit treat. BeBop has been on really good form since his eye op, we have had good news that the lump in his mouth is not malignant but still need to monitor it in case it grows and makes it difficult for him to eat.

The countryside is so beautiful at the moment, hedgerows brimming with wild roses and orchids and fields of poppies.

After a cup of coffee it's off to the first brocante, which is totally craft based, textiles, yarn, trimmings, buttons, embroidery thread, pattern books and much more. I am in heaven, but manage to contain myself to just a few buttons, knitting beads and some vintage lace trimming, my friend Lorraine buys a huge piece of linen with openwork edging to make some curtains at a bargain price.

Next it is on to Nere for the big brocante there, my total purchases for the day a wooden lamp stand that I am going to paint and make a crochet lampshade for, set of 7 hat boxes, vintage lace parasol, 3 metres of polka dot linen fabric, set of 4 mini casseroles and a kilo of fresh apricots all for the grand sum of 20 euros!

Made the apricots into crunchy apricot crumble by poaching them with honey and vanilla and cooking separately a topping of 50g each of flour, powdered almonds, butter, muesli and brown sugar on a tray in the oven, sprinkle over the apricots and serve with dollops of creme fraiche = fantastic!