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Wednesday, 22 October 2014

October knitting and crochet retreat in France

The October knitting and crochet retreat started on another beautiful warm and sunny day. I drove to La Rochelle to meet Catherine, Alison and Dorothy who all flew in from Southanpton. Dorothy and Alison had a really early start flying from Aberdeen and Catherine came from the South of England. Culli picked up Jane from Bordeaux and the other two guests Cate and Pam opted to hire a car, Cate has lived in the US for the last 30 years and came to spend a week with her sister Pam, knitting!
We sat and enjoyed the sunshine for the rest of the afternoon and soon got stuck into food, drink and lively conversation.

On Friday after a leisurely breakfast we started on various projects. Catherine has brought along a sock project called ‘socks on a plane’ the ideal choice for a holiday knit, a cowl and a crochet throw. Jane is working on a calf length crochet waistcoat, a gorgeous retro design in a smoky blue bamboo blend. Dorothy has started on a fairisle beanie in lovely subtle Shetland shades. Alison is knitting an Artyarns kit for a lacy shawl in a gorgeous yarn that comes ready beaded with tiny sparkling beads. Pam is knitting a cardigan and Cate is working on a lacy shawl pattern that needs a bit of concentration.
After lunch we made the compulsory trip into Cognac for a visit to Tissus Mercerie. There was much excitement over the fabric, Cate buying linen remnants to make table cloths and aprons and Catherine bought a lovely polka dot fabric to make table mats.

Back home for more knitting and crochet in glorious sunshine, followed by apero’s and supper of smoked salmon pate starters, moussaka then home grown rhubarb with ginger crumble. More knitting in front of the TV and then bed.
On Saturday Cate and Pam went off to Angouleme to pick up Cate’s niece Rachel who is studying at the Sorbonne and is staying just one night with us. The rest of us went into St Jean d'Angely for a wander around the market and a bit of sightseeing with some retail therapy for Alison and Catherine who both bough sparkly tops, then a coffee in the square another yarn fix in the little yarn store and a quick stop at the supermarket for pate and more wine!!

Back home for lunch followed by a fairisle workshop for Catherine who picked it up straight away, then a quick dash indoors as it clouded over and started pouring with rain. We had  a noisy supper filled with laughter and conversations ranging from the olympics to cannabilism(!), whatever happened to good old knitting……..?
Sunday started with very different weather, a clear morning with bright sunshine and a cold wind, no more autumn mists. By lunch time it had warmed up and we were back out in the garden for an al fresco lunch while Cate drove niece Rachel back to Angouleme for the Paris train, clutching her nearly finished scarf. We had an impromptu workshop on knitting with beads, which everyone loved churning out colourful swatches, then tea and birthday cake for Dorothy and Cate who coincidentally shared the same birthday. After a dinner of Sunday Roast and strawberry cheesecake we settled down to watch Downton Abbey.
Monday morning was cool and grey, but in spite of the forecast of rain we decided to brave the elements and go to the all day market in Saintes. First stop was the umbrella stall, then a coffee and a bit of knitting another brief scurry around the market, a stop at the supermarket on the way home, then after lunch the final afternoon of working on projects.

It has been another fantastic week that seems to have gone far too quickly, with lots of laughs and plenty of knitting and crochet. Jane’s crochet waistcoat is growing fast, maybe not quite the finished project she was hoping to take home but it looks amazing. Catherine has started her chevron crochet throw, in lovely aqua tones. Pam is on to the second sleeve of her sweater, Dorothy has quickly knitted a chunky hat in between her Shetland fairisle hat, Alison has finished her lovely lacy shawl with the ready beaded yarn and Cate has started another scarf project.
Everyone has ordered wooden yarn bowls from Culli and Cate has gone back to Boston clutching a lovely spalted bowl that he turned on Sunday. 
On Tuesday morning they were all off back home, it is sad to think that there are no more guests until next Spring.
To see available dates for 2015 holidays click here