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Sunday, 17 May 2015

May 2015 knitting and crochet retreat

The May retreat started on another sunny day in France, with six new guests. Friends Jenny and Joanne flew in to Bordeaux straight from a workshop they had been doing with Jane Crowfoot and Debbie Abrahams. The other four guests Ali, Lynne, Grainne and Kristy flew to La Rochelle, after finding that by some strange coincidence they were sitting in the same row on the plane they were all nattering away like life long friends by the time I met them.
Shortly after arriving at La Verderie everyone was sitting in the garden enjoying a glass of wine.

On Monday we spent a day at home making the most of the sunshine, relaxing and getting into the projects.

Joanne has brought along her Debbie Abraham's Mystery Blanket and a lovely knitted cowl kit from a workshop she did with Marie Wallin. Jenny is knitting a gorgeous baby cardigan (Kyoto Cardigan by Lisa Chemery) in a bright red Drops cotton merino DK.

Kristy is crocheting a hexagon blanket in a vibrant mix of colours with white surround.
Grainne is crocheting a white 'Call the midwife blanket' and a child's cardigan.
Lynne is knitting a 4ply baby cardigan from one of the Sublime books and Ali is knitting a random coloured cardigan and a lacy cowl in a soft yellow cotton.
Kristy gave Lynne and Ali a crochet lesson and Culli inspired by Kristy's lovely wooden crochet hooks and requests for yarn bowls disappeared into his workroom to get turning.

Joanne, Jenny and I took the dogs for a walk through the lanes in the afternoon enjoying the gentle breeze and spring flowers.

It was warm enough for supper outside in the garden with fresh asparagus followed by stir fried salmon, broccoli and tomato and New York style cheesecake.

Lots of wine was consumed and conversation, knitting and crochet carried on until the early hours.
On Tuesday the countryside was blanketed in fog, so after breakfast we went off to Saintes, starting with a visit to Tissus l'Oasis the wonderful fabric and yarn shop, where we all bought a mixture of fabric, books, yarn and accessories.

Then off to the centre of town and a quick visit to Maison du Monde, and the lovely Mademoiselle Pimpremelle my favourite shop in Saintes that sells Fiancee du Mekong and White Stuff, gorgeous bags, jewellery, gifts and Petit Pan fabric - retail therapy sorted!

Back home for lunch and another afternoon relaxing in the sunshine. Grainne had a knitting lesson from Lynne and started knitting a top down baby cardigan, Ali has started her lacy cowl and Jenny has nearly finished her baby kimono jacket.
Supper was lamb tagine, cooked in the garden on hot coals followed by strawberry pavlova and another evening of sitting outside enjoying a glass or two of wine and more chatter.
On Wednesday we went into St Jean d'Angely, leaving Grainne and Kristy to chill out at home.

After a quick sightseeing tour of the town, we went to the market and bought fresh fish, pate and olives then visited the lovely sweet shop. 

Another afternoon in the sun, but the clouds started rolling, it just stayed warm enough to enjoy supper outside - BBQ chicken kebabs and baked sweet potato with lime, coconut, chilli and ginger followed by tarte tatin.

It was Ali and Lynne's last night, so there was plenty of laughter at supper time and promises to return.

We moved inside for the rest of the evening to warm up and watch a bit of TV.
Thursday morning was cooler but they still managed to sit in the sun for a short while until a big black cloud sent everyone running for shelter. After lunch Culli took Lynne and Ali off to La Rochelle for their flight home, the rest of us settled down for an afternoon of finishing off projects. Jenny finished her little baby cardigan and Grainne is racing through her knitting project and has almost completed one side of a crochet sweater with the wool she bought on Tuesday.

Culli finished another yarn bowl for Jenny.

On Friday it was a quiet morning at home then I took Jenny and Joanne down to Bordeaux for their flight, Grainne and Kristy went to Jarnac for the afternoon with Culli for a bit of shopping (while he was at band practice), then we spent the final evening chilling over a few drinks.
Another great week with masses of work achieved and lots of promises of a return trip next spring.

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Artists Open Houses - Hummingbird Studio, Brighton

If you are visiting the Artists open houses in Brighton this month pay a visit to Hummingbird Studio. Open every weekend in May from 11 am to 5pm on Saturday and Sunday.
This lovely exhibition has something for everyone including some of Culli's woodturning.