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Sunday, 29 May 2016

Knitting holidays in France - May 2016

The first retreat of the year has just finished and I think a good time was had by all.

We finished laying the new paving in the garden, with just two days to spare before the guests arrived and luckily we had enough sunshine to spend a good part of the week on my new terrace outside the studio.
Lin and Margaret who are now regular visitors to La Verderie were joined by first time visitors Pam and Nina. The week got off to a bit of a rocky start with Margaret losing her handbag on the train, which meant a lot of extra work for her (and not much knitting) cancelling credit cards and reporting lost passport and driving licence, however, with her unstoppable energy she still managed to finish off a baby cardigan and make a start on the fringes for a shawl.

Margaret's baby surprise jacket

shawl fringe
Lin had packed for high summer so while we were waiting for Margaret's train to arrive we sneaked into the yarn shop in Saintes so that she could buy some cotton to crochet a cardi, hoping to finish it quickly so that she could wear it before the end of the week.

Lin's cardi halfway there
Pam brought along a lacy eyelet shawl to knit, which she thought would be an easy project to do at the same time as keeping up with the conversation, but has been spotted un-ravelling it a couple of times........ She also had a crash course in crochet from Lin on how to make a Christmas tree (it is never to early to start on Christmas projects).

Crochet Christmas tree
Nina brought along a lovely knitting project for a Rowan lace sweater and managed to complete the Back and make a start on the Front (photo of completed sweater to follow!)
Outings were slightly limited due to the fuel crisis in France, so we just made a trip into St Jean for the market on Wednesday morning and then a trip to Saintes on Saturday for a little retail therapy in the yarn shop where both Nina and Pam bought some of the lovely cotton yarn Gong by Plassard,

then a visit to the Roman Amphitheatre.

Lin had made a gorgeous crochet doily for each of us, and with added beads they make perfect jug covers.

The rest of the week was spent relaxing in the sunshine with our knitting and crochet, avoiding the occasional thunderstorm and going for long walks through the woods and vineyards. We had lunch in the garden every day and it was warm enough to eat outside in the evening a couple of times.

A perfect start to the year.

Monday, 16 May 2016

A weekend in Lyon

We took the scenic route heading south via Cahors to visit friends then on to Lyon across the Massif Central, following winding roads with hairpin bends

Lyon is a city packed with things to see and do, we walked for miles through the old town and took a boat trip down the river to see the extraordinary mix of architecture

including the musee des confluences with its bizarre mix of exhibits ranging from various stuffed animals and birds to beautiful embroidered costumes

Then on to the museum of textiles and decorative arts, home to one of the largest collections of textiles in the world.

Food shopping in colourful street markets and luscious patisseries

A trip up to the top of the hill to Notre Dame de Fourviere to see the stunning ceiling and mosaic walls

and while the boys were at the rugby we had a girls night out to the opera to see Iolanthe and Persephone.

Finally home via Vichy for a wander around the elegant town a taste of the water, and a sublime lunch at les Caudalies

then the final night at Chateau de Crocq a beautiful Chambres d'Hotes close to Aubusson.