knitting retreat 2017 – packed and ready

#retreatlog2017

After months of planning and lots of organisation this year’s knitting retreat is almost upon us. My bags are packed, a huge box of yarn from Claudia (www.wollsinn.de) is ready to go and all other bits and bobs have been collated. Three of us are setting off from Wales early tomorrow morning traveling by car to the French Alps where this years retreat takes place. We will drive 850 miles there and 850 miles back, stopping over in France for a night.

#retreatlog2017 #madewithloops.co.uk

I will be knitting socks when not driving (any tips on how to drive & knit at the same time?), and hoping to finish a pair by the time I come back. I have of course packed yarn for other projects too, and I am hoping to start my #jojimysterykal whilst there.

#retreatlog2017 #madewithloops.co.uk

these are my colours

Over the next 12 days or so I will keep a retreat diary, posting lots of photos and short bits of writing. This is the first entry of the #retreatlog2017. Hopefully you join me in our adventure…I am very excited!

I just managed to finish my #nordicwindshawl by @cabinfour in time for this trip. So pleased with the way it has turned out and using Einrum yarn was absolutely the right decision. The shawl is super soft and almost weightless.

#retreatlog2017 #madewithloops.co.uk

Early bed for me I think…see you on the road tomorrow!

X.

knitting retreat 2017

chatel-collage

Hello friends! I can almost not believe that it’s that time of year already when we announce all the details for our next knitting retreat. So exciting!!!

Claudia and I have been working hard, together with my friend Julie, and we are so happy to announce that next year’s retreat will be in the beautiful French Alps. Here is everything you need to know about it:

Date: Sunday 7 May – Saturday 13 May 2017

Venue: Chatel Portes du Soleil, Abondance Valley, France

Workshop Theme: The possibilities of short rows, incorporating shape and surface design

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Inclusive in price:

6 nights in 5* accommodation plus Breakfast and dinner

We will be staying in two privately owned 5* Chalets

www.chalet-blanc.co.uk

www.chalet-blanc.co.uk

www.chaletmontdegrange.co.uk

www.chaletmontdegrange.co.uk

6 x Dinner (3 courses incl. of vegetarian option) prepared from locally sourced ingredients by private Chef

Transfers to and from Geneva Airport

Daytrip to the Medieval Town of Yvoire on the shores of Lake Geneva

yvoire

www.yvoire-france.com

All tuition fees plus yarn pack – We will be working with top quality yarns, learning how to utelise short rows in shape and surface design. There will be more information nearer the time for all of those who book a place

Knitting Gymnastic and fabulous walks in beautiful surroundings

Complete Tour organisation plus assistance on site

Total Cost:

Single: Euro 870 per person

Double: Euro 770 per person based on two people sharing

Not included

Air- or Train Fare, any entrance fees or other activities you may want to undertake whilst there, all lunches, drinks or other foods. A Supermarket is within walking distance.

Travel:

Transfer from Geneva airport will be leaving at 14.00 hours on Sunday 7 May and departing at 11.00 hours on Saturday 13 May 2017 from the Chalets.

Please make sure to book your travel accordingly.

To book a place

Please send an e-mail to heike.gittins@gmail.com stating clearly if you would like to book a single or double room and who you are sharing with. Please also advise if you have any special dietary requirements.

Upon receipt of e-mail you will receive a bill which can be payed via bank transfer into Heike’s German Euro bank account (bank charges if any to be paid by you) Upon money received you will receive a booking confirmation.

Payment

30% deposit upon booking your place

70% rest amount no later than 31 March 2017

Cancellation:

In the event of a cancellation the following applies:

Up to 31. March 2017 – 20% deposit refund

No refund after 31. March 2017

We will pay a total refund if a replacement participant is given.

The Programme:

The detailed programme will be announced nearer the time and you will receive a monthly newsletter with updates and general information from January 2017 onwards.

Good general knitting knowledge is required, workshops will be held in English and German.

There are 5 double and 3 single rooms available and early booking is highly recommended!

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WoolyLoops is a Co-Production of:

Heike Gittins – www.madewithloops.co.uk and

Claudia Baumann-Ruegg – www.wollsinn.de

We are looking forward to welcoming you!

Best wishes

Heike and Claudia

woolfest impressions

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The sun was beaming down as Julie and I set off very early on Friday morning to catch our flight to Frankfurt and onward travel to Nierstein am Rhein. We settled into our home for the weekend, a lovely hotel very close to the river, pretty quickly.

Waking up to birdsong early the next morning I decided to sit on my balcony and crochet whilst enjoying a cup of tea. Shortly before leaving the UK I had purchased a jelly bag from a company called sun jellies with the intention to decorate it with crochet flowers. I decided to make a start!

Collage_Fotorwoolfest 1

Collage_Fotorwoolfest 2

Soon however we were on our way to Schwabsburg for the 7th Woolfest. Organised by Claudia of Wollsinn in this very old picturesque little town it is always a total treat to visit and participate. I am lucky to be invited year after year teaching workshops and I wouldn’t want to miss it for anything.

Like always, this year did not disappoint! A sea of colour, fabulous handmade items, the latest designs in knit & crochet and many smiling happy faces. Meeting up with old friends and making new ones is always a highlight of the weekend, but this year it was extra special.

Collage_Fotorwoolfest 3

During the knitting retreat in Wales in May we had talked about a meet-up of whoever could make it. To my surprise almost everyone managed to come and thanks to Marion we had plenty of bubbly to clink our glasses with. Spending a couple of hours with these fabulous ladies was the cream on the cake and made the weekend extra special for me.

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I leave you with this happy photo. It sums up a totally wonderful weekend!

Enjoy! X.

 

 

workshop preparation

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Hello friends, how have you been? Sorry I have been so absent from this little space, but since the Retreat finished it has been a bit of a manic time. Mainly it’s been about preparing for workshops in Germany at the Schwabsburg Wollfest. This yearly event, which is organised by my friend and co-host of the Knitting Retreat Claudia of @wollsinn, takes place during the first weekend in June every year. I am very lucky to be invited to teach one or two workshops every year, and this year it’s all about the magic of Mandalas.

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Wheel Mandala

Mandalas, meaning ‘circle’, represent wholeness, a cosmic diagram reminding us of our relation to infinity, extending beyond and within our bodies and minds. The mandala appears to us in all aspects of life, the Earth, the Sun, the Moon and more obviously the circles of life encompassing friends, family and communities.

Mandalas are usually circular designs symbolising the notion that life is never ending. Many mandalas have spiritual significance to an individual or group of individuals. The Hindus were one of the first people to use a mandala as a spiritual tool, but the mandalas most of us are familiar with, are ones made by Buddhists.

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Crochet Mandalas, in bright and cheerful colours, bring joy and happiness to our everyday life. They can be used in many different ways and come in many shapes and sizes. Perfect for beginners and more advanced crocheters alike, they are perfect for using up small amounts of yarn, playing with new colour combinations and trying new stitches. They are great portable projects and make fabulous gifts.

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Remember this little Mandala Pincushion from a post a few weeks ago? A little bit of spiritual wholeness on your desk and useful too. You can still find the free pattern here.

If you have never made a Mandala give it a go, they are very therapeutic to make. But we warned, they can be quite addictive.

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As you can see, I have quite a colourful weekend ahead of me. I am leaving for Germany in the morning with my friend Julie. We will be spending time in picturesque surroundings, meeting lots of lovely people who like all things yarny as much as we do. I’ll report back next week and hope you’ll join me then. Until then…

Enjoy! X.

knitting retreat – day six

Collage 6.1

Collage 6.2

None of us could believe it when we woke up and realised this was our last day together. Where had the week gone? During the organising of the retreat week day six had been planned as a free day for everyone to do anything they wished to. During the past few days some had voiced their wish to visit a garden, so with blue skies and sun as our companion four of us set off to visit Erddig House & Gardens, a short drive away from the hotel. We were not disappointed as the gardens were full of blooming colour, the house held many surprises and we were transported back in time. We could easily have been on the set of Downton Abbey, as the layout of the rooms and the contents within reminded us of a bygone era. We even managed to match the knitting to a plant purchased.

On returning to the hotel we found the rest of the group relaxing. Some had been on long walks, whilst others had spent the day chilling and knitting.

After last minute adjustments to our projects and another yummy meal it was time to finish off the week with a show and tell. Everyone talked about their experiences during the week, sharing the stories behind everyones work was interesting and fascinating, a lot of thought had clearly gone into the work.

Collage_Fotor 6.3

Certificates and badges were presented to each and everyone, a final drink at the bar and then, after one final night listening to the gushing of the Horseshoe Falls, everyone was on their way home. Another great week had ended. However, addresses and phone numbers were exchanged and plans for meeting up in Schwabsburg/Germany in June have been made.

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Before I knew it I was back at home sitting in my garden with my crochet, already thinking about the programme for next year. The decision had been made that next year the retreat will take place somewhere in mainland Europe, so watch this space!

Enjoy! X.

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