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.
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.
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!
What joy waking up to bright sunshine, blue skies and the knowledge that today there would be yarn…lots of yarn as the programme promised a trip to Black Sheep Wools near Newton-le-Willows. Happy chatter could be heard as we were driven by lovely Dennis, our bus driver, through pretty countryside dotted with sheep and bright yellow fields.
It is always a pleasure to visit Black Sheep Wools with their wide selection of different yarns and fabrics and today was no different. Barbara had organised a lovely lunch for us and everyone was very busy loading up their baskets and making good use of the discount offered. Tired but very happy we returned to our hotel, quickly settling down to admire everyone’s purchases and some catch up knitting on projects.
Some beautiful colour combinations and interesting designs are emerging, I can’t wait to hear everyone’s story behind their chosen work in the show and tell tomorrow.
Day two and the obvious sun-dancing by everyone the night before was successful as ‘Frau Sonne’ beamed down on us. It promised to be another glorious day!
Soon after breakfast everyone was beavering away, working hard on finalising their thoughts on how to approach the week’s theme. Needles clicking away we all settled down to some serious knitting and before long ideas were beginning to take shape.
Here you see Marion’s sample with the corresponding inspiration. She is working on re-creating the swirl with all its abstract forms within on the right hand side of the card. Already we can see she is doing a fabulous job, trying out different types of texture to achieve a corresponding look.
The sun was beaming down on us when we arrived at the Chainbridge Hotel in Llangollen, our home for the week. Returning knitters and new quickly settled down with some refreshing cups of tea and delicious home baked scones.
Everyone gathered in the workshop room where Claudia and I had laid out samples, books, other bits and bobs and of course yarn, and the 2016 Retreat Project was finally revealed.
Claudia and I had prepared a couple of talks on the weeks subject – Structure & Texture – and soon everyone was busy getting out their gathered inspiration, working on ideas.
What fun to watch the hustle and bustle of helping each other, discussing and drawing, working out different ways to approach the subject. Sample knitting soon started as we all settled in our own private garden space the hotel had made available for us.
A wonderful start to what looks like another fabulous week in Wales.
We have worked tirelessly over the last few weeks putting together a fabulous new package for you. A friendly place with yummy food to stay, some lovely and hopefully inspiring visits, a fabulous new workshop programme and best of all the ability to make friends for life.
This year’s retreat was a huge success and we have taken all the best bits, added some new bits and improved on a few others, on top of that we have more places available for 2016. There are 14 places available which, if this year is anything to go by, will go very quickly. Don’t wait too long sending your registration.
So without further ado, here are all the important bits