It is high time that I told you about our annual knitting retreat. As in years past I am again organising the retreat with my dear friend Claudia (http://wollsinn.de) and this year we are going back to Wales. This is really great for me as it is virtually on my doorstep and I can make sure that everything runs smoothly. Our theme this year is “Bohus Stikkning” and we will cover everything from History and Tradition to Design and Technique.
Our venue is the beautiful Chainbridge Hotel in Llangollen where we will be looked after to perfection and made to feel right at home.
There will be fun and laughter, delicious food, visits to a beautiful garden and to discover new yarn, lashings of divine yarn and most importantly lots of new friends in the making.
If you fancy being part of our knitting adventure come and join us from Monday 7th May to Sunday 13th May 2018, but be quick as places are going fast. All details can be found here, or drop me a note (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions you may have.
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.
Waking up to rain was a bit of a wake up call that this is Wales and not Italy. It did not however dampen our spirits and we set off for a day out in the pretty town of Betws-y-Coed for some scenery, retail therapy and most importantly sampling the best cream tea in a 100 mile radius. Modelling the newly acquired Welsh blankets came quite naturally at the end of the day.
I left the group to settle into some free time that evening and dashed home for some serious home preparations for their visit to my house the following day.
Day four started with a trip across the mountains to my hometown and a visit to our beautiful Craft Centre where we all sampled the various amazing exhibitions running at present. Soon however everyone was walking country lanes to my home where I had organised an afternoon of happy time knitting. My own knitting group joined us and soon the house was buzzing with chatter, laughter and the clicking of needles. Copious cups of tea and coffee were provided as well as delicious cakes baked by ‘my girl’.
Exchanging knitting tips and admiring the work others do is second nature to us knitters, but every so often along comes a star who has a particular eye and understanding of the project matter. Everyone was utterly amazed by the work Marion had done in her interpretation of a Friedensreich Hundertwasser painting, we were all gobsmacked. It is truly a piece of art!!!
Twenty One Ladies, forty two clicking needles, lots of coffee, tea and cake = One great afternoon spent making new friends and having a lot of fun!
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.