The weeks are flying by and the Knitting Retreat 6 - 8 September is getting closer!
The bookings have been coming in steadily and I couldn't be happier with the response. To my knowledge this is a unique retreat format being offered for the first time in my region. With guests coming from four countries (thus far), it promises to be an event where everyone is guaranteed to learn something new, whether you "throw" your yarn or "pull" your yarn !
The Yarn Market (Saturday, September 7) is generating a lot of interest too, with a unique blend of Irish and Swiss yarn dyers and pattern designers showcasing their products. I will be interviewing some of the suppliers in the weeks leading up to the event - keep an eye on the blog to hear more about his amazing and talented bunch of people.
The search for a suitable hotel for the retreat took quite a long time, especially as, working full time, I had only weekends or vacation days to research and check out venues.
The Hotel de la Chaux d'Abel was recommended by friends who had visited the hotel and thought it would be perfect as the venue I had been searching for.
Situated in beautiful countryside away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, but within easy reach of La Chaux-de-Fonds by public transportation, it met my first criteria - no distractions except for the natural beauty of the surrounds. Listed as one of the most beautiful historic hotels in Switzerland - and right on our doorstep!
In March, I spent the weekend at the hotel to see if it had the ambiance and all the ingredients necessary for the type of retreat I wanted to offer. I took along my knitting (and my husband) to really get into the role play - actually, I always take along my knitting!!
We both really enjoyed the stay, the food and the people who run the hotel are just so friendly and so helpful. Maybe it helped that the sister of the owner is a knitter and there is a basket of beautiful knitted socks for sale in the Reception area - was it always meant to be? The setting is pastoral, calm and tranquil and the hotel itself is an eye candy treat for lovers of textiles (like me!). Each room has its own unique touches and finished to a very high standard.
Can't wait for the event to be here!!!
So... WIPs and UFOs .... or Works in Progress and Unfinished Objects ...
The baby blankets that are a BIG part of my WIPs right now have been taking up quite a bit of time as I am still hand sewing them myself. It takes a while to pre-wash, block and then sew them together but I really love the creative/design side of matching the hand knitted blankets with stunning fabrics, either new or vintage. The Flamingo blanket is made with Bamboo/Cotton yarn and 100% cotton lining.
I've also been working on some new concepts for the baby blanket range - just found the trim for this one that I think I will call the "Cabana" blanket (below) as it reminds me of ice-cream and summer trips to the beach! I think it can also double as a beach towel for a baby - will have to road test that with a little volunteer soon.
Apart from the baby blankets I've been working on some short term and long term projects mixing the short term ones in between the bigger projects.
"Canny Lass", an absolutely stunning pattern from Karie Westermann (https://ravel.me/canny-lass) has been a slow burn of a project but so enjoyable. The yarn is Kokon yarn in an Indigo solid, and Indigo speckle that I bought at the Swiss Yarn Festival (www.swissyarnfestival.com) and it's a joy to knit with. I hope to have this project finished to take on holidays to Ireland with me in August - will be actively hoping for some chilly evenings so I can wear it!
I have several UFOs but none of them far along enough to show them here ... perhaps in a future blog! But... there are some FINISHED OBJECTS YEAH!!!!
Here is my first ever top-down sweater knitted in "Berlin" yarn - absolute nightmare to knit with - all those little knubs STICK on the needle - but I persevered as I wanted this to become my hiking sweater - it is light as a feather, the weave is loose so it lets air pass through and the alpaca makes it warm when worn as a layer.
This is me wearing the sweater in the mountain above Zernez, where we came across a recent avalanche that blocked our hiking path, causing us to turn back.
As you can see the jumper is warm enough to wear even in cold conditions (not freezing) and it has now joined my hiking wardrobe as a permanent addition.
And finally I got around to finishing this shawl using yarn from Patte de Velours - 100% Silk - so lovely to knit with, it positively slides off the needles......
And that brings me to the end of this update .. I hope you are enjoying the blog and I would really love to get your comments and feedback - let's chat!!
A bientôt ! Until next time, mind yourselves and happy knitting xx