Off the needles - knitting through life
The joy of teaching knitters and other crafters

A trip measured in knitting

Last week I was the tutor on a four night Arena Travel knitting holiday to Reims in France (more on the details of the trip coming soon).

As the week was about knitting, I decided to take a leaf out of author Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's (aka Yarn Harlot) book and measure the trip in knitting progress. Especially as I've been having some discussions recently on how much knitting to pack for a trip.

Travel to Reims was via Eurostar from London to Paris and then a coach to our final destination. That meant two and a half hours on the train and a couple more on the coach so I decided to put two projects at the top of my bag for variety.

Train knit day 1 start

The large ball of yarn is some Bergere de France Bigarelle linen cotton, I'd been given to try out. So with the hope of picking up some more at the Bergere factory shop later in the week (a successful plan that resulted in 600g of the yarn in blue and 600g in beige), I decide to swatch for a summer cardie. 

The other project in case the swatch was dull or didn't work was a sock with a leaf motif that turns with the heel, I've been plotting.

Things didn't go quite to plan though...

There was a power failure in the channel tunnel which of course resulted in more knitting time. So much so that the swatch was almost complete before we left the UK and the heel being turned on the sock by Reims.

End of day 1

Day 2 was all about sightseeing including a champagne vineyard, paying our respects to Dom Perignon and the Reims cathedral with features spectacular stone carvings and stained glass windows (most people on the tour also located at leas tone yarn shop in case of emergencies). 

There was still some knitting time - sitting on the coach, coffee stop - so more sock progress plus several experiments (and associated frogging of an idea for a chunky lace wrap/scarf with a drop stitch wave pattern).

Day 2

Day 3 was what I was looking forward to the most - a tour of the Bergere de France factory, meeting the Bergere team and seeing upcoming patterns as well as grabbing amazing bargains in the factory shop.


So there wasn't a great deal of knitting time because there was so much to see plus the lovely gifts above to be perused. That said the leaf sock was ready for grafting at the toe and the lacy scarf was working out.


Day 4 was all about other people's knitting, because it was taken up with my workshop on reversible cables and moebius cowls. I may not have knitted much but my 16 pupils did plenty so it was a very productive day. 

Plus I did manage to do the cuff of another sock design somewhere between the champagne cellar tour (and tasting) that followed the workshop and the bucket of Hoegaarden I finished my day with.

Day 4 beerr

And so it was time to travel home. Our return travel day didn't feature any delays although there was an impromptu follow up to the workshop on the coach - so less time for knitting. Just enough to reach the last pattern repeat before the heel.

Train knit day 5

So that's more than a sock in total, a large swatch for a cardie design, progress on a scarf design and a lot of cables demonstrated. An a good example of why I always pack a lot of knitting for anytrip.