Eye Spy: Knit Retreats, Summer and Sewing

In less than a day, I will be boarding a plane to Europe for a short but sweet vacation. It will be my first time leaving the country since going on my backpacking adventure two years ago, but this trip couldn’t be more different. Unlike my first trip, which lasted approximately 330 days, this time I’ll be gone a mere eight. Let’s see how many knitting shops I can fit in in a week. 😉

One of the stops on our itinerary will be Nice, France, and judging from the photos that come up in my Google image search, this place looks absolutely stunning!

Photo credit: Shutterstock / LiliGraphie

After spending the first half of 2018 mostly in front of a computer screen, I feel more than ready for some sunshine, foreign accents, and french croissants!

Summer of Basics

Have you seen that Fringe Association has announced another fun year of the Summer of Basics? If you’ve never heard of it before, it consists of making a minimum of three handmade items for your wardrobe during the months of June, July and August for the chance to win some amazing prizes from Fringe and friends. Despite not completing the challenge last year, I still had a lot of fun just brainstorming the items I would love to make! I think I ended up sewing only two items in the end, one of which was my bridesmaid dress, so I’m not sure if I could’ve really counted that as a “basic” item anyways. I’m thinking of entering it again this year, more as a motivator to get me sewing again than anything else – I haven’t touched my sewing machine since last summer!

Shown above are the Blair Batwing Shirt by Named, Yona Wrap Coat by Named, Pilvi Coat Dress by Named, and Adelaide dress by Seamwork.

but what about knitting?

If any of you have read my last post on the struggle of finding the time to create all the things I want to create, you’ll know that one of my ideas to solve this dilemma was to delete my Netflix account. I also installed the Moment app on my phone, which tracks my phone usage and is a very useful tool of simply becoming more mindful of my phone time. Despite feeling happier with choosing to spend less time in front of a screen, there has been an unexpected consequence – less knitting. I never realized just how much I associated Netflix with knitting (i.e. knitflixing) until stopping Netflix and finding it incredibly hard to knit! Netflix motivated me to find a good project to work on, because there was nothing I hated more than the idea of “wasting” my time watching a good show unless I had a good knitting project to work on at the same time. Now that I’ve stopped watching Netflix, I’ve been reading a lot more books – but I still haven’t wrapped my head around knitting while properly holding my book open and turning the pages at the right time. I’m sure it would be much easier with an e-reader, but (at least to me) nothing beats a solid book with real paper pages.

But at the same time, I’m desperately in need of finding a new knitting project before I leave on my trip to Europe! The Ondawa sweater has been floating around the back of my mind for a while now, but at the same time it doesn’t quite fit the yarn in my stash …  speaking of which, is in desperate need of a good sorting. A more reasonable project would be to use up some of the Sandes Garn Alpakka on a beautiful shawl, or perhaps a pair of socks or mittens.

Photo credit: Armenuhi of Oysters and Purl featuring the Sahel top

Breeze, the latest knitting book released by the talented Making Stories, was also recently released, and it is full of knitting inspiration! One of my favorite patterns from the book has got to be the Sahel top by Armenuhi (who was also featured in my very first Maker Spotlight last year!).

Really though, more than anything, I’d love to create another design of my own. All I need is a little bit of motivation and willpower. Or perhaps a knitting retreat? The Squam Art Retreat is definitely on my wishlist. I’m also lucky to be living right next door to the Maiwa School of Textiles – I would sign up for every single one of their workshops if I could!

Have you ever been to a knitting retreat? How did you find it?