Knitting Retreat to Hell Bay, Isles of Scilly: day 2, Tuesday 21st March 2017

The first workshop session. From left to right: Moira, Jackie, Caroline, Karen, Joan, Ange, Joanne, Jenny, June, Kate, Gill, Elizabeth, Amanda, Barbara, Mary, Nicky, Sally, Jenny and Heddy.

After a superb breakfast of both continental and hot food (including mouth-watering delights such as scrambled eggs and salmon, and fresh haddock with a poached egg!), we all made our way to the Bryher Community Hall, which was a short walk from the hotel. Hell Bay very kindly laid on a jeep for those who wanted a lift to the hall which was very much appreciated by the ladies.

The residents of Bryher are very proud of their hall, opened in 2006 and used for many of the islands activities. It was the perfect place for us to hold the workshops, spacious with plenty of good light. And so we began our first workshop session, many of the ladies working on the Nordic Mitts pattern I had designed for the holiday, but others equally as happy to get on with their Mystery Blanket squares and other projects they had brought with them.

The Nordic Mitts project

The Nordic Mitts project

My inspiration for the workshop project came from the Nordic Adventure Mystery Blanket from 2013, and it combines together various techniques including contrast bobbles, cables on right and wrong side rows, slip-stitch and hooked-in beading, fairisle and textured stitches. This is Mary Leeson’s sample (which she managed to complete before the end of the week!), which she finished to perfection!

There was much chatter amongst the ladies all morning as they knitted, some reconciled with friends they had not seen for a while, whilst many new friendships were also made as members met for the first time. The morning flew by and before we knew it was time for a lunch break.

First workshop session at Bryher Community HallAfter lunch we met again at the hall for our afternoon workshop session. Everyone continued in good spirits as my Dad and Sue offered us light refershments of biscuits, tea and coffee, brought directly to the tables so the ladies could continue knitting!

From left to right: Felicity, Jenny, June, Andrea, Kate and Gill enjoy an afternoon knitting

From left to right: Felicity, Jenny, June, Andrea, Kate and Gill enjoy an afternoon knitting

June had a brilliant tip for knitting bobbles, which many of the ladies tried and really liked. It was a method that avoided turning the work to knit the bobbles, rather like the way an I-Cord works. June’s advice was to increase into the stitch and then knit the stitches as advised in the pattern instructions. But then instead of turning the work to purl the stitches she slid them back onto the left-hand needle and knitted them again, pulling the yarn firmly across the back. She then cast off the stitches as instructed in the pattern, and her bobble was complete! It’s definitely worth a try if you have been struggling with any of your bobbles in the blanket.

After the workshop session it was “free time” for everyone until our evening meal. Some of the ladies decided to explore the island while others chose to continue knitting at the hotel. In the daytime there were other people at the hotel enjoying lunch or afternoon tea, but by 6.00pm it was ours again for the rest of the evening. What a treat!

Beautiful golden sandy beaches surround the island of Bryher

Beautiful golden sandy beaches surround the island of Bryher

We all met again as a group for our evening meal which was preceded by platters of hors d’oeuvres. And we were not disappointed by what they had to offer us – more amazing food, served as exquisitely as the previous evening with a fabulous choice of three courses. We had the dining room to ourselves so it didn’t matter how much noise we made. And by the sounds of it the ladies had a very good evening, laughing and chattering away, before continuing their merriment in the lounge and bar.

Sunset at Hell Bay...

Sunset at Hell Bay…

Tomorrow was a “free day” for everyone, so that evening plans were made for the next day, some deciding to go on the guided walking tour, others keen to explore the other islands, or simply relax with their knitting. The weather forecast was looking good, so we were all looking forward to some sunshine and who knows what other surprises!…



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