The retreat was well-organized by Senā Klēts and its representative, Ziedīte Muze. I had last been on a retreat organized and led by them in 2018 when I went to the Kurzeme region in the western part of Latvia (see my blog post about that retreat here). Now I would be heading in the exact opposite direction - Latgale is in the eastern part of Latvia. At one point in our travels we were just about 100 meters from the Russian border.
Our base was Rēzekne, the seventh largest city in Latvia. One of our participants, Dace, was from the region. She is Latgalian. During our first evening of introductions, Dace introduced herself in English, then in Latvian, then in Latgalian.
Knitting instruction and museum tours were in English or translated from Latvian to English for us. Countries represented by the participants were: Canada, Estonia, France, Germany, Japan, Latvia, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Tasmania, and USA. Our group was 20 in number including the organizers.
We visited a number of smaller towns in the area and experienced a welcoming atmosphere everywhere. We met with our teachers and master knitters in various types of buildings including museums, a craft center, a cultural center, a school, and a manor house.
We were always welcomed with food and drink. Besides our breakfast, lunch, and dinner, each day we had a morning coffee break and an afternoon coffee break which were oftentimes substantial and always beautifully displayed. Five meals a day! Yum!
In Baltinava, we were welcomed with accordion music and singing.
Baltinava was the only location where the director offered an alcoholic refreshment - before noon! Cheers!
Most classes focused on technique including interesting textures.
Every morning and every afternoon we had a new workshop and a new selection of colors.
So much to learn. We even kept busy on the bus. Serious knitters at work.
At the end of the day, a beautiful lake nearby and sunset around 10:00 PM provided us with time to relax, to walk, to talk, to swim, to look, to laugh.
Thanks to Senā Klēts and Ziedīte and our translator Astrīda for a fantastic knitting retreat in a region of Latvia I had never experienced before.
If you are possibly interested in a retreat with Senā Klēts, they will be offering two retreats in 2023 - Kurzeme in May/June and Latgale in July/August. Check out their Facebook page for Knitting: Latvian Mittens and Traditional Patterns, email them for information at email@example.com, or click on one of the links below to see details and/or indicate an interest. Clicking on the link shows pricing information.
Kurzeme May 29 - June 2, 2023
Latgale July 31 - August 4, 2023