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Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Knitting workshop at Chateau St Julien June 2011

Doorway to the secret staircase
We have just returned from another fabulous week at the Chateau, it seems to get better every year. This year we had eight returning guests who had been on the holiday on previous years Felicity, Caroline F, Rhona, Sandra, Chris, Tania, Mary and Toril and six new ones, Caroline C, Clare, Astrid, Di, Shelley and Elizabeth. Toril and Astrid made the journey from Norway and Di came all the way from New Zealand!
Carol Meldrum and Nicole Wilson made a fantastic double act as tutors, it was the first time they had worked together and they were absolutely brilliant at combining their skills. The course was structured around producing mood boards and swatches inspired by the Chateau and the beautiful gardens. Everyone learnt a new technique or was able to share ideas, the stitch of the week was shmocking (Norwegian pronunciation for smocking) and knitted or crochet jewellery was abundant. We now all know how to say 'Hello gorgeous' in Norwegian which sounds something like 'Hiya chucken', I am not going to attempt to spell it, or any of the other unrepeatable phrases!

In spite of Culli and I maintaining it would be the last one at the Chateau, nobody seems to believe us. Perhaps if Nash bought a new dishwasher we might be persuaded to change our minds.......
Caroline C leads the charge for after dinner drinks on the terrace
The guests had all arrived by Sunday evening with no serious delays, apart from two fed up Norwegian's whose flight was late meaning they missed their train by just 1 minute! They soon relaxed after a few glasses of Kir, followed by Italian braised beef and roasted veg and pasta gratin.

Chateau knitters June 2011
Monday morning was an introduction to the workshops and tips on how to gather inspiration, in the afternoon everyone set off around the Chateau clutching their cameras and sketch books.

On Tuesday they started to put together the mood boards and play around with different stitches and techniques with an introduction to crochet in the evening.

Wednesday morning was a trip into Chauvigny, some of the more enthusiastic made the climb up the hill to see the beautiful paintings inside the church perched at the top of the old town, whilst the others wandered around the shops or relaxed with a coffee. In the afternoon it was back to the workshop for embellishments and trims.

The beautiful painted interior of the church at Chauvigny
Thursday was a day of maths, with the basic principles of garment design and Friday saw the final touches to the mood boards and finishing the gifts for secret santa.

Secret Santa's pressies
Carol and Nicole organised an exhibition of all the completed mood boards on the Friday evening in the beautiful hallway and library on the first floor of the Chateau. The finished swatches were stunning and all looked really professional.
Entrance to the exhibition!
Astrid's mood board
Caroline C's mood board

Chris's mood board

Clare's mood board

Di's mood board

Elizabeth's mood board

Felicity's mood board

Mary's mood board

Rhona's mood board

Sandra's mood board

Tania's mood board

Toril's mood board

The Library
 After aperitifs at the exhibition, we had the final supper of paella and Nicole handed out the secret santa gifts.

Secret Santa!

Everyone seemed to choose the perfect gift - Sandra picked a delicate crochet necklace that matched her dress perfectly, Tania and Elizabeth both chose wristwarmers the same shade as their shirts and even Culli looked good with a bit of adjustment to his crochet necklace..............

Everyone went off home on Saturday, with promises to keep in touch on Ravelry and meet up again at Ally Pally in October. We got home late afternoon to a very welcome dinner, cooked by our dogsitters Jo and Andrew and two very happy and relaxed dogs.
Bix making the most of forbidden territory!
Book for September 2012 here!

1 comment:

  1. Wow!!! Welcome back - It looks as though you had a FANTASTIC week. What amazing colours and textures. Somehow I think you will be going back . . . . x x x