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Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Kaleidoscope workshop

My tomato harvest!

The Kaleidoscope workshop at Chateau St Julien with tutors Jane Crowfoot and Debbie Abrahams has started!
We had B&B guests at La Verderie on Saturday night, which left me in a total panic trying to get everything ready to take up to the chateau on Sunday morning, however, we managed to pack everything into our super sized borrowed minibus and Grande Espace, I even remember to pick all the ripe tomatoes to take with us. We screeched into the Chateau on the dot of 12, unloaded the Espace in 5 minutes flat so Culli could head off to the station to meet the first two arrivals, Toril and Astrid from Norway.
There are a total of 20 guest this year, international guests include our two Norwegians who are returning guests and Canadian couple Amanda and Danny who are visiting the chateau for the first time. Danny is here to relax and teach himself how to play the mandolin while Amanda knits, I hope he survives being surrounded by all these women! Returning visitors include Felicity, Elizabeth, Sandra, Rhona, Chris, Clare, Wendy, Mary and Tania, new guests are Stacey, Vicky, Ros, Amanda, Fran, Eleanor and Katrin. The trains were on time and by 6pm the 20 guests were sitting in the sunshine sipping kir royale, all we are missing now are the tutors!
Jane and Debbie arrived with hubby's Andy and Steve just as we were serving dinner of lamb tagine with couscous, followed by cheese and chocolate gateau. After an exhausting day and a few glasses of wine we managed a reasonably early night.

On Monday morning Jane and Debbie gave an introduction to the course which is based around their new book 'Kaleidoscope' due to be published in spring 2013. The gorgeous knitted and crochet samples from the book are displayed in the music room, the vivid colours are guaranteed to inspire the most timid of knitters. Jane and Debbie's original inspiration for the designs in the book came from the beautiful painted friezes in the church of Notre Dame in Poitiers, when we visited it on our first stay at Chateau St Julien, five years ago. To show the guests how a knitting design can be developed from source material we took them into Poitiers in the afternoon to visit the church and take photographs. Sadly the yarn shop in Poiters is closed all day on a Monday, so we may have to make another trip later in the week.
Jane and Debbie
Supper was a choice of lasagne, prawn or veggie risotto followed by cheese and a wickedly rich banoffi cheesecake. Thanks to Andy and Steve helping us in the kitchen we managed to finish clearing up by 9pm, not sure if this is such a bonus as it seems to give us much more time to sit and drink too much wine. Wendy entertained us with tales of her daughter's travels and the laughter echoed around the mirrored dining-room.

1 comment:

  1. It all looks fabulous - and hard work for you and Culli!
    I hope you all have the very best of times. Wish I was there to help. Maybe next year?