Friday, 11 June 2010

French Treats Day 3 and 4

Monday was a busy day with knitting workshops in the morning and afternoon. Sasha started off the day with a workshop on Pockets and Pleats and in the afternoon I taught a workshop on Lace knitting with a straight scarf pattern.

The workshops went well with several people continuing to work on their pieces in the evening but most just relaxing after a long but enjoyable day.
On Tuesday we had a 'day off'. People could continue with their projects from the day before in the morning and then at 11.30 we met at the buses for an excursion to Mornac sur Seudre, a fishing and artisan village south of La Rochelle near the Ile D'Oleron. We arrived about 12.30 to 1.00 and had lunch in a very nice restaurant (the middle building in the picture below)

After lunch we had a wonder around the village. It was very picturesque, lots of photo opportunities and inspiration. The shops didn't open till after 3.00pm so we spent most of the time looking around.

There where some lovely hollyhocks growing by various buildings

Looking at the angel of some of the pillars it was amazing the old market place was still standing!

Some of the pieces in one of the art shops.

and a very pretty passion flower.

Some members of the group were tempted to buy cloths and other bits and pieces but I just settled for a coffee and crepe before returning to the bus at about 4.30.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

French Treats Day 2

Sunday started with the first workshop, a joint workshop with 'Face cloths' as the theme. A number of different textured stitches were offered and the students started to work on the stitch pattern they preferred.

Later in the morning students where asked to choose the yarn colour and beads for the lace and mittens project. The yarn for these 2 projects was one skein of lace weight alpaca yarn from Coldharbour Mills in Devon so this meant the skein needed to be re-wound. The tutors then found their true calling acting as skein swifts!!

After lunch we were taken on a trip to The Abbey of Fontdouce (Gentle Fountain) to look around and possibly find some design inspiration. There was also a music festival going on at the Abbey and during the afternoon a local chamber choir was singing at various places around the Abbey.
The Abbey was built in the 11th or 12th century as a monastery for Benediction monks. At one point it became a Royal Abbey but much of it was destroyed during the Wars of Religion and again during the French Revolution. It stopped being a religious centre a couple of centuries ago and became a private residence. It is still a private residence but they are trying to restore some of the old parts.

The Abbey was well known for its garden, a formally laid out garden but there weren't many flowers in bloom when we visited but I did manage to find some interesting flowers and images. When we got back to Le Vieux Monastere I also took some pictures of the poppies in the field by the property.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

French Treats Knitting Holiday

My job can be very enjoyable, I'm currently sitting in the sun in France and teaching knitting. I'm at Le Vieux Monastere in south west France. When I arrived I took some photos of the site which includes a number of cottages and a swimmingpool.

I'm staying in the cottage above the workroom with 3 very nice ladies so its not far to go to work! The workroom is very nice, light and spacious.
It didn't take long to settle in and start knitting while waiting for everyone to arrive.

Once everyone arrived we were welcomed with drinks and dinner. What better way to start a working holiday.