Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Developing ideas for the French Treats holiday, Part 4

Back in May I wrote 3 posts about developing design ideas for the French Treats Holiday in June based on photographs I took on the holiday last year. The posts showed some of the drawings I did but that was all. I did develop these drawings into knitted pieces before the holiday but did not have time to post more details until now.

These are some developments I made based on the poppies pictures. I had several poppies pictures but I particularly like the one that focused on the stalks and seed heads.

The seed head drawing looked OK so I traced the drawing onto tracing paper.

I traced both images but I didn't draw the seed heads in detail as I wasn't sure at this point how I was going to interpret them in knitting. The stalks where easier to interpret as I could see them knitted as a twisted knit stitch on a purl background.

I was looking through my Japanese stitch pattern books and came across a chart to knit this pattern below (with some adjustments as i was knitted the sample).

I particularly liked the way the popcorn/bobbles where made and thought this would be a good way to knit the seed heads in my picture.

The next step was to transfer the traced image onto stitch related graph paper. I prefer to use stitch related graph paper even if it is not the exact rows and stitches combination rather than squared paper as stitches are a rectangular shape not square.

This was the chart I made from the tracing. I have drawn in the twisted knit stitch showing how it travels across the purl background but I have not added any symbols for the purl stitches as this would make the chart very busy. I did indicate on the chart whether to increase 3 stitches or 5 stitches for the seed heads but it isn't very clear on the chart. At this point the chart is for my own use rather than to be published so it doesn't matter too much how the chart is drawn as long as I understand it. If I every publish the chart I will have to redraw it using suitable symbols.

And here is the finished knitted piece. It has been knitted in the 'Knitting by Numbers' yarn from John Arbon and I worked a cable at each edge as I was thinking of joining different pieces together by lacing through the cables.

I haven't done much development with the original image but I was quite pleased with the finished piece of knitting.

I hope to post about one of the other pieces of work in the next few days.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

French Treats Day 6

Saturday was our last full day. The morning was organised as a trip to Saites and the wool shop. Everyone agreed to have breakfast a bit early so we could go to the wool shop first and then into Saites for the market before everything closed for lunch.

Once we got to Saites I think the ladies went off to the market but I wanted to visit a few of the tourist sites to see if they would provide inspiration for the knitters attending the week in September. I had about 11/2 hours to look around so I went to visit the Abbaye aux Dames first as this was on the same side of the river as the place we get dropped.

The Abbaye was a very interesting place. There is quite a lot of decorative carving around the entrance door and windows of the Abbaye but when I went inside I discovered a series of modern tapestries illustrating the book of Genesis. I only took a couple of photos as i wasn't sure if photography was allowed in the Abbaye. There is a gift shop there with postcards of all the tapestries and some of the building.

From the Abbaye I went back across the river to look at the Cathedral Sainte-Pierre which had a lot of ornate carving and some very interesting stain glass windows.

From there I walked up to the Law Courts, stopping at the wool shop in town on the way to buy some very expensive (as it turned out) yarn. I liked the flower display in front of the building.

I then walked back down to the river and took a photo of the 'Arc de Germanicus'

before crossing back over the river and visiting the public gardens

before we all had to meet up again.

I did go back to Saintes the following week when I was on holiday to revisit some of these places and also some other sites I didn't have time to visit on the Saturday. It turns out Saites has quite a few interesting places that could be used to inspire designs.

In the afternoon everyone more or less finished their pieces of knitting and put them up for display before the certificate presentation at the end of the week.

I very much enjoyed teaching the week and I hope those who attended enjoyed it as well.

French Treats Day 5

Friday was a day of workshops at Le Vieux Monastere again. Sasha covered crochet trims in the morning and then most of the afternoon was spent helping everyone to put their knitting project together. Below are pictures of some of the projects being assembled.

French Treats Day 4

Thursday was a day of workshops with Sasha teaching a workshop on colour and I taught a workshop on Embellishments including Swiss darning, embroidery and knitted applique.

We also went out for our evening meal to St Jean d'Angely and as you can see I particularly enjoyed my dessert!!

French Treats Day 3

On the Wednesday we had a day out to La Rochelle. We arrived in time to go and find a nice cafe for lunch and then spent a few hours in the afternoon looking around the shops and harbour area.

A group of 6 of us had lunch together and then five of us had a little wonder around the town. This is the group outside the knitting and needlecraft shop. The shop had some interesting Bergere de France yarns as well as buttons and other craft stuff. One of the other ladies told me (after we got back) that there is also a Phildar shop in the next road up from this one.

As well as stopping for some yarn shopping we also visited the perfume museum. It was really more of a perfume shop that had a collection of old and rare perfume bottles in a room upstairs but there was quite a bit of information about these perfumes and bottles many of which seem to have been designed or inspired by various artists.

This is the clock tower near the harbour and as you can see we did have a lovely day with clear blue skies.

French Treats Day 2

I've been very busy since getting back from France so have only now got time to upload the rest of the pictures taken during then French Treats Knitting Holiday in June. On day 2, in the morning we visited the Abbey Fonduce again. It was interesting to see if things had changed much since last year and I took some photos from the same view points so I could compare them at a later date.

I took another picture of this wrought iron window with even more Virginia creeper growing over it but this year we were also able to get into the room behind the window so I took a photo from the other side as well.

There weren't a lot of flowers out when we visited as the weather had been very dry, no rain since February, but that all changed when we arrived for the Knitting week!!

I noticed some more carved stones this year as well. The picture below was taken in the garden area but there where lots more broken pieces like this in the room behind the wrought iron window and also around the back of the Abbey.

The cloisters where the same but without a choir this year.

There was another art exhibition inside the Abbey again this year with some interesting pieces including some paintings with hand made frames. The picture below shows a detail of the frame around one of these paintings.

In the afternoon I taught a workshop on cables covering basic cables, travelling and twisted stitch patterns. Below are pictures of some of the samples made during the first 2 days.