We've hosted two fab workshops since our last newsletter. The first was a Knitting Masterclass led by Åsa (pronounced Awsa) Söderman of Åsa Tricosa fame; we - and I include myself as I was lucky enough to spend a few hours watching and learning - discovered new and exciting ways to knit pullovers and cardigans, in the round, and from the top down which makes sizing and shaping sooooo much easier. Asa is an ebullient and thoughtful teacher and one we very much hope to have back next year for a longer stint.
The second event was with Julie Arkell, our perennial favourite. This year she was helping participants put together a bird table, demonstrating papier maché, knitting and stitching skills with her usual flair and enthusiasm. A smaller group than usual but even more fun, if that's possible. The smaller group also gave Les Soeurs a better opportunity to get to know and enjoy, the participants and our view is that in future we will try to keep numbers to a minimum. More time and attention for everyone.
This last photograph was taken by a young and very gifted photographer, Alexander Hamdy who was here at the beginning of Julie's workshop to take pictures of the property. The weather was only periodically sunny during his visit, but Alex managed to produce an album of detailed beauty and we can't wait to see all the photographs together on our new website in September.
The next few months are going to be quiet ones at Les Soeurs Anglaises - unusual for us during the summer months, but not unwelcome. 2017 will be our 10th year offering workshops; we were amongst the first in this part of the world but are one amongst many these days, and our plan for next year is to shake things up a bit (or slow them down). We'll keep you posted, but in the meantime we have a couple of places available on both our remaining workshops in 2016.
The first is for the Celia Pym's 5-day workshop, Knitting Darning and Mending at the end of September, followed closely by the gently remarkable Claire Wellesley Smith's Dyeing and Stitching weekend event in October. Both are formidable talents well-researched in the art of recycling, repairing and using cloth, dye and stitch as carriers of the natural and social history of place, heritage and memory. We are thrilled that they will both be joining us and look forward to inspirational teaching.
We generally only sell our aprons in the wee brocante we have on site, but if you're in the mood this summer to wear a pretty, comfortable and one-off apron, we currently have a few of our wrap-over linen aprons for sale in various colours and each trimmed with vintage fabric, on Etsy.
All the best Katie
7 things to check out this month:
Visit Chris Manning's Pinterest pageand wonder at her exquisite quilts. Chris has been a participant at several of our workshops and we are hoping one day she will join us to teach her own quilting workshop.
There's still time to join us for Lizi Bolton's Silver Yogathis month (23rd to 29th June). Come as ourB&B guestand you'll get your yoga classes at half-price, bring a non-participating partner and enjoy a relaxing week away from the stresses of everyday life! Contact Lizi directly for more information.
If you're around North London during the third week of June, we recommend a visit to GROW, the brainchild of entrepreneur Will Ramsay, founder of the hugely successful Affordable Art Fair, which is now a global brand with fairs in 14 major cities around the world. There will be a myriad selection of plants and other garden ephemera, and say hello to stall holders All the Fun of the Fair where you'll find everything from vintage buttons to knitted cacti.
We have long admired the machine embroidery ofLinda Millerif you can't make it to one of her very popular workshops, you will find her and her work at the Contemporary Craft Festival, Bovey Tracey, Devon UK this upcoming weekend (10th/12th June).
We recently bought 4 skeins of Gotland 4ply yarn from The Little Grey Sheep mail order company and have already started knitting a Julie Arkell original cardigan pattern with this absolutely delicious soft wool which is hand sheared, spun with care and expertise, and finally hand-dyed in scrummy colours!
Voices of Industryoffer organically grown cotton yarn for weaving and crochet, spun by a family mill in North Carolina. Their credo is: "We consider the farmers who grow our cotton and wool as co-conspirators and friends. Our work is an extension of agriculture and we care deeply about that origin."