Listening to our guests: Sarah’s new project will help you to knit stylish garments that fit you perfectly

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.The renowned knitting designer Sarah Hazell will be with us next May for her third inspiring course at the watermill. And she’s been listening to the feedback of our previous guests and devised a new project which takes into account their comments. Sarah says: “I am aware that lots of knitters want to understand how they can alter an existing pattern to get a better fit. I’ve devised a project to do just that ”

Sarah’s project will show you how to make a simple garment to fit your size and body shape. It is based on one of Sarah’s most successful designs, the Phoebe Poncho. That’s her daughter Phoebe modelling it above.

The project will show how a simple folded poncho can be altered to consider different heights, body shape, arm length and necklines. Sarah says: This will involve recording measurements, making decisions about sleeve and body length, selecting a stitch pattern and working on a neckline. The project is worked from side to side with a simple moss (seed) stitch border with front and back alike. The shoulders are then seamed and stitches picked up in the round for the funnel neck.”

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.

Our guests on Sarah’s course will have the opportunity to select their own stitch pattern for the body of the garment and Sarah adds: “I will also be talking to you about the best way to finish and block your project. We will be working with a cotton-mix Aran and you will each receive 8 x 100g balls in a colour of your choice. The accompanying notes will have general tips on how to alter the fit of a knitted garment for future use.

“This is a relaxing knit that will help you to acquire some technical expertise along the way!”

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language, personal development and yoga holidays/vacations/retreats, Tuscany, Italy.

The Watermill sitting room, an ideal place to knit and chat. Picture: Phil Wright.

We call Sarah’s week ‘Knitting and La Bella Vita’ and you will have a really relaxing holiday in the beautiful Tuscan countryside, with leisurely knitting days, wonderful food and wine, as well as learning new skills from Sarah. Her course next year will run from Saturday 4 May to Saturday 11 May.

Sarah Hazell is an English knitting and crochet designer, and author of several books. She is also a sympathetic and inspiring knitting tutor and, as well as benefiting from Sarah’s expertise, you will also have the perfect opportunity to make new friends in the company of like-minded people. Here’s a comment from a guest on Sarah’s course in 2018: “Thanks for such a wonderful week!  It had everything: fun, knowledge, good food and drink.  Like a week out of time!”

You can find out more about Sarah’s sun-filled, fun-filled, inspiring week by clicking here. https://watermill.net/knitting-holidays/knitting-holidays-tutor-sarah-hazell19.php

We’d love you to join us. And don’t forget our tempting Early Bird discount offer: if you book a place on Sarah’s week (or any of our other creative weeks) before 31 December 2018, there is a generous £75 discount. We already have seven people booked into this course, so if you want to be sure of a place, now is the time to book.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, creative writing and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.

Knitting concentration on one of Sarah’s courses, by guest Phil Wright

Cardboard gazing could help your art too!

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.Were a passing Martian to have gazed down on the courtyard of the Watermill this week, he might have been intrigued at the strange antics of Homo sapiens. For there they were, gazing through rectangular holes in little pieces of cardboard. What strange behaviour! What an earth could the human species be up to?

The answer is very simple, though somewhat unusual. They were students on Vicki Norman’s inspiring oil painting course here at the Watermill. And they were using the cardboard cut-outs to assess the tonal balances in the scene before them, before going on to produce sketches of the arrangement of light and dark in the pictures they were planning. It’s a Japanese technique called Notan.

Vicki says: “Notan are simple tonal thumbnail sketches used to plan artworks en plein air. They help you to assess the balance of light and shade in a design and they’re really useful when choosing your subject.”

We had a fun time with a great group on Vicki’s course and, of course, great tuition. And and we’re already looking forward to Vicki’s return visit next year. She will be with us for another tremendous week of tuition in oil painting, from Saturday 22 June to Saturday, 29 June 2019.

Painting by Vicki Norman, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

Vicki’s atmospheric oil of the Apuan Alps near the Watermill. You, too, could be painting them from one of our great en plein air locations:

We’d love you to join us: you can find out more about Vicki and her course at the Watermill by clicking here. But  you’ll have to hurry: we already have 10 people booked in for Vicki’s 2019 course. One of them is a non-painting partner, so we have room for three more painters (and their non-painting partners if they like to come). So, now’s the time to book, especially with our enticing Early Bird offer: if you book on Vicki’s 2019 course before the end of this year, there is a £75 discount.

Come and enjoy superb tuition in oil painting (and get to look through little rectangular squares cut out of cardboard!)

 

 

They wore the green beret

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.Here is the knitting group on the last evening of Lisa Richardson’s fun-filled week posing in the Watermill sitting room wearing some of the products of their week’s work, lovely green berets.

As well as the knitters, you can see our manager Karsten Muller joining in the spirit of things. Thank you very much, Lisa and all our guests for a week full of laughter and bonhomie. We really enjoyed your company and we look forward to seeing many of you next year, as you are already booked into knitting, creative writing or painting courses in 2019. Our thanks for all your support.

And thanks too, to Lea Marissen for the picture above. And for the one below. Our guests Shelley and Tim Ellison were celebrating their 22nd wedding anniversary so we ensured it was properly commemorated, with 22 candles and best wishes in the Watermill dining room.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.

We now have more than 160 bookings for next year’s creative courses, so if you’re keen to come now is the time to get your booking in, especially as we have an enticing Early Bird discount offer: £75 off any one of our 2019 creative courses, if you book your place before the end of December this year. If you have a favourite tutor or a special time of year, now is the time to reserve your place. We look forward to welcoming you here.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.

Jumping for joy on a Watermill painting course!

Walking in the misty mountains

Steve Rutherford, a non-knitting partner on Lisa Richardson’s fun-filled knitting course this week has been enjoying walking in the mighty Apennine mountains above the Watermill. Here are a couple of his atmospheric photographs as the mists and clouds gathered in.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.

 

Thank you Steve for sharing these with us.

Service with a smile

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.

Picture: Lea Marissen

Here’s our lovely Girl Friday Annabelle Scott setting the table on the vine verandah ready for lunch for those of our guests who didn’t go off on the excursion to Lucca or the Cinque Terre.

We’d love to welcome you to the Watermill for one of our creative courses next year: the perfect combination of unspoiled Italy and inspiring tuition. For details of all our courses – painting, creative writing, knitting, Italian language – please click here.

There will be plenty of sunshine and plenty of smiles.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, creative writing and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.

It was a dark and stormy night…

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.

Our thanks to Patrizia Morgan, a guest on Lisa Richardson’s knitting course here this week, for the wonderful photograph above of the view from her bedroom last evening. It has been a dark and stormy night, but it looks like we’re going to have a brighter and sunnier day for our visit to the weekly market in the nearby walled mediaeval town of Fivizzano.

Patrizia says: “I’m having a wonderful time in Tuscany on my knitting retreat. The Watermill in Posara is an amazing place !  Lisa from Rowan is teaching us how to knit cushion covers in Fair isle. Highlight of my holiday! Fabulous people, fabulous food, just magical here… I can’t get enough of this place and the surroundings…”

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.Patrizia has proved her point by taking a series of marvellous photographs during her first day or two here. There are a three of them here and I have made them, and others, into a Facebook slideshow, which you can see by clicking here.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.

Thank you for sharing your stunning pictures with us, Patrizia.

They remind me to remind you about the Watermill Photo Competition (the closing date is the end of this month): Portray the unique ambiance and fun-filled atmosphere of The Watermill during our inspiring creative courses, whether it’s painting, creative writing, knitting or Italian language — and win a week-long holiday here!

The competition is open to anyone who has stayed at the Watermill, this year or in previous years. We are particularly interested in shots that show our ‘students’ in action, both at ‘work’ and play, although we’d also like to see great photos of the Watermill, its grounds and the surrounding countryside, and of the flora and fauna that abound in this environmentally protected area.

The winner will be offered a free week-long creative holiday at the Watermill in 2019, of his or her choice, subject to availability. There will be five runner-up prizes, of £GBP200 off a Watermill creative holiday at The Watermill in 2019, subject to availability.

  • To enter you can submit up to five photographs. They should be sent electronically as high-resolution JPG files, with a minimum size of 1mb.
  • You should send your pictures to Bill Breckon via WeTransfer.

Their website is https://wetransfer.com. Bill’s contact email for this process is bill@medialliance.net.

  • The closing date for this year’s competition is 31 October 2018.
  • The winners will be notified in the first week of January 2019.
  • The judges will be Lois and Bill Breckon, Maggie Renner Hellman, Sandra Strohschein, Mike Willdridge and Tim Wilmot.
  • The judges’ decision is final.
  • The competition is not open to professional photographers.
  • If other people are in the picture, the entrant should have asked their permission to photograph them.
  • The Watermill reserves the right to use these pictures, with due acknowledgment, for publicity purposes.

Please send us your best photographs: would love to see them and give you the chance of a free holiday at the Watermill.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.

Ready for the off!

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.

This was the scene this morning as we prepared for Lisa Richardson’s knitting course at the Watermill.

Lisa has produced two knitting projects for our group to try: the first, the lovely cushion in the foreground of this picture. It’s been a lovely sunny day today, not too hot, and our 10 knitters have been enjoying themselves tackling the project under the Vine Verandah and in other quiet corners around the mill.

We are looking forward to a week of fun and camaraderie. Our thanks to Lea Marissen for the photo.

Next year’s knitting courses at the mill are pretty full, though we do have some places on Sarah Hazel’s course in May 2019. You can see more by clicking here. We’d love you to join us!

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, creative writing and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.

Knitting concentration on one of Sarah’s courses, by guest Phil Wright

A warm welcome to the new knitting tutor: Debbie Abrahams, blanket and cushion Queen!

Our new knitting tutor for 2019 is the inspiring and exciting Debbie Abrahams, who will be joining us from Saturday 25 May 2019 to Saturday, 1 June 2019. We are delighted to welcome her here.

Debbie has been designing and teaching handknitted textiles for more than 20 years and is a specialist in the field of colour work and beading. Throughout her entire career she has worked alongside renowned handknit company Rowan Yarns, both as a Designer and a Design Consultant for the brand. She has tutored workshops across the UK, Europe and USA.

Debbie is best known for her Mystery Blanket and Cushion Clubs which have been become a global success with more than 1,000 knitters from all over the world signed up to her annual projects. “Blanket squares are the perfect vehicle for my designing, giving me the freedom to explore colour, texture and embellishment within a set number of stitches and rows for each block – it’s just pure adventure!”

On her 2019 Watermill course Debbie will be working on on a specially designed project, incorporating several different knitting techniques, including intarsia, knitting with beads, surface embroidery and textured stitches.

You can see more about Debbie and her course at the Watermill by clicking here.

That’s the good news. The bad news for all Debbie Abrahams fans is that, at present, Debbie’s knitting week at the Watermill is completely booked out, a sign of her great popularity. We do, however, have cancellations and we have opened a waiting list for Debbie’s course. So if you’re keen to come, please let us know and we’ll make sure you’re on that list.

The Watermill October newsletter is just out!

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.Yes, we are a little early this month (our marvellous Webmaster, Les van Jaarsfeldt has just sped off on a well-deserved break, so he put it all together before he left).

In this month’s edition, we are introducing some of the inspiring new tutors will be coming to the Watermill for the first time in 2019, so in this newsletter we bid a warm welcome to Jude Scott, Debbie Abrahams and Francesca La Sala.

Painting by Jude Scott, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

This year we have had some extremely pleasing feedback from our guests at the Watermill this year and we are sharing some of their comments in a paean of praise! We’d love to welcome YOU to the Watermill next year, to sample our warm hospitality and inspiring tuition for yourselves. Please reserve your place now AND take advantage of our enticing Early Bird offer: £75 discount on any one of our 2019 creative courses, if you book before the end of 2018.

Knitting design by Debbie Abrahams, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

Arabian Nights Mystery Blanket by Debbie Abrahams

Many courses are filling fast, so the Early Birds will not only save money but also ensure that they can capture a place on the course of their choice. Send that booking form in! You know it makes sense – and you deserve it! Please click here to see details of all our 2019 courses.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.

Francesca La Sala enjoying teaching Italian on the vine verandah

In this month’s newsletter there are also stories on:

A reminder of the Watermill photographic competition

A vivacious video from painting tutor Mike Willdridge

Details of all our 2019 creative courses

Some fun photos which may make you smile

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.

Today’s Watermill creative tutor is Sarah Hazell: new techniques, new tips, new friends

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.The renowned knitting designer Sarah Hazell will be with us again next May for her third inspiring course at the watermill. She says: “I am delighted to be returning to the Watermill  and have created a brand-new workshop based on one of my most successful designs – The Phoebe Poncho. I have also been listening to your feedback and am aware that lots of knitters want to understand how they can alter an existing pattern to get a better fit.” That’s Sarah’s daughter Phoebe modelling it above.

So, this year’s project at the Watermill will focus on just that – by demonstrating how a simple folded poncho can be altered for different heights, body shape, arm length and necklines.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.

We call these weeks ‘Knitting and La Bella Vita’ and you will have a wonderfully relaxing holiday in the beautiful Tuscan countryside, with leisurely knitting days, wonderful food and wine as well as learning new skills from Sarah. Her course will run from Saturday 4 May to Saturday 11 May 2019.

Sarah Hazell is an English knitting and crochet designer, and author of several books. You will also have the perfect opportunity to make new friends in the company of like-minded people learning new knitting techniques and tips from Sarah … and enjoying the true, unspoilt Bella Vita. Here’s a comment from a guest on Sarah’s course in 2018: Thanks for such a wonderful week!  It had everything: fun, knowledge, good food and drink.  Like a week out of time!”

You can find out more about Sarah’s sun-filled, fun-filled, inspiring week by clicking here.  We’d love you to join us. And don’t forget our tempting Early Bird discount offer: if you book a place on Sarah’s week (or any of our other creative weeks) before 31 December 2018, there is a generous £75 discount. We already have seven people booked into this course, so if you want to be sure of a place, now is the time to book.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, creative writing and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.

Knitting concentration on one of Sarah’s courses, by guest Phil Wright