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Course dates 2018

Saturday 29 September to Saturday 6 October 2018


Popular knitwear designer, Lisa Richardson, is a name instantly associated with the Rowan pattern house. Lisa joined Rowan in 2003 and, after years of turning her hand to many different roles and tasks as part of the set-up, is now a celebrated and well established designer in her own right.

“I’ve always made things – my Gran taught me to knit and crochet – but I started at Rowan doing homeware, not knitwear at all. Working there you are surrounded by yarns, and people creating amazing things with them, and I was soon finishing off and doing bits of embroidery to help out. Then I got asked to crochet a cardigan and it just went from there. I don’t think there’s a job at Rowan I haven’t done.”

Inspired by shape and texture, Lisa’s designs showcase interesting stitch details, unique garment structure and stylish techniques with a classically understated, yet innovative brilliance which is reflected in the global status she now commands.

In addition to Lisa’s designer role, she also manages the pattern editing process and mentors newer members of the design team, whilst managing to squeeze in time to enjoy running, climbing, biking, swimming, cooking, dancing and reading.

Lisa admits to leading a very busy day-to-day existence, but cites her biggest drive as helping people create something that they will cherish for years to come, demonstrating why she is so integral to the Rowan design process.

Knitting projects

Lisa's projects for 2018 will be decided in the next couple of months, but during this year's workshop Lisa worked on the following:

Celebrating Italian lace with filet crochet
(with a knitting option for those who would prefer to knit)

Lisa's Knitting project

On my last visit to the Watermill I was inspired by the filet crochet which was on sale at the local market, which is used for beautiful table cloths and window dressings.

For this version you can use the pattern supplied to create a cushion cover or table runner, alternatively we can work together to design your own unique filet pattern. This is very simple to do as filet crochet is made up from a mixture of open and filled in squares to achieve shapes or even letters.

The stiches used are very simple and is very suitable for a beginner or even someone new to crochet.

For this project the soft cotton yarn will be supplied and you just need to bring a 3mm crochet hook. Dependent on your crochet tension it may be an idea to also bring a smaller or larger crochet hook size in addition. A 2.5mm if you are a loose crocheter or a 3.5mm if you are generally a fairly tight crocheter.

If you prefer the knitting option, Lisa says: “The pattern will be something similar in lace but not exactly the same as it isn't using a lace weight yarn; it is still a 4ply so fairly thin but much easier to manage if just learning to knit lace.” Bring 3mm needles for this knitting option.

Slip stitch bag

Knitting project - Slip stitch bag

I love slip stitch patterns! This knitting technique enables you to create intricate colour work very easily simply by slipping stitches whilst knitting or purling. For those who are put off by fairisle this may be a great way to have more colour work in your knitting life! This bag will show you this process but also how changing colour placement can dramatically alter the overall look of a project. The bag could easily be adapted to a cushion if desired.

You will be supplied with 5 balls of Rowan Felted Tweed to make the project. You will need to bring two pairs of needles – 3¼ mm and 4mm.


Lisa's Knitting project

The embroidery project is an optional extra which you may wish to try whilst at the Watermill. As with all of the projects that we will be doing there are options to make this as unique as you wish.

I will be providing a template for the flower shown but you could also take inspiration from your time in Tuscany. The stitches used are very simple and suitable for someone who has never done any embroidery.

Please bring a bodkin (sewing-up needle), pen, pencil and a sharp pair of scissors.


Here’s some praise from knitters on Lisa’s course in 2017:

I had the most wonderful holiday. Everything was perfect. What a lovely time we had thanks to you all. And Lisa was just fantastic for us knitters and such a nice person. Robert (non-knitting partner) had a good time, too, and was happy he came along.

I had the most wonderful knitting holiday at the Watermill in Posara! Really everything was taken care of by our perfect hosts Lois and Bill as well as by the rest of the great staff. Having Lisa Richardson as our knitting tutor was a delight and great inspiration! A huge thanks to you all.

A simply heavenly knitting retreat at the Watermill with the lovely Lisa Richardson. Many thanks to Lois and Bill for being the perfect hosts.

Such perfection, I am spoiled for anywhere else! A wonderful relaxing holiday with knitting. Everything was superb, and I was particularly touched by the warm friendly reception from Bill and Lois. The knitting was led by the talented and delightful Lisa Richardson, a calm presence who worked miracles with those of us who struggled from time to time. Our finished work is something we shall all treasure.

Knitting for a week. Sounds strange? Couldn't have been better. Bill and Lois are the most welcoming and generous hosts for whom nothing was too much trouble. Lisa Richardson a patient and experienced tutor. Our outings were all perfectly chosen. Our food divine. My room very special with gorgeous views. Lovely gardens and flowers everywhere. The sound of the river flowing by and the church bells ringing. Lovely group of people to spend time with. Perfect peace at The Watermill

Praise for Lisa’s previous course:

Lisa Richardson, our knitting/crochet teacher is exceptional - generous with her knowledge, creative with her teaching and inspiring with her personality. I've made some beautiful projects which I can complete at home, made some new friends, and I've seen and experienced the breathtaking Tuscan countryside. I think I need to go again!!