Les Soeurs Anglaises


....touch and go......

Let us start by apologising for any confusion concerning our blog and newsletter as we are trying to synchronise our social networking - it's been a complicated journey so we hope you won't lose patience with us.......

Early December is a somewhat unsettled  time for us.  Not quite winter, not yet in the Christmas mood and dithering between catching up with dull paperwork and more enticing textile chores, like making hand-made gifts and festive bakes. It does however give us the opportunity to reconnect with some of our favourite past participants and discover a bit more about them, and we've invited one of them (for what we hope will be the first of an occasional series), Libby from Australia, to share some of her lifestyle choices and favourite things below.  

We'll be posting news about our Blues and Boogie Weekend soon.  We are thrilled to have completed a fully fabulous lineup of musicians.  Meanwhile, with family and friends popping in over the next few weeks, you might be interested in our CURRENT RECIPE for an alternative / additional Christmas Cake or pop over to our Inspirations page for some visual stimulation and our little Festive competition.....

So, Libby, when did you visit LSA and who was the workshop leader?  My first visit to Les Soeurs Anglaises was for a workshop with knitting design legend, Patricia Roberts; and the second was Stitched Calligraphy with the wonderful Rosalind Wyatt (see above).

Where do you currently live? I am a Sydney girl born and bred, but spent 9 years in Europe and have lived now for 25 years in Canberra, Australia with my husband and two daughters

What is it that you love most about living there?  It’s called the Bush Capital, which says it all – National Institutiions – National Museum, National Art Gallery, National Library, science museum , theatre etc AND we’re surrounded by the bush. Kangaroos are grazing ten minutes walk from where I write, and yet fabulous, empty beaches are just 2.5 hours away as well.

When did you start stitching?  As a 20-something - jealousy was the motive. A boyfriend was wearing a jumper knitted by a previous girlfriend and I was determined to do one better!

What is currently your favourite/principle art/craft?  It would have to be fashion sewing ( including baby fashion for my new granddaughter Sofia) and knitting…. with a bit of small quilting thrown in.  And some sashiko after a Japan trip last year.  No formal training.

Biggest textile influence?  My friend Kristine is a wonderful artist in all her endeavours. As an ex-teacher myself, I love being around people who are great teachers.

Favourite artists? Australian Aboriginal art, both traditional and cutting edge modern. Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri, Rover Thomas and Fiona Hall.  Vincent van Gogh and Japanese ceramics,  Grayson Perry,  and theDinosaur Designs group.

If you could excel at something other than your current art/craft, what would it be?  I took up piano when I retired a few years ago.  Love Cole Porter as well as swing/jazz era….so I’d love to be the musical life and soul of the party with those sorts of songs!

 Favourite place to travel and why? Italy for the culture, food and history. But also both India and Cuba

Favourite music?  In no particular order; African/Spanish/Cuban/Balkan; Opera: Verdi/Puccini; Standards of the 40s and 50s; Jacques Brel, Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, Rufous Wainwright; The Blues

Recommended book of last 12 months? "H is for Hawk", by Helen MacDonald…harrowing tale of coming through the other side of grief with the help of an animal – at times breathtaking writing.

Favourite supplier of art/craft materials?  At the moment: Tessuti’s online patterns, and Laughing Hens for yarn.

Film idol? Cate Blanchett. Amazing actor - have seen her on stage in Sydney several times…she is simply a role chameleon. Inhabits the character. Social justice agenda most impressive, too. 

Perfect meal? The four course truffle breakfast at Bookplate, the National Library restaurant, Canberra. Light, delicate, unbreakfasty.

Three things you couldn’t live without?  The arts, my family and friends, my garden full of birds. That’s more than three , isn’t it? 



  • Sign up and stretch those knitting muscles with the Wollmeise yarn Club 2017.  It looks a treat! 4 instalments, 4 mystery parcels, 3 yarn bases, 8 skeins, 4 women from the past, 4 designers in the present.  
  • Go to Dawn Nicol's website to pick up your free 10-page Hand Lettering Kit. If you don't fancy calligraphy yourself, it would make a great project for creative kids with time on their hands over the holidays.
  • Want to learn a little French and French cuisine at the same time before visiting Les Soeurs Anglaises next year? Check out Cuisinez-vous le Francais. A painless but nourishing way to learn the basics of this beautiful language.
  • We've fallen in love with the work of New Yorker, Ann Wood, who makes exquisite fabric birds and vegetables and much, much more.  In fact, we're going to try to get her over here in 2018 to lead a workshop so if you think you might be interested do, please, let us know.  Meanwhile, you still have time to download some of her "patterns" to make as gifts for both adults and children - or to keep for yourself why not?  Have fun......  


Katie, Susie and Carol  xx

katie armitage