Appletons Wool scales new heights in the Alps!

02 August

The Alpine Experience has been delivering exceptional craft holidays since 2006. The business is family run and offers classes in embroidery, beading, lace making, knitting, textile art and painting, taught by world renowned tutors, providing exceptional hospitality in breath taking scenery in the idyllic alpine location of Les Carroz d’Araches in France.

chalet View

Nicola Jarvis and Anna Scott are teaching at the Alpine Experience at Les Carroz d’Araches in France during August 2018 and have both designed their own projects for the retreat. Nicola has created the ‘Alpine Garden’ and Anna the ‘Mountain Oak’. 


Nicola Jarvis is known in the embroidery world for her bird embroidery kits, decorated with William Morris-inspired patterns. She has been teachingembroidery for twenty four years since training at the world class Royal School of Needlework.

Over the last ten years Nicola has formulated and delivered independent site-specific embroidery courses in stately homes and museums across the  UK and USA. Nicola operates her kit design and teaching business – Nicola Jarvis Studio, from her beautiful studio based on the outskirts of Royal Leamington Spa, Warwickshire

Nicola will be joining The Alpine Experience for the third time and will be teaching from the 5th- 12th August 2018. The project Nicola has designed exclusively for this stitching retreat is inspired by the flowers and insects that inhabit the stunning Grand Massif region. Students will explore crewel work and surface stitching techniques, using Appletons wools mixed with stranded cottons, metallic threads, beads and sequins, all worked on linen twill.  

Anna Scott studied hand embroidery at The Needlecraft College (Haandarbejdets Fremmes Seminarium) in Copenhagen. Since returning to Australia in 2000, Anna was part of the editorial team of Inspirations Magazine and Country Bumpkin Publications. Anna has been designing and teaching embroidery for more than twenty years, but only full time since 2010. Anna has a small blog and sells her kits via Etsy. 


Anna will be teaching at The Alpine Experience from the 14th – 21st August and feels very privileged to have been invited to teach because it gives Anna and the participants a very rare opportunity to spend a whole week together and work on a substantial project. Time is always a major issue with embroidery workshops and Anna is really looking forward to having the luxury of time to spend with the stitchers. Another advantage of the time combined with a small group is that everyone can stitch a project that really appeals to them.  While most are embroidering the ‘Mountain Oak’ which was designed for the retreat, some of the women are stitching other crewel pieces, such as ‘Scarlet Glory’, ‘Meadow Bloom’ and the raised embroidery piece ‘Persian Bounty’.

Mountain Oak WEBMountain Oak sample page

For a long time Anna has wanted to design and stitch a larger crewel piece with a Tree of Life, so it seemed the perfect opportunity when she was invited to teach at the Alpine Experience.  The project features the classic tree sitting on a row of hillocks and since she will be teaching the project in the French Alps, Anna has replaced the traditional stag with a cheeky mountain goat!

One of Anna’s favourite things about crewel embroidery is to use lots of different stitches to create textures and patterns within individual elements of the design and she had a great time stitching this project because there was so much scope for variety in the number of leaves and other elements. The leaves on the tree are all stitched differently using a wide variety of stitch and colour combinations. The design is worked using 33 different stitches and 7 variations of laid fillings, so it is a great teaching piece. The colour palette is also inspired by the mountains in summer: sky blues, grass greens and natural shades of tan and brown with a few splashes of burn orange to make it all ‘pop’. Stitched onto ivory linen twill, the embroidery design is one of the larger pieces Anna has done and measures 33cm x 41cm wide.

For more information, please visit Anna’s blog:

The retreat is a complete immersion in hand embroidery, with delicious gourmet food and luxury accommodation in chalets built in the regional Alpine style.  All these wonderful elements combined keep stitching enthusiasts coming back year after year.

For more information on the retreat, please visit The Alpine Experience website: