Scotland Punch Needle Workshop With Bookhou August 2019



Photo:  Arounna Khounnoraj

Photo: Arounna Khounnoraj

About the trip:

Punch needle embroidery has taken the craft world by storm, and Arounna Khounnoraj of Bookhou is at the helm of this movement. During this 7 day Ace Camp you will explore landscape elements and use it as inspiration for your punch needle art. Arounna will take you through her design process starting with creating your own watercolour paintings and collages which you will use as a reference to begin your punch needle piece. In addition to wall art pieces you will also be shown how to create other pieces like pillows and bags.

Big skies, dramatic landscapes, spectacular wildlife, superb seafood and hospitable, down-to-earth people make Scotland the perfect place to celebrate Scotland's long history as a centre in the woollen industry. We will visit a local wool mill, learning the processes of wool production and incorporating locally produced yarn into your work as well as try your hand at natural wool dyeing with a local artisan. Don’t miss this incredible adventure through the Scottish Highlands!

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This Ace Camp includes:

  • Punch Needle Workshop with Arounna Khounnoraj of Bookhou

  • 6 nights* including 2 nights in Inverness and 4 nights in a Highlands cottage

  • 5 dinners

  • 5 lunches

  • 6 breakfasts

  • Hands-on wool-based Natural Dyeing workshop with Loch Ness Knitting

  • Guided tour of a local wool mill

  • Visit to a highlands castle

  • All transportation during tours and to and from Inverness to Nethy Bridge

  • All admissions to sites during the tours

  • A custom punch needle tool kit

*Rooms are shared with one other guest.

Group Size: Minimum 10 guests and maximum 12 guests.

Notes: Airfare to Inverness, Scotland is not included. You will be sent a list of supplies to bring after registration.

We’re sorry this trip has sold out! If you are interested in punch needle with Bookhou please add your email to our notification list by clicking the button below - we will contact you as soon as we launch our next workshop. Thank you!


We will spend our first two nights in Inverness, with the Highlands right on it’s doorstep, it is the perfect base for our trip. A small city filled with charming buildings, historical sights and a castle!

Our following 4 nights will be spent in the heart of the Scottish Highlands at the Dell of Abernathy, a charming stone cottage in the countryside. The Dell was originally built to house the head forester of Seafield Estate, who kindly planted many of the different species towering head and shoulders above the house today. Beech and Horse Chestnut, Oak, and the fragrant Lime, which has been known to ‘calm ones nerves by simply walking beneath’.


Arounna Khounnoraj is a Canadian artist and maker working in Toronto where she immigrated with her family from Laos at the age of four. While her education includes a master’s degree in fine arts in sculpture and ceramics, it was through subsequent residencies that she found her current focus in fibre arts. In 2002 she started bookhou, a multi-disciplinary studio with her husband John Booth, where Arounna explores screen printing and a variety of textile techniques such as embroidery and punch needle. She creates objects such as bags, home goods and textile art. 

In addition, Arounna’s passion for creating and belief in the importance of the handmade has allowed her to become one of Canada’s most sought-after mentors and educators working with colleges, workshops and social media projects.  

Currently, Arounna’s work using the punch needle has created a social media sensation. From wall art to cushions and bags, her punch needle pieces highlight her botanical and abstract designs and her sense of colour have brought a modern, new life to an old technique.

She is the author of the upcoming book, Punch Needle: Master the Art of Punch Needling Accessories for You and Your Home, to be published in April 2019. Learn more about Arounna at, or follow her on Instagram at @bookhou.

Photo:  Arounna Khounnoraj

Photo: Arounna Khounnoraj


Loch Ness Knitting is a small business located in Drumnadrochit on the shores of Loch Ness. Owner Dwynwen is passionate about creating original knitwear and yarn inspired by the Highland landscape.The unique range of Loch Ness Knitting yarn colours are created in sustainable partnership with local kitchens and woodlands.

You will be able to incorporate the wool you dye during this workshop into your punch needle projects.

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ACE CAMPS  will email you when it is time to make your travel arrangements. This email will always be sent 60 days or more before your trip departs unless you book within 60 prior to the camp. If this Ace Camp fills prior to 60 days we will let you know right away so you can plan. 

This trip will start and end in Inverness, Scotland.

There will be no refunds for this Ace Camp due to the planning and logistics involved. 


August is a wonderful time of year to visit the Scottish Highlands. While the weather year-round is completely unpredictable, there is a good chance for sunny warm days, and long evenings.

Temperatures range from 11°C to 18°C, which means you should pack light and layered clothes for your stay and a light jacket to prepare for the possibility of a shower or two. 


The ACE CAMP TOUR LEADER is a part of your group and are there to look out for your safety, to help resolve issues, and to make sure you get what you want from your vacation. The Tour Leader will make sure that everyone who wants company has it, including dinners when no group meal is scheduled.

They also work with the local guides to insure the right combination of pace, information, and duration - and, well...keep the ball rolling.


DAY ONE - Arrival Day

Travel Day - plan to arrive in Inverness, Scotland

Make your own way to our hotel in Inverness. The airport is easily accessed as its just a few minutes away by taxi.

This evening we have a meet + greet welcome dinner with Arounna.

DAY TWO - Natural Dyeing Workshop in Loch Ness

Breakfast at the hotel

This morning we travel south to Loch Ness, which is arguably Scotland's (if not the world's) most famous lake (or 'loch' in Scotland). It is here that we will explore natural dyeing with wool. We will have a hands-on dyeing lesson, learn about local wool production and follow this with a woodland walk to discover where the dye bases come from. You will be able to incorporate the wool you dye during this workshop into your punch needle projects.

Lunch at a local cafe

After lunch we return to the dye garden to finish the dyeing process and have a demonstration on how the materials collected during the woodland walk are prepared for the next dye baths.

If time permits we will visit the grounds of Urquart Castle, which sits on the edge of the lake, a great place to try and spot monsters of the deep. We return to Inverness late afternoon.

Dinner - on your own. Explore the culinary scene of Inverness! We will give you tips on where to go. If time permits you might try to take a tour of the Inverness Castle.

DAY THREE - Visit to a wool mill and highland castle

Breakfast at the hotel

This morning we pack our bags and head for the highlands. We travel via the beautiful countryside gathering landscape inspiration as we go.

We will first visit the Knockando Wool Mill for a private tour. You will be shown around our historic site and witness first hand the small team of craftsmen and women working with modern and rare antique equipment to create the finest quality contemporary textiles that are sold around the world. The tour will also cover the social history of the mill and the recent restoration. 

As well as scarves, blankets and accessories, the wool mill shop stocks a range of knitting yarn, which has been blended, carded and spun at the Mill on Victorian machinery.

Lunch at a local cafe

After lunch we head to Ballindaloch Castle to visit the gardens and peek inside ‘castle life’. If time and weather permit, we will take a break this afternoon to enjoy the scenery and use our watercolour kits to create some artwork. From Ballindaloch we travel to our cottage home and the rest of the afternoon is free to relax, unpack and explore the garden.

Dinner at the Dell

DAY FOUR - Punch Needle Workshop

Breakfast at the Dell

To start your punch needle experience we will first explore a variety of multimedia techniques and materials working towards establishing a design for our punch needle piece which we will work on throughout the three days. We will discover ways to find inspiration through the materials at hand, our surroundings and our own creative experiences.

Lunch + Dinner at the Dell

DAY FIVE - Punch Needle Workshop

Breakfast at the Dell

Today we will jump head first into the world of punch needle.  We will learn the tools and techniques for working with yarn and other fabrics, create samples showing the range of stitches, textures and possibilities in composing with fabric, and find creative ways to adapt our design explorations into a final punch needle piece.

Lunch + Dinner at the Dell

DAY SIX - Punch Needle Workshop

Breakfast at the Dell

We will continue working on our projects today and bring everything we’ve discovered over the course of the workshop together in our finished work.

Lunch + Dinner at the Dell

The Dell is surrounded by countryside walking trails and if time permits you may choose to explore some of these on your own. Alternatively, you may like to take a stroll into town, with Nethy Bridge village only 20 minutes away via riverside walk, forest wander or scenic amble, you can check out rural highland life with a well stocked village store and post office, a fantastic butcher, ‘Mr Mustard's’ offering wonderful local meats and a good selection of fresh vegetables.

DAY SEVEN - Departure Day

Breakfast at the Dell

This morning we pack our bags, say our farewells and make our way back to Inverness via private transfer.


We’re sorry this trip has sold out! If you are interested in punch needle with Bookhou please add your email to our notification list by clicking the button below - we will contact you as soon as we launch our next workshop. Thank you!

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Nota Bene: this is a prospective itinerary. It is subject to modest modifications, dependent on local weather, new opportunities and the desires of the group.