Alison Crowther-Smith

Archive for March, 2015

‘Elements’, My New Book Out in September 2015

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015


I am working hard on a new book, which I am co-authoring with Donna Jones of Fyberknitics.

‘Elements’ is a collection of 24 projects, 12 designed by me, 12 by Donna.  This will be my fourth book, and it’s been the most fun, because we are a great collaborative team.

The theme revolves around the way each of us draws on our landscapes to feed our designing.  For me, in Somerset, this is about my own close environment, even my own garden, and a little further afield, the moors of the Somerset Levels, and the high ground of The Mendip Hills.  For Donna, who lives in South Wales, it is about the coast and forests of her home-land.

Happily, as we created our story-boards, back in the autumn of 2014, we also found that we inhabit very different places on the shade spectrum.  I am all about the cool greys, whites, creams, and blues.  Donna is using a warmer, richer palette.  It is fair to say we both love colour – but we use it in very different ways.

Donna and I met as Rowan Design Consultants many years ago now.  We bonded over a mutual love of yarn, and a shared outlook on many aspects of the creative life.  Our extreme nerdiness (yes, it is a word) is probably our defining shared characteristic though.  It’s great to nerd out with a kindred spirit.

Some years later, here we are, in the final stages of our joint book.  It will be distributed by Rowan Yarns and in the next few months, I will keep you up to date with its progress.  In the summer, we will launch a website dedicated to the book and our wider collaborative project.  This will extend to events, shows, website video tutorials, workshops – and maybe even a residential weekend.

In the meantime, here are two images from my side of the collection.




Dog Days

Thursday, March 5th, 2015

Rupert will be 11 this year.

Here he is, looking a bit nosy.

Arthur, who is his half-brother, will be 7 at about the same time, but he still often looks very puppy-ish, as he did yesterday:

Rupert is quite grey/white now on his face and paws.  I remember Ralph going like this and at the end, his tan was all white and his black was all grey! Very chic, we thought.

Arthur is an absolute baby, a sun-worshiper, like most dogs:

Arthur is Rupert’s shadow.  When Rupert sleeps, Arthur often snuggles up beside him and watches over him:

Rupert sleeps a lot.  All dachshunds have the most amazing capacity for sleep, far more than cats.  And when Rupert is feeling well, as he often is, he’s a keen walker (unless it is wet.  Or cold.  Or windy…).  But he’s nearly 11.  He sleeps even more than he used to:

There is, of course, no need for Rupert to sleep on the kitchen floor.  He’s lying here on top of a home-made snuggle sack, which Florence made for them, but he could have chosen either of his two soft beds.

And then, when he thinks Rupert is drifting off, Arthur lays his head down over Rupert and goes to sleep too:

Look at the white flecks on Arthur’s head.  They are neither of them young dogs now, but yet, not really old.  Rupert is just mature.  In his prime.