Alison Crowther-Smith

My knitting rules

There really are no rules. But this is what knitting has to be, for me. You make your own rules up and then let me know what they are.

My knitting must be:

  1. Never less than happy. This may sound trite but think back, be honest, and tell me that there have never been any items you have knitted and really not loved – or even begun to hate? I bet you can’t. Well, I no longer knit for duty. I no longer knit in yarns or even colours I dislike. Life is too short for many things to earn their place in it, such as ironing underwear, cataloguing the contents of your freezer, and especially knitting things you don’t enjoy or that you can buy in M&S for half the price. I also know my limits: huge jackets, complicated jumpers in 4 ply yarns, much as I may want them, are never going to make it off the needles in my house, they just fester away in the unfinished knitting box, making me feel guilty. So, I knit what I can finish and I enjoy it. Result: happiness.
  2. A relaxing past-time. If it is going to be stressful, throughout the whole life-time of the project, I probably wouldn’t knit it and I certainly wouldn’t design anything that was likely to feel like that for you. On the other hand, a bit of taxing knitting is A Good Thing, I think. So, I like to challenge myself (and my customers) a bit, but staying within hailing distance of their comfort zone. I mean, if we don’t accept a little challenge, we’ll never move on, will we?
  3. A constant presence in my life, a touchstone. I knit something every day, even if it is only a few rows.
  4. A physical pleasure. Like cooking with fine ingredients and your treasured pots and pans, knitting is a physical pleasure. I adore the feeling of choosing the new yarn, deciding on my shades, and especially, I love casting on. High quality, natural yarns, slipping through your hands as your knitting slowly grows, soft rose-wood needles that have soaked up years of knitting, or sharp, eager, metal lace-points – they are all contributors to our knitting pleasure. Give in to it.
  5. Questing. I love to experiment, push concepts forwards and – possibly because I have no formal training in textiles – I can’t break ‘the rules’ because I don’t know any. I also love to pass this passion on to my customers when I teach.