Alison Crowther-Smith

Archive for the ‘Mini-Workshops: Mad Knitting Skills’ Category

Technical Skills: 4 ways to knit in the round – places and a new date

Monday, July 27th, 2015

Cast-On Close-Up

This is one of my technical half-days, and I have a new date.  The original date is going ahead on Thursday 1 Oct, and there is 1 space; the new date (a repeat event) is Wednesday 7 October and there are 3 spaces.

These technical days allow us to focus, with small numbers, on one or more very specific skills.  In this case, we are looking at knitting in the round and will be covering the four most widely used techniques.  They are all useful, they all have different applications, all have a place in your repertoire, and it’s good to be able to swap techniques when the need arises.

The half days begin at 1.30 and end with tea and home-made cake at 4.30.  You can book here.

Casting Off Skills

Monday, June 22nd, 2015

Now (due to a cancellation) I have 2 places available at my Casting Off Skills event on 9 July.  Here are the details.  In addition to these skills, I will also be teaching the iCord cast on to go with the iCord cast off.

Hope you might like to book your places.

Cast-On Close-Up



Technical Mini-SKills Workshops – last 3 places for next 2 events

Friday, May 15th, 2015

There are only 2 places left for casting-off skills, on Thursday 9 July; and only 1 space is left on my eleventy ways to knit in the round event on 1 October.

These are half-day, intensive sessions.  Really useful for your knitting repertoire, and also, small, hands-on events – with cake as a reward at the end.

Do book.

Technical Workshops

Friday, May 1st, 2015

These are starting to take off nicely now.  The nerd in me (this is approximately 50% of my content) is delighted that people want to nerd-out on knitting skills.  Yesterday we had the 3rd event and it was all about casting on.  I have now added 2 more events.  There is casting off skills, on 9 July; and 4 ways to knit in the round, 1 October.  They start at 1.30 and end after tea at 4.30.

I realise that You Tube is basically a giant knitting how-to resource and that’s great.  I use it all the time.  But, a lot of the content is American and not always easy to ‘translate’ to English knitting.  And mainly, not everyone enjoys learning from videos or illustrations in books.  Also, when I choose (as I did this week) 8 cast-ons, I am ‘editing’ for you and telling you all about my favourite ways, and how I do it, along with tips and issues to be aware of.

I estimate, with my scientific research skills, that there are now eleventy-hundred ways to cast on for any conceivable application.   These include the Transylvania Long-Tail Cast-On for knitting a toy shark in the round, the little-used limited-edition ‘Cambridge’ Tubular Cast-On for knitted clerical robes, and the widely-avoided Kilner-Robson Axis twisted and rolled cast-on, whose use is now only ever observed at the monthly ‘knit n knatter’ group based at the Brown Spout cafe, Louth, Lincs.  So it makes a lot of sense for me to trawl through the options and serve you up the only ones you are ever likely to need, thus narrowing the scope from 1000s to 8.  At most.

Book now!  Embrace the inner nerd.  You know you will find kindred spirits here.


New Technical Event: casting off, Thursday 9 July 2015

Monday, April 27th, 2015

The next technical event is now live. It’s all about the cast-off.  You can view and book here.  There are literally 1000s of options and there is always a cast-off solution.  We will be focusing on a few really helpful ‘standards’ both practical and decorative, sometimes both.  Plus a re-cap on what works best for different projects.

I am aiming to add two or three new technical half-days in the autumn soon.  The topics I had in mind were converting patterns to be knitted flat or in the round; adding embroidery to your knitting; maybe needle-felting although this is very light on the knitting content; top-down sock basics; toe-up sock basics; intarsia basics.  I mention the latter as I *can* knit intarsia but I never design anything in it as it much prefer Fairisle colourwork, so it will never feature as a main workshop.  Nevertheless, it’s a good skill to have.

Let me know of any topics you think I might include.

Places Available: Casting-On Skills, 30 April

Friday, April 10th, 2015

Cast-On Close-Up

There are 2 places available for my mini-workshop on 30 April:  casting-on skills.

This is one of a series of technical skills events, 3 hours long, strictly limited numbers, 5 being my maximum.

The event on 30 April is all about casting-on.  The itinerary is:

  • resume of the 3 most widely used cast-on techniques, and when you would choose one over another
  • technical cast-on session, covering: the seamless cast on for knitting a ‘closed’ piece in the round such as a sock, or a mitten; the provisional cast-on; a super-stretchy cast-on for a ribbed cast-on edge
  • decorative cast-on session, covering a folded picot edge cast-on; and a twisted edge cast-on

That is a lot to cover in 3 hours, but it’s an intense techie session with lots of one-to-one teaching and the opportunity to practice as much as you need to.

The events start at 1.30 and end at 4.30.  We also have afternoon tea!

I provide all the practice materials, plus notes so you can take these away, plus examples of when you would use the techniques, and refreshments and afternoon tea.  All you need to bring are knitting needles, which I will specify.

2 places left, so please book here.

Workshop Left-Overs

Friday, January 23rd, 2015

These are the places left for events here in 2015.

In March there are three places for the Boa Day, when we will knit either the refined and elegant Eastwater Boa; or the exuberant and joyful Frill Seeker Boa. Both are easy and fun, great to wear or to gift.

In April  there is one space on the Design weekend (2 days).

And there is one space on the Halloween Workshop, the one on the 24th, the other one is full.

That’s all that is left for full day or two day workshops, so do be a love and book them up, it looks so much tidier…

There are plenty of spaces on the new half-day ‘skills’ events.  You can see these three events here.

Mad Knitting Skills: half-day teaching at Court Cottage

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

I know you all have mad skills, but sometimes, it’d be nice to have some really focused tuition, maybe not all day, as this can be too much, but just for a few hours.  Time spent at an all-day workshop here, will deliver, I hope, as much learning as is appropriate and some of the days are very intense, notably the Design Weekend, and Moebius courses, for example.  But in a full day, there is also a lot happening, it’s happy and noisy. In short, those days are a much more rounded experience.

So I have decided to offer a short series of focused half-day sessions, beginning this spring.  There are three dates so far.  First is a focus on short row shaping, on Thursday 12 February 2015.  Then there is an in-depth session on cables and bobbles, which is on 5 March 2015.  Finally, so far, a half-day on casting on, when we will look at five methods, three of which will be covered very easily and quickly, leaving us at least two hours to look at two other very specific cast-ons.  This is on 30 April 2015, and you can book that here.

These are all taking place on Thursdays. They will start at 1.30 with a cup of tea, then it’s pretty much full-on teaching and practice, until afternoon tea.  It will close at 4.30.  I will be teaching, and I am only accepting five participants to each session, so there will be a lot of one-to-one opportunity.  They cost £30.

If these go well, I will add a series of three more in the autumn.