Alison Crowther-Smith

Archive for the ‘Patterns’ Category

April Newsletter

Monday, April 16th, 2018

The new Newsletter has just gone out to my email list.  It contains news on my events, new stock, and an invitation for expressions of interest for Knit Camp 2019 – which will be in Bath and offer 2 or 3 night options.  if nothing else, it is an easy read with a cuppa…

To receive my up-dates first, ask me to add you to my distribution list.




‘Ice Boa’ from Elements

Saturday, October 1st, 2016

I wanted to show you this:


It is Ice Boa from Elements.  Jane, who has knitted two of these now, edged the cast-on side with velvet fabric/ribbon which I think is really lovely and would also have the added bonus of making sure the boa never gets any longer!  I think I will *borrow* that idea.

By the way, I have knitted this is in chunky yarn other than Rowan Cocoon; I love it in luxury Juniper Moon Farms silk/wool chunky but any chunky wool will knit to tension.  Another thing:  you can knit this in DK or Aran weight wool and use the appropriate needle.  Then, I add a few repeats to make it long enough.  It is a very fast knit and need not be at all expensive.  Great gift, really. When making one in DK, I would also add a few row repeats to give it enough depth.  The Boa is knitted flat, on one long fixed cable needle.  It does end up with *a lot* of stitches, but on the other hand it is only a few rows deep. Highly memorable pattern too after the first two or three repeats.

You can buy Elements here.




Some New Designs

Thursday, January 21st, 2016

I want to show you these.

There are three Thronchos which I began designing for my 2016 workshops and which seem to have taken on a life of their own.  This collection is in standard chunky, DK and 4 ply yarns.  I am now working on three further designs for 2017.  Meanwhile these three are all featured in my Court Cottage Thronchos Workshops in 2016 all of which are full, but as I do have a small waiting list, I may offer an extra date – let me know if you’d be interested.

This is the chunky shoulder-wrap buttoned Throncho, which can be worn in two ways:


Here is the 4 ply beaded lace Throncho:

And here is the lace rib DK Throncho:

If, as I hope, these workshops go well, aside from offering a new date or dates, I may design three more for 2017.  These are just a real joy to knit and to wear.  Incredibly versatile, practical and so flattering.

May I now introduce you to a little beaded number I have been working on?

This has a specific design home awaiting.  It is not suitable for workshops as it is so very large-scale.  But more of that later…

And finally for now, here is a Hollywood-inspired cape trimmed with fur-yarn.  I love this very much and once you slip it on, you do come over all Judy Garland:

Owls and Envelopes – My 2015 Christmas Collection

Tuesday, November 17th, 2015

 Owls and Envelopes Christmas Collection

This is a bumper collection of decorations, with a tenuous Harry Potter theme – owls and envelopes.  DK wool plus oddments will conjure up a whole collection.

Buy it here.

‘A Wisdom of Owls’ Mitts

My favourite mittens ever – and I am officially the global mitten-designing hub.  Knitted in the round any way you like, owls grow out of mock-cables and flock around your hand.  They are really fast to knit up, easy and great fun while still being magically elegant.

Buy it here.

New Pattern: A Circle Shawl. Plus New Workshop: Shibori ‘Bump Bag’ Repeat Date

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

Roundabout Shawl Design – Pattern Released

I have added a new design to the website. This is The Roundabout Shawl, which can be knitted in DK or 4 ply yarn, and the pattern provides for both options.  However, you can really knit this is any weight of yarn within reason subject to also changing the needle size, and omit the beads if you do not want them.

The shawl is a big accessory.  It’s not a super-fast knit but nor is it very slow, because being based on simple (no wrapping) short-row shaping, it decreases gradually in each of its six segments.

Here is the beaded DK version:

And here is the un-beaded 4 ply version:

Reasons to love this knit are:

  • it is knitted flat, but unlike many half or full circle shawls, it does not grow from the top down (or the bottom up).  It is knitted from side to side, but in segments, using simple short-row shaping
  • the short-row shaping is combined with very simple lace so there is no need to wrap when turning
  • the number of stitches will never be greater than the number you begin with, and in fact goes down by one stitch every two rows
  • there is no sewing up, or picking up and knitting (except for the tiny and optional reinforcing area at the back-neck); despite being segmented, it is knitted all in one piece
  • its fullness means that as a piece worn simply slipped over the shoulders, it has a waterfall front effect; but when thrown back over a shoulder, it stays steadfastly put
  • it is deep at the back – about 4 inches below my waist – but at the front, it rests at elbow length so it is never in the way

Buy the pattern here.

Extra Shibori Knitted Felt Workshop: Knit the Bump Bag, 5 September 2015

I have also added another date for the Shibori Knitted Felt Workshop:  Knit the Bump Bag, as once again, there was a waiting list.  However, there are still 4 spaces available, so you can book it here.

We will be knitting the Bump Bag, but primarily this day is aimed at delivering an almost staggering amount of information about felting and Shibori techniques in the course of one mad-marble-filled-day.  Here is the bag and the matching beaded felted needle case:

Bump bag main image

Bump Bag needle case on side board

It is on 5 September 2015.  You can book here.



Full Moon Over Court Cottage Predicted for The Weekend

Friday, January 30th, 2015


On 31 January, we are starting the ‘new term’ of Court Cottage classes with the Full Moon Workshop.  I am very excited to be starting the teaching year and with a brand new subject.  This is the first time I have held this event – in fact, all the events for 2015 except Bump Bag Shibori Felting in February, are new topics and projects.

There are two designs for this Saturday.  Both are full circle shawls, though they are really different.  But first, the ways in which they are similar:  both easy; both quite ‘big’ knits (yarn usage and time); both can be beaded or plain; both are knitted flat; both can be knitted, within reason, in any yarn assuming you use the right needles.  I mean, I probably wouldn’t knit them in eye-lash yarn or fun fur, but otherwise, it will work.

The first shawl is quite traditional, being knitted from the top down and finishing with eleventy-sixteen stitches as it grows both in length and mooniness.  I love this, it is quite short, it swirls round, the stocking stitch sections ‘oppose’ one another, and it has a pretty lacy edge.

The other shawl is knitted sideways, so you never have more stitches than you began with, in fact, since it is short row shaping, it is reducing as you go.  This latter shawl is segmented though there is no sewing up, you just transition from one segment to the next.  What I really love about this one is that it is deeply swirling, very full, and has a swing-back effect.  It will stay on you (my full circle shawls have a body gap, so they do not have be knitted in the round and folded to wear them), however you wear it.

It can be draped and it will give you an elegant waterfall front effect.  Or it can be thrown over one shoulder – either way, it will not fall off, and the swing-back is the same. It is heavy, especially the beaded version, in DK yarn, so it’s cosy but not oppressive.  The length is about elbow, so it is short enough to allow you to drink a glass of champagne or knit, unimpeded by shawl-faffage.  This segmented design means it is not actually round – it’s fifty-pence-piece-shaped.

By the way, I knitted one of these in Rowan Alpaca Colour – gorgeous.

The patterns will be added to the site next week.

The course is fully booked.  However, if you think you’d like to come on full moon course here this year, email me and if I can, I will set another date.

Retailers, if you think you’d like this event at your shop, I will be teaching ‘The Roundabout’ shawl as a one-day workshop, so please contact me for details.


Two New Patterns

Sunday, December 7th, 2014

I have added two new patterns to the Pattern Store.  I now have 32 designs in there – I am really happy to have such a nice little collection, all designed specially for my own website and my own workshops!  In 2015 I will be adding more, and hopefully some mini-collections of my own.

The new designs are the Cave Pearl Bobble Mitts:

Here you can see the lace-sided thumb.  Here they are lying flat:

And the other pattern is a collection of Star Decorations, which also includes a lovely festive star-shaped cushion.

Above, one of the stars; and here is the cushion:

I hope you like them.

Halloween Designs

Monday, October 27th, 2014

Last weekend we had the first ever Court Cottage Halloween Workshop.  It was possibly the best fun we have ever had.


Next year’s event is already sold out and I am thinking, as it’s great fun but quite time-consuming to decorate the cottage and garden, that I *might* hold a second Halloween event in 2015.  I don’t have a waiting list, but if you’d be interested, please let me know.  It would probably be  the weekend after the one that is already arranged.  The designs will be spooky, elegant, and dark rather than literal – and as I write, I have only a vague idea what it or they may be…

This year, we played a murder game (no actual violence though I must say, it revealed a dark side to some of my participants that I had not glimpsed before) and the prizes were magic yarn: never ending balls of yarn that would always knit the most perfect items, never run out, tangle or make a mistake!

Puriton, usually quite deserted on a Saturday morning, was weirdly busy and as my procession of witches, ghosts and imps arrived at the house – re-named Corpse Cottage for the day – the locals were agog.  Thus confirming all their ideas about me and mine, no doubt.

I have also now added the two designs that I made for the day this year.  They are the Wraith Stole, and the Spirit Mitts.  Both patterns are available to buy now.



New Designs on the Site; Workshop Up-Date

Sunday, February 23rd, 2014

I have added two new patterns to buy.

There is Cave Pearls Throw and Mitts in Cocoon (and no, there is no end to the Cave Pearls collection, we now have seven options and I’m not planning on stopping).  If you are attending my Cave Pearls workshop, do not buy this as it is included as a free pattern to all those who come along.

The throw is simply lovely to fold around yourself.  And the mitts – long in the arm and knitted in the round – take very little time or yarn.

Seven balls (or more) for the throw and one for the mitts.  You can view them here.

And then there is ‘Shatter’, a half-moon shawl, which you can see here.

The download includes three options for your knitting joy, including Kidsilk Haze, colourwashing, luxury DK  – and border/cast-off choices too.

Now, workshop up-date:  I have four courses on the site at the moment, all of which you can see here.  There are spaces on only one of these – the Half-Moon course on 14 June still has three places.  The others are all fully booked, but I do get cancellations, so if you wanted any of the others, do let me know and I contact you if a place comes up.

I am planning to add several more dates and new subjects very soon.  These will include a Moebius Introduction Day which will run on a Saturday, followed the next day, by a Moving On With Moebius Day which will run on the following day, Sunday.  So you could come to one, or both.  You do not have to do the whole weekend, but you could if you wanted.

Then there will be a Halloween inspired workshop, which with my usual insightful and clever flair, I am planning for October.

And in November, there will be a Christmas Workshop.

Dates and all details will be added very soon.  If you want a ‘heads up’ as I pop them on, contact me and I will email alert you.

I am absolutely loving the workshops here.  Thank you so much for coming to them.

They often sell out, and sometimes I wish I had more space and could take more people, but actually, I was thinking yesterday as we taught a perfect group of  incredibly talented half-moon knitters, that these numbers work really well as tutors – and I hope they work well for the class members.  I have taught classes of almost 30, albeit with an assistant, and we did have two days.  These were very rewarding, if for me, very stressful, but I really do love the small classes I usually teach here and out and about.



Saturday, February 8th, 2014

Here’s a finished Bump Bag:

sue's bump

I love the strong, zingy colours.  This Bump was knitted by Sue.  I also have a pic of another colourway that a customer made which I will dig out and add next.

If you fancy making Bump, you can buy the design here;  and the handles (not the ones originally used) here.

Bump Bag Handles

Sunday, January 12th, 2014

I have had some handles made that will fit the newly re-designed Bump Bag.  You can browse (as I believe we now have to term what we used to call ‘look at’) them here.

handles white (2)

I really like them.  They are plain and functional, quite light but not flimsy, and they are wooden, not famboo (fake bamboo), like so many are.  Personally I don’t like bamboo-stylee things. I might, if I was in South Pacific.  But I’m not.  I used the old Rowan ones because they fitted.  Once they were discontinued, it was very difficult to obtain ones that fitted or did not look plastic.

These are stained white, but you could re-paint them.  The Bump pattern can be ordered here.

I’ve only had 12 pairs made, by the way.




Bump Bag Pattern Now Available

Saturday, January 4th, 2014

The Bump Bag pattern has landed!

You can buy it here.

Also, in about 2 weeks, I will have some handles for sale on this site that will be perfect for this bag.  The original handles made by Rowan were discontinued (sigh) and are virtually unobtainable now.  Alternatives are possible but it’s not easy to get the right size.  So I have had a few pairs made and I will post a link to buy them from me as soon as  they arrive.

In the meantime, why not get the Bump pattern now, and then get your yarn – you need 3 shades with enough contrast to count.  There is a yummy palette in Felted Tweed so I think you may enjoy the browsing – I did.

Your pattern PDF includes a free, bonus felted needle case, made with the left-overs.  I had literally about 3 meters of yarn in 2 shades left at the end.  Very satisfying.

Bump needle case 1

I do hope you enjoy it.  It’s an easy if lengthy knit, so I recommend you read some of my posts about audio books and maybe choose one to download to go with it.

I love my original and now rather aged Bump Bag.  It’s a dear friend, the thing I knitted at the start of my designing journey, and by far the most used and loved item I have ever made.


New Designs

Monday, August 5th, 2013

There are four new designs on the site.

First, one of my very earliest designs for Rowan, the Gathering Scarf.

Gathering KSH in Trance close-up 1

Detail of the open, translucent fabric and very subtle bead detail from Gathering

I designed this for my first book, Little Luxury Knits, now out of print and thus the copyright is mine again, so I have published this as a single download, as it was probably the most popular design in that book.  Just bear in mind that if you’ve got that book, you also have this exact design.  You can buy Gathering here.

This design only takes 1 ball of Kidsilk Haze and a hand-full of beads.  It’s absolutely perfect as a Christmas gift knit.

Next, a new design, never published anywhere else.  It’s the Eastwater Beaded Boa.


The Eastwater Boa has contrast colour details, with the shades used for the side-frills simply being reversed

I do love boas, partly because they offer a chance to show off a bit, looking fabulous as they do, worn with simple dresses or coats.  I also love them because they offer great design options.

Eastwater boa side bead detail

A detail of the ‘insert’, edged with beads, from Eastwater

This one is a beaded version of a frill, based on knitted ‘inserts’.  It looks quite complex but it’s really easy.  The design takes 4 balls of Kidsilk Haze and about 600 beads, but knitted on 5mm needles, it is actually very fast.

You can buy this design here.

Now two designs based on one stitch.  First, Cave Pearls Mittens, offered in two options (both in the same pattern):  with or without beads.

Cave Pearls Mitts in Mauve with beads full hand

Cave Pearls Mitts with beads

The stitch looks like cable but it’s not, it’s mock-cable.  This forms a rather lovely rounded, nest-like stitch structure, shown off to great effect by the crisp stitch definition that you get with Rowan Pure Wool 4 Ply, surely one of the best value quality yarns on the market.

The stitch is easy, the mitts are knitted in the round, and I like the fully fitted thumb that ‘grows’ neatly out of one of the mock-cable lines.

Cave Pearls Mitts in Purple no beads thumb and stitch detail

The un-beaded version of Cave Pearls Mitts showing the crisp stitch definition and tailored thumb detail

They give your hand a lovely, snug fit and are easily sized up if needed.  You can view and buy the pattern here.

Lastly, the Cave Pearls Scarves.  Two options in one design.  You can view and buy the design here.

This uses the same stitch as the mitts but re-designed to be knitted flat.  The beads – and the options are for lots of beads or for fewer – are placed from the wrong side (but of course, they show on the right side).  Here is the highly beaded version:

Cave Pearls in Mist close up of bead-scape

The beads settle in the little ‘nest’ that is created by the clever but very easily-mastered stitch; this is the heavily beaded option

And here, the version with fewer beads:

Cave Pearls in Trance

This image shows a detail of the frill on this version of the scarf, as well as the more lightly beaded fabric

Note:  if you like the Cave Pearls designs, I am going to hold a workshop here next year, based on them, with the addition of another garment option – a shrug, knitted in the round.  So you could wait, book for that and get the design of your choice included in the booking fee for that workshop.

Both the mitts and the scarves are really lovely  projects and great gift options too:

cave pearls trance & bronze beads close up tight



What a lovely write-up – thank you Fiberknitics!

Monday, January 21st, 2013

This is very kind *blushes*

Four More New Designs

Thursday, January 10th, 2013

I am adding a few designs along the way at the moment.  Today, I have added Little Neath Shrug, The Double Pots Mittens, Gleam Beaded Throw (ex-Little Luxury Knits but now my copyright again) and the Knitted Christmas – a vast collection of delicate decorations.  They are all now available to buy as single patterns.

Here they are, I hope you like them.

Kidsilk Haze and Fine Lace together, beads in clusters, combine in a tucked-fabric for the sleeves

One of the Little Neath shrugs I knitted is in soft dove grey and mauve with smoky beads

One version of Little Neath features a lacy rib at the upper-arm and back; the sleeves are gently puffed

Here is the soft puckered texture of the Little Neath sleeves

Gleam is simplicity itself - the ethereal beauty of luxury yarn and a generous canopy of beads

Easy, economical, pretty and totally unique: The Double Pots Mitts are great to knit and to wear


Carol’s Christmas Knitting

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

Carol came on a course with me at Hulu Crafts in Devon before Christmas and LOOK at what she made!

Choosing one of my new favourite shades in KSH, ‘Steel’, Carol has knitted some of the many Christmas decorations I teach at my ‘Knitted Christmas’ classes; plus a pair of mitts ‘The Double Pot Mitts’ which I designed to give to my pre-Christmas classes as a gift.  These are knitted in Rowan Pure Wool 4 Ply (I think Carol has gone with ‘Shale’) and embellished with sweet and slightly bonkers KSH ruffles.

Both the Christmas Collection of patterns, and the Double Pot Mittens are available as PDF downloads on my site now.



Pattern Downloads

Monday, January 7th, 2013

All my former kit patterns are now available as single PDFs.  These are priced at £4 each.  I will email the PDF to you.

I will still very happily make you up a kit for any of these if you wish to have a kit or want give one as a gift – just email me if you do and I will sort out your options.

However, I think (based partly on many email requests and largely on my personal preference) that most knitters like to have the option just to buy the single designs, sans yarns – we *may* have the yarns in stash, after all…

I don’t want to clutter up the site with ‘buy a kit’ and also ‘buy a pattern’ options so I have decided to just go for the pattern option on line.

Whilst doing this work on the site I have also added some new designs – marked as *new* on the menu.

I hope you approve of the changes and the new patterns.  There are 4 or 5 other new designs to go on this month.  Putting up kits has been something I have ‘lagged’ with – because of the additional faffage with colours etc.  You see, I have A Lot of shades here but realistically for a kit, I can only offer 2 options on line.  I think this way will be much better and encourage me to put my back-log of designs up with more alacrity!

The sleeve of the new 'Singing River' shrug