Alison Crowther-Smith

Posts Tagged ‘Christmas Knitted Decorations’

2019 Workshops are now LIVE!

Monday, September 24th, 2018

2019 is now live on the site.  You can find them all here!

There are icord designs, Happy Endings, new felting, gifts and the return of Christmas at Court Cottage.

Each day explores new techniques and applies them to projects specially designed for you.

I would love to see you here!



Christmas Workshops 2017: images

Thursday, November 2nd, 2017

Crocheted Heart Wreath with Lights, Mini Jumpers, ‘Frozen Hearts’ Picture Frames, Icicle

Heart Wreath 1

christmas 2017 icicle in bauble

christmas 2017 hearts 2

christmas 2017 montage

christmas 2017 3 jumpers



2018 Courses

Saturday, September 16th, 2017

The events for 2018 are now all decided and in the diary and I will add them to the website in October.  If you are on my mailing list, you will automatically get an alert as they go live.  If you want an alert and you’re not on my list, please contact me.

The schedule goes like this:

  • New. Moons and Stars:  a new Fairisle course with the option to knit a Moons and Stars blanket (steeked) or a Moons and Stars cowl (not steeked). Learning to steek, if you have not tried this yet, is a built-in option for the workshop.
  • New. Socks:  two events, one for toe-up socks and one for top-down socks.  Learn all the elements of sock construction for either or both.  They will run back-to-back.  If you want to do both and plan to stay locally overnight on the Saturday (email me for some suggestions), I will be in the Puriton Inn on the Saturday evening if you want to have supper with me.  If not, I probably won’t bother!
  • New. Slip-Stitch Colour Work:  a great alternative to Fairisle, intarsia or brioche.  Only one colour is worked at a time, rows and rounds are worked only once, and it is easy yet effective.  There will be two designs, one knit flat, one in the round.
  • New. Design Weekend.  Design weekend is back with a new design brief.  This is a two day event, back to back.  If you want to come to the event and plan to stay locally overnight on the Saturday (email me for some suggestions), I will be in the Puriton Inn on the Saturday evening if you want to have supper with me.  If not, I probably won’t bother!
  • New Moebius.  There will be a new Moebius design knit in two yarn weights.  I will also take bookings from those new to Moebius knitting and we will split the class.
  • Gift Knits.  New festive gift knit ideas.
  • Christmas at Court Cottage.

In the meantime, here is one of the designs for Cables, Bobbles and Beads.  This is Fable (a beaded fake cable) knit as a luxurious wide scarf, and as a beaded neat cowl/neck warmer.  This will also be knit in a chunky yarn, not beaded.  And there will be a further design with real cables and bobbles. I am teaching this on four dates in 2017 and 2018 and the classes are all full except for the one on 4 March, 2018 which has one place.



Winter is Coming…

Wednesday, August 16th, 2017

Zig Zag scarf 4

Without wishing the summer away, I have completed the design and knitting (almost) for the Christmas Gifts events in September.  These are the days that kick off the autumn term – and I can’t wait to get back to the workshops!  Having the summer ‘off’ enables me to focus on some other designing, notably this year finishing off the last two designs for Knit Camp and the Christmas Gift events in early September.

The concept for this teach is to produce some fairly easy (but not boring), and economical accessories – so none use more than three balls of wool, and none will take an average knitter who also has a job or a busy life, more than a week of evening knitting to complete.  For example, Kathryn can knit the hat pattern in one night; I can do it in two-point-five nights.  Kathryn can knit a pair of the mittens in two evenings; I can knit a pair in four evenings.


Zig Zag hat mink close up

This year I have taken one stitch – a zig-zag rib that looks like a little cable, but is not – and used it in both flat and round knits.  There are hats – womans (beaded) and mans; a split scarf; and a pair of mitts with a beaded peplum detail. I am really happy with the finished items and I will definitely be making some myself as gifts this Christmas.

Zig Zag hats collection

I love this concept, because for one thing it frees up the Christmas at Court Cottage events and allows me to just focus on festive decorations.  Also, mid-late November is possibly too late for you to make a few hats, scarves or mitts.  But early September is plenty of time.

The courses are both full but I have three names on a waiting list so if you are interested, let me know – we may be able to set up an extra date.

Zig Zag hats male edge

Another knit that would make a great gift-knit is my Brioche in the round cowl, which I am teaching again in Devon at Spin-a-Yarn (fully booked but I am trying to fit in an extra date or two) and also on 4 November, at the Totnes  ‘Stitchfest’ – more details on this will follow soon. I can accept up to twelve bookings for the Totnes gig, so contact the organisers if you fancy a place.  This is the same event that I taught here, but slightly abbreviated.

In the meantime, here is the split scarf for the September events, which I love and it makes me feel all Judy Garland in ‘Meet Me in St Louis’.

Zig Zag scarf 3


Workshop Gift Vouchers Now Available

Thursday, December 8th, 2016

I only sell vouchers when I actually have workshops with spaces – and at the moment there is very good availability for 2017, so the workshop vouchers are back!

You can buy vouchers here. It is important that when you do this, you choose an event and tell me about it, so I can immediately reserve that place for your friend.  I will take it from there – the link explains it all.

It does make a lovely gift and I hope you will buy one for the special knitter in your life.  Or, if you are the special knitter in someone’s life, pass this on to them!

Buy one here.

See the available events here.

2017 Courses – Now Live

Saturday, December 3rd, 2016

The courses are up and it’s the biggest year ever!  Here they are – do come!

We have Fairisle and Brioche, cables and beads, steeking and gifts – and of course, Christmas.

It really won’t be the same without you, so please take a look and Kathryn and I hope to see you here in 2017.

Here is the link.

Places Available for Gift Knits, Saturday 3 September 2016

Friday, August 26th, 2016

I have just had two cancellations for the next workshop which is on Saturday 3 September.  You can come here, knit this hat and / or these mitts, learn a new skill maybe, and have a generally lovely day. Both patterns are included and the hat comes in adult male, adult female, and two child sizes.

The items are both knitted in the round, skills which we can teach you; and they are fast to make – economical too, each uses only 2 balls of wool.

Fancy it?  Contact me!  And I will help you to book and send you all the info you need.

The Final Project Line-Up for Gift Knits

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016

This September sees the launch of the Court Cottage Festive Gift Knits events.  I have designed variations on three themes which all use 1 – 3 balls of yarn (DK or Aran, depending on the pattern) and each will take an average paced knitted, which would include me, about one to four evenings of TV knitting to complete.  The child-size hat is a one evening project; the ladies DK mitts take about four evenings for me to make a pair.

So they are economical in time and money.

It is easy to design things that are both economical and quite fast, but they can tend to be rather dull knitting.  Stocking stitch gets rather a lot of the lime-light, often.  But if you are minded to make several of these things for gift-giving, it becomes awfully tedious to keep grinding out the knitting. So, it also has to be a compromise.  Interesting, but not really hard, because if it is very complex it will be slow and difficult to memorise or watch in front of Orange Is The New Black.

I reckon these gift ideas are just the right side of easy, and also not dull.  Not a lot of stocking stitch either.  Quite often, I have placed the ‘fun’ bits at the start or the end.  For example, the ladies DK mitts start with a really simple but ingenious scallop cuff, which is also beaded.  After this, you whizz along in a lovely rib, and no more beads appear, but we have had our glitter ‘fix’.

Knitting with beads, while easy, does slow it down a tad so these open the show and then bow out.  The hats all have a simple swirling crown which I love knitting because it is so easy, fast and pretty!

I do hope there is something for everyone here.  These three days are full but I would be very happy to repeat it in the New Year.  I do have a small waiting list and if you fancy it, let me know.  It’s never too soon to start the gift-knits, is it?

New 2016 Dates for Christmas and Thronchos

Friday, December 4th, 2015

I have added two new dates to the site.  There is one space now available for Christmas at Court Cottage and this is on Sunday the 27th November.  The new date is in fact Saturday 26th November but that is already full and with a bit of inept juggling on my part, I have one place free for the Sunday.  Book now, while you feel all Christmassy!   I have started designing the decorations for 2016 already.  I am going with a bit of Scandi-chic I think, maybe some felting too.

I also added a new date for Thronchos – Knit the Sewn Throw.  This is on Sunday 26th June and there are three places available.  This is a repeat date, not new Throncho designs.

Still a few spaces also for Fairisle and Steeking and the techie events.

If you are on a waiting list for a specific date, as opposed to any repeat date, I will be in touch if a space becomes free.  And if you want to go on my waiting lists or alert lists, just let me know.


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.

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.