Alison Crowther-Smith

Posts Tagged ‘Fairisle’

Winter Trees Fairisle Throw Pattern – now available

Friday, November 9th, 2018

This is new!  Here is the link!

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!

 

 

Moons and Stars

Monday, February 26th, 2018

Moons and Stars 1

I thought you might like to see the final images of the designs for the Moons and Stars events which are new for 2018.

Here is the lap-blanket:

And here is the Cowl:

The blanket is steeked.  Both are knitted in the round and we also knit Fairisle with beads.

There is one space (a cancellation) for 22 March. The other dates are fully booked but we may repeat it in the autumn as there is a waiting list now.

This is not the design for our Shetland Fairisle adventure in July – but like Bees and Sulis, it is typical of my approach to Fairisle design – modern, a bit different, not difficult, simple colours and clean images – but knitted 100% traditionally. Do come to Shetland!  I can promise you it will be amazing.

 

The Shetland Adventure – and some Fairisle Nerd Stuff

Tuesday, January 9th, 2018

Here’s a nice write up by Muddy Stilettos about the tour I am heading up this summer.

The designs for this are at the prototype phase – in my head and my note book.  I know I am going to design a throw that can be steeked – indeed, it must be steeked or remain a tube for ever.   I think this will possibly have a miniaturised version – a tubular scarf.  This is dependent on the design for the Fairisle chart.

For example, this design would be perfect for throws, scarves or cowls:

But this one (still a WIP), not so much for scarves, though it would be very possible with an off-set addition, as it is motif based:

None of the above will be the new Shetland designs, but as an added bonus, you can choose any of my other Fairisle designs as a gift-pattern, including my all-time favourite (so far) the Bee Designs:

One of the many things we will be teaching on this tour is the importance of the top or dominant yarn when knitting Fairisle.  Because we will also be teaching you how to carry yarns in both hands, you will be able then to choose which yarn – say A or B, or the background and the motif shades – you prefer to ‘dominate’ the pattern you are creating.  I think this is fascinating stuff, but then I am HRH, The Queen of Nerd, as you will find to your delight on Shetland.  You see, if you carry A in your right hand and B in your left, and A is your motif, it will sort of stand out more.  This is more of an issue if you are knitting with closely matched shades.  This difference in appearance is about how the wrong side stranding lies.  All will be revealed on Shetland.

There will also be another version of the same basic design that will not be steeked and the problem is I keep changing my mind about whether this will be a hat – possibly a tam; or mitts; or a cowl.  Nice dilemma though.  I do want one to be fairly small so it might be finished while we are away!

But the main thing I want is to pass on my absolute passion for this style of knitting.  I know my Fairisle is not super traditional, but that’s why I love it so much – this ancient knitting craft is so adaptable to both traditional and modern designs.  I am sure you will love it too. And if you already do, you will love it more.

The flight info for this tour has now been added to the ECT Travel website.  I would really love to share this adventure with you!

 

The Shetland Tour, July 2018

Friday, December 22nd, 2017

Just to let you know that ECT Travel have now up-dated the tour to include flights!  Here is the link.  I do hope you can come on my Fairisle knitting adventure on Shetland!

Image

 

 

Traditional Fair Isle – Modern Design: Your Shetland Knitting Adventure. 27 – 31 July 2018

Monday, December 11th, 2017

In July, I have been asked to lead a Fairisle knitting holiday in Shetland.  To say I am excited is an understatement.  In the same way that saying I quite like knitting is an understatement.

Lerwick

This is the full immersion Fairisle experience.  No distractions.  No ‘work’.  Nothing to do except knit, learn, explore the island and its rich history, relax and have fun.  Here!

The company that is hosting the event is ECT Travel in Bath, and we came across each other during my early preparations for Knit Camp 2017. That was ages ago and the idea they floated of collaborating seemed miles away, but after Knit Camp we go together and so we have drawn up a knitting holiday based in Lerwick.  You can  see the full itinerary and details here.

It will be from 27 – 31 July 2018.  We will have a whole FIVE DAYS together!  And if that is a bit alarming, do not be afraid, because I have of course asked Kathryn to join me so we will be teaching together and generally having such a lot of fun with you all.

Shetland Textile Museum

There is teaching, of course there is teaching, this is me, but it is not a Boot Camp experience (as some of you have been known to murmur when you thought I could not hear).  No, there are trips and visits every day; trips out together – and dinners with the high possibility of knitting at almost all times.

 

I love Fairisle knitting more than any other knitting.  And I love knitting it in a traditional way, usually in the round, sometimes I steek it, I always adhere to the 2-colours-only-in-a-row guideline (rule), and I do sometimes include traditional motifs.  But more often I add my own modern twists with non-traditional motifs, use of beads and even yarns such as Kidsilk Haze.

On this Shetland adventure, I will be showing you and teaching two brand new designs, designed especially for ECT Travel. I will draw upon the magic of the islands, but I will definitely be introducing some modern twists.

Jamieson and Smith

The teaching will focus on:

  • How to knit perfect Fairisle, in the round.
  • Charts – reading, and knitting from, charts.
  • Stranding and tension:  getting this right is the key to perfect Fairisle. I can help you.
  • How to knit with the yarns in two hands – if you want to try this.  And trust me, it is the easiest and fastest way.
  • How to never, ever, get in a muddle with the balls of yarn.
  • How to prepare for, and cut a steek; then how to finish the steek.  This is optional.
  • How to incorporate your own design ideas into your Fairisle knitting if you want to.  This is entirely optional, but we can draw upon the inspiration around us and help you to get your ideas onto paper and the needles.

I will be on hand at all times* to help and encourage you!

Everyone who comes with us will have a choice of my other Fairisle patterns as a gift, but I will be focusing on the new designs – one larger (a throw) that will be steeked, but there will also be a design that does not need to be steeked.  So if steeking is not your thing, you do not have to. But…isn’t this the perfect time to learn it, with us there to hold your hand every step of the way? (Obvs I won’t actually hold your hand or neither of us will be able to get any knitting done.  Just a metaphor). You will have both patterns for the new designs too.

I will be emailing the group at regular intervals with news, images and up-dates on Project Shetland.  ECT have an amazing reputation for really exciting innovative hosted holiday adventures so we will all be in very safe hands.  We even get a Tour Manager!  Kath came over all rock ‘n roll when she heard this, but I have talked her out of the leather trouser plus bandanna combo…

One thing we do need.  YOU!  Please come with us.  I can promise you the best time.

*I will not be with you at all times, never fear.  Just most of the time. Nor do I stay up beyond 10.00 pm so there will be respite.

View and book here. 

 

 

 

2018 Courses

Tuesday, October 31st, 2017

The 2018 courses are now live here.

Next year, as trailed, we will be teaching:

  • Cables, Bobbles and Beads – for the absolute last time!  In March.
  • Slip Stitch Colour Work
  • Socks from the top down.
  • Socks from the toe up.
  • New Fairisle:  Moons and Stars, steeked or not steeked, throw or cowl.
  • Design Weekend.
  • New Moebius.
  • Professional Finishing.
  • Gift Knits.
  • Knit Camp 2018.

In 2018, as there is a late and seasonal Knit Camp, there will be no Court Cottage Christmas Workshops.  This makes me sad – but Knit Camp will be good, and I might hold a Court Cottage Christmas Knitting Party in mid-December, just to finish off what I really think will be a great year.

There is good availability for many of the date at the moment.  We would love to welcome you here.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

Two Courses at Spin a Yarn, Devon

Wednesday, July 26th, 2017

If you missed my Brioche in the Round courses here and you fancy having a go at this technique I am teaching it again at Spin-a-Yarn in Devon on 19 October, 10 – 4.  This is an easier way to knit Brioche than the flat version so it’s a great entry-level to a fantastic new skill.  I have designed three cowls, all variations on the same theme, in a range of yarn weights.  To take part, you need only know how to cast on, knit and purl and follow a fairly straight forward pattern – I will do the rest!  the Brioche cowls are the ones along the top of this gallery.

I am also teaching the Lined Fairisle Cowl on 9 November, 10 – 4.  I have taught this here and the courses were sold out so if you missed it, come along to Spin-a-Yarn and learn how to make this reversible cowl – a modern twist on a traditional Fairisle look.  To take part, you need to be able to knit, cast on and off.  If you have never knitted Fairisle before, the charts for this are moderate – I am happy to teach you how to read and knit from charts and how to hold the yarns in both hands for perfect and even stranding.  Other skills include picking up and knitting which again, I will be able to show you on the day.  The lined cowl images appear on the bottom line of this gallery.

For both events, you will receive the patterns for all the designs on the day, plus full tuition and notes.  Be great to see you there.  Please contact the shop for details on availability and to book.

 

Workshop Planning

Wednesday, May 17th, 2017

Brioche Knitting:  The Marmite of the knitting workshop except that I think about 50% of people hate Marmite whereas only about 3% of people gag on Brioche (knitting). It has been very interesting teaching this recently, and we have taught it quite a lot. And I have been reflecting on what it has taught me.

Personally I love Brioche, partly because it is pleasing to look at and to wear.  Partly because it is different.  And partly because it is soothingly rhythmical, assuming you enjoy that rhythm of course.  Here is some of the Brioche in the round cowls for the next batch of workshops – easy and so elegant:

Happily many participants, like me, enjoy Marmite – but I do understand that some prefer jam.  For example.  I suppose the key thing for me is that it is a new challenge.  However, while most people do like the end result and a majority enjoy getting there, it is not for everyone and I began to think of knitting categories which are not for me.

I hate knitting intarsia for example. I admire it, often and in the hands of designers such as Donna Jones, it is very beautiful and a long way from the deadly picture jumper with which it is often (sometimes unfairly) associated.  But I can knit it.  I even knitted a whole intarsia blanket, once.  I hated the knitting of it and I will never fall in love, I just know it. I am also glad I gave it a more than fair crack.  A single bed sized blanket is a good effort, isn’t it?  Many years ago I basically taught myself to do it from a book.  I cracked it, job done, move on.

Socks are another area that I do not love. I like them more than intarsia (but then, I like going to the dentist more than that).  I just get so bored.

Very Hard Lace.  That’s a mystery to me.  I love lace.  But the monastic silence type of lace is just awful.

Finishing off.  I like doing this.  I hate teaching it and I won’t ever teach it again.  When I worked as a free-lancer for Rowan – and in those days, you were basically working solely for Rowan but self-employed – we had to offer a range of workshops to retailers and you signed up for the ones you could/would teach and they picked from that menu.  I taught finishing off for years.  This workshop is great and really, everyone ought to go on one or at least learn about how important tension is and how to mattress stitch.  But not here, with me.  It was the deadliest teaching day ever.  It is good for you – but not very enjoyable.  Frankly, that’s what yoga and sorting out the freezer are for.

My workshops are planned months ahead.  This begins about 9 months ahead of the next year with a theoretical discussion with Kathryn, and formerly with Millington, about what we think is possible, would be do-able, might be fun.  It also draws upon the experience of the current or last programme.  Because I think of it as a programme.  Otherwise it might end up being all about Kidsilk Haze, knitted in the round and beaded. It needs to offer a range of things:  new skills, new ideas, some ‘foundation’ skills, new designs, new concepts – and they all need to be translated into real, live projects because whilst I am a big fan of swatching, as you may know, I also know that a workshop based only on swatches is unleavened, unseasoned and far from satisfying for both the student and the teacher.  In the old days, my approach of almost always having a workshop that was based on new techniques (or old ones) but was layered into a real, live project was quite unusual.  I plan to continue with this approach, though for my sake, it needs modifying.

Some decisions have been made already and others are forming into fairly firm objectives. These are, in order of importance:

  • There will be fewer events in 2018; associated, partly, with fewer projects.  This is my key decision I suppose.  I plan to teach no more than five topics or new projects for 2018, with only one or two days for each. I don’t suddenly have a bigger room, as if by magic.  No, it will still be small and intimate.  There will just be less. I hear it’s the new more.
  • Some renewed emphasis on design – from the participants.  I think I will re-introduce one design-based teach, similar to the Design Weekends. Your vision, encouraged, facilitated and enabled by us.
  • One, maybe two, ‘back-to-basics’ topics.  This will depend largely on if I like teaching it, to be honest.  So crochet which I am frankly awful at, and finishing off are out.
  • A new colour-work topic.  No, intarsia, we have established that it won’t be you haven’t we? Put your hand down.
  • New pastures in new places.  Where this will take me and Kathryn…well, as yet we are not sure, but they are on our horizon. You are welcome to come with us.

One thing I have loved teaching, designing and knitting in the last three years is Fairisle.  My own take on this, from colour-washing small accessories through to the huge monochrome beaded Fairisle cowl for Elements and culminating in the Bee Blanket and Cushion, which included steeking, has been a joy from beginning to end.  I am not a traditional Fairisle designer although I am fervently traditional when it comes to the use of more than two colours in one row – that is beyond the pale.  Fairisle is my great knitting love.  I see more of it in my future, and it won’t be all zig-zags and diamonds, great as they are as a starting point…

If you have any feedback, suggestions for topics or techniques – or just a tale to tell, do comment or contact me.

The Cowl is Done!

Monday, March 20th, 2017

The Felted Tweed Fairisle Cowl is now complete and it’s a beauty.

FI Cowl greys 1

There are also Kidsilk Haze and silk-lined versions of this fully reversible neat neck cowl. I have designed it to be fairly snug so there is minimal gappage at the neck but it is very easily sized up.  The ‘lining’ is in fact a mirror image of the other side but it is basically knitted in one piece, in the round and there is no sewing up.

FI Cowl greys 5

There is one place left on the Fairisle Cowl workshops and this is for the 3rd of June – you can see the event and book it here.

Several people have expressed an interest in the event, but cannot make the dates so if you would like to go on an event to make this, please let me know and maybe we can organise another date.

 

Fairisle Cowl

Sunday, March 12th, 2017

I am currently working on the final details of the design for the Fairisle Cowl event in a few weeks time.  The concept for this is a little bit different, in that the cowl will be lined with a mirror-image of the Fairisle pattern on the outside.  Here is an image of the cowl in its first colourway:

FI Cowl grey and cream

The main area is closely patterned and is in fact a fast and easily memorised knit.  It gives a warm feel of tweed fabric and I love it.  So the workshop will revolve around knitting this – it is quite small, and then the technical challenge of knitting a mirror-image lining – but basically it is knitted in one piece and is not at all difficult.

An option at the event will be to knit it in Kidsilk Haze, colourwashed. Again this will be lined with a reversed lining, or with a silk-wool lining so that people who like Kidsilk Haze but who cannot wear it next to their skin can also make and wear this.

There is just one place left on this event – here are the details.

 

 

 

 

2017 Workshop Schedule

Monday, September 12th, 2016

This is shaping up nicely.

First, I am repeating Steeking and the knitting of the Bee Blanket and Cushion, probably in April or May as the new date (February 2017) is also already full.  Contact me to ensure a place, I think at the moment I have four places not filled, subject to dates.

I am also repeating the New Moebius event which is happning first this November.  I am happy to take a mix of those who can knit a Moebius (refresher given anyway) and anyone who has not done this as I can teach one group and Kath the other.  Let me know if you fancy this.

Then the rest of the year so far is looking like:

  • New Fairisle in the round (a cowl, not steeked).
  • New Fairisle in the round for steeking (throw and cushion).
  • Kidsilk Haze Day: brand new designs for this heavenly yarn, ranging from 2 – 6 balls, and from easy to slightly more technical. Great for anyone who hasn’t yet ventured into this magical land with me, and for devotees alike.
  • Textured Knits:  combining beading, cables and textured stitches.
  • Brioche Knitting in Two Colours:  an introduction.  Your entry-level event, but we’re going straight in with two shades because that is really half the point of this amazing and cool stitch.
  • Brioche Knitting in Two Colours in The Round.  Your ‘moving on’ event!
  • Christmas Gifts.
  • Christmas at Court Cottage.  If, that is, there are still some little decorations I can design and pass on!

Now one or maybe two of these may not make the final cut or might get bumped forward.  But I think most of this will be on your menu for 2017.

I do get asked if the courses are only put onto the site once they are full.  No, but I do operate am email alert system which means that those people know about them straight away.  You probably know if you are on it as I also use this list to tell folks about last-minute cancellations, but if you think you want to be on it, please let me know.

I am hoping to get the main batch of courses for 2017 live in October.

The Afternoon Tea Club will not be back in 2017.  They have all been busy but having them before a workshop, which was the idea – and a very good one – is just too hectic for me.  However, I plan some (probably two) get-togethers for a full afternoon of knitting with tea and cakes, which I will charge for and then donate the fees less my costs to Macmillan Cancer Care, a charity very dear to my heart.  I think I will hold one in the summer and one really festive one in early December.

Hope to see you here for some knitting next year. Everyone is very welcome.

 

Blanket Progress

Monday, August 1st, 2016

The original Hive Blanket (like that name?  Not too medical – ‘oooh – come and look at my hives, Matron!’…?) is done.  A second version is now being knitted by Kath as I need it testing and also, new colourway, and also, it’s a bit bigger so folks get to choose from the original which is still generous lap sized or a slightly bigger version.

Here it is:

This takes as much yarn as a jumper.  Maybe a Manly jumper.  So it is unusual for me with my childish need for instant gratification and short attention span. However, knitting this was a joy.  I loved it all.  OK, not the border which is massive but mitred so a) you can do it all in one go in the round, and b) it is a *bit* interesting in the corners on every alt round.  Small things people!  I listened to half of the Mitford Girls while knitting the border alone!

Anyway, I now have a dilemma.  This is knitted in Rowan Felted Tweed which though not a pure wool, is sticky enough for successful steeking and I do love Felted Tweed…but I think it is time for me to extend my knitting radar range away from Rowan.  I say this for a number of reasons.  I do love Rowan and I always will.  But times change.  So I am now swatching with DK from Jameison’s of Shetland and I love it more.  If this also behaves as a felting yarn which I am sure it will, it is just a case of at what temp, I think I may switch to this in future for steeking, Fairisle and felting.  I will keep you posted.

This knit has been a long journey starting with many swatches and design changes along the way.  For example, I realised as I completed the first full pattern repeat that I wanted the blanket to have no up or down side so even at that stage I was flipping my charts.  I am so glad I did.  I don’t know why I didn’t think of this from the outset, maybe it is because I have rarely designed pictoral items?

If you are coming on steeking with me in October this is one option.  The other option is a cushion, also steeked and using this charting but obviously much smaller as a project.  If you are not but would like to be, or are on my event waiting list I am going to repeat this event in 2016, probably in February.  Let me know if you want to get advance notice. If you are on the list don’t worry I have you covered.

If like 90% of knitters, you *think* you may like steeking but are unsure if it’s for you, or if you can even do it, this is for you:

  • Once, me too!
  • If I can do it, you can do it.
  • I teach by easy, repetitious and staged sections.  It is not at all hard.  It is, at worst, fiddly.  We will go over the steps many times.  Muscle memory and confidence are built on these foundations.
  • It is normal to feel a bit anxious about cutting into your knitting. I did.  But knitting Fairisle in the round is an absolute joy and you do get much faster and far more *perfect* results.  And I will teach you to really secure your steek so it is stable.  It is secured in THREE ways:  1) surface crochet; 2) picked up stitches further reinforce the steek because they form a line of what is basically running stitch; and 3) the steek is then enfolded into a border, and I will show you two ways to do this.
  • Once you have learned it, you feel absolutely awesome!

Awesomeness guaranteed.

Steeking Fairisle

Monday, July 4th, 2016

When I was designing the Rime cowl for Elements, I worked on a version myself and later, for reasons of pattern accuracy and to adjust a few things, another version was knitted which was used for the final shoot.  This project is a Fairisle knit, knitted in the round.  The charts are pretty simple, but the cowl is also beaded and the Kidsilk Haze background shades are colourwashed.  It is started and ended with a deep ribbed edge, which is in turn folded over and slipped stitched down so the ends are really neat and the Fairisle doesn’t start for several inches.

Rime Snood Litchen Mitts

So, I had two cowls.  Then I got to wondering if I could steek one of them and make a throw with it.  The cowl is very big, so I thought it’d be a nice throw, with the pattern going the opposite way to how it is in the image above if you held it longways.  The problems I had to consider were:  it was not knitted to be steeked, so it had no steek ‘bridge’ built into the pattern; also the deep (two layers deep, too) ribbed borders at each end are not conventionally steeked at all, most patterns only deal with stocking stitch Fairisle – these ribs are not stranded; and it is beaded, so clearly once it was cut, the beads in these areas would probably become liberated, no matter how carefully I secured the steek.  Finally – and this was my main worry – the cowl is knitted with yarn double throughout.  So every end is really two ends…

It sort of preyed on my mind for a few months.  At the same time, I was designing things for my steeking courses later this year, which meant knitting and steeking a lot of samples.  So in the end, I decided to just try it.

A conventional steek would have an area set aside in which to secure and cut the steek and it would look something like this:

This is a sample, with simple Fairisle and a five stitch wide ‘bridge’; I cut the steek right up the middle of stitch number three.

So on my KSH cowl, I picked a spot in between some of the charted work where a cut would look most logical.  Then I surface crocheted up one side and down the other side of a line of stitches I had chosen:

I used Fine Lace, an ultra-fine smooth lace-weight yarn.

Then, I cut the steek:

And voila:

So far so good.  I then knitted a ‘sandwich’ finish on each side – i.e., over each steek-side.  This was not successful on the first one, so I did the other side and this was fine; so I undid the first attempt, which involved further cutting, and re-did it.  One side was far less stable than the other, especially in the area where the folded double-layer rib was, so although they are both now 100% stable and secure, one is fatter than the other.

Here is one side, sandwiched:

I used Kidsilk Haze double, as for the main throw, to knit the side edges. I used two of the colours used in the main cowl – black and grey, held together.  I chose these as this gave me the best chance to be able to see the backs of the stitches against the main work – you need to be able to identify and pick up these ‘bumps’ on the wrong side to complete the sandwich.  And here it is, on the wrong side, showing the many ‘ends’ safely tucked away inside:

Sorry the pics are so fuzzy.  Very difficult to get focus on KSH in soft-focus colourwash!

It took me about 2 full days (had I added all the time up) to complete the steeking and it was tricky, especially at the double rib ends, where the surface crochet only ‘grabs’ half the layer.

But overall I am delighted with it, and I now have both a cowl, circular version and a lovely light-weight but very warm, large throw:

I think it has also given me a huge confidence boost.  I am not afraid of steeking, and once I’d found the method that suits me best – which is the one I will be teaching – I was very comfortable with it.  But this experiment has been worthwhile and I’m now fearless!

Christmas 2015

Tuesday, November 10th, 2015

DSC_0084

The Christmas workshops are almost here.  I have designed some Harry Potter inspired (only slightly) decorations this year – owls and envelopes, hopefully no howlers.

DSC_0101

My festive envelopes are the perfect size for a gift-card, a cheque if you folded it up three times, a name-card for the festive table, or a large diamond ring…

DSC_0098

Later this week I will unveil my wisdom of owls. I do love an owl.  DSC_0091

 

Book! Dogs! Halloween!

Saturday, October 3rd, 2015

So, things to tell you.  First, ‘Elements’ is now available to buy from our dedicated website Smith & Jones Knits.  Hurrah!  Rowan retailers can buy it direct from Rowan via their Rowan rep or account.

Second, dogs and Halloween.  Halloween is their favourite festival, obvs.  This year’s Halloween events are happening, as is traditional, in October and here is Arthur helping me to model two of the items that can be knitted:  Skull and Bones Mitts (black and white) and Tomb Raider Mitts (pink and black); there is also the antidote to skullery – a KSH beaded scarf, Friendly Spirit.  Do you think he looks scary?  BOO!

Really looking forward to these workshops. I love hiding GIANT SPIDERS in peoples’ knitting bags.

Skull and Tomb Raider plus Arthur

Friendly Spirit stitch close up

Skull and Tomb Raider together

Jo’s Fairisle

Wednesday, August 12th, 2015

Look what Jo knitted!

Jo's Fairisle 2 (3)

Her first ever Fairisle, it’s my neck cowl, knitted in the round, in colour-washed Kidsilk Haze plus beads.  I love it.

 

New Fairisle Workshop Date

Friday, July 24th, 2015

I have added a new date to the website.  The Fairisle event will be repeated on Sunday 27 September.  Here is the information.  There are still 4 places left.

This is the same event as the workshops here in May and on 19th September.  So, don’t book this one if you’ve been to, or are coming to, those!  I mean, you’re more than welcome, but just so you know.

Here are tasters of what you will be making:

Show and Tell: Fairisle Off the Needles; and … Workshop Query

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

Earlier this month we held the first Fairisle Court Cottage Workshop.  Participant Sue has just sent me this image of the cowl she completed.  I love it.

Sue's FI Cowl

The concept is traditional Fairisle, with a colourwash and beaded twist.  You will learn the most important skills:  1) flat, even stranding and tension control.  2)  the option to hold the yarns in either one hand or both hands.  Hint:  it’s easy.  So much myth and kerfuffle is talked about FI.  I am a big fan of the easy route to great looking designs and this, I promise you, is so much easier than it may look.

I am running it again in September, but that is full.  Let me know if anyone fancies a repeat, as I do have one person on the waiting list, so it’s possible that it’d be worthwhile sorting another date.

On that note, I am running out of Saturdays.  How would Sunday events work for you?