Our Fibre Family and the Best Shops Competition

BestShopsHeader

The Irish Times Best Shops Competition has just been launched again for 2016. As ever they are seeking nominations across a number of categories for the best independent retailers in Ireland. We’ve been fortunate enough to have made the short list of finalists in previous years, and we’re honoured that you, our amazing customers, have taken the time to vote for us in the past.

This year we have our eye on the newly-introduced category of Best Family Run Shop, and if you think we deserve the accolade then we would really appreciate your nomination.

While Jacqui and Lisa launched This is Knit back in 2006, the mother-daughter arrangement has since become mother and two daughters, when Jenny joined the team in 2012. Each of us brings our own personality and set of skills to the shop, but one of the most tangible additions in recent years has been the stunning skeins that Jenny creates under the “Townhouse Yarns” brand name.

PBPeekaboo - Copy

And of course the family input doesn’t stop there – many of you will have met our bearded barmen at customer evenings (otherwise known as Liam (or “Dad”) and Ronan (Lisa’s husband)). They also play a back up role as general handymen, but possibly find those jobs a little less enjoyable! And then of course there are the trainees in the ranks, with Lisa’s two young boys, the older of which has already received “training” on the tills and played a supervisory role at the RDS in 2014!

Together with our wonderful staff (who we like to think of as family members too) we try to run a warm, welcoming shop full of fabulous fibre temptations.

Do you enjoy visiting our shop and chatting with us about all things yarn? Does a wander around our colourful shelves brighten your day? If so then we’d really appreciate your vote.

BRITISH KNITTING AWARDS

It’s certainly competition season! The lovely people at Let’s Knit Magazine have a special category in the British Knitting Awards: “Best Local Independent Yarn Store – Ireland”

We have secured the title in 2014 and 2015, and would love to make it a hat trick!

Your vote can be cast here (and you don’t need to vote under every section, you can skip questions by ticking the ‘other’ box and writing ‘N/A’ in the space available).

Voting closes on 28th August

Thanks everyone!

Waiting For Rain

We recently wrapped up our Spring KAL for the Waiting For Rain shawl, and were blown away by all of your beautiful FOs! In case you missed all of the excitement, we’re talking a bit about this pattern today. Super simple garter stitch, short row lace inserts, beautiful drape… what’s not to love? I mean, have you seen our stunning shop sample in Townhouse Fade St 4ply?

Waiting For Rain Shawl

While the bulk of the shawl is easy garter stitch, what makes it unique is the lace “windows” throughout, created using a short row technique. This pattern is extremely user-friendly, with lots of notes and extra instructions to help you navigate your way through the pattern or any alterations you might want to make, including: changing the lace, using two colours, cast on and bind off methods among others. Details such as stitch counts, as well as both written and charted instructions make it easy to follow no matter what your preference. It truly is a fine example of thorough pattern writing, which made it an easy choice for this year’s Knit-a-long.

Waiting For Rain Knit Pattern

Ready to add it to your queue? You’ll need 2 skeins of Fade St 4ply to knit up this shawl, or just over 700 metres of a fingering weight yarn. We’d recommend Debbie Bliss Fine Donegal if you’re looking for some texture. We’re also loving the sister shawl to this pattern which was recently announced, it’s called The Rain Outside, and it’s equally beautiful. Both patterns are available for purchase via Ravelry. If you’ve decided to dive into this pattern and need some help along the way, pop by the shop for some tips and advice, we’re happy to help! Our sample shawls are also in the shop, if you feel like test driving this beauty before you cast on!

Did you join along in our Spring KAL? Have you knit up your own Waiting For Rain shawl?

Guess the Grams!

Guess the Grams!

It’s World Wide Knit in Public Day this coming Saturday the 18th of June. We’d like to extend an invitation to everyone to join us in the shop for a cool glass of summer cordial, a general party atmosphere and a fun competition :)

We’ve filled a cute wooden crate with an assortment of gorgeous yarns, and we’re asking you to guess how much it weighs (crate included). The closest guess will WIN:

A copy of the brand new Book of Haps from Kate Davies
A gorgeous skein of Lotus Yarns Tibetan Cloud
And a nifty pair of Gold Stork Scissors

Visitors to the shop will have a bit of an advantage in that they can pick up the crate (but not remove any of its contents). However, we’ll still be taking guesses from those of you that can’t make it in. Simply enter your details and best guess via this competition entry form.

Good luck everyone, and happy WWKIP Week!

Piewhacket Shawl

The sun has been taking a short hiatus here in Dublin, though the return of rain means it’s time to wrap up in a beautiful shawl! Recently we shared the lovely Rondelay Shawl, a fun short row pattern by Jennifer Dassau. Today, we have another shawl from the same ebook collection, the Piewhacket Shawl. While the Rondelay design is made of several overlapping rondel shapes, the Piewhacket is more triangular in shape, with subtle peaks along the bottom edge. Check out our shop sample, knit up in Townhouse’s Merino and silk blend Fade St 4 ply, in the stunning shade Dazzle!

Piewhacket Shawl

Townhouse Fade St 4 Ply

It’s unique asymmetrical shape is perfect for draping over your shoulders, and the clever use of short rows means you never have an unmanageable number of stitches on your needles. The Piewhacket shawl pattern can be purchased individually, or as apart of the complete ebook containing 5 short row shawls, via Ravelry. We love these shawl patterns, they’re a great way to ease your way into short rows, and they really showcase just how versatile short rows can be in the construction of a garment. Everything from cardigans to socks can use short rows in their construction, and there are many different ways to do them, in fact we just covered the double stitch method (or German Short Row) used in the popular Pfeilraupe shawl.

Piewhacket Shawl

Our second shop sample above was knit up using Cathay 4 ply by Lotus Yarns, in the natural, creamy shade 01, this yarn is a luxurious blend of Tibetan Yak and silk. The texture of the Yak fibre, along with the heavenly drape of the silk, make this yarn the perfect compliment to this pattern. Cathay 4 ply is available in a few complimentary jewel tones, and you’ll need 2 skeins to knit up this shawl.

What’s the most recent project you knit that included short rows? What’s your preferred short row method?

Violet Dress

We have the most darling dress to share with you today! The Violet Dress is a super sweet and simple pattern that is available to download for free via Ravelry. Our shop sample was knitted up in the colourful Cassia Prints by Louisa Harding in the beautiful shade 506, and what a perfect match they make! Knitted up with 3 balls(?) to get the toddler size(?)

Violet Dress Kids Knitting Pattern

It’s simple, top-down construction includes garter stitch straps, decorative eyelet increases down the center front and back, and is finished off with a garter hem. The skirt flares out steadily towards the bottom, giving it a lovely shape. This little dress is a great opportunity to showcase a variegated yarn; with a full stockinette skirt, it’s a great canvas for some fun colours. The simple design leaves room for plenty of creative freedom, perhaps using a contrast color for the straps and bodice? Adding a decorative stitch at the hem? This pattern is very straight forward and would be easy enough to alter, even for those knitters without much experience knitting garments. No button bands or sleeves means quick and easy knitting, a great little project for summer!

Louisa Harding Cassia Prints Violet Dress

We just love the Cassia Prints for kids knits, with it’s cheerful, variegated shades, and easy to care for wool/nylon blend. It’s a DK weight that stands up well to wear, which means it’s also great for a cosy pair of socks. The colourways range from warm pinks and yellows, to cool blues and greens, all blending together giving it a hand painted look. Pop by the shop any time and check out the colourways in person, photos just don’t do them justice!

What projects do you have in your queue for the summer? Have you knitted with Cassia Prints yet?

Pfeilraupe: Double Stitch Short Rows

If you’ve been joining us on our journey through the Pfeilraupe pattern, you’ve since learned how to master the crochet cast on, the short rows, and the slots. Today we finish off this series with the short row technique used on the finishing edge. While the cast on edge uses another short row technique, the opposite edge uses double stitches, which we’ll cover today.

As soon as you’ve reached the middle point, you will turn at the tip and immediately begin this new short row technique to begin growing the triangle in the opposite direction. Up until this point, you have been turning at each short row along the cast on edge, knitting back to the end, then turning to begin the next row. You then work up to and across your short row stitch, working a few more stitches before turning again at the next short row. The number of stitches worked in each row increases as you work into your crochet cast on.

On the finishing edge, you’ll still be turning to work your short rows, but you won’t be coming across them again until you’re casting off. The number of stitches worked in each row will decrease as you complete the second half of the triangle. Ready to get to it? Here we go!

Right side: Knit until you reach your stitch marker, which indicates turning for the short row.

Pfeilraupe Double Stitch Short Rows

Turn your work. Your stitch marker is now on the right needle, and the working yarn is towards you. Insert your right hand needle into the first stitch on your left hand needle purlwise, to form an X. Lift the working yarn up and in between the two needles, on top of the X, away from you and towards the back.

Knitting Double Stitch Short Rows Technique

Keeping the yarn towards the back, remove the left hand needle from the stitch, leaving the stitch on the right needle.

Pfeilraupe Double Stitch Short Rows

Keeping the yarn to the back, you are now ready to continue knitting the row.

This “double stitch” is really just turning one stitch backwards, so that the purl bump facing you, now shifts around away from you, appearing to create two stitches, with each “leg” of the stitch now resting on the needle. The double stitches are easy to see with the color changes in the yarn used (Pittura by Louisa Harding in shade 601) so you can see each pair or “double stitch” is really a single stitch, with both “legs” now on the needle.

Pfeilraupe Double Stitch Short Rows

Knitting Double Stitch Short Rows Technique

When you are ready to cast off, and you come across these double stitches, make sure you treat them as one stitch. You will be knitting those two stitches together.

This method is great because it is a fluid motion and there is no tedious wrapping. The only down side would be doing the double stitch in stockinette, where you are doubling a knit stitch, it is not as tidy as doubling a purl stitch. Because this pattern is garter stitch, this technique works very well, as when you turn for the short row, you always have the purl side facing.

We hope you found this series useful, and hope to see lots of beautiful Pfeilraupe FOs very soon! Our shop sample will be done and up on display very soon if you’d like to come by and check it out, or get some help with the pattern in person.

Have you knit your own Pfeilraupe? Did you learn any new techniques when knitting it?

Rondelay Shawl

Don’t you just love one skein projects? We do! And we have a great one to share with you today: the Rondelay shawl is a beautiful pattern with unique construction, and our shop sample used up just one skein of the lovely Tibetan Cloud by Lotus Yarns in shade 15! Using the wonders of short rows, this design features three half circles, making for a simple shawl with a clever design. Featuring garter stitch and yarn over eyelets, the rondel patterns overlap each other, creating a semi-circular overall shape that drapes beautifully. It’s design suits both variegated yarns as well as it does solids, as you can see with our sample in this deep purple colour!

Rondelay Shawl Knitting Pattern

The yarn used in this shawl is 100% Tibetan yak, which isn’t a fibre you come across very often. It is strong while being light and airy, really coming into it’s own with lace stitch patterns. A solid 450 meters per skein means you’ll have all you need to finish this shawl. The result is something dreamy: light as a feather and with wonderful drape. Tibetan Cloud comes in a stunning spectrum of deep jewel tones, as well as some natural shades. If you’ve never worked with a Yak fibre yarn before, Tibetan Cloud could definitely make you a fan!

Rondelay Shawl Knitting Pattern

The Rondelay shawl pattern is available for purchase on Ravelry individually, or within an ebook by Jennifer Dassau which includes 5 patterns featuring short rows and garter stitch, all which use just one skein! We’ll also be featuring the Piewhacket shawl in another post here on the blog very soon.

Have you ever knit with Yak fibre before? What’s your favourite one-skein project?

And our KAL winner is…!

KALWinner

When we announced our Spring KAL back at the end of February we could never have predicted how many utterly stunning shawls would result! The combination of this clever and elegant pattern, mixed with some stunning yarns and some very talented knitters has made this a very enjoyable KAL altogether. Our random number generator had to select just one winner though, and the lucky lady is Mary L, who knit this incredible laceweight version. Congratultions Mary!

Below are just a few images of the fabulous shawls shared on our KAL thread on Ravelry. If you’re in the mood for some eye candy then head on over there to check out the rest :)

Thank you to everyone who joined in and we hope you’ll join in future KALs too!

Spring KAL 2016

Yarn Shop Day – The Full Line Up!

YSDCollageBlog

Here’s the full low-down on our plans for a day to remember!

10.30 am:

Doors open and the first ten customers will receive *Platinum Level* Goodie Bags, just for being the earliest of early birds! So it’ll be worth your while forgoing the lie-in this Saturday… 😉

With thanks to our kind sponsors customers 11-20 will receive *Gold Level* Goodie Bags. So even those that are a little slower to leave the duvet behind won’t miss out.

The as-yet-to-be-named limited edition shade of Townhouse Yarns Fade St 4ply will go on sale. Don’t forget to enter the competition: Name It to Win It!

11am to 1 pm:

We’ll be having a “Sit n’ Knit” session on our mezzanine level. Pop along with your current WIP to meet other members of our wonderfully crafty community. Sweet treats will be provided, along with expert advice for any knotty knitting problems you may have.

RAFFLE PRIZE


All Day:

We have yet more amazing prizes to be won! Everyone who spends over €15 on the day (in-store or online) will be automatically entered in to the draw to win the fabulous hamper pictured above. With three runner up prizes also on offer, there’ll be lots of chances to walk away with a bonus from the day.

Need help deciding on what to treat yourself to? We’re also offering a 15% Discount on each of the following yarns:

Juniper Moon Herriot
Juniper Moon Herriot Great
Sublime Superfine Alpaca
Katia Love Wool
Katia Love Wool Plus
Debbie Bliss Lara
Debbie Bliss Roma
Debbie Bliss Roma Weave
Lotus Yarns Cathay
Lotus Yarns Tibetan Cloud
Louisa Harding Trenzar
Juniper Moon Findley
Juniper Moon Findley DK

If you can’t make it to the shop for all the fun, then you can still avail of the 15% discount online, by using the coupon code YSD16 – feel free to share the code with your friends too!

Name It to Win It!

Name itto win it!

With just ten days to go until Yarn Shop Day the excitement is building here at This is Knit! And who wouldn’t be excited? Just look at the gorgeous skeins of Fade St 4ply that Jenny has dyed exclusively for the celebrations!

Just 10 skeins will ever be available of this shade, and it won’t go on sale until our doors open on Saturday 30th of April. In the meantime one of you lucky readers can *win* one of the skeins by helping us to name this colourway. So, get your (knitted) thinking cap on, and post your entry in the comments below.

The winner will be announced on Yarn Shop Day!