Love

We know for some of you the 14th of Feb is a key date in your calendar, and for others it’s a “Hallmark Holiday” to be ignored. But… if you indulge your hidden romantic for a moment to join our fun “Valentine Verse” competition then you could WIN a skein of delicious “Pembroke Silk” from Townhouse Yarns.

Pembroke

So, impossible as it is to imagine, there are some people in our lives that we love more than our craft, and we’re asking you to complete the phrase “I love you much more than…” along a knitting or crochet theme.

For example:

I love you much more than Pure Cashmere Scarves,
made of hand-dyed yarns from far away shores.

or how about:

I love you much more than my Colour Affection,
perhaps you might buy me the yarn for my next one?

or even:

I love you much more than my whole yarn stash,
And, really, you know how much I love that!

Simply post your entry (or entries) in the comments below, and we will select a lucky winner on Valentines Day!

Theere’s something about that weather outside that’s calling for quick knits in comforting fibres. We’ve got just the yarn, and it’s called Herriot Great! It’s from Juniper Moon Farm and it’s 120 metres of the cosiest, softest baby alpaca you can imagine.

The sample hat we have on show at the moment is called, simply, the Herriot Hat, and it takes just a single skein. As you can see, it’s a fast knit with a clever smocked brim, and the pattern is free on Ravelry. It’s a quick weekend project, and the result is so warm and smart. And just look at the colour range!

Yes, that’s another fun fur pompom. It’s great, too!

That’s part of a Snawheid. It’s a Kate Davies design, so of course the pattern is gorgeous, but this hat here? It’s just a bit…meh. It’s made with Navia Duo, which is lovely yarn and ideal for the job, and the stranded colourwork is very nicely done. Meh. Mustard and grey is a classic combination. Whatever: meh.

But this unfortunate hat is a perfect excuse for learning a little about how colour works. One of the things that distinguish colours is how far from white and black they are. It’s called colour value. And if we’re presented with two things of different colours and they have the same value, our brain notices and mutters “They’re the same!” And in this case, the knitter’s brain adds “That’s a boring hat!”

Happily, there’s a really easy way to avoid this which saves you time and money, and we were reminded of it by bioniclaura this week.

If you convert a colour picture to greyscale, you can see the values very clearly. So we did this with the picture at the top of the post, and here’s the result:

The stranded colourwork vanishes completely. That’s why this hat is uninteresting. Your brain notices that there’s no value difference.

Of course, it would have been good (and would have saved time!) to check this before starting. Well, here’s a picture of the two balls of Navia:

Converted to greyscale, that image looks like this, and you can tell it’s not going to end well:

Any digital camera will have a “monochrome” or a “black and white” setting, and so do most cameraphones – if you don’t know where to find this, a quick look in your manual will help. Click over to that setting when you’re choosing your yarn for colourwork and then snap a picture of your options. If they look like a good pairing when you subtract the colour, then you’re on the right path, regardless of the type of colourwork you’re planning.

Here’s a couple of examples. Here’s a likely-looking pair of yarns, both Malabrigo Rastita:

Changed to greyscale in the camera, this is the result, and it really does look promising, doesn’t it?

And ta da! here’s the finished product, a glorious Epistropheid hat!

Given the black and white treatment, you can see why this works so well – the colour values are deliciously distinct. Happy brain, happy knitter!

If you’re interested in reading more about colour theory in knitting, Knitty magazine has an excellent article here. Thanks again to Laura for inspiring this post!

By the way, this Epistropheid is now sporting a fake fur pompom from the new stock that we promised you last week, and Jacqui can’t be persuaded to take it off!

With storms and snow still the order of the day, it’s perfect weather for showing off warm and cosy woollen things, and here’s one of the best, shown here by our newest knitwear model. This adorable little jumper is called Anders. It’s knitted seamlessly from the top down and it’s sized from three months to two years.

It’s got a buttoned placket so it’s easy to get on and off small wriggling people, and the colourwork is easy as pie. It’s designed for sportweight, so Lisa chose Malabrigo Rastita. A slightly felted single, it’s wonderfully warm, and just look at the colours!

And as you can see, Anders is the very best thing to wear if you’re going exploring at this time of year.

If we had our way, there’d be pompoms on pretty much everything! There’s two of them, adding extra dotiness to our Candy Floss Baby Booties (ahhhh!)

We put a jaunty one on our Thistle hat, of course. Pompoms like this are great for using up the remainder of a ball of wool, too, and they even have a practical purpose: if it’s snowing, the bobbing around of the pompom stops snow settling on top of your head!

Pompoms are terrifically easy to make. You can use circles cut out of cardboard (Vogue Knitting has a great photo tutorial at this link). An even easier, and more robust, option is a pompom maker like our Clover ones – you can see how they work on Clover’s video here.

Looking for a quick way to make teenytiny pompoms like the Candy Floss ones? Well, the incredibly clever Eskimimi’s got this covered over on her blog: hint! there’s cutlery involved!

But pompoms don’t have to be made out of yarn, either. Jen’s Epistropheid – the very one we featured in Tuesday’s colourwork post – just wouldn’t be the same without its great big funfur pompom! We have these in stock in red and white at the moment, but there’s a big delivery due in the next couple of days with lots and lots more!

Finally, if you find yourself needing to make a lot of pompoms in a hurry, here’s a video we found just for you! Garlands of pompons filling the house? Why not?

We’d love to hear what you’re putting pompoms on – let us know in the comments below!

It’s early days, but 2015 is looking like a Big Year for colourwork! It all started with Kate Davies’ adorable Epistropheid. There’s been a wee outbreak of them among our customers, and we’re jumping on that bandwagon with glee! Stranded colourwork is easy, fun to work and, best of all right now, so warm!

Epistropheid is very fast to work, and it’s such a good introduction to stranded colourwork. It’s designed for DK, and some of our first-time colourworkers have had it started and finished within thirty six hours!

Another splendid choice for your first stranded colourwork is the Easy Ombre Slouch, which was one of our most popular gift kits over Christmas.

There’s plenty of resources online to help you with stranded colourwork too, and a very good place to start is Stranded, the stranded colourwork group on Ravelry.

If you’re looking for a group to embark on colourwork with, then we hear that the Brooks Hotel knitting group is starting a colourwork Knit-Along this coming Thursday. You can work any colourwork pattern you like, but several people are starting the amazing Sanquhar Cowl. There’s details here.

And if you fancy learning colourwork in one of our classes, the next one is coming up on the 28th of February, and you can nab your place at this link.

As we write, it’s proper January weather out there: high wind, grey skies and rain. But we’ve got the antidote to all of that grimness. We’ve got bright pink silk lace, the combination of very special new yarn and a lovely pattern!

This is Heaven Scent, a stunning crescent shawl by Boo Knits. It’s got a simple stocking stitch basis before the stunning lace border. And as with all of her patterns, it’s extremely clearly written. If you’re looking for something that’s straightforward to knit and very impressive indeed, this is it.

The beading is optional, but Jacqui couldn’t resist (she used about 220 beads). Isn’t the result spectacular?

And the yarn? The yarn is Townhouse Yarns newest offering, Pembroke Silk! It’s simply beautiful to touch, to knit with and to wear, and it comes in the brightest lustrous colours!

It’s fingering weight, and a skein is a generous 400 metres long. Townhouse Yarns is our inhouse hand-dyed offering, so we’re very happy to introduce you to Pembroke.

See? The day seems brighter already!

SALE

It’s January SALE time at This is Knit, and we have some fabulous bargains for you!

In-store and online, there’s 20% off a huge range of yarns, and you can get an even bigger discount when you are registered for our loyalty scheme*… Members of our loyalty club will receive a 5th ball FREE when they buy any 4 sale yarns.

In-store we also have discounted pattern booklets, knitting kits and single leaf patterns so it’s definitely worth stopping by if you can. The online shop shows the 20% discount on the following yarns, and for orders placed online loyalty scheme members will receive their free yarn(s) via a Paypal refund after the order has been processed:

Debbie Bliss Juliet
Louisa Harding Noema
Katia Air Lux
Mirasol Hachito
Noro Silk Garden 4ply
Araucania Botany Lace
Debbie Bliss Blue Faced Leicester DK
Rico Essentials Cotton DK
Noro Janome
Araucania Laguna
Sublime Natural Aran
Louisa Harding Susurro
Debbie Bliss Rialto Chunky
Rico Filz Fluo
Katia City

*Hint – signing up to the scheme takes just 2 minutes, and you can avail of the discount straight away.

SALE prices available only while stocks last, and are on a first-come, first-served basis.

AND WE HAVE A WINNER!

The lucky winner of our Cumulus Giveaway is Philip McCluskey. Congratulations Philip and we hope 2015 continues to be lucky for you! Thank you to everyone who entered. Watch this space for more competitions and giveaways coming soon…

2014 was quite a year, wasn’t it? As usual, we’ve been looking back at what we got up to at This Is Knit, and it was a bumper year. We’ve got some highlights to share with you, so why not pop the kettle on and join us for a spot of nostalgia.

A very happy event happened early in the year. Keen-eyed blog readers had noticed that a lot of baby items had been appearing in these pages. Of course: we were getting ready to welcome a splendid little chap called Oisín, born to Lisa and Ronan in February.


(Image courtesy of Emmylie Cruz Photography)

He slotted right in to the This Is Knit team, turning up to greet you all at events like the Yarn Dating and at the Knitting and Stitching Show. Welcome once more, Oisín!

And there was knitting – oh, so much knitting! In fact, this year we had two Knit-Alongs. After the success of Color Affection, we chose another striped shawl for the first: Stephen West’s Daybreak. Here’s just a few of the lovely FOs that resulted!

The second Knit-Along was the Hap-Along – following Kate Davies’ lead, we dived straight in to the world of Shetland shawls. So much garter stitch and feather-and-fan – oh my!

We had lots of giveaways and competitions, and had the most fun with our WWKIP Photo Scavenger Hunt. We had workshops, too, from inspiring teachers and designers like Carol Feller, Ysolda Teague and Woolly Wormhead. We’ll be having more this year, of course, so make sure you keep up with our news. Sometimes events book out in an hour or so, but you can find out fast, on Facebook and twitter (we’re @ThisIsKnit) and through our newsletter.

Back in August, our hopelessly romantic side came out when we invited you all to our Yarn Dating! Up in the Powerscourt Theatre, we hosted a night of unabashed glee over the new stock we’d chosen for Fall/Winter 2014.

There were lovehearts and cheesy music to accompany the yarn and patterns, and so many new fibery offerings to choose from.

Indeed, lots of lovely new products appeared on the shelves during the year. Townhouse Yarn, dyed by our very own Jenny, was an immediate success (that’s Chatham Lace in the very first picture above). Woolly Wormhead gave Grafton 4ply a terrific boost when she used it in her annual mystery knit-along (the pattern turned out to be Sophora).

S-Twist Yarns is as local and distinctive as you possibly wish: handspun a couple of miles from This Is Knit from native Irish fleece, it’s a unique product.

Late in the year, after its debut at the Yarn Dating, we piled the shelves with Juniper Moon Findley and Herriot. And there’s so much more too, new offerings from established producers and exciting newcomers! It’s no wonder we had to rearrange all the storage in the shop to fit it all in!

Speaking of shelves full of yarn, we returned to the Knitting and Stitching Show in the RDS in October as the exclusive partner of Malabrigo Yarns. As well as old favourites, we got to show you new goodies like Mecha, chunky, superwash and purest merino.

And in the midst of all this excitement, you gave us an award! Nominated by some of you, and then voted for by more of you, we were named Best Local Independent Yarn Store in the Ireland category of the British Knitting Awards. Thank you so much – lots of things made 2014 for us, and that was one of the best!

Well, here’s to you, 2014! It’s time to cast you off, fold you up and put you away. 2015 is ready to get onto our hooks and needles, and who knows what it’ll turn out to be….

A gift for you!

We’ve got a little something for you! From now on, all of our Ravelry download patterns will be free!

So delicious mittens like the Blueberry Mittens above are yours for the making. And what could be sweeter for a new baby than a pair of Candy Floss Bootees.

Our most popular patterns are there, like the Cuddles and Cables Baby Blanket, a soft welcome for a wee one…

…and the Winterberry Shrug, an elegant addition to any outfit…

…and the Glenties Cowl, fast and fascinating to knit and a perfect last-minute gift pattern!

If you’re braving the city centre crowds, we’re open as usual until 5.45pm on Tuesday December 23rd, and then we’re closed until Friday January 2nd, when our doors will open at 12.00 noon. The online shop will be open right through the holiday season, and we’ll process your orders as soon as we can in the New Year.

So from all of us to all of you, have the best time ever over the next couple of weeks! See you in 2015!

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