Two Words, Two Winners!

It’s been a while since we’ve had a giveaway, so we figured it was time to run a fun little competition.  We’re making this very simple to enter, and there’ll be not one, but two winners come this Saturday!

Prize photo
Oh the pretty goodies…

You may have heard Lisa on 2fm last week, when she was chatting to the crew on the Nicky Byrne Show about all the many reasons why people knit. They mentioned creativity, relaxation, general mental and physical health, and others. And it all got us thinking… what does knitting mean to you?

So, that’s all you have to do – tell us why you knit (or crochet, or spin, or weave!), or what benefits you find you get from the process.

The only catch is… you have to tell us in two words.

Simply leave your comment on this blog post, and we’ll pick two winners at the end of the week.

Competition Prize
You could win this ensemble!

Our prizes are based around these beautiful new printed bags that we have in store from KnitPro – we’ve selected some co-ordinating yarns and accessories to show them at their best.

Comment entries for the giveaway must be left before 7pm (GMT) on Friday evening, and we’ll pick our winners on Saturday. The first name drawn will get first choice on the prize and it can be collected in store, or posted within Ireland. Prizes for overseas winners will incur a postage charge (sorry!).

So that’s it, couldn’t be easier. Just leave your two word comment below and hopefully you’ll be hearing from us with good news this weekend!

KAL Season

Hello, it’s Nadia (Bunnyt) here, and I’ll be your guide through some of TIK’s favourite Knit-a-longs that are happening this season.

Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with the fast pace of Ravelry and you might miss the announcement of your perfect KAL. So how about taking a quick look at today’s round up of  Top 5 KAL’s running through this October / November season –  it might help you navigate your way to some fun new techniques and a gorgeous FO…

Our favourite KALS this season

Stephen West – Building Blocks KAL

We’re sure by now you have seen Jenny’s inspired Instagram pictures of Townhouse Yarn choices for the Building Blocks MKAL happening over on Ravelry.  It can be a little difficult to get your hands on the suggested yarn for the KAL so we think either Fade St. or  Clarendon Sock would be the perfect substitute.

Briocheveron Cowl by Stephen West. Photocredit: S. West
Briocheveron Cowl by Stephen West. Photocredit: S. West

This is a mystery KAL so you don’t see what your making until the last clue is released but (if you would like a sneak peek) there are a few spoilers floating around the Ravelry group and on Instagram! 

There is also a mini KAL for everything Brioche over in the WestKnits fan club group. This is a nice one if your not up for a full on KAL but would like the support of trying Brioche on a smaller project. The Briocheveron Cowl has been a favourite option for this knit-a-long so far.

2. WoollyWormhead MKAL

After the excitement of her recent workshops here in This is Knit, we are all still wanting a bit more of Woolly. Thankfully we can participate in her 9th mystery hat knit-a-long! This year there is a little bit of a twist: there are 3 hats, each featuring the same stitch pattern, but you can choose between a beret, beanie or slouchy style. You have plenty of time to get your needles and yarn ready for this one. We’re thinking of Dublin Dye DK or Ella Rae DK.

The boards for this are always fast, fun and full of support, so make sure you follow along here. We’re still in awe of Woolly’s approach to hat construction, and this KAL is guaranteed to incorporate her signature fun details and clever techniques.  Don’t you just love how Woolly’s mind works?

Luwan by Carol Feller (Photocredit J. Feller)
Luwan by Carol Feller (Photocredit J. Feller)

3. Carol Feller Luwan KAL / Wrap up Winter KAL

It wouldn’t be Autumn without a garment KAL from Carol. This year she has a beautiful textured stitch pattern with short row shaping called Luwan.  This KAL is happening on Carol’s dedicated KAL group on Ravelry, which is fantastic resource for support direct Carol and from a friendly bunch of fellow KAL-ers.

Luwan is knit from the top down and we think both Malabrigo Rios and Juniper Moon Herriot will work for this design.  The original yarn straddles between a DK and Aran weight though, so a tension swatch will be essential before committing.  Carol has written a little bit about swatching for this garment over on her blog and it’s definitely worth a read.

If the garment KAL is too big of a commitment, Carol is also running a Wrap up Winter Accessory KAL on the Stolen Stitches group. News is released in her News Reel thread and it’s perfect for the smaller “Knitmas” gift knitting season.

4. Ysolda Teague Knitworthy

Knitworthy 3 - Ysolda Teague (Photocredit: Ysolda)
Knitworthy 3 – Ysolda Teague (Photocredit: Ysolda)

Ysolda is back with Knitworthy 3, an annual gift knit-a-long for those that you deem worthy of a beautifully knitted gift. There are 8 patterns which are released every two weeks starting from the13th of September. There is still plenty of time to join in and it’s always fun in the Ravelry Group. We really like the look of Alleunmer in Ysolda’s Sport 5ply yarn but if you can’t get your hands on that you can look at Baby CashmerinoMalabrigo Finito, Mirasol Nuna or Grafton 4ply.

5. Boo Knits – Halloween mKAL

We couldn’t leave out one of favourite shawl designers – Boo Knits always runs a fun knit-a-long and this year is no exception. The Halloween KAL has a little nod to the 400 year anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare. The Taboo shawl is a top down crescent shape that has a bit of lace, beads and that Boo Magic. We’re in love with both Findley by Juniper Moon and Townhouse Yarns Trinity 2ply for this spooky KAL…

Do you have a favourite designer running a KAL at the moment? Drop a link in the comments so we can all have a look too! If you’re joining in a KAL and need help with choosing the right yarn for your project then you can drop into the shop – we would only be too happy to help – or you can find us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram as @ThisisKnit. 

Simple and Swift

Are you looking for some quick, cosy and stylish accessories to whip up with some very squishable yarn? On today’s blog we’re highlighting two fabulous shop samples that we think will do the job quite nicely…

File 17-10-2016, 21 55 35  October_15__2016_at_1122AM

First up is this Cable Edged Cowl from the lovely people at Conway and Bliss.  Using just two balls of their Odin yarn and 10mm needles, you can cast on for this project on Friday evening and be snuggling in to its cosy depths come Monday morning… This project would be a wonderful introduction to cables for the newer knitter, or a super gift-knitting option for the more experienced of you out there.


It’s been all about hats at TIK recently, and the project choices just keep piling up! Sample number two is a sweet slouchy beanie, made using a nifty free pattern from TinCanKnits and one skein of cloud-like merino in the form of Debbie Bliss’s new Falkland Aran. The pattern is called Barley and it’s available in sizes from newborn right up to adult’s large. Why not make one for everyone?

Are you getting a head start on gift knitting right now? Or using any super chunky yarn? We’d love to hear all about the quick-knitting projects you have on the needles!

Top 10 Essential Knitting Techniques

Every knitter should have a few tricks up their sleeve, techniques that can be life savers or help you put the finishing touches on any project. We’ve compiled a list of 10 techniques that we think are essential for knitters of any skill level, and are sure to come in handy no matter what you have in your queue!

Top 10 knitting techniques

1) Long-tail Cast On:

Though there are dozens of ways to begin your project, the long-tail cast on is a go-to for many knitters and pattern writers alike. It is versatile, flexible and neat, with the biggest perk being you get to skip row 1 and begin knitting immediately on row 2! Once you have some practice there’s a rhythm to casting on each stitch that is easy to remember, and there are also variations for creating knit and purl cast on stitches which is great for ribbing. Video here.

2) Mattress Stitch:

There are many ways to create a seam in knitting, and depending on the edges you’re looking to bind together, the technique you should use will vary. But in the case of two side seams (where the knitting runs vertical on both sides) there is nothing better than mattress stitch. It is completely invisible and sturdy, excellent for finishing off the sides of a garment or joining multiple swatches for a blanket. It’s easy to learn and all you need is a tapestry needle. Video here.

3) 1-Row Buttonhole:

If you can cast on and bind off, you can do this buttonhole! You choose the size you want to make it by binding off as many or as few stitches as you need to create a snug hole for any size button. It works in stockinette as well as it does in garter, ribbing and most other knitted fabrics. Video here.

4) M1L and M1R Increases:

Increasing stitches can be done many different ways, and while the pattern and stitches surrounding the increases will determine which method is best to use, in most cases you will find M1L and M1R is a good fit. They are perfectly mirrored and don’t leave any gaping holes in your work. Video here.

5) Stretchy Bind Off:

A tight bind off is a common problem for many knitters, as is matching your bind off to your cast on edge, especially in the case of ribbing where you’ll want the most elastic edge possible. There is a very simple way of binding off for maximum stretch, which will create a tidy, finished edge for any project. Video here.

6) Correcting dropped stitches:

Dropped stitches can happen to even the most careful knitter, which is why a crochet hook should always have a place in your knitting bag. A crochet hook is the best way to catch a stitch you’ve dropped, no matter how far down it’s run, by bringing it up one row at a time. Video here.

7) Invisible join in the round:

There is a very simple way to avoid the obvious bump that occurs when joining to knit in the round, this trick will make your first row transition into the second seamlessly! Video here.

8) Lifelines:

Even the most seasoned knitters make mistakes, and when it comes to projects with lace or complicated stitch patterns, a lifeline is the best insurance policy! This simple trick will save you from scrapping your whole project when you’ve made a mistake, you can even do it after you’ve already noticed an error and need to go back. Video here.

9) Magic-Loop:

If you learn how to do the magic loop, you can knit a project in any diameter in the round with just one extra long circular needle. From socks to sweaters, magic loop lets you knit any number of stitches in the round on the same length of cable. If you invest in a set of interchangeable circular needles, you won’t need a set of straight or DPN needles ever again! Video here.

10) i-cord:

There are many different uses for an i-cord, you can use them anywhere you need a sturdy strap, or a tidy, finished edge. They’re simple enough to make and all you need is a double pointed needles (DPNs)! Video here.

Have you mastered all of these essentials? What other technique would you add to the list?

Turning to Texture – Two Workshops with Woolly Wormhead

As the winds pick up and the leaves start to turn, we find ourselves being drawn more and more to textured knits. Airy lace is being left behind for the simple comforts of garter stitch and cables are creeping in, overtaking smooth stockinette.

If you too would like to incorporate more unique textures in to your projects this winter, then we have two fantastic special guest workshops coming up that will help you to do just that.


Turning Sideways explores the magic of rotating stitch patterns on their sides, how this affects increases and decreases, and how to use this method to your advantage. The techniques are discussed in the context of hat design specifically, but they can be made applicable to many other projects too.


Reversible Cables – In this class you will work through a number of different swatches for reversible cables to learn how they are constructed. Together with Woolly you will look at how changing their component stitches affects the overall pattern, and then consider how they can be used with shaping and integrated into garments and accessories.

About Woolly:

Woolly is a fully qualified and experienced teacher & lecturer of Art, Design & Textiles. She thinks of her work in terms of architecture and finds hats fascinating, as they are relatively quick to knit, but also endlessly versatile.

Her classes are enjoyable and informative, with professional workshop notes provided.

Would you like to sign up for both classes? Use the promo code WoollyByTwo to receive a €10 discount when booking both sessions.

Knitting with Rainbows

There’s a lot of excitement around here lately, as one of our favourite designers has just released a new collection of patterns!

Have you seen Carol Feller’s Knitting with Rainbows yet? Would you like a closer look? In that case, you’re *in* luck!

Knitting with Rainbows Signing

Carol will be joining us from 3pm on Saturday 10th September for a Book Signing and Trunk Show. Come along and get your very own signed copy of Knitting with Rainbows for a 10% discount, browse through and try on the finished knits, and pick Carol’s brain about which project you want to start first.

This is a free event, and there’s no need to pre-register. We hope to see you then!

Airflow Cardigan

These days we’ve all been kept on our toes, with the weather bouncing around from warm, Summer-like days, to rainy, blustery ones. We are reminded that practical layers are essential, and the Airflow Cardigan by Justyna Lorkowska is definitely one of them! A simple, stockinette, open-front cardigan featuring three quarter sleeves is the perfect go-to for unpredictable weather.

Airflow Cardigan Fade St 4ply

Our sample was knit up in the beautiful Townhouse Yarns Fade St 4ply in the colourway Thea. Superwash Merino and Silk is the ideal match for this flowy cardigan, the luxuriously soft blend giving it the perfect drape. Not a fan lots of finicky finishing? This easy, seamless design features an open front and set-in sleeves, which makes it a pleasure to knit. A subtle eyelet detail runs the length of the front, and the sleeves and hem are finished off with simple ribbing. And the asymmetric hem, being short in the back and longer towards the front, gives it a flattering shape. It truly is a classic design that is sure to get plenty of wear all year long.

Airflow Cardigan Knitting Pattern

Stockinette cardigans like this one are a great way to show off the subtle variations in hand dyed yarns. Without a button band or separate sleeves, the flow of the color transitions aren’t interrupted, leaving the effect to be truly seamless. The sheen of a silk blend like Fade St. really give it an elegant feel, making it easy to dress up or down. Just 2 skeins were needed to knit up our sample, which is available to try on in the shop next time you pop by! The pattern for the Airflow cardigan is available for purchase via Ravelry, and likely one you’ll knit more than once; a couple of these cardis in your wardrobe would not go amiss!

What are your favourite garment patterns for unpredictable seasons?

We know how to party!

It’s hard to believe that our 10th birthday celebrations were just one week ago, especially when looking out the window at what seems like an entirely different season to last Friday!

Our fabulous photographer Emmylie sent us lots of wonderful pictures of the festivities, and they are memories that we will look back on fondly for many years to come.


On the night we had the shop looking at its colourful best, shelves stocked high with gorgeous new season yarns and perennial favourites. Our collages of memories from the past decade were also proudly displayed (and we’ll keep them there for another while, so more people can share in the nostalgia!)


Before long our lovely guests started to arrive, and enjoyed a bit of bubbly with their browsing… There was lots to take in: with garment samples on display, new yarns to try out at our testing stations and lots of pretty patterns to plan for! Not least of which was “Stannum”, a stunning pair of fingerless gloves, designed in Townhouse Yarns Grafton 4ply by the one and only Carol Feller. Carol created the pattern in honour of our tenth anniversary and all of our guests on the night received their very own copy.


And we were all treated to presentations from our very Special Guests, Debbie Bliss and Louisa Harding. In addition to telling us about their new season yarns and sharing some of their favourite new designs, they also had some very lovely things to say about This is Knit – I think we’re all still blushing a week later!

In fact, over the course of the evening we were simply overwhelmed by the kind words shared with us by so many people. It was wonderful to hear the fond memories many of you have of the first time stepping in to our shop, and the tales of being inspired to come back to knitting or to take it up for the first time. It was truly an honour to be standing among you all last Friday, immersed in the fantastic knitting community that we have been delighted to see grow and flourish in Ireland over the past decade.


With thanks to our wonderful sponsors Designer Yarns, Studio Donegal, Malabrigo, Katia and KnitPro we were able to share some of the love with a stunning spread of raffle prizes. There were some very lucky, and very happy, winners on the night – so congratulations again!

As you can see from this small selection of images it was really a night to remember and again we’d like to thank everyone involved for making the celebration so special. Here’s to the next ten years and beyond!

PS If you’d like to see more pictures from the evening then we have a shared album here.

Fljót for Free!

Gillian Harkness is a talented new indie designer from “up the road” in Co. Antrim. Her patterns are mainly accessories, aimed at the improver/intermediate knitter. As an enthusiastic photographer, all the designs have been captured beautifully by Gillian too and her Instagram feed is a must-follow for lovers of craft, colour and texture.


Gillian recently designed the stunning Fljót Shawl using just one skein of Townhouse Yarns Fade St 4ply. This shawl is a perfect introduction to lace knitting, and also showcases the sheen and drape of this yarn to perfection.

Gillian has kindly made the pattern available for free with any purchase of Fade St 4ply made before the 31st of August.


Simply request the Ravelry discount code when making your purchase either online or in-store.

Thanks again to Gillian for her generosity and we look forward to seeing more of her beautiful work in future!



What is Vicuña? Perhaps you’re familiar with the word, or maybe you’ve only heard it in whispers at your local yarn shop, and have just been too afraid to ask. The best way to summarise it? Vicuña is, what we would call in the fibre community, our unicorn. Vicuña is synonymous with Royalty, luxury, and the highest level of exclusivity, and we feel humbled to have it in our shop.


So, why is Vicuña the pinnacle of all wool? Let’s begin with it’s origin: The Vicuña is a llama/alpaca like “camelid” that is native to the Andes. Their wool is extremely fine and unbelievably soft (micron count of just 12, compared to Cashmere which is 14-16, and Merino which is 18-24), they are only shorn once every three years to produce a mere half kilogram of wool, and are caught from an expansive nature reserve where they roam free. Considered sacred to the Incas, they were once endangered due to poaching; now, after the admirable efforts of the Peruvian and Argentinian people, they are a protected species.


The fibre is so rare and admired, it was once prohibited by law to wear a Vicuña garment, unless you were of course Royalty. This spun gold has been called the “Fibre of the Gods,” and was exclusively worn by the Incan emperor. Thankfully it is now available to us mere mortals! The wool is produced humanely, and via a completely traceable process which ensures the protection of the sacred Vicuña.

This limited edition, Vicuna Presentation Box includes: two balls of 100% Pure Peruvian Vicuña, 125 yards/25 grams each, in it’s natural, golden brown shade, a stunning lace shawl pattern, a set of size 4.5mm circular bamboo knitting needles, an accompanying booklet telling the Vicuña story, and a certificate of authenticity. This is one of only 10 sets to be released in Europe; talk about a rare gem! Maybe it’s time to treat yourself?