There’s lots of ways of counting your rows, but here’s one that was mentioned a while ago on Ravelry: sweeties! We were tickled by the notion, so we thought we should pass it on.

The idea’s very simple. Get some small treats, and count out one for each row you need to work. At the end of every row, eat one. When you have none left, that’s your allotted number of rows worked.

Of course, there’s lots of things that would count as treats – peanuts or grapes, for instance – but with the week that’s in it we liked the idea of mini-eggs! Marks on paper, barrel counters and clicker counters all work too, but somehow it’s easier to remember the sweetie.

And speaking of the season, we’ve got some changes to our opening hours over the coming weekend. We’re closed on Good Friday (April 18th), open as normal on Saturday the 19th, and then closed for Easter Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday. We’ll be open as usual on Tuesday morning, with all our rows properly counted!

It gives us terrific pleasure to introduce Oisín, the youngest member of the This Is Knit family. He was born nearly eight weeks ago, and he’s the dotiest wee person imaginable. And up above he’s posing in the Owlie sleepsack knitted for him by his Auntie Jen.

That beautiful picture is one of a series taken by Emmylie Cruz, a terrifically talented portrait photographer and a very good friend of This Is Knit. Her facebook page is at Emmylie Cruz Fotographia, and it’s such a treat to visit. Her images of children are particularly lovely, and the pictures of Oisín are amazing!

And here’s another picture, this time of Lisa bringing Oisín on his very first visit to the shop.

So welcome, Oisín, and the very biggest congratulations to Lisa and Ronan, your amazing parents!

Today, we feature the latest in our continuing series of staff projects. This one’s already gone viral here, and we’re always happy to spread the word, so over to you, Jen!

If you have visited This Is Knit you might have noticed there is, a lot of the time, more than one sample of the same pattern hanging from a shop wall. (*ahem* Color Affection!)

Sometimes more than one of us TIKer’s get taken by a certain pattern for its beauty, cleverness and downright handiness…. Introducing said pattern in this case: Zuzu’s Petals. It’s a clever cowl that looks like a shawl and it is such a quick, adjustable (with a bit of playing) enjoyable knit.

Maria knit her Zuzu in Malabrigo Rios in the highly variegated Arco Iris, Jacqui used self-striping Amitola by Louisa Harding. I decided to stray from the written pattern and use gorgeous heavy lace weight yarn, Mirasol Sulka Legato with added Swarovski crystals (you can see them shining in the first picture). I loved knitting this, and I love the finished object.

Have I tempted you? What would you knit yours from?

In our last post, we talked about new knitting tools from Knitpro. The same Knitpro delivery brought good things for crocheters too, and here they are. This is the Wave set: superior tools, beautifully presented.

They’re designed to be especially comfortable in the hand, with soft rubber grips in size-specific colours. The hook is smooth and just the right amount of pointy. Many people find a slightly thicker handle helps to reduce fatigue, and these Waves fit the bill nicely.

At the moment we have the Waves kit in stock, with sizes 2.00, 2.50, 3.00, 3.50, 4.00, 4.50, 5.00, 5.50 and 6.00. Single hooks, which range from 2.00 to 12.00, can be ordered in specially for you, just like their tiny Karbonz DPNs cousins.

Here’s some truly space-age needles! They’re Knitpro Karbonz, and they’re made of carbon fibre, just like powerboats and space ships and racing cars.

We’ve just got them in as interchangeable tips (sizes 3.00mm to 4.00mm), fixed circulars (from 2.00mm to 2.75mm) and individual sets of DPNs (from 2.25mm to 3.00mm). They’re ever so fast to knit with, and the surface of the carbon fibre is just a smidge more grippy than the nickel-plated Knitpros. This, with those lovely pointy tips, makes them ideal kit for lace knitting.

And if you’re looking for a fantastic present for yourself or someone else, then the Sock Set would be just the thing – it’s got five sizes (2.00mm, 2.50mm, 3.00mm, 3.5mm and 4.00mm) all in a very handy and attractive wallet. (If you’re still looking for a Mother’s Day gift for a knitter, then what could be better?)

Using carbon fibre material means that these needles can go very small indeed – all the way down to 1.00mm! We won’t be carrying the really teeny sizes routinely, but we’d be delighted to order them in for you specially, so get in touch if you want to try tiny knitting!

Weaving in ends is one of the final stages of a project, and despite our best efforts (splicing when adding a new ball, working seamlessly and so on), there’s always some to do.

The Garter Yoke Baby Cardi (a hugely popular and dotey free pattern on Ravelry) is a case in point. It’s a delight to work in sportweight yarn (this one’s in Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino), made from the top down with the option of a neat i-cord edging. It’s quick and it’s easily customisable.

But there’s no denying it: that’s a lot of ends.

It’s a good idea to leave your ends long while you wash and block and snip them off only at the end. But then it’s easy to get confused about forget which ones you’ve woven in and which you haven’t, and you can easily end up peering crossly at your work trying to decide. So here’s a handy trick to speed things along: as you finish weaving in a strand, just tie a knot in it.

Then it’s easy to run your fingers down the length of any end and spot if you still need to deal with it. It’ll keep you a little further away from your wits’ end!

Today we’re delighted to feature a guest post by Fiona Parker and Daniel Rye, who supply us with amazing Navia yarn from the Faroe Islands. As part of the Slow Fashion movement, they’re committed to bringing traditional skills and twenty-first century styling to a wider market, and we’re very pleased to be part of that.

The Faroe Islands – a tiny archipelago in the North Atlantic – mean a lot to us. We met there, lived there, and now we import Faroese yarns. As UK and Ireland agents for Navia we are helping to spread the word about these wonderful wools and an amazing knitting tradition.

Navia (from the word Scandi-navia) was started 10 years ago by Óli Kristian á Torkilsheyggi, a young entrepreneur whose family has been in the wool business for generations, and who also finds time to tend his own flock of sheep. When we visited last summer, he helped our four-year-old daughter feed milk to a young lamb.

Navia yarn is a blend of Faroese wool with Shetland wool, and Australian lambswool. Òli Kristian is a perfectionist who is always seeking to improve the quality of his yarns, and to find new colours and blends.

The Faroe Islands have a rich heritage of knitting patterns, which Navia have taken into the 21st century by commissioning some wonderfully stylish patterns from a talented team of Faroese designers. Every 6 months or so a new pattern book is published, which we then translate into English. The photos for these patterns are taken by Òli Kristian’s sister, Beinta – it is a real family business!

We are so thrilled that This is Knit is the first shop in Ireland to stock Navia yarn and patterns, and we hope that readers of this blog will get a chance to visit the shop to see and touch these gorgeous yarns for themselves!

We’ve just got some stunningly gorgeous sample garments from Navia to display in the shop, so drop in and feel the finished product for yourself if you can. We’ll be sure to feature them in a blog post here very soon too, so there’s a treat in store for colourwork fans!

All images in this post © Navia Yarn

It’s nearly time!

We’re heading into St Patrick’s Festival this weekend, and it’s Cast On Time for our Spring Knit Along tomorrow. There’s been great excitement in the shop, choosing yarn and colour combinations, so we’re delighted to announce that we’re offering a 10% discount for the KAL across a whole range of lovely sportweight and fingering options.

This discount is available for the following yarns:

Malabrigo Arroyo
Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino
Noro Silk Garden 4-ply
Jamieson and Smith Jumper Weight
Fyberspates Scrumptious 4-ply
Navia Duo

To get your discount, just mention that you’re getting yarn for the KAL when you purchase your yarn, if you’re in the shop or on the phone. If you’re ordering online, simply enter “”KAL2014″ as a coupon code in your shopping basket.

There’s all sorts of discussion about the pattern and yarn choices in this stickied thread in the Ravelry This Is Knit group, so drop by and enjoy the fun and camaraderie there. Over the next couple of months we’ll have regular blog updates, and we can’t wait to see your progress!

And most of all, have a very happy Bank Holiday weekend!

It’s St Patrick’s Festival this coming weekend (hurray!) and we’ve got some changes to our usual Bank Holiday weekend opening hours.

We’re open on Saturday and Sunday as normal, but we’re closed on Monday March 17th itself.

So if you’re in town on Saturday or Sunday, drop by and say hello. The Powerscourt Centre’s all dressed up for the Festival and the Pepper Pot’s sure to be serving something special…!

It’s springtime!

And that means a Knit-Along!

This time, we’ve chosen a stunning Stephen West pattern, Daybreak. It’s a lovely versatile accessory, and like the Color Affection in last year’s KAL, it uses two yarns to make smart stripes.

We’ve made two already, both in Malabrigo Arroyo. The purple and navy, made by Jacqui, is the smaller size (it took 62g of the navy and 82g of the purple) and Nadia’s teal and back is the medium. They’re both very generously sized, so we think the Large might be truly epic! Of course, you’re not limited to just two colours, either. A look through Daybreak projects on Ravelry shows many gorgeous shawls with stripes of several colours, so this can be a fantastic stashbuster too.

The clever radiating lines are made very simply by slipping stitches, so you’re never working with more than one colour at a time. In fact, it’s the perfect introduction to slipped-stitch colourwork. You’ll find lots more inspiration in the Daybreak discussion thread in the Westknits Fan Club group.

With a Bank Holiday weekend coming up, we’ve designated Saturday 15th March as Cast On Day, and this KAL will be running until Worldwide Knit In Public Day in June, so there’s lots of time. So why not pick some colours and join us? And of course, we’re all excited in the shop at the prospect of helping you with colour and yarn combinations. Last year’s KAL was so much fun, and this one’s sure to be even better!

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