June 2011

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José can barely contain his excitement!

…what, for you?

We’ve been talking about what we remember of the last five years quite a bit recently, and now it’s your turn! We want to hear what your most memorable TIK moment (and there’s a prize!).

So will it be the old shop in Blackrock, seen here hosting a very early Knit Night (see the walls? Later on, you couldn’t see the walls at all for yarn!)?

Did you meet us at the Knitting and Stitching Show?

Perhaps you learned to knit with us at Electric Picnic?

Or maybe you remember the stall we had at the Maritime Festival back in 2008?

So many stand-out moments – so please tell us yours in the comments below. And the prize? The Random Number Generator will pick out a comment from those left by 1.00am on Tuesday July 5th, and its lucky poster will receive a free place for any TIK intermediate class. You can learn a new skill and make new memories with it!

In other words, This Is Knit memories are made of win!

A few months ago, a new customer came into the shop and asked if we knew how to find a knitting group in Dublin. Lilly had recently moved here from Toronto. As it happened, it was a Thursday, so we were able to suggest the group in Brooks Hotel for that very evening.

Lilly was a very proficient knitter – she’d knit socks and mitts and shawls and baby clothes, but she’d never tried an adult garment. As for a lot of us, the idea of all that work and then the garment not being right was daunting. But then the TIK Spring Cardigan KAL was announced, and she decided to join in.

She chose Clam, the Louisa Harding cardigan with the cabled panels at the fronts and cuffs. This was the result:

Here’s a close-up of those lovely cables:

Lilly was so delighted with how Clam turned out that she’s embarked on Reef from the same Ondine book. Here’s a sneak preview:

Reef is designed for two colours of Ondine, and you can see Lilly’s combination here, along with a cappuccino from the Pepperpot:

Over on the KAL Ravelry thread, news of finished Clams and Breakers has been building, so we’ve decided that our Birthday Party next week would be the perfect occasion to draw the KAL winner. Here’s how you can enter, if you haven’t already:

  • post a picture here and send us a PM with your name, contact phone number and email address;
  • email us a photo of your completed garment and your contact details;
  • strut your stuff right on in to the shop, give a little twirl, and leave us your info.
  • Lilly, thank you for letting us feature your cardigan and your lovely pictures. It’s much appreciated.

    How many sleeps until the party? We can’t wait!

    How’s this for a lovely jumper?

    It’s called George, and it’s a Louisa Harding pattern from the Ianthe pattern book (and there’s twelve other lovely patterns in there too).

    Ianthe is a DK weight 50% merino/50% cotton mix. The cotton makes it lovely and summery and it has “give” from the wool, and these two properties make it ideal for a little bit of lace.

    The sleeves and the bottom edge of George have lovely layers of a simple lace pattern. Without them it would be just another long-sleeved summer top – with them, it’s got a little touch of luxury. It’s worked flat, though if you wanted you could easily make it seamlessly.

    This is the sort of thing that Louisa does so well – a simple shape with adorable details and texture. And what could be better for an Irish summer than a combination of coziness and luxury in the softest yarn?

    We’re getting a bit nostalgic again. Our last Memory Lane post was about the start of this blog and thus back to the very beginning of This Is Knit.

    The next big step after Blackrock was opening the first half of the Powerscourt Centre shop in September of 2008. Ten months later, we moved entirely into town (you can see the announcement of the move and pictures of the second unit looking awfully stark here).

    Before the move, Thursday Knit Night happened in the shop. After, it found another venue, and new people came along that hadn’t found Blackrock easy to get to. One of these was a new knitter called Julie (she’s elven on Ravelry). Like lots of others, she started with a simple and lovely scarf:

    She came along to the 2009 Yarn Tasting, and asked if she could bring her camera. This was the result. Our jaws dropped. Then her knitting got more adventurous.

    In the 2010 Summer KAL, she made this stunning Annis, full of lovely nupps:

    A Louisa Harding pattern (Ribbon) was the starting point for a lovely shrug, heavily modified and then given the edging from another (Fantasy). The lustrous blue yarn is Rossetti in Azure.

    Winter 2010 came along, and we had a month of snow. The up side of this was that we got to meet Murphy, whom Julie had made from samples from the 2010 Yarn Tasting. He likes a bit of snow, does Murphy.

    Most lace knitters embark on a Swallowtail shawl at some point (there’s more than 8,700 projects on Ravelry, every one beautiful). Julie’s Swallowtail is a little different from the others, though – she combined Swallowtail with several other lace patterns to make Nyx.

    It’s wonderful watching our customers’ skills develop, and it’s one of the reasons we love seeing what you make. It’s also why we watch the FO Parade thread in our Ravelry group so avidly. It makes our day when we see what you’ve made, so please, show us the pretty!

    Saturday last was WWKIP Day, and we had what could only be called a ton of fun. There was yarn, there was cake, there was knitting, there were prizes, there was tolerable weather and there was the very best of company. That’s the short version…

    … and here’s the longer one!

    We started on the balcony in the Powerscourt Centre, where people who’d never crocheted or knit in public before and people who have been doing it for ages gathered to make lovely things. There was tea and coffee and cake (the Pepperpot coming up trumps again!):

    It wasn’t a surprise that there were some really beautiful finished objects – a brace of Laminaria shawls, for example, one in grey alpaca lace from the Dublin Dye Company, one in Louisa Harding Mulberry silk:

    There was also yarn at the other end of the process: blink and you’d miss the Natural Dye Company goodies vanishing into capacious bags:

    The prize raffle had exciting and mysterious prizes:

    Of course, there were also brightly coloured WIPs…

    … and a bright pink sheep:

    The weather didn’t look very promsing for a good part of the day, but when we moved up to Stephen’s Green for the rest of the afternoon, it turned out rather fine. As you can see, it was perfect strawberry weather:

    We met more amazing lace in the Green: here’s a stunning example of Jared Flood’s latest shawl pattern, Rock Island:

    Could the collective noun for knitters be a picnic blanket of them?

    Back in the shop, Jacqui and Dixie had to miss out on a lot of the day’s excitement – after all, there was yarn to be wound.

    WWKIP Day is a chance to catch up with people we met the previous year, or only know from Ravelry, or have never met at all. As we sit on the balcony or in the Green, friendships begin that change lives. It’s a powerful thing to be a part of. Roll on WWKIP Day 2012!

    But first, roll on June 30th, when the fun continues at our Fifth Birthday Party! We hope you’ll be there, but we’re running out of places fast. There’s a booking link at the bottom of this post, so if you haven’t booked a place, you can do it with just a couple of clicks.

    That time of year has come around again – it’s World Wide Knit in Public Day on Saturday June 11th!

    As you’d expect, we’re planning to have an awfully good time, and we’d love you to come along. We’re kicking off at 12.00 noon on the Powerscourt Centre balcony. While you’re round This Is Knit, make sure to have a look at the Noro, Mirasol, Blue Sky Alpacas and Malabrigo – there’s 15% off it all this week. And if you spend over €11 on Saturday, you’ll be entered into a raffle for a fantastic prize!

    We’ll be in the Powerscourt Centre until 2.00pm, when the knitting continues in St Stephen’s Green. If the weather’s bad, though, we can have the balcony for the rest of the afternoon, so the fun won’t have to stop.

    In the Green, the knitters congregate near the bandstand. If you stand at the gate opposite Newman House, you’ll see the bandstand inside on the left – that’s it with the low hedge and the red flowers.

    Newman House is the imposing Georgian building with the black door and the snoozing lion over the porch:

    If you’re approaching from the Grafton St/Dawson St side of the Green, this is the view to look for:

    If you can’t make it to our events, then there’s information on other events around Ireland on this Ravelry page, and you’ll find worldwide information here.

    In other news, Jacqui was interviewed on The Ray D’Arcy Show on Today FM on Wednesday, as part of a feature about giving up smoking. She gave up successfully eight years ago, and as she discussed on the programme, knitting was an important part of the process. You can listen to the programme here – it’s in the first third of the show, and the segment starts at about 42.00 minutes.

    She was awarded a Bobblehead Ray for her participation, and so it has come to pass that José has a new friend:

    If you’re looking for a good reason for getting a bit misty-eyed and nostalgic, may we recommend having a fifth anniversary? Now that we’re building up to the celebrations on June 30th, we’ve been looking fondly back.

    As far back today as our very first blog post, when we talked about Helen McC who’d just knitted a pair of stunning and ingeniously symmetrical socks. You see, when This Is Knit opened for the very first time in Blackrock Market, Helen was our very first customer.

    We’re very happy to say that she’s still delighting us with her knitting. Here’s a very recent example, Lisa’s Winterberry Shrug, which she made in Debbie Bliss Andes (it’s too soft and snuggly for words).

    Symmetry in January 2007, symmetry now. Thanks, Helen.

    We’ve been awfully lucky over the years to have met some terrific people. The best thing is how many of them are still around. Over the next couple of weeks we’ll be celebrating more of them here, from the earliest to the latest.

    And on Thursday June 30th, we get to celebrate with them too. Our Fifth Birthday Party is coming up, and we can’t wait. If you’d like to come along too, you can book by clicking on the link below.

    Book Online

    There is a strong possibility of cake.

    A year ago, we got new neighbours in the Powerscourt Centre. On the first floor gallery, Dervla and Marian opened the Pepperpot, and we haven’t stopped eating there since.

    Every day (except Sundays, bank holidays and the Tuesday after bank holidays), they provide lovely food in generous portions, and everything is made on the premises. The menu is a mixture of the comfortingly familiar (anyone for creamy scrambled eggs with a grilled Portobello mushroom perched on top, or porridge with raspberry compote?) and the temptingly novel (nettle and spinach soup with blue cheese, walnut and nutmeg crumbs, perhaps, or the roast pear, bacon and Mount Callan Cheddar sandwich, which rapidly became a This Is Knit favourite).

    Marian and Dervla met in another kitchen and soon realised that they both wanted to open the same sort of café. Marian is the cake and dessert specialist, and Dervla’s fantastic at the savoury part, so their talents complement each other perfectly. They’ve got a team of cheerful and astoundingly hard-working colleagues to help them, and it all works like the nicest sort of clockwork.

    Paper cut-out bunting and mismatched crockery make you smile when you turn the corner into the gallery. If you’re in the Powercourt Centre, we really recommend a visit. At busy times, you may have to queue for a table, but that’s always a good sign and the wait is worth it.

    For a year, you’ve fed us and delighted us. Happy birthday, dear friends, and here’s to many more years.

    Did we mention the scones?