Fantastic!

Isn’t that lovely? It’s Lisa’s Fan Jacket, knitted as part of the This Is Knit Spring Knit ALong.

It’s just recently gone on display in the shop window, and it’s attracting a lot of attention. She knitted it in Debbie Bliss Bella (it took ten balls), and the pattern can be found, with five others, in Debbie Bliss’s The Village.

There’s a lot to be said for a summer cardigan with just enough lace, and the Fan Jacket has exactly the right amount.

It was announced recently that the KAL would continue until Lisa and Jacqui had both finished their cardigans, and Jacqui’s Sandrine isn’t quite finished yet, so we have a little more time….

Ravishing

Back in May, when Carol Feller gave us her workshop on novel techniques for top-down construction, we had a sneak preview of her hundredth pattern, a lovely cardigan called Ravi.

To celebrate Carol’s pattern centenary, she’s organised a knitalong, with the pattern being released in four “clues” over the summer. It’s huge fun, and there’s people taking part all over the world. But Jacqui has been knitting a preview of the pattern, and it’s now on display in the shop (gosh, she’s a fast knitter!).

In the picture above, you can see the lovely clever yoke, worked around the neck and shoulders and shaped with short rows. When the yoke’s done, the body of the cardigan and the sleeves are picked up from its edge and knitted downward:

The yarn she chose was the Pearl Ten shade of Malabrigo Finito (the softness has to be felt to be believed), and she used just six skeins for the third size.

Both row and stitch tension are important for this pattern, because the garter stitch lies both vertically on the yoke and horizontally on the body. Jacqui found that she got the right tension on 3.75mm needles rather than on Carol’s original 4.00mm, and she worked the neck edging slightly differently to the pattern. (We like her version a lot.)

And her favourite part of the project? “The curving edge at the back hem”, she says.

Using short rows again, the back has a charming dip to it – innovative, elegant and fun to knit. Those are words that sum up the whole garment, really, so if you’re passing the shop, make sure to look out for it. And why not embark on your own Ravi? It’s written for sportweight yarn, and we have lots of choices in stock at the moment as well as the Finito, from Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino in dozens of shades to the softest pure alpaca in Blue Sky Alpacas Melange, from machine-washable pure merino Millamia to Alpaca Silk.

And this summer is shaping up to be a splendid one for cosy cardigans, isn’t it?

Missing YO already!

A few blog posts back, we promised that we’d show you how to fix a missing yarn over. It’s very straightforward, and it will save you a lot of ripping back. In this post, we’ll show you both how to deal with the issue both immediately after it happens and when you only realise a couple of rows later what’s happened.

It’s always a good idea to count your stitches when you’ve worked a row with yarn overs – if there’s a stitch or more missing then it’s likely that there’s a yarn over missing in action.

A yarn over is simply a strand of the yarn lying across the needle – when you leave one out, all that’s happened is that the strand hasn’t gone over the needle. It’s still there, and we can capitalise on that to rescue the situation.

In the picture at the top of this post, there should be a yarn over where the knitter’s right finger is pointing. We’re looking at the work from the right side, though if you’re knitting a flat piece of work, the fix usually happens on the wrong side, and this is how we’ll be doing it here.

See the top strand of yarn linking the first stitch on the left hand needle to its neighbour on the right? That’s the bit of yarn that would have been the yarn over, and that’s what’s going to become the yarn over when it’s fixed.

With the tip of the left hand needle, lift the strand from front to back, so that it lies across the needle just like any other yarn over before you work it.

Then just work it like any other yarn over, because that’s what it is (in the picture, we’re purling it):

And that’s it – we’ve replaced the yarn over where it was supposed to be. In truth, we’ve probably pinched a little bit of yarn from each of its neighbouring stitches, but this will make no difference to the final object unless there’s an awful lot of yarn overs to replace on a single row. (If you did leave out lots of them on one row, it would probably be better to tink that row.)

But what if you don’t realise until a couple of rows later that the yarn over was left out? Well, that’s also fixable without ripping out the intervening rows, and here’s how.

The principle is the same – make an afterthought yarn over out of the strand of yarn between two stitches. The only difference is that there’s more strands above it that need to be integrated. In the picture above, we’re targetting a strand of yarn two rows down (see how there’s a horizontal strand of yarn above the one we’re interested in? We’ll come to that one in a minute).

Using the tip of your needle, lift the lower strand up:

Transfer it to your left hand needle…

…and then work the upper horizontal strand through the loop on your left hand needle:

What you’ve done at this point is replace the yarn over, and then work through it the bit of yarn that would have made the stitch above it on the next row – knitting vertically instead of horizontally, if you like.

And when you’ve worked the stitch back up to the level of the current row, your fix will look like this – like any other yarn over a couple of rows further on:

A word of caution, though – the rows above a missing yarn over in the second scenario will all have a little less yarn in them than ideally needed. Working an extra stitch up through lots of them will leave that stitch a little tight all the way up. If you’re working a piece at a very loose tension (like most lace), the unevenness will probably block out. But depending on tension, you may be left with a tight little column of stitches if you have a long way to work up, and you’d be better to rip back.

But most of the time, these tricks will serve you well, and there’s huge satisfaction about having rescued your work. (Ask us how we know….)

Temporary Position at This is Knit

Ever wanted to work in a Yarn Shop?

We have a temporary vacancy (of 4-6 weeks’ duration) coming up in July to cover staff holidays and we are seeking applications for this part-time position.

We are looking for someone who is:

1. Friendly & enthusiastic, with excellent customer service skills. Experience in customer service would be an advantage.

2. A knitter who is comfortable offering pattern assistance and advice to customers on substituting yarns etc. Knowledge of crochet techniques is also a big plus!

3. Available to work half days on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays (the actual hours will vary week to week).

4. Hard working and flexible as your duties will vary from unpacking boxes and filling online orders to answering emails and dusting shelves!

Please send applications (with a brief CV as an attachment) to office [at] thisisknit [dot] ie

Citius, Altius, Fortius!

We’re delighted to announce that for the first time ever, This Is Knit will have a team in Ravelympics 2012!

The Ravelympics is a two-week-and-a-bit-long event coinciding with the Olympics, and just like the athletic competitions, it provides a challenge and a stretch and lots of community spirit and a ton of gleeful fun, for Ravelry members all over the world.

Here’s how it works: you join a team (or more than one!) and choose a yarny project or goal (or more than one!). We can’t start before the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Games, and the event officially ends with the Closing Ceremony. So that’s a start date of July 27th with a finish on August 12th. There’s lots more information on the Ravelympics FAQ thread at this link.

We’ve got two excellent captains, Jacqui (Jacquithisisknit) and Nadia (bunnyt), who’ll keep us focussed and on track.

To participate. you need to register with a team (ours is here). Then you decide what events you’re going to take part in – there’s something for everyone on the list, from the Frogging Trampoline (ripping out that thing from the back of the wardrobe that never fitted right) to the Hat Dash (a hat, start to finish), from WIP Wrestling (finish that long-neglected object) to the Sweater Triathlon (a jumper or cardigan, cast on to cast off). You decide what’s a challenge for you, and we’ll cheer you on. Throughout, there’ll be support and camaraderie and good crack, because we are Team This Is Knit.

So no starting before the Opening Ceremony! But we can train. Training is choosing our projects, practising the intriguing cast on, swatching and so forth. And we want to hear about that too – over in the Team This Is Knit thread
we’ll be cheering each other on long before the torch is lit.

Over the next few weeks we’ll be blogging more about the Ravelympics and talking about how to tag your projects and how to report what you’re doing. For now, we’d like to invite you to take part, and to suggest that you might want to save the date and time of the Opening Ceremony for a rather special event at the shop….

WWKiP update!

There’s been a slight change of location for Saturday’s Worldwide Knit in Public event in Stephen’s Green. Because June 16th is Bloomsday, there’s an afternoon of readings and songs from Ulysses from 3.00pm until 6.00pm at the bandstand.

So the knitters will be a little distance away, at the children’s playground. We won’t be hard to spot, so do drop along!

Summer’s here and the time is right…

…for knitting in public!

It’s World Wide Knit in Public Day on Saturday next, June 16th, and once more we’re delighted to be part of the fun. Sunshine, yarn and prizes!

There’s an official WWKiP event organised for St Stephen’s Green on Saturday afternoon – there’s details at this link. Before moving up to the Green, we’re kicking off the day on the balcony in the Powerscourt Centre at 11.00am (if the weather’s inclement, we can stay there too!).

But the weather’s been good to us every year so far, so we’re more likely to spend the afternoon near the bandstand (these directions from last year will tell you how to get there). So bring a rug to sit on, slap on some sunscreen, grab some knitting or crochet or tatting or embroidery or whatever you love and join us! (There might even be baked goods….)

To mark the occasion, we’ve got not one but two opportunities to win great prizes! First of all, since WWKiP Day has turned internationally into a WWKiP Week, all this week we’ve got a photo competition. Just send us in pictures of you knitting in public via either Facebook or Twitter and you could win a place on our Project Photography Workshop.

For the second, we have two great prizes on offer – a Sweensie Box Bag and one of the brand new KnitPro Dreamz Interchangeable Sets (which will be available in early July). To be in with a chance to win simply spend €10 or more online or in store and your name will be entered into the prize draw. That’s a Sweensie Box Bag in the picture at the top of this post – they come in two sizes (that’s the smaller one), and they’re beautifully made out of happy fabric that just makes you smile. (There’s one with hedgehogs on. Really. Hedgehogs.) These bags are perfect for toting your latest WIP around, and they come with a handy strap so that you can carry on knitting in public, wherever you happen to be!

WWKiP has become a tradition in these parts – join the fun if you can! We’d love to see you.

Yarnography

If you’ve ever wondered why the pictures of your lovely finished objects come out too dark, too bright, or weirdly orange, then we can help! Julie and Siobhán, respectively elven and jewelandarlin on Ravelry, are giving a photography workshop on Saturday June 30th.

We’ll start by looking at the “ingredients” that go to make up a successful photograph – lighting, background and composition, then how to use the right settings on your camera to get the best results. We’ll have a hands-on session to put it all into practice, then some questions and answers back in the classroom.

You won’t need fancy equipment – a point-and-shoot camera and a yarny finished object is all that’s required. And you’ll find that what you learn makes all your photography better, not just your project pictures.

Julie’s photoblog is at halfadreamaway.com and Siobhán’s is jewelandarlin.com.

You can book a place for this workshop online at this link, or give us a call – your finished objects will thank you!

YO ho ho!

We encounter a lot of yarn overs at This Is Knit. We also get a lot of questions about how to do them, and so we thought a tutorial would be useful.

The picture above shows the finished product, a yarn over one row after it’s been made, showing the hole that’s been created. And here’s how to do it.

We start with the yarn at the back of the work – we’re on a knit row here, so that’s where it’s naturally to be found (we’ll talk a bit later about what to do if you’re purling).

Bring the yarn to the front of the work between the needles, just as if you were going to purl the next stitch, and stop there for a moment.

That’s the yarn over pretty much done. You still have to work the next stitch, but that’s none of the yarn over’s business. In other words, a yarn over doesn’t use up a stitch.

So on we go to the next stitch, then. Since the yarn’s at the front of the work, just knitting the next stitch will bring the yarn over the top of the right hand needle.

When you’ve worked that next stitch, you’ll see what’s happened: the yarn over is a strand of yarn over the needle between two stitches.

It’s worth while pointing out that patterns have two ways of telling you to do this manoeuvre. UK patterns, especially older ones, will tell you “yarn forward, knit 1”, which is exactly what we’ve done in these pictures. US patterns (and increasingly, patterns from elsewhere as well) tell you “yarn over, knit 1”. In other words, the UK version emphasises the action (the yarn is brought forward) while the US version tells you the result (the yarn lies over the needle), usually abbreviated to YO. So if you come across either of these, they’re essentially telling you the same thing.

But what if you want to work a yarn over before a purl stitch? This will happen any time you’re making yarn overs on a purl row, but it could also happen in a lacy rib. The yarn starts at the front of the work – bring it there as before if the last stitch was a knit, and it’s already at the front if the last stitch was a purl. It loops right round the right hand needle, backwards over the top and returning to the front between the needles:

That’s the yarn over completed, so it’s on to the next stitch, which is going to be purled:

And this is the result – a yarn over before a purl (and in this case, after a knit):

On the next row, you’ll spot the yarn overs easily. They’re just strands of yarn lying lazily across the left hand needle, and when you come to one, you work its front leg.

If you work the back leg instead, you’ll twist the yarn over, making the eyelet smaller and less obvious.

Every one of the eyelets in a piece of lace is made from a yarn over, and they make very handy buttonholes, especially in children’s garments. You can thread ribbon through a line of them at the top of a knitted gift bag and you can make a set of decorative increases on a raglan jumper with them. But sometimes we forget to put them where they’re supposed to be, and that’s going to be the subject of an upcoming post: how to fix a missing yarn over. And you won’t have to rip out a single stitch. We promise.