Group think

Knitting group, stitch and bitch, craft night – whatever you call it, if you like crochet or knitting or tatting or embroidery and the idea of doing it in good company appeals, this is for you!

There are groups all over the city and the country – indeed, they’re all over the world! From beginner to expert, everyone’s welcome and you’ll soon see proof that everyone messes up sometimes. What’s more, you’ll get to know lovely people that you’d probably not meet otherwise. There’s no better place to find admiration for your finished object or commiseration when your work in progress doesn’t cooperate.

Dublin has a terrific resource in the Dublin Knit Collective – both on that site and in the related Ravelry group, you’ll find details of what’s convenient for you. For the rest of Ireland, the Irish Knitters group is a good place to look, and to ask if you can’t see anything. Then just come along with your project – and something simple’s perfect here, because all the laughter and chat can distract from the complicated stuff.

If you can’t find a group that suits you, then why not start one yourself? All you need is a venue with good light and some people to come along. Cafés and bars are good places, and community centres and public libraries are popular too. It’s a good idea to have a couple of core people who’ll show up every time until the group gets a head of steam. If there’s a sign on the table to announce that you’re a group and that people are welcome to join, you don’t just look like a few friends knitting while you chat.

Then tell the world! If you’re in Dublin, let the Dublin Knit Collective know, and post in Irish Knitters. Notices on noticeboards (especially in your venue) will bring people in too. Setting up a group of your own on Ravelry will mean that you’re findable there – and if you’re going away on holidays or for work, why not search if there’s a local group where you’re going and join them for an evening? They’ll be delighted you found them.

Yarn, skills, new friends – all that’s missing is you!

In other news, we’re over the moon about making the Irish Times shortlist for the Best Shop in Ireland. Thank you so much to all our lovely customers who nominated us! Voting has closed, with over three thousand nominations whittled down to just fifty, and we’re very proud to be in such wonderful company. You can see all the other nominees at that link, and the ten favourites will be announced on September 7th. We’re very excited!

Fast and fun!

One of the star attractions of the Yarn Tasting was Louisa Harding’s amazing new yarn Luzia, and the gorgeous sample garments she showed us made up in it.

Well, you can imagine how impressed we were when one of our talented customers, Karen, came in just five days later with the lovely cardigan in the picture above. It’s the Cora cropped cardigan from the Luzia pattern collection. She’d cast on the very night of the Yarn Tasting, and it was already finished!

Luzia’s a tremendously fun yarn. It knits up into a fabric that looks like fur and it comes in the most beautiful jewel tones. And on 7mm or 8mm needles, you can see your work grow before your very eyes! This is the very best kind of instant gratification!

And now we’re wondering if you have any other finished objects that grew of the Yarn Tasting. Do tell us in the comments below!

Wedding Belle

The Happy Couple

That’s our Nadia right there, with her handsome beau John. And while Nadia is wearing a stunning Stripe Study shawl, that’s not the purpose of sharing these pictures with you here, oh no…

This lovely couple are getting married next Monday the 2nd of September and, of course, most of the TIK family will be in attendance. It’s going to be a wonderful day and it’ll be photographed by the supremely talented and very artistic Julie of Half a Dream Away (Julie also shot these engagement pictures of Nadia and John).

For this reason the shop will close at the earlier time of 4.30pm that day. We also won’t be opening this coming Sunday the 1st of September – the official “Winter Hours” will start from Sunday the 8th when we will be back open between 1pm and 5pm.

We’re very lucky to have Nadia as part of the TIK Crew and we’re delighted that her big day is almost upon us! We hope you’ll join us is wishing the Happy Couple a fabulous day next Monday and a lifetime of happiness together.

In the trees

Red letter day

We have two announcements in one today! On Saturday 5th October, we’ll be hosting not one but two wonderful workshops, led by internationally renowned designers!

In the morning, Gudrun Johnston will be giving a class on Shetland lace. She’s the designer of many This Is Knit favourites, including the Aestlight shawl. Lisa and Jacqui each knitted one each last year – you can see the two of them in the picture above. They’re the perfect examples of the techniques that will be taught in the workshop.

Gudrun was born in Shetland, and is carrying forward that great tradition in her mother’s footsteps. Her designs, which you can see in this Ravelry link, combine innovative techniques with long-established stitch patterns. It will be a privilege to welcome her to Dublin and this will be a terrifically exciting class. You can nab a place at this booking link.


(Image © Mary Jane Mucklestone and used with permission)

Then in the afternoon, we’ve got the honour of welcoming Mary Jane Mucklestone, who’s presenting her workshop on Scandinavian colourwork. This will be a huge treat – you can see her glorious take on stranded colourwork in the Halcyon hat in the picture above and on her pattern page. With her background in fine art and many years of teaching and working in the textile and fashion industries in the US, Mary Jane’s designs are practical and enormous fun, with novel techniques and clever details. You’ll find the booking link for this workshop at this link.

The only problem is which one to choose (and why not both?) – and don’t forget about our terribly clever waiting list system. When an event is sold out, adding your name to the waiting list gives you as much of a chance of a cancelled place as anyone else on the list. You’ll get an email telling you if a spot becomes free, and then the fastest finger wins!

Two workshops from two such eminent knitters in one day? We hope you’ll join us!

A taste of things to come

Thursday night was Yarn Tasting night, and there’s an awful lot to report! Fascinating speakers, new yarn to try, projects to plan, friends to catch up with, new friends to make….

We started upstairs, taking over Jig’s theatre space for the evening. There was much excited rummaging through the goody bags, because there was brand new yarn to play with.

On garment rails, quietly waiting their turn, were enticing new garments in the loveliest fibres and colours….

We were so privileged this year to have two internationally renowned designers to talk to us. Debbie Bliss and Louisa Harding are old friends of This Is Knit, so it was marvellous to welcome them to the same stage, and to get their first-hand discussion of the beautiful things they’ve got in store for us this year.

Debbie spoke first and gave us a wonderful insight into her entire design process, from initial inspiration (Dior’s New Look and Downton Abbey are big influences this year) to her wisdom on fit and proportion.

As well as the delicious Blue-faced Leicester that we’ve already talked about here, there are new patterns for Luxury Silk DK and an adorable new babies’ and children’s collection for Baby Cashmerino (you should have heard the “aaaaah!” that went up when we saw the pictures). There’s even a terribly elegant dog sweater in the BFL!

And then a catwalk show broke out! The audience needed very little encouragement from Debbie to try on the sample garments and sashay up and down the aisle!

Lisa tried on the most beautiful silver grey Luxury Silk DK cardigan and found it hard to part from – she’s wearing it here reading out a winning raffle number (there were prizes right through the evening):

Then it was time for Louisa to show us the gorgeous things she has for us this season, and it was such a treat. There were gasps of delight on hearing that the dear departed Thistle aranweight is now replaced by Akiko and that there’s a new addition to the Grace range, Grace Harmony. This simple and elegant capelet is made in Grace, and it’s such an excellent example of Louisa’s design signature:

We also got to see (and feel) Luzia, which knits up into a fur fabric! This simple little jacket showcases it perfectly, though a little fur scarf will brighten up your winter coat no end too!

And then the festivities moved downstairs, where all the sample garments were available on the balcony for trying on, while our dear neighbours at the Pepper Pot lent their tables for sitting and chatting and trying out the new goodies. The shop was looking particularly lovely too:

Debbie and Louisa, thank you so much for coming! It was a delight, and we can’t wait till you come back!

And of course, thank you to all of our lovely Yarn Tasting guests – meeting you is the best part of the event every year, and this time was no exception.

So much to report, and so much to plan! The evening added significantly to our queues – how about you? We’d love to hear what projects you’re lining up for the new season, so why not leave a comment below and tell us!

Local

Descending into Glenmalure, Co. Wicklow (JP) / CC BY-SA 2.0

This past weekend, we got very excited about a grey woollen coat. This article in Irish Times Life and Style section tells of how Aisling Clancy, a graduate in textiles from NCAD, set out to make a glorious winter coat from home-grown Irish fibre, keeping the entire process as close to home as possible.

Starting with Wicklow Cheviot wool and alpaca from Kildare, the entire process happened in Ireland, with long-established mills and weavers contributing to the finished project culminating with Aisling’s tailored and elegant design. You can watch a video of the entire project here. It’s a really inspiring insight into the entire supply chain, as well as being beautifully directed and shot.

The renaissance of heritage breeds of sheep has been such a success in recent years, with Shetland (now with EU protected status) and Blue-faced Leicester leading the way. What if Wicklow Cheviot was next?

Fastest finger first!

Yarn Tasting 2013

With just over a week to go before the Yarn Tasting, we’re happy to say that four places have become available this morning, and they’re nabbable right at this booking link!

If your name is on the waiting list, you’ll have received an email telling you that there’s room, and then it’s fastest finger first! So check your email and click that booking button!

What this means is that the waiting list (for any of our classes or events) is a very good place to be, because everyone on it gets an equal chance at that coveted space, regardless of the length of the list!

If you head over to the booking page today and there are no spaces available, then you’ll remain on the waiting list in case of a cancellation, and you can add yourself if you’re not on it.

Excitement’s building here – how about you? Let us know in the comments if you simply can’t wait…!

Warm-hearted

There’s less than two weeks to go to the Yarn Tasting, and every day brings new deliveries of yarn! It’s great fun opening the boxes, and it’s great fun making samples to display too. This little cardigan is made in a brand new offering: Sublime Luxurious Aran Tweed, which is a wool, cotton and llama mix.

As you can see, it plays beautifully with cables (the little cardigan above is Carol Feller’s Rossbeg), and the colours are rich and satisfying. And with 100 metres in a ball, it goes a long way too.

We’re having a wonderful summer here in Dublin, and it’s going to be a warm and cozy winter too.