Thistle

With the weather turning a little autumnal, we’re all about the hats at the moment, and we’ve got one in two versions to show you.

This is the Thistle hat, our latest in-house pattern, warm as toast and easy as anything. It’s made with one ball each of two contrasting Aranweight yarns, and we used Louisa Harding’s new merino/alpaca Akiko with Debbie Bliss’s wool-and-silk-rich Milano.

That’s the other version, with a slightly different stitch pattern. The only difference between the two is one round which is knit in one version and purled in the other, and there’s a good story about how it came about. When Jacqui was test-knitting the pattern, she changed the pattern without meaning to. After realising that, many people would have ripped back. But Jacqui liked the fabric she was getting, and just kept going!

The result was a slightly different but equally lovely version, and the two-option Thistle hat was born. And a moral, too: patterns are only a guideline, and if your variation pleases you, go for it! Then it’s not a mistake, it’s a design feature!

Candy Floss

Aren’t those the most adorable little baby booties ever? They’re called Candy Floss, and they’re one of This Is Knit’s latest patterns.

They’re made from Katia Pure Angora, so they’re unbelievably soft, and the pattern is free when you purchase the yarn.

A pair takes two 10g balls of the yarn, and if you choose two different colours the pattern gives you instructions for making a smartly striped pair as well as a single colour option.

And it’s simply not possible not to say “Awww!” when you see them.

Spinning Around

Spin In Sunday

After a summer hiatus the Dublin Spin-In is back, and it’s happening this Sunday the 22nd of September from 1pm – 3pm on the balcony/stage area in the Powerscourt Centre. This is just around the corner from the shop and the ever-lovely Pepper Pot Cafe (who do a, frankly, epic Sunday brunch menu).

Never picked up a Drop Spindle before? No problem, this is the place to start. Everyone is welcome, even if you are just curious and want to see what it’s all about! There’ll be a least one wheel spinner there too and that’s always fun to watch (and sometimes quite hypnotic too).

Gorgeous fibre, new friends and fresh coffee – sounds like a perfect Sunday afternoon! Who’s with us?

Helping

Next Saturday, September 14th, we crafters get to do some good. For the third year running, HandmAid, the Dublin charity craft day, is happening in the Damer Hall on Stephen’s Green, from 10.30am to 4.30pm. You’ll find full details over on their website at this link.

This year every cent raised goes to the Capuchin Day Centre for Homeless People, who provide close on a thousand meals a day for men, women and children (this Irish Times article about the work they do is an informative and sobering read).

If you haven’t been to HandmAid before, it’s a day of craft and good will down the granite steps of the Damer Hall:

At the bottom of the stairs, there’s a big room simply full of delight. You can take a class (there’s a huge range of classes from origami to wheel spinning, and you can book online at this link), you can enjoy tea or coffee and bake-sale cake, you can sit and stitch with friends…

…and there’s a huge heaping market stall: there’s terrific yarn and craft supplies at extremely reduced prices (made possible by the generosity of many businesses and individuals), there’s paper patterns and books, there’s finished objects to buy…

This is how we can make a difference. Let’s!

All photos in this post are the work of Julie of halfadreamaway.com, © handmAid, and used with permission.

Milano

We’ve been talking in the last few weeks about the lovely new yarns and patterns that Debbie Bliss and Louisa Harding showed us at the Yarn Tasting, and here’s another star of the show: Debbie’s new Milano.

This is one of Debbie’s new offerings for Autumn/Winter 2013/14. It knits up fast, it’s perfect for cardigans and jumpers and jackets and it comes in a lovely subtle palette.

As you’d expect from Debbie, there’s a supporting Milano pattern book stuffed with stylish, fashion-forward designs. We’ve got the Hour Glass Top in the shop as a sample at the moment, and you can see it in the picture above. Close up, you can see the gorgeous tweedy fabric it produces.

Milano’s proved very popular so far, and we’re really looking forward to seeing what you make with it. The Yarn Tasting was so inspirational in that respect – why not tell us in the comments below what’s leapt into your queue!

Skillset

With the Yarn Tasting over, the shop stuffed with Autumn/Winter stock and with winter opening on Sundays starting this week, we’ve got an exciting range of classes coming up over the next few weeks.

You can see the full range on our booking page at this link. Fancy learning how very easy socks are? Then our two-session sock knitting class would be just the thing! Or have you always wanted to pick up crochet but never got round to it? Then we’ve got three-week beginner’s courses running on Sundays or Mondays which will have you crocheting like a whirlwind in no time.

And that’s not all – there’s lace knitting, and stranded colourwork, and our terribly popular finishing class, and top-down seamless cardigan construction in the mix. Expanding your skillset is such an enjoyable thing to do.

And that’s without even mentioning the workshops we’ve got lined up: Tunisian lace with AoibheNí’s booked solid, but there’s still places available for Gudrun Johnston and Mary Mucklestone’s workshops on October 5th. You’ll find details of these at that booking link too. And remember: if a class that you fancy is booked out, it’s always worth putting yourself on the waiting list.