Doing some good

With St Patrick’s Day just peeping over the horizon, Age Action Ireland Ireland launched a sweet Knitted Shamrock campaign earlier this week, and we’re delighted to tell you about it.

Here’s how it works: there’s a pretty shamrock pattern to download at this link. A shamrock takes just minutes to make, and we’ve all got oddments of yarn that can be put to good use.

Age Action Ireland is aiming for 20,000 shamrocks, which will be sold at a cost of €2 each from retail outlets throughout the country from March 1st, so every single one is precious. The deadline is February 25th, and you can find the address to send them to at that link as well.

Over the years, our customers have shown staggering generosity and ingenuity in Innocent’s Big Knit, which also benefits Age Action. Seasonal knitting, a fast-as-lightning pattern and a good cause – what could be better?

Say something nice!

It’s not every Monday evening that you get a chance to pay a friend a compliment and have it written up in lights and do some good, all at the same time.

This Monday evening’s different. From 5.30pm until 8.30pm, Innocent (yes, they of the Big Knit) are going to cover the front of the Powerscourt Centre with our compliments! And if you want yours to appear, here’s how it works.

But just think: we could festoon the front of the building with yarn-related compliments, couldn’t we?

  • Hey @friend, even your frogging looks good! #SpreadGood
  • Hello @XX, you’re the foundation chain in my life! #SpreadGood
  • Hello @friend, you’re the best thing since Magic Loop! #SpreadGood
  • We really could! And if you have better compliment suggestions than these (and you surely have!), share them in the comments!

    Cuddle

    New babies like snugness and warmth, and Jen’s just made a wee project that steps right up to the mark. It’s a newborn sleepsack called Owlie.

    Knitted in the softest wool, with ample room for little legs to wriggle and kick, there’s no fiddly buttons or ties to get in the way (or puzzle new parents).

    Keeping watch all the way round, there’s a line of clever cable owls, with a practical purpose: the cabling pulls the sack in just enough for comfort. What a terrific colour too – Malabrigo Rios comes in a whole paintbox of happy bright hues, with plenty of gender-neutral options, and a single skein is enough for an Owlie.

    It’s an unusual and practical gift for a new baby, and oh, how cozy it’ll be to cuddle up in!

    With a twist

    Hot off Jacqui’s needles comes this divine little shawlette. It’s called Jackson Square, and it’s a Beth King design. It’s got it all – a lovely twisted rib body, a delicate lace border and a sweet picot cast off.

    This example is made in Hedgehog Fibres Sock (the colourway is Petrol), and only takes a single skein.

    Jackson Square starts with a garter stitch tab, and if you haven’t worked one before, you’ll find our photo tutorial at this link. The picot cast off is both decorative and practical – it gives the lace edge plenty of ease (and we have a tutorial for that too). But most of all, we love the clean etched quality of the twisted stitches.

    A quick pretty knit in a luxurious yarn, with just the right amount of interesting technique? Yes please!

    It’s suppertime!

    Right outside our front door, you’ll find the Pepper Pot café. We’re devoted fans of their food: the most delicious sandwiches and salads, wholesome and inventive soups, the most epic scrambled eggs, and terrific cake and coffee. Well, now the Pepper Pot has got even better! They’ve begun serving supper in the evenings on Thursdays and Fridays.

    The food’s lovely: currently, the choice includes meat and cheese boards, and a warming sausage stew, and delicious savoury tarts, with distinctive Pepper Pot cake for dessert, baked on the premises every day (chocolate and espresso? orange, cinnamon and buckwheat? Oh yum!). The menu’s online at their facebook page here.

    You can have wine or prosecco with your meal too, and with the twinkly tealights on the tables and the unique surroundings of the Powerscourt Centre, it’s hard to imagine a more charming place to eat.

    Supper is served from 6.30pm to 9.00pm on Thursdays and Fridays. Dervla, Marion and the rest of the team are simply the nicest neighbours a yarn shop could wish for!

    Good news

    It’s always a good day when you get to announce good news, so we’re particularly happy today.

    First of all, our winter sale has just started, and there’s so much lovely yarn available at big discounts! You can find details of what’s on offer at this link, and of course the sale is online as well as in the shop!

    Second, we’re delighted to announce the winner of our Christmas newsletter competition: Susan Harvey has won a place at one of Carol Feller’s workshops in February! (If you’re not already getting the newsletter, you can sign up on our front page by scrolling down a little here.) Congratulations, Susan, and we hope you enjoy the workshop!

    If you didn’t win, though, there’s still a few places available for Carol’s workshops, too. Her Sweater Surgery class on the morning of February 15th can be booked at this link. If you’re looking for Short Rows Demystified, which is on the afternoon of the same day, you’ll find details here. We’re looking forward to Carol coming back to This Is Knit so much!

    Look back in affection

    With the New Year just cast on, it’s a good time to remind ourselves of what 2013 brought us – and didn’t it do well?

    Early in the year, we blogged about Veera Välimäki’s Color Affection shawl, and someone suggested a Knit-Along, and from then on, it was one glorious striped shawl after another! There was so much fun to be had in choosing colours and exchanging tips, and while the image above captures the range of gorgeousness well, it’s not even the full tally. The real total is probably more than one hundred, because we lost count around seventy five with, happily, no end in sight! It was our biggest Knit-Along so far, and who knows what will follow it in 2014?

    Apart from being wonderfully talented and inspiring designers, what did Ysolda Teague, Aoibhe Ní, Carol Feller, Mary Jane Mucklestone, Gudrun Johnston and Woolly Wormhead have in common this past year? They all led workshops at This Is Knit, and the result was delighted crocheters and knitters with new skills and finished objects. There’s nothing quite like the happy buzz from the teaching area upstairs when there’s a workshop in progress, and it’s something we’re looking forward to hearing more of!

    Aoibhe Ní and Carol Feller were guests of ours right here on the blog, too when they wrote guest posts for us. Aoibhe’s was a fascinating insight into how her flourishing design career has developed, and Carol’s was a field report on her visit to TNNA, the US trade fair for yarn stores (and it’s as exciting as you’d imagine).

    And in August, a little earlier than previous years, we had the Yarn Tasting. What a night, with both Louisa Harding and Debbie Bliss there to present their new designs and yarn. So many samples to try out, so many garments to try on, so many friends old and new – it’s the best night of the year, and we can’t wait for the next one!

    Very very special thanks to Louisa and Debbie! Over the years they’ve become valued friends of This Is Knit’s. We’d like to wish them both a very happy new year, and hope that it brings them back to see us again.

    Over the year, we’ve seen so many beautiful finished objects, too. Babies were characteristically well provided for – there was Jenny O’s wonderful colourful blanket, for example (and the same post featured a beautiful blanket of Lisa’s too)…

    …and we can’t resist showing you the Candy Floss booties again, because they’re probably the year’s most cooed-over sample in the shop.

    There was also a very special This Is Knit wedding this year, so once again, our very best wishes to Nadia and John.

    As the year drew to a close, we had the excitement of the Irish Yarn Club 2014, which led us neatly into thoughts of this new year and what it’ll bring yarnwise. There’s no doubt that there will be beautiful things to show you right through the year, and that most of them will be made by you, our talented and inventive customers. Seeing the yarn come back in through our doors, its final destiny all fulfilled, is truly the best part of running a yarn shop.

    So from all of us at This Is Knit, may we wish you a very happy New Year! We can’t wait to see what it brings, can you?