What on earth is going on?

There’s quite a menagerie in the shop, and they get up to the whackiest antics! So when this sight greeted our eyes the other day, we were stumped – what on earth could be going on? Is Don José the Alpaca pretending to be a cat in a tree? Does Enzo the Sheep disapprove terribly or is he cheering from the sidelines?

So we decided that a caption contest was the best way of finding out, so over to you, our clever readers. Tell us what each little hooligan is saying and win two skeins of gorgeous Sulka Legato yarn! To enter, just post your answer in the comments below – and since there’s a Bank Holiday weekend coming up, we’re leaving entries open until midnight on Monday next, May 5th. What’s more, multiple entries aren’t just allowed, they’re positively encouraged!

And of course, we’ll wind up the Legato for you, once we’ve negotiated with Don José for access to the swift!

Counting the days

We’re only barely containing our excitement at the moment – Ysolda Teague’s shawl design workshop is happening here in less than a month, on Saturday May 17th. There’s still a couple of places available, though there’s been a lot of interest. There’s even a group flying in specially from Scotland for the day!

When it comes to shawl design, Ysolda’s one of the greats (this is her portfolio). We’ve featured many of her designs, like lovely and popular Ishbel above, and elegant Marin below.

In this workshop she will give you the skills to make your own completely original shawl, just as lovely but completely exclusive to you! All you need is yarn, needles, squared paper, pencil and stitch markers – and your ideas!

You can snap up a place at this link, and then just imagine the thrill of saying “Oh this? It’s a design of my own, thank you!”

KAL news!

A month in and with two Bank Holiday weekends under our belts, the Spring Daybreak Knit-a-Long is romping along! We’re having so much fun in the shop helping you out together colour and yarn combinations (we’re offering the discount on suggested yarns right through the KAL).

Over in the Ravelry thread, there’s hints and support and a chance to see each other’s work in progress, so please drop in for a chat or some inspiration. There’s dozens of completed projects, and several of us have started second or third Daybreaks!

And there’s another Bank Holiday weekend just round the corner, and Daybreak’s an ideal combination of intriguing shaping and easy stocking stitch. So why not join the fun?

Counting down

There’s lots of ways of counting your rows, but here’s one that was mentioned a while ago on Ravelry: sweeties! We were tickled by the notion, so we thought we should pass it on.

The idea’s very simple. Get some small treats, and count out one for each row you need to work. At the end of every row, eat one. When you have none left, that’s your allotted number of rows worked.

Of course, there’s lots of things that would count as treats – peanuts or grapes, for instance – but with the week that’s in it we liked the idea of mini-eggs! Marks on paper, barrel counters and clicker counters all work too, but somehow it’s easier to remember the sweetie.

And speaking of the season, we’ve got some changes to our opening hours over the coming weekend. We’re closed on Good Friday (April 18th), open as normal on Saturday the 19th, and then closed for Easter Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday. We’ll be open as usual on Tuesday morning, with all our rows properly counted!

Welcome to the world!

It gives us terrific pleasure to introduce Oisín, the youngest member of the This Is Knit family. He was born nearly eight weeks ago, and he’s the dotiest wee person imaginable. And up above he’s posing in the Owlie sleepsack knitted for him by his Auntie Jen.

That beautiful picture is one of a series taken by Emmylie Cruz, a terrifically talented portrait photographer and a very good friend of This Is Knit. Her facebook page is at Emmylie Cruz Fotographia, and it’s such a treat to visit. Her images of children are particularly lovely, and the pictures of Oisín are amazing!

And here’s another picture, this time of Lisa bringing Oisín on his very first visit to the shop.

So welcome, Oisín, and the very biggest congratulations to Lisa and Ronan, your amazing parents!

What we’re making: Jen

Today, we feature the latest in our continuing series of staff projects. This one’s already gone viral here, and we’re always happy to spread the word, so over to you, Jen!

If you have visited This Is Knit you might have noticed there is, a lot of the time, more than one sample of the same pattern hanging from a shop wall. (*ahem* Color Affection!)

Sometimes more than one of us TIKer’s get taken by a certain pattern for its beauty, cleverness and downright handiness…. Introducing said pattern in this case: Zuzu’s Petals. It’s a clever cowl that looks like a shawl and it is such a quick, adjustable (with a bit of playing) enjoyable knit.

Maria knit her Zuzu in Malabrigo Rios in the highly variegated Arco Iris, Jacqui used self-striping Amitola by Louisa Harding. I decided to stray from the written pattern and use gorgeous heavy lace weight yarn, Mirasol Sulka Legato with added Swarovski crystals (you can see them shining in the first picture). I loved knitting this, and I love the finished object.

Have I tempted you? What would you knit yours from?

New tools

In our last post, we talked about new knitting tools from Knitpro. The same Knitpro delivery brought good things for crocheters too, and here they are. This is the Wave set: superior tools, beautifully presented.

They’re designed to be especially comfortable in the hand, with soft rubber grips in size-specific colours. The hook is smooth and just the right amount of pointy. Many people find a slightly thicker handle helps to reduce fatigue, and these Waves fit the bill nicely.

At the moment we have the Waves kit in stock, with sizes 2.00, 2.50, 3.00, 3.50, 4.00, 4.50, 5.00, 5.50 and 6.00. Single hooks, which range from 2.00 to 12.00, can be ordered in specially for you, just like their tiny Karbonz DPNs cousins.