Summer lace

The weather’s been miserable over the last little while, so here’s some gorgeous things to cheer us all up. You see, we think nothing can brighten a day like some luxurious yarn and a clever pattern, and here’s two of our current favourites.

In the picture up above, we have a sweet little shawlette called Lilac Wish. It’s fast to work and combines easy stocking stitch with a gorgeous lace border studded with nupps. Maria worked it in Malabrigo Baby Silkpaca, and it took only one skein, so it’s economical too!

Lace makes a terrific summer project. It’s light and pretty, and you get to knit without a great thick covering of jumper in the heat (right now, such a thing might be welcome!). And if the ornateness of Lilac Wish isn’t your cup of tea, then we have another suggestion: our good friend Gudrun Johnston’s Havra.

A former Mystery Knit-Along pattern now released to everyone, Havra is elegant and unfussy. It’s easy to work and very simple to customise for size, and here it’s found a perfect partner: our very own Townhouse Yarn’s Trinity 2-ply laceweight. Again, this took less than a skein, and the result is simply beautiful.

We can’t promise to make the sun come out, but with lace like this, you can light up your day!


We’re thrilled to announce our next workshop, coming up next month. Elanor King will be here for the morning of Saturday 8th August, teaching us her amazing techniques for embellishing our knits.

Elanor, who is catchloops on Ravelry, is an Irish designer based in London. With an engineering background and an artist’s eye, she produces beautiful things using fun decorations like thrums and sequins and even loom bands, as well as the most effective embroidered details.

With Elanor’s help, you can learn how to add those distinctive touches that make your knits unique, and have a ball in the process! It all happens from 10.00am on Saturday August 8th, and you can nab a place right here.

And we really can’t wait to see the finished objects that happen then, can you?

Among the best

It’s that time of year again: the Irish Times has opened this year’s nominations for its amazing Ireland’s Best Shop awards. All over the country, people are proposing their favourite places, and the list already makes quite some reading!

This Is Knit has been nominated before by you, our wonderful customers, but this year we’re prouder than ever: we’re in two categories! For the first time, we’ve been proposed as Ireland’s Best Online Shop – by a lovely customer in the US. You can read what she said about us over on this page! We’re simply thrilled.

So if you’d like to nominate us, we’d be ever so proud!

The Little Yellow Duck Project

This is Cecil. He’s part of a very special movement: the Little Yellow Duck Project. All over the world, little crafted yellow duckies are popping up in unexpected places, looking for a home.

The project has a serious basis. Founded in memory of a young woman who died of cystic fibrosis before a suitable lung donor was found (here’s the page giving the full story), its aim is to make us think about the importance of donating blood, tissue and organs. The little duckies are powerful little messengers.

It’s very easy to get involved. Make a duck – knitted or crocheted or sewn. You’ll find patterns here or you can make up your own! Print out a tag (there’s several styles to choose from) which points to the Project’s website so the message gets through.

Then you leave your duck to be found, and the tag explains why he’s there, waiting to be taken home. The lucky adopter of a duck can log the find – more than four thousand ducks all over the world have already spread the word.

Some of the tags also have a space for the duck’s name – that’s how you’d know that our little crocheted chum above is called Cecil. And this is Gertrude.

Between them, Cecil and Gertrude took an evening to make, and took 25g of aranweight (any weight will work beautifully if you choose a suitable needle or hook size). What’s more, they’re a ball to make! Here they are with their labels attached, waiting to find their new home.

We can help save lives with these little characters. So will you join us in reminding the world, just by making someone smile, and then think, with a little yellow duck?

And if you were in Stephen’s Green earlier, just by the duckpond, maybe you saw Gertrude waiting patiently on a bench. She’s got something important to tell someone.

Slipping stitches

“Slip a stitch” is a frequent instruction in patterns. It comes up in decreases, in some sorts of colourwork, at selvedges – all over the place, in fact. But it’s not always clear whether to slip knitwise or purlwise, and it can really make a difference.

So here’s the reason. When a stitch is sitting on your needle, it’s always at a bit of an angle. For the way most of us knit, the right hand side of the stitch is a bit closer to the tip of the needle than the left side.

But look what happens if you slip the stitch as if you were going to knit it. The needle goes into the stitch from left to right, and it starts to turn to face the knitter.

Continue to slip the stitch like this so that it moves off the left needle entirely and onto the right, and this is what you get. The stitch has turned round so that it’s facing the other way to all the rest.

This is the result that you want in an SSK decrease, for example. The stitch is turned round so that it’s not going to be twisted after the decrease is worked. There’s more about this at our directional decreases blog post.

So what happens if you slip purlwise? Well, let’s see:

The needle goes into the stitch from right to left, exactly as it does when you purl, and then when the stitch has shifted from the left needle to the right, you’ll see this:

The stitch is oriented the same way as the other stitches, with no change at all.

So when do you slip knitwise and when purlwise? There’s a handy rule of thumb: if the stitch is going to be involved in a decrease right away this moment, then slip knitwise. But the rest of the time, slip purlwise so it’s the same as all its companions, apart from not being worked. (Unless the pattern tells you otherwise, of course!)

There’s some more to say about stitch orientation and how it happens, so stay tuned!

Winning colours

Well, we wound up the Random Number Generator and asked it to choose the winner of our S Twist Single Ply competition, and it chose…

…Mairin! Your rainbow-striped blanket sounds beautiful! And we want pictures!

Mind you, there were so many other wonderful ideas in the entries. Catherine’s Snakes and Ladders picnic blanket made us bounce with excitement, especially now that it’s properly picnic season! And we loved Helen Mc’s suggestion of a huge Vivid blanket, which tied right in with Emily Wessel’s terrific workshop last weekend.

There’s so much great inspiration over there – we really do have the cleverest and most imaginative readers! Thank you so much to everyone who entered, and congratulations again to Mairin!