Solo & Strife

Solo

Around this time every year a touch of strife visits This is Knit. It comes in the form of oodles of delicious new-season yarns, in all their glorious colours and textures. The reason for the trouble? There’s usually a scuffle among staff over who gets to knit with what yarn for our shop samples!

This time around I pulled rank and nabbed a truly spectacular teal shade of Silk Garden Solo. Once it was mine all mine I had to tackle the next question… just what to make?

This is where our trusty friends over Ravelry come in to play. A quick search for aran and worsted weight garments yielded inspiration by the bucket-load! I was particularly taken by Nanook (having seen a recent version “in the flesh”) and these beautiful projects just pushed me over the edge…

Nanook1

Cln’s Nanook in Malabrigo Rios

Nanook2

Metalandcloth’s version shows the versatility of the pattern – Nanook works just as well as a maternity cardigan (and will still look good long after baby is born).

My own version is very much a WIP right now but stay tuned for progress pics on our Instagram account, and hopefully the “big reveal” on this blog in the not too distant future…

What would you knit from Silk Garden Solo? Have you ever knit Nanook or any of Heidi Kirrmaier’s other patterns?

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This post by Lisa is the first part of a staff series all about our Autumn/Winter projects. Stay tuned for updates from Jacqui, Jenny and all the rest of the crew!

I want that wrap!

This gorgeous knit was one of the stars of Yarn Dating 2015, and no wonder: it’s a combination of a simple, elegant pattern, a little buttony magic and a lovely new yarn.

The pattern is I Want That Wrap, and it’s a joy to knit. It’s a very wide simple rib, so it’s a terrific beginner’s pattern. And it’s TV knitting at its best – no chart to follow or shaping to work, and the result is cozy and smart. Even better, the pattern is a free download on Ravelry!

The yarn is a new offering from Studio Donegal, called Donegal Wool Spinning Company, and this project used 2.5 skeins (knit on 6mm needles). It’s a lighter version of Donegal Aran Tweed, with a new plied construction and a lovely range of colours. It’ll work for any aranweight pattern, and we think it’s going to be a firm favorite.

And the final touch to this project is an orderly row of buttons, and they really make it, don’t they? In short, we all want this wrap!

Celebrate with Carol Feller!

Carol is one of This Is Knit’s very favourite people, so we’re fierce thrilled to be hosting the launch of her new book. It’s entirely devoted to patterns shaped with short rows – you can see the Ravelry previews here.

Over the last couple of years, we’ve fallen in love with a lot of Carol’s short row shaping – Rossbeg and Ravi are big favourites round here, and right now her new Mithral Knit-Along is proving awfully popular. So an entire book of her short row magic? Oh, yes please!

At the launch, Carol will be talking to us about the designs and signing your books. There’ll be garment samples on hand for trying on, and we’ll have wine and nibbles to toast the book with. We’ve got a booking page right here for the launch, so grab your place! The event’s completely free – the booking is just to give us an idea of numbers. It’ll be great fun, and we’d love you to be there!

Date night!

What do you get if you put forty knitters and crocheters in a yarn shop, show them the gorgeous new stock that’s filling the shelves and let them play with it? Why, you get Yarn Dating! Let us tell you about Friday night!

It was such fun! For the first time, we hosted the whole event in the shop (well, and a bit of it outside, thanks to our neighbours at the Pepper Pot). So at half past seven, there was an impatient queue of people outside, eagerly looking through their information sheets and waiting for the doors to open…

What better time to get a second opinion on a swatch of stunning beaded lace? (The consensus was yes, the larger beads work better!)

Inside, the swatching stations were all set up, with samples – knitted or crocheted – of new yarn. No casting on required – all you had to do was pick up and stitch!

But this was speed-dating, so everyone got to meet all the hopefuls, moving from one numbered station to another….

And then we were off! Swatches to examine, and pattern books to plan with, and stitching to try…

Each date passed by in the twinkling of an eye, and before you knew it, the bell rang to move you on to your next assignation. The bell?

Yes, a proper school bell, wielded by Lisa from her post on the mezzanine!

There were sample garments to try on, with pride of place given to Carol Feller’s Mithral (have you read about Carol’s September knit-a-long?) There’s going to be a lot of these this winter, if Friday night is anything to go by – the picture at the very top is Fyberspates Cumulus for a Mithral, gleefully gathered up.

And if you needed help deciding which colour to choose, what better place to ask?

There were spot prizes too, and one very sneaky competition: Guess the Mystery Swatch!

Behind the curtain hung three swatches, so you could feel but not see them. By guessing what yarn they were made from, one lucky person won a fantastic bundle of goodies (congratulations, Maria!) It was harder than it looked, and only four people guessed all three correctly. José the Alpaca insisted on standing guard to prevent peeking, though we told him our customers were far too honourable for that sort of behaviour.

And there were old flames to meet too, like this delicious pile of Dublin Dye Company sockweight!

We hope you enjoyed Yarn Dating 2015 as much as we did, and we honestly can’t wait to see what you’ll make this autumn and winter. It’s a privilege to be a part of such a creative and fun-loving community, so thank you all!