Swatching for our Spring KAL

While the official cast on date for our Spring Knit-a-long is this coming Saturday the 4th of March, we know there will be some very diligent knitters out there, swatching away in their chose yarns in preparation.  Others among you might be reluctant, or even uncomfortable, with the concept of swatching. How do you know how big a swatch should be? Or be sure that you are measuring it correctly?

Well, luckily, we have two very informative blog posts from our archives to share with you today. One covers swatching for flat knitting and the other discusses swatches for knitting in the round.

All of our KAL projects are knit on circular needles and so, ideally, your tension should be measured over a piece of fabric that has been knit in the round. You should still have a read over both tutorials though, as there are some basics covered in the first article and they are referred back to in the second post.

A selection of Hedgehog Fibres Sock Yarn. One of the yarns suitable to be used in the This is Knit Spring Knitalong 2017

Getting the tension right is an essential part of successful knitting but it’s also very important to be sure that you like the fabric that is being created by your chosen yarn when it is knitted at that gauge. Do you think it will suit the design well? Do you want your fabric to be structured or flowing? Does the yarn show the stitch pattern well? Taking the time to ask these questions before actually casting on for a project is a really worthwhile exercise.  It’s all about starting well, before you actually start…

We’re on hand to offer advice and opinions if you have queries about any aspect of your swatching experience. If you are attending the Cast On Party then please bring along your tension pieces. Otherwise feel free to post questions here in the comments, over on the Ravelry thread or on social media using the hashtag #TIKKAL17

Join Our Spring KAL 2017

It’s almost time to get knitting! Have you chosen your Spring Knit-a-Long pattern yet? Our official cast on date will be Saturday the 4th of March, so there’s still time to review the pattern options discussed in our blog posts from last week.  We first looked at Carpino and Ravello, and then learned a little more about Timeless Henley and Nogat. It will be tough to choose a favourite!

Join the This is Knit Spring Knit-a-Long with a choice of four light weight sweater patterns from four independent designers, all knit in 4ply yarn.

How to Sign Up:

Choose your pattern and either purchase and download it direct from Ravelry or come in to the shop where we can purchase it for you, and add it to your Ravelry library.

Select your yarn, buy online or in our shop and receive a 10% discount with the code SKAL17

Make sure we have your details by signing up to be a KAL Member here. When signing up you also can let us know if you’ll be coming along to the our Cast On Party at 3pm on Saturday 4th of March.

A Little Help From Your Friends:

At the Cast On party we will be offering short demonstrations and general technique assistance, so be sure to come along armed with questions! We’ll also feature tips and tricks here on the blog, and there will be group support available through our dedicated thread over on Ravelry.

Ad hoc support will also be available in the shop, on the usual basis (5-10 minutes of assistance once a staff member is free) and you can also post questions to any of our social media accounts (using the hashtag #TIKKAL17) and we’ll get right back to you.

All-Important Prizes:

Everyone who completes their project before Saturday the 13th of May will be in with the chance to win some of our fabulous KAL prizes!

Our wonderful featured designers have each sponsored pattern prizes, and there will be TIK Goodie Bags up for grabs too!

So what are you waiting for? Sign up to participate in our Spring KAL today.

Two More Pattern Choices for our Spring KAL

Did you spot our Spring Knit-a-Long announcement earlier this week? In that post we introduced two of the four pattern options for this year’s KAL, so today we’re going to take a quick look at the other two designs – Timeless Henley and Nogat.

Timeless_Henley_2_medium2

TIMELESS HENLEY

A refined, tailored sweater with rib and lace details, Joji Locatelli’s Timeless Henley is the sweater that you would wear to Sunday brunch or tea with friends. The buttons on the henley neckline are carried through the design to the deep cuffs on the sleeves, and the lace motif is an easy-to-memorise repeat that lends further interest to the overall design.

Choosing this pattern would allow those of you who are comfortable with Top Down Raglan construction, to try Top Down Set In Sleeves for the first time.  This method will require close attention to gauge, which means diligent swatching, but again we’re here to help!

Set In Sleeves are generally considered to be the most flattering of sleeve shapes so, if you’re a fan of seamless knitting, it’s certainly worth giving this method a go.  For project inspiration you can click on through to Ravelry here.

A screenshot showing how to select Most Favourites as the sorting method when viewing finished projects on Ravelry

Also, to see the best and brightest versions of each design make sure you have selected “Most Favourites” from the drop down menu toward the top of the page.

Our top yarn picks for this pattern are Malabrigo Mechita and Hedgehog Fibres Sock Yarn (we received shipment from Hedgehog just this week).

Nogat by Justyna Lorkowska

NOGAT

Nogat really has it all going on: cables, lace, garter and rib plus a glamorous scooped neckline – this is one elegant sweater. The designer, Justyna Lorkowska, describes Nogat as a “lively and adventurous sweater”. This is one adventure we’d love to help you embark on!

We’re back to the Top Down Raglan method here, but the non-standard neckline should add an element of interest to the technique. And then the fun really starts, as every row will combine panels of intriguing stitch patterns.

There are many spectacular finished versions on Ravelry, and it would certainly be worth browsing through the projects to decide on the amount of ease and length that would suit your own shape best.  This is one of the many advantages of top-down knitting: you’ll be able to try on the garment and custom fit the project as you go.

As with all the project choices you can work them in any 4ply yarn, but we quite fancy Fade St 4ply and Debbie Bliss Rialto 4ply for this particular design.

Join the This is Knit Spring Knit-a-Long with a choice of four light weight sweater patterns from four independent designers, all knit in 4ply yarn.

Are you ready to join our Spring Knit-a-Long? Check back very soon for all the details on yarn discounts, fabulous prizes and, of course, how to register ahead of the start date of Saturday 4th of March.

Our Favourites in Falkland

You know those yarns, right? The ones you pick up just to try, and then they work their subtle charms upon you and your needles? Before you know it, you’re in love, and you find yourself returning to those skeins again and again. It’s a special kind of magic, because we all know there are too many yarns and so little time, but we’ve been captivated and we keep coming back for more…

Debbie Bliss Falkland Aran selection of shades photographed by This is Knit, Dublin

Our latest crush? Debbie Bliss Falkland Aran.

At first glance you might be forgiven for thinking this is just another Merino yarn. However, it stands apart when you learn that the fibres are sourced exclusively from organically-farmed sheep in the Falkland Islands. The fleece of the Falkland sheep is also particularly white, so the resulting dyed shades are pure and lustrous in the skein. This quality really is visible in the finished yarn and it shines through to the knitted fabric too.

We have not one, not two but three shop projects in this yarn to share with you today and we think they demonstrate the versatility and the squishability of this yarn. (Did we mention we’re in love?)

The Curam Hat by Ysolda Teague knit in Debbie Bliss Falkland Aran, Shop Sample at This is Knit Dublin, laid flat and styled with co-ordinating yarn and needles.

Cúram by Ysolda Teague

A deep rib, striking cables and a perfect pom pom topper. Cúram is a hat that will get noticed!  The snug folded brim is optional, but as it’s both practical and stylish it was a winner for us. We love this in the rich Claret shade but it would be stunning in Ecru too.

Barley Hat by TinCanKnits, knit in Debbie Bliss Falkland Aran, modelled at This is Knit, Dublin

The Barley Hat

The Barley Hat from TinCanKnits is an ideal first project if you are learning to knit in the round and the perfect quick-knit if you’re already a whiz with circular needles.  Whether you prefer the beanie or slouchy style there’s plenty of yarn in one skein of Falkland Aran to make your hat of choice. Don’t forget the pattern comes in sizes from baby all the way up to adult large, and that TinCanKnits have wonderful tutorials on their site to walk you through the pattern if this is your first adventure in hat knitting.

The Gothic Lace Cowl by TinCanKnits in Falkland Aran from Debbie Bliss at This is Knit, Dublin

The Gothic Lace Cowl

Another fabulous design from TinCanKnits, the Gothic Lace Cowl features a simple, satisfying and quick stitch pattern. Again this is an ideal project for a new lace knitter and a full tutorial is provided if you’d like to jump in and try something new.

So there you have it. A yarn that shines in stockinette and creates cables with spectacular definition. As you can see, it works up just as well in cushy garter stitch as it does in detailed lace repeats. You can see why we fell for it, can’t you?


Curam Hat by Ysolda Teague knit in Debbie Bliss Falkland Aran modelled in This is Knit, Dublin

Is there any one particular yarn you are head over heels for? We’d love to hear about it in the comments!

Join our Indie Designer Knit-a-Long this March

It will soon be Knit-a-Long time again here at This is Knit, and this year we’re encouraging you all to dive in to lightweight garment knitting for spring.

Join the This is Knit Spring Knit-a-Long with a choice of four light weight sweater patterns from four independent designers, all knit in 4ply yarn.

This year we’re all about lightweight garments, with a choice of 4 stunning sweaters, all knit in 4-ply yarn and coming from 4 of our favourite Independent Designers.

We’ve selected a range of designs, covering several unique techniques and across a spectrum of skill levels, so there’s something here for everyone. We’d encourage you to choose a pattern that’s just a bit out of your comfort zone though, and then make use of all the support that will be available to make that project a reality. Our aim is to help you learn some new skills along the way and to enjoy the process of knitting along with other members of the extended TIK community.

With four patterns to choose from we’re going to take a closer look today at two of the four designs: Carpino and Ravello.

Check back soon for our post highlighting options three and four for this KAL: “Timeless Henley” and “Nogat”. We’ll wrap everything up in a third blog post, with all the details about the yarn discount, the prizes on offer and the plans for our KAL Cast On Event!

CARPINO

Are you familiar with the top-down raglan technique, but would like to take it to the next level? Then Carpino may be the choice for you.  This refined design from Carol Feller features a simple lace repeat that adds texture and interest to the finished garment.

Carpino by Carol Feller
(c) Brooklyn Tweed / Jared Flood

For colour and styling inspiration have a browse through the beautiful selection of finished versions here on Ravelry.  As you can see, this design works well in many yarn types, but our suggestions are Debbie Bliss Fine Donegal and Townhouse Yarns Camden Tweed.

RAVELLO

Simple and stylish, Ravello by Isabell Kraemer is an ideal easy-going knit for those of you dipping your toes in the 4ply water… This design uses the seamless top-down raglan method too, so there’s no sewing up to worry about. It’s also a perfect choice if you’d like to mix in a bit of stash yarn to your KAL project, as you can base your colour choices around that special skein or two.

Ravello by Isabell Kraemer
(c) grasflecken

Again there’s lots of project inspiration on Ravelry, and we’d be delighted to help you with colour choices in the shop or by email.  We think Malabrigo Sock will be a popular option for this design and Juniper Moon Herriot Fine could be a winner too.

So what do you think of our line up so far? Are you tempted to jump in and knit either of these designs? Check back soon for more KAL info (including how to join in!), ahead of our official cast on date of Saturday 4th March…

Marvellous Mechita

We think all weeks should begin with project inspiration, so we’re sharing two beautiful staff knits today, both knit in “Mechita” from Malabrigo Yarns.

Emiliana by Lisa Hannes knit in Malabrigo Mechita

If you’re already familiar with Malabrigo Yarns then you will know they specialise in semi-solid and variegated shades, dyed on sumptuously soft merino bases. The Mechita line is a superwash merino, single spun, 4ply / fingering weight yarn and we have some stunning deep jewel tones on our shelves right now.

Emiliana by Lisa Hannes is the most popular project on Ravelry for this yarn, and it’s easy to see why. The shawl uses mosaic knitting to striking effect, especially when two highly contrasting shades are used, as is the case with our sample. Jacqui chose two rich, vibrant shades of Mechita that would contrast well to show the pattern clearly.  The result is an eye-catching, generously sized wrap in versatile colours for everyday wear.

We can’t take our eyes off the mosaic effect – it’s hard to believe that it’s achieved using only one colour per row. If you’d like to learn more about the technique (and maybe even design your own mosaic shawl) then check out the upcoming workshop Melanie Berg workshop on this very topic.

Fallston by Dee O'Keefe knit in Malabrigo Mechita

Our second project is a study of garter stitch and lace – Fallston by Dee O’Keefe. This time around there’s a deliberate interplay in the colour choices, with the predominantly purples and blues of “Whales Road”, occasionally lighting on teal and mirroring the lace section’s use of “Teal Feather”.

Maria found working with Mechita a pleasure, and is really pleased with both the drape of her finished shawl and how well the yarn blocked to show off the lace stitch patterns.  Or, in her own words:

“It’s sooo nommy!”

We can’t help but agree.

Do you have a favourite Malabrigo yarn? Or a favourite colourway from the Malabrigo range?

Playful Workshops for the Creative Community

You may have already heard that Kate O’Sullivan from “A Playful Day” is coming to This is Knit in May. Her workshops are now open for booking and, in today’s blog, we’re sharing a little background as to why that makes us very excited indeed!

If you’d just like to go straight to reserving your place then click away on the title images below and you’ll be magically whooshed over to our booking system.

Event Title Image for Discover Your Writing Style with A Playful Day

Event Title Image for Telling Your Story Online  with A Playful Day

Title Image for Visual Story Telling and Smartphone Photography with Kate O'Sullivan of A Playful Day

We were very lucky to celebrate our 10th year in business last year. Back in early 2006 “This is Knit” was but a twinkle in our eye: a vision of a vibrant space, filled with like-minded crafters, all squishing and coo-ing over a delicious ranges of top quality yarns. We are so fortunate to have made that dream a reality and we are keen to carry on building our business and to continue fostering the great sense of community that exists around the knitting and crochet scene in Ireland.

We’ve always been keen too, to support fellow creative businesses along the way. It’s an ethos that Kate O’Sullivan shares. She is a strong believer in the power of collaboration and community support and, by partnering with Kate this May, we hope to help bring all of *your* creative plans to life.

Would you like to launch a blog, a podcast, or grow your existing online audience? Do you own a creative business and would you like help telling your brand’s story online? Are you a budding knitwear designer or Etsy store owner?  Kate’s experience in journalism, blogging, copy-writing, product branding and social media and will help you stand out from the crowd.

Over the weekend of the 13th and 14th of May we have a trio of tempting workshops to choose from. Click on the images below to reserve your place, and remember that a 10% discount will automatically apply if you book to attend 2 or more of the sessions.

Promo for Discover Your Writing Style a Workshop by Kate O'Sullivan of A Playful Day at This is Knit in May 2017

Promo for Telling Your Story Online a Workshop by Kate O'Sullivan of A Playful Day at This is Knit in May 2017

Promo for Visual Story Telling - a Workshop by Kate O'Sullivan of A Playful Day at This is Knit in May 2017