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Garter Flap Hat

We meet a lot of customers in the shop who confess to having “too many” projects on the go at home. This fact is whispered conspiratorially, often guiltily, and quite often during a purchase of yarn for a new project to be started.

Of course, we understand, I’m sure not I’d like to know the actually number of items that I have languishing half-finished on needles, scattered around my house.

That said I think there’s a great benefit to be had from not feeling too tied-down to a project. Sometimes our enthusiasm can wane mid-way through a second sleeve (as is currently happening with my Nanook) and all we need is a little pick-me-up: a quick project to boost the knitting mojo again, to remind us that FOs can and *will* happen, and we’ll be delighted that we plugged on through another few inches of stockinette.

Garter Flap Hat

And, for me, the Garter Ear Flap Hat from the wonderful Purl Soho website has been that project. A two-night diversion, with just enough detail in the techniques to keep things interesting. The clever short row shaping used for the ear flaps creates a flowing, seamless finish, and the visible line of double decreases lead in to a pleasingly whimsical tassel.

The pattern is free and this baby size version was knit using less than one ball of Katia’s Cotton-Merino. All in all, a pretty much guilt-free diversion, one which has magically restored my mojo.

Now… where’s that second sleeve?


“Using smaller needles and yarn held double…”

Does the idea of knitting with two (or more) strands of yarn at the same time give you the spooks? We’re hear to tell you that, despite the day that’s in it, there’s no need to fear!

Pictured above are Nadia’s two Barley hats, a lovely Daddy and Daughter set, knit using two strands of 4ply held together. In this case Nadia had the perfect yarns in mind from her stash (Camden Tweed and Hedgehog Sock Yarn) but needed to make them work for a pattern knit at a much thicker tension. Thankfully using two strands created the perfect fabric for this design (which calls for a worsted or aran weight yarn).

But wasn’t it awkward? Did she find it hard to identify each stitch? Were there lots of snagged and dropped stitches? Actually, not at all!


As you can see above the two strands of yarn actually end up quite snug together, and sit quite neatly at the top of their respective columns of stitches. Each stitch is readily identifiable and, should you ever accidentally knit in to only one strand, it’s a quick thing to catch and fix.

And what about the look of the fabric? Do we get uneven stitches, a muddle of texture, gaps and lumps? Again, nope!


You’d have to look very close indeed to see that two strands were used, and we’re actually quite in love with the effect of Camden Tweed held double. The resulting fabrics are plush and soft, and just perfect for keeping everyone warm this Halloween!

Events like last Saturday’s really bring home how lucky we are to work within a community of such talented and creative individuals. It’s incredible to think back to Carol’s first free pattern in Knitty and to see how far her clever designs have taken her (with a lot of hard work along the way I’m sure).

So we thought it would be a good time to showcase some other local designers – Yvonne McSwiney and Eimear Earley – as they have each recently released new patterns, and they both happen to be adorable knits for little ones!

Camden Twist

First up is Camden Twist by Eimear: a 4ply cardigan of top-down construction, with just enough cabling to keep things interesting, and to tie in with the look and feel of Townhouse Yarns Camden Tweed. This cardigan is available in sizes ranging from 0-3 months to 2 years and is absolutely free. Go check it out!


Yvonne has covered sizes all the way up to 14 years with this refined saddle-shoulder vest: Castleknock. The design is clever, using interesting techniques to achieve a tailored finish. This vest is also knit in Yvonne’s very own yarn, Swing Sock, demonstrating that she is a woman of many talents! :)

Thanks for the wonderful designs ladies – we look forward to seeing what you come up with next…


The Short Row Knits Book Launch last Saturday was an event full of good will – and how could it not have been when it was so made up of so many great people and an impressive array of simply gorgeous knits?

It was a busy day at the shop, but we did manage to squeeze in some extra decor that morning, such as the impromptu bunting above that was on proud display before Carol’s arrival for the kick off at 4.30pm.


It didn’t take long for the shop to fill up then, with visitors from all corners of Ireland, including one extra special little guy who was definitely in contention with Carol for the title of star guest!


Carol was on hand for the entire evening, signing books, offering technical advice and taking us on a tour through Short Row Knits and Dovestone Hills with a quick talk and a mini fashion show.



Of course one of the best things about any event like this is the chance to fondle and try on the actual garments from the book, and there were many “oohs” and “aaahs” coming from the Mezzanine level, as projects lept up the ranks in people’s queues (and in a lot of cases were going to be cast on on the journey home!)

Brilliant Night

We’re really delighted you could all come, and that Carol chose to have the launch with us. It was such a fun evening and it was brilliant to see you all!

PS: If you couldn’t make it in on the day then we do still have limited stock of some signed copies of Short Row Knits available. They can be ordered online or set aside for collection in the shop – just comment below if you’d like one held for you.


It’s Yarn Club time again!

We’re delighted to be launching the Irish Yarn Club 2016 this coming Thursday the 15th October. This will be the third year of the Club and both Carol and myself are particularly excited about some of the collaborations and innovations that will be happening this coming year. We’re immensely proud to be bringing together the very best of the hand-dyed Irish yarn scene with installments from Hedgehog Fibres, from Townhouse Yarns and from the Dublin Dye Company in partnership with Donegal Yarns.

If you’re curious about previous years, you can view some images of past yarns and find out a little more about the patterns that have accompanied them here.

By signing up to be a member of the Club you will receive three installments of gorgeous hand-dyed yarn, in an exclusive colourway, in February, April and June 2016. Timed to co-ordinate with each yarn release you will also receive a digital copy of a brand new Carol Feller accessory pattern. This is a fantastic opportunity to learn new skills under Carol’s expert guidance, provided through detailed explanations of techniques in the patterns themselves and through the Club’s discussion group on Ravelry.

So put the 15th of October in your diary and be sure to join in the fun!

Advent Calendar

This box of pure fun and delight has taken pride of place on the shop floor recently… It’s a preview of a very special product that we are currently accepting pre-orders for: the Opal Advent Calendar 2015!

As you would expect, this box has 24 tantalising little windows and each side is adorned with a fun Christmas cartoon. Behind each window lies a special mini 15g ball of Opal Sock yarn and each one has its own festive ball band too!

24 fun days of knitting and the ideal early Christmas gift (to yourself, or a special knitter in your life)!

The Calendar retails for €74.95 and if you would like to pre-order please contact us before the 16th of October .

Carol Feller

Where did the idea come from for an entire book using Short Row techniques?

I’ve always loved knitting with short rows; when I begin knitting again it was one of the first advanced techniques I learned in order to create bust darts. However I wasn’t really happy with my short rows so I started to investigate and experiment. From there I discovered how many different types of short row techniques there are out there and the variety of things you can do with them. For the next several years I began perfecting my technique and using them in almost all my patterns. This naturally led to teaching short rows in person which in turn became my very popular free short row class on Craftsy.

When I began discussing a new book with Potter Craft I knew I wanted to do a book that was a technique workshop as well as a pattern book. That way knitters will want to reference it for years to come even after they’ve finished the patterns. Short rows seemed like the perfect subject as they are probably one of the most useful knitting techniques out there! At the same time I did a second class on Craftsy (Essential Short Row Techniques) that dovetails with the book.

Short Row Knits

Your knitwear design career has taken you to some far-flung places! I know the Craftsy classes are filmed in Denver and that you really enjoy visiting there. Did you ever imagine that knitting would open up so many opportunities for you?

If you had told me several years ago that knitting was going to be a passport to travel the world I’d have either laughed at you or thought you were crazy! I’m not a very careful planner at a macro level (micro planning I do thought!) so each new development and opportunity for me happened quite organically with one flowing into the next. At the beginning of my career I wrote an article on Kerry Woollen Mills for Yarnforward magazine. This got me thinking about Irish yarn which prompted me to write my first book; ‘Contemporary Irish Knits’. After this book was launched I began attending the TNNA tradeshow in the US and this book got me my first offer of teaching from Craftsy to do the Celtic Cables class.

I want to continue to create new designs, explore new construction methods and challenge myself as a designer and teacher. In order to do this I’ve got to be fluid in my approach and be open to new possibilities.

Dovestone Hills

Speaking of new possibilities – you always seem to embrace new ways of connecting with the knitters that choose your patterns, for example via the KALs you run on Ravelry. How do you find the time to run these knit-a-longs, with all your other commitments? And what has been your most successful KAL to date?

To manage all of my commitments I do lots of juggling and very little housework, I wish I was joking but I’m not :-) The reality is that there is no way to extend the hours in the day so something will always give. I do the bare minimum of housework so that it still functions, but that’s it. I try to finish every evening with a list of important tasks for the next day and do my best to get at least a few done in the morning.

Work goes in waves, when I’m feeling rested and family demands are low I can power thorough blog posts, patterns and edits without a bother. Other weeks they could take the whole week instead of a day. I try hard to accept that we’re not machines and you can’t work consistently all the time.

Every morning my priority is always knitters; I start by answering all email queries, Ravelry questions (forums and messages) and then visit Craftsy. If I get to them again later that’s great but on a busy day it won’t always happen!

Interaction with knitters is what keeps me energised and focused. Without knitters my patterns would just stay on paper. This is why KALs (knitalongs) have become such a big part of my work. I get to spend a lot of time focusing on one pattern; writing tips, tutorials and clues. Then the fun starts, knitters are swatching, picking sizes, figuring out mods and having a great time together.

I love how much knitters get out of KALs; along the way we’ve had a lot of first time sweater knitters who finished them off and loved them :-) The first KAL I did was for my 100th pattern, Ravi, that’s probably still the most popular of my KALs. This year I wanted to experiment a little and I’m trying something new, a KAL that is run in conjunction with LYSs and the yarn company Fyberspates; Mithral Every year knitters were trying to meet up in person, arranging it on Ravelry. It made sense to me to try and bring in a LYS partnership so that knitters could meet in person as well as online. Mitheral’s first clue is out 1st of October and so far knitters seem to love having LYSs involved, it just feels like extending the knitting family!

Short Row Knits

So now that Short Row Knits is published, what’s next for Carol Feller?

In the next few months my initial priority is promoting my 2 new books; Dovestone Hills and Short Row Knits. This involves a lot of writing work for blog posts as well as travel to shows and of course the wonderful book launch with you on the 17th of October! At the same time in the background plans are afoot for the Irish Yarn Club 2016. For the last 2 year I’ve done an Irish Yarn Club with TIK and this year we’re planning and scheming for some very exciting new developments. I think knitters are going to just love some of the yarn/colour choices that we’re putting together for the 2016 club and hopefully they’ll like the patterns that go with the amazing yarn :-)

Solo & Strife


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…


Cln’s Nanook in Malabrigo Rios


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?


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!

Flash Sale

There are buckets of bargains to be had in our Flash Sale. Deals must end at midnight this Sunday 4th Oct.

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!

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