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On Tuesday we mentioned how much delight we get from seeing your finished objects. Well, you can imagine our glee when one of our customers came into the shop with a bag full of these beauties. We thought you’d like to see them too, so we begged her for pictures to show you.

Above, you can see her Life Cycle Baby Blanket. By now it’s been sent off to fulfil its purpose, keeping a tiny person all snug, so we were lucky to get to see it. The knitting is beautiful, and the combination of Malabrigo Sock in Ochre and Laura Nelkin‘s pattern is perfect – what an heirloom to keep generations of babies cozy.

Next to appear was a Clarus Shawl, in Coolree Yarns Merino/Silk fingering (the colour’s Ocean Green). It’s another Laura Nelkin pattern, too.

And finally, we got to admire Catherine’s first lace shawl, Skywalker, and what a début it is.

By now, you won’t be surprised that Laura Nelkin designed this too – that’s some recommendation for her work! This is also made in Coolree Yarns Merino/Silk, in This Is Knit’s exclusive Inkwell colourway.

Catherine, thank you so much for letting us feature your gorgeous lace. It’s a real treat, and we can’t wait to see what you make next!

Here’s a spectacular finished object, knitted by Jaclyn Allen, a good friend of This Is Knit. It’s from Boo Knits’ gorgeous Wintersweet pattern, which comes as no surprise: stunning lace, lots of beading!

This example is made from Juniper Moon Findley laceweight, and the colour is Hyacinth. At a generous 730 metres a ball, there’s more than enough to knit Wintersweet, which takes just 550.

Our very favourite thing is seeing the yarn comes back to visit when it’s become your projects. Thank you, Jaclyn!

Pembroke

Our Valentines Competition was huge fun. We’re always amazed at your inventiveness, and we’re still giggly and touched by the entries. You can see them all here!

In case you missed it on twitter and facebook, the winner was Sinéad, getting in with less than an hour to go before the 14th, with a very up-to-the-minute entry:

I love you much more than knitting colours all day,
Though I hear there’s some fun in just shades of Grey,
So wrap me head to toe in softest Pembroke,
And maybe I’ll give you that “come hither” look.

Congratulations, Sinéad – we can’t wait to see what you make with your gorgeous Pembroke Silk! And keep an eye out for our next competition – we love them so much, there’s bound to be another one soon!

We’ve been talking a lot about pompoms recently, and one question keeps coming up: what’s the best way of attaching one securely to a hat? Well, we had an intriguing suggestion tweeted at us recently, so we resolved to try it out.

It’s very simple, and that picture shows it in practice. Instead of just sewing the pompom to the hat fabric, sew it to a button on the wrong side of the hat. The button, nestling into the top of the hat, distributes the pulling of the pompom and makes it much less likely to come loose. You’ll find our tutorial on sewing on buttons at this link.

So yes, it works!

Together

In the last month or so, there’s been a delightful surge in impromptu Knit-Alongs. Through twitter or facebook, or from this blog, people get inspired and before you know it, there’s starting together and working through and gleeful sharing of finished objects all over the place.

We’ve seen the Epistropheid phenomenon, and there’s still a lot of Il Grande Favoritos in progress, and now there’s another one. Started by Carol Feller on her blog, here’s another pair, both cardigans. A lot of people are casting on Talamh, but there’s also a whole lovely set of Ravis. You see, Ravi is one of our very favourite things…

…not only the adult version, but also Ravi Junior, the clever, stylish and frankly faster child’s version:


Image © Eimear Earley (deimne on Ravelry); used with permission.

And here’s Jen’s sunshiny yellow version, with the best buttons ever!

Over on Ravelry, there’s pages and pages of practical support from Carol, as well as other knitters, on the February 2015 Mini KAL thread. So why not leap into the fun?

We’re amazed at the response to our Valentine’s Competition – reading your entries makes us smile so much.

So here’s a suggestion to enter if you haven’t done so yet, and a reminder that you can enter as often as you like. The prize is a skein of stunning Townhouse Pembroke Silk, which is the yarn in the Heaven Scent shawl up above. We’ll pick a winner on February 14th, so there’s three more days to go!

Now, who’s got a rhyme for “Pembroke”?

You know those patterns that make you want to drop everything and cast on? Well, this is one of those, so we did. There’s currently five of these gorgeous jumpers either finished or in progress among our staff, and we reckon there’s going to be a lot more.

It’s called Il Grande Favorito, and it’s the softest, comfiest thing you can imagine. It’s fast and easy, knitted from the top down with a touch of short row shaping on the back. The garter stitch front contrasts so elegantly with the plain stocking stitch back and sleeves.

It’s designed for sportweight, so Lisa hit on the excellent plan of combining Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino (dozens of colours, from dramatic to pastel) with a toning shade of Fyberspates Cumulus, holding a strand of each together all the way through. As you can see, the result is a fabric that’s both substantial and hazy:

No surprise, then, that this has become our favourite thing, and we wouldn’t be at all surprised if it became one of ours too!

Our last post on colourwork technique was about choosing colours that work together well. Choosing the orange and dark grey in the little swatch above gives a fabric with good contrast: the small diamond motifs pop out pleasingly.

But what’s happened here? This is the same yarn, the same needles and the same knitter – in fact, it’s the other side of the same swatch. But the little diamond motifs look smaller and in places nearly hidden inside the grey fabric. This is yarn dominance: you want the contrast to sing out, not shrink into the background. The difference between the two pictures is simply how the yarn was held.

If you want your contrast yarn to be dominant, make sure it’s the one that is held beneath the background colour. When you’re feeding a colour from each hand, that means simply holding the contrast in your left hand. If you’re holding both in one hand, then you’ll need to watch which colour is the lower one. And that’s it.

If you want to see this in action, then cast on a small swatch like ours and experiment. The difference will surprise you.

Love

We know for some of you the 14th of Feb is a key date in your calendar, and for others it’s a “Hallmark Holiday” to be ignored. But… if you indulge your hidden romantic for a moment to join our fun “Valentine Verse” competition then you could WIN a skein of delicious “Pembroke Silk” from Townhouse Yarns.

Pembroke

So, impossible as it is to imagine, there are some people in our lives that we love more than our craft, and we’re asking you to complete the phrase “I love you much more than…” along a knitting or crochet theme.

For example:

I love you much more than Pure Cashmere Scarves,
made of hand-dyed yarns from far away shores.

or how about:

I love you much more than my Colour Affection,
perhaps you might buy me the yarn for my next one?

or even:

I love you much more than my whole yarn stash,
And, really, you know how much I love that!

Simply post your entry (or entries) in the comments below, and we will select a lucky winner on Valentines Day!

Theere’s something about that weather outside that’s calling for quick knits in comforting fibres. We’ve got just the yarn, and it’s called Herriot Great! It’s from Juniper Moon Farm and it’s 120 metres of the cosiest, softest baby alpaca you can imagine.

The sample hat we have on show at the moment is called, simply, the Herriot Hat, and it takes just a single skein. As you can see, it’s a fast knit with a clever smocked brim, and the pattern is free on Ravelry. It’s a quick weekend project, and the result is so warm and smart. And just look at the colour range!

Yes, that’s another fun fur pompom. It’s great, too!

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