Articles by thisisknit

You are currently browsing thisisknit’s articles.

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!

That’s part of a Snawheid. It’s a Kate Davies design, so of course the pattern is gorgeous, but this hat here? It’s just a bit…meh. It’s made with Navia Duo, which is lovely yarn and ideal for the job, and the stranded colourwork is very nicely done. Meh. Mustard and grey is a classic combination. Whatever: meh.

But this unfortunate hat is a perfect excuse for learning a little about how colour works. One of the things that distinguish colours is how far from white and black they are. It’s called colour value. And if we’re presented with two things of different colours and they have the same value, our brain notices and mutters “They’re the same!” And in this case, the knitter’s brain adds “That’s a boring hat!”

Happily, there’s a really easy way to avoid this which saves you time and money, and we were reminded of it by bioniclaura this week.

If you convert a colour picture to greyscale, you can see the values very clearly. So we did this with the picture at the top of the post, and here’s the result:

The stranded colourwork vanishes completely. That’s why this hat is uninteresting. Your brain notices that there’s no value difference.

Of course, it would have been good (and would have saved time!) to check this before starting. Well, here’s a picture of the two balls of Navia:

Converted to greyscale, that image looks like this, and you can tell it’s not going to end well:

Any digital camera will have a “monochrome” or a “black and white” setting, and so do most cameraphones – if you don’t know where to find this, a quick look in your manual will help. Click over to that setting when you’re choosing your yarn for colourwork and then snap a picture of your options. If they look like a good pairing when you subtract the colour, then you’re on the right path, regardless of the type of colourwork you’re planning.

Here’s a couple of examples. Here’s a likely-looking pair of yarns, both Malabrigo Rastita:

Changed to greyscale in the camera, this is the result, and it really does look promising, doesn’t it?

And ta da! here’s the finished product, a glorious Epistropheid hat!

Given the black and white treatment, you can see why this works so well – the colour values are deliciously distinct. Happy brain, happy knitter!

If you’re interested in reading more about colour theory in knitting, Knitty magazine has an excellent article here. Thanks again to Laura for inspiring this post!

By the way, this Epistropheid is now sporting a fake fur pompom from the new stock that we promised you last week, and Jacqui can’t be persuaded to take it off!

With storms and snow still the order of the day, it’s perfect weather for showing off warm and cosy woollen things, and here’s one of the best, shown here by our newest knitwear model. This adorable little jumper is called Anders. It’s knitted seamlessly from the top down and it’s sized from three months to two years.

It’s got a buttoned placket so it’s easy to get on and off small wriggling people, and the colourwork is easy as pie. It’s designed for sportweight, so Lisa chose Malabrigo Rastita. A slightly felted single, it’s wonderfully warm, and just look at the colours!

And as you can see, Anders is the very best thing to wear if you’re going exploring at this time of year.

If we had our way, there’d be pompoms on pretty much everything! There’s two of them, adding extra dotiness to our Candy Floss Baby Booties (ahhhh!)

We put a jaunty one on our Thistle hat, of course. Pompoms like this are great for using up the remainder of a ball of wool, too, and they even have a practical purpose: if it’s snowing, the bobbing around of the pompom stops snow settling on top of your head!

Pompoms are terrifically easy to make. You can use circles cut out of cardboard (Vogue Knitting has a great photo tutorial at this link). An even easier, and more robust, option is a pompom maker like our Clover ones – you can see how they work on Clover’s video here.

Looking for a quick way to make teenytiny pompoms like the Candy Floss ones? Well, the incredibly clever Eskimimi’s got this covered over on her blog: hint! there’s cutlery involved!

But pompoms don’t have to be made out of yarn, either. Jen’s Epistropheid – the very one we featured in Tuesday’s colourwork post – just wouldn’t be the same without its great big funfur pompom! We have these in stock in red and white at the moment, but there’s a big delivery due in the next couple of days with lots and lots more!

Finally, if you find yourself needing to make a lot of pompoms in a hurry, here’s a video we found just for you! Garlands of pompons filling the house? Why not?

We’d love to hear what you’re putting pompoms on – let us know in the comments below!

It’s early days, but 2015 is looking like a Big Year for colourwork! It all started with Kate Davies’ adorable Epistropheid. There’s been a wee outbreak of them among our customers, and we’re jumping on that bandwagon with glee! Stranded colourwork is easy, fun to work and, best of all right now, so warm!

Epistropheid is very fast to work, and it’s such a good introduction to stranded colourwork. It’s designed for DK, and some of our first-time colourworkers have had it started and finished within thirty six hours!

Another splendid choice for your first stranded colourwork is the Easy Ombre Slouch, which was one of our most popular gift kits over Christmas.

There’s plenty of resources online to help you with stranded colourwork too, and a very good place to start is Stranded, the stranded colourwork group on Ravelry.

If you’re looking for a group to embark on colourwork with, then we hear that the Brooks Hotel knitting group is starting a colourwork Knit-Along this coming Thursday. You can work any colourwork pattern you like, but several people are starting the amazing Sanquhar Cowl. There’s details here.

And if you fancy learning colourwork in one of our classes, the next one is coming up on the 28th of February, and you can nab your place at this link.

« Older entries § Newer entries »