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Ever wanted to know what your favourite staff members are up to outside of This Is Knit? Well, you guessed it: we are knitting or crocheting most of the time. We thought you might like a little view into what we are up too, as most of our projects never make it up on Ravelry before they are gifted away or worn never to be taken off again. So over to Nadia!

Long ago I used to be a scientist. This is most definitely something you should know, so when I was asked to write a blog post, I said I would with lots of enthusiasm and head nods. When faced with a blank page, well, you stick to what you know.

Experiments in knitting

Aim:

To knit the Baby Kimono by Elizabeth Jarvis

Apparatus:

2 balls of Sirdar Baby Bamboo Snuggly DK in taupe shade 170.

1 Pair of 4.5mm Needles (I used 4.5mm circular)

2 Heart Shaped wooden buttons from This Is Knit.

1 sewing up needle

Method:

This little kimono is worked flat and then seamed with simple straightforward instructions of K2tog or m1 for shaping.

Results:

Taa Daa!!

Discussion:

I’ve learned a few things from this little project. This is the second baby kimono that I have made but is definitely the winner and it’s because of the yarn, not the pattern. The baby bamboo was a dream to work with but a nightmare to seam. You would think the fact that I work in TIK and that I warn people on a weekly basis that bamboo is hard to seam that this would somehow impact on my needle size decision…yup I’m quite frankly an idiot!

Now considering the fact that bamboo is a slippery little sucker you would think I would choose a 4mm or 3.75mm needle to knit this but nope. I didn’t swatch (I know, but who swatches for a child’s garment, right? They are going to fit eventually ahem) so when I washed the sweater it bloomed into a beautifully soft sleek fabric that I loved, until I had to seam. In the end my needle size left weaving in the ends and matching the decreasing quite difficult but with careful unpicking and re-sewing it turned out fab!! I would definitely recommend using locking stitch markers or safety pins to pin out the blocked garment before sewing and if your inner voice is screaming at you to get more but you can’t get your bum off the couch and up the stairs to get them, well expect to pay the consequences :/

I followed this pattern quite closely and I did lengthen the sleeves a little so that I could roll them up or down to get more growth out of the kimono as the buttons are movable and you make button holes on the inside of the sweater too so it’s designed to grow with babies. I also love that the two balls and buttons came in under €11, which is amazing for how expensive this looks in person.

Previously I knit this Baby Kimono by Joji (also a free pattern) which is knit in garter stitch and all in one piece from the top down and I loved the fact that when I cast off I was done with only one or 2 ends to weave in. My perfect combination of a kimono pattern would be a stocking stitch top down all in one piece and there are in fact 6 pages of Ravelry patterns to choose from. I love how I only came to this realisation after I knitted both patterns.

Conclusion:

I can’t stress how much I love this yarn, it’s fantastic and a perfect choice for babies if you’re looking for an alternative to wool and cotton. This pattern is well written with no mistakes so it shouldn’t invoke the knitter rage (you know what I’m talking about) and makes a sweet little heirloom. Just please swatch with bamboo and save yourself my headache of seaming. Also this little guy earned me two Winter Ravellenics Medals from Bobicus himself! Woo!

Spring is clearly on the way. The weather’s shown an upturn over the last few days, and we’ve got new Spring/Summer yarn and garments in the shop.

One of the loveliest this year is Louisa Harding’s brand new Noema. It’s a cotton/acrylic blend, and it’s got the prettiest long colour changes which work up into a dappled tweedy fabric.

The cardigan in the image above is called Azurine, and it’s one of the fourteen garment and accessory pattern in the Noema booklet. It’s such a Louisa Harding signature piece: pretty to wear and straightforward to knit. The largest size takes only six balls, so it’s quick as well as terribly versatile.

We have a winner!

Our Valentine’s Prize Draw closed at midnight last night, and we’re delighted to announce the winner!

So…drumroll, please…

…congratulations to Orla Ní Bhroin! You’ve won our super prize of a Karbonz Interchangeable set, three balls of Debbie Bliss’s new Juliet Summer Tweed and the Juliet pattern book!

There’s many hours of happy knitting there, and we’re certain you’ll love every one, Orla!

Today, we’re featuring a guest post from Ken McCamish, a very good friend of ours who lives in Jeffersonville, Southern Indiana. When he told us how his car reacted to his knitting, we wanted to share it with you, so over to Ken!

We call it The Passenger. It’s the name given to my cone of Donegal Tweed I purchased at This is Knit.

The whole thing started out as a simple overseas trip to Ireland with my nephew, Cody. Since I’d never been to Ireland, the first thing I wanted to do was log onto my favorite hotel-finding site and have another window open with knitmap.com in it. Doesn’t everyone use this method to find hotels? I settled on Brooks Hotel, which looked lovely on the website and which was a very short walk to a yarn store called This is Knit.

This is Knit turned out to be a wonderful shop. It’s one of those shops where a yarn enthusiast feels right at home even though he’s 6,000 or more kilometers from home. I dutifully picked up a nice collection of yarn and then I saw a display for Contemporary Irish Knits, by Carol Feller. As I was flipping through its pages, my nephew came up behind me and noticed the Straboy sweater.

“I want one of those! Make me one of those!”

Normally I’d have shrugged it off but as my nephew was starting to express an interest in knitting and since I’m willing to do anything to get another family member into the fold, I agreed to make one for him. Nadia told me that if I wished, the shop could order the yarn on a cone and ship it to my house in America for a little less than it would cost to buy the yarn in skeins. I could get two of the sweaters from one cone! Since I’d never bought yarn cones, I knew I had to do it that way!

The yarn arrived sooner than expected and since it was cheaper than estimated, Lisa gave me shop credit. (Credit in yarn is like good cheese. There’s no such thing as too much!) I packed up the project to take to work that first night after receiving my cone. I had the book, appropriate needles and sundries, and my cone of Donnegal Tweed in the passenger seat of the car. As soon as I pulled out of the driveway I heard a beeping noise. My car was complaining that my passenger was not wearing a seatbelt.

If I wasn’t already a Knitter with a capital “K” for using knitmap to decide what hotel to book in a new city, I think I earned it the night my car mistook my yarn for a passenger. My husband, Dani, dubbed that yarn cone The Passenger and it has kept that moniker ever since.

“Are you taking the Passenger to work?”
“No, I’m going to work on these socks tonight instead . . . .”

The Straboy was not nearly as hard as I’d expected once I’d gotten the mechanics straightened out in my head. However, now that I’ve finished the Straboy sweater, I feel a little lost without my friend. Maybe I’ll wind up a huge cake of yarn or two and see if they pass the seatbelt test. Let’s see if I can get away with my next project counting as a legal passenger for carpooling!

We’re simply delighted to announce that Ysolda Teague is coming back to This Is Knit for a third time! This time she’s giving us a new shawl design workshop, which she calls Shawl Geometry. It’ll be on Saturday May 17th, and it lasts the whole day from 10.00am until 5.00pm (with a break for lunch, of course).

Ysolda’s shawls are terrifically popular both with This Is Knit customers and on Ravelry. Beautiful designs like Ishbel and Marin are not only lovely to wear but eminently knittable (Ishbel’s got over twelve thousand projects to her name).

With Ysolda to guide you, you’ll find out how to design your own completely individual shawl from scratch. You’ll knit a tiny version during the workshop, and along the way you’ll learn design skills from one of the very best. It’ll be such a fun day, and you can secure your place by clicking this booking link.

Roll on May!

To mark the day, here’s a lovely little lace shawlette, recently knitted by Jacqui. It’s called Fragile Heart, and it’s designed by the wonderful Boo Knits.

It’s lovingly accented with Swarovski crystals – just enough beading to give sparkle to the lace and interest to the knitter.

The yarn is Malabrigo Baby Silkpaca, and Fragile Heart took just over a skein.

And given the day that’s in it, don’t forget about our Valentine’s Day prize draw – it runs until midnight on Monday week, and you’ll find all the details over at that link!

Love to win

Love is in the air, with Valentine’s Day at the end of the week, and we’re celebrating! If you spend €20 in-store, online or by phone between midnight tonight, February 10th, and midnight on Monday February 24th, you’ll be automatically entered in our Valentine’s Prize Draw!

The prize is all of the following:

  • A Karbonz Interchangeable needle set
  • A copy of the Juliet pattern book
  • 3 balls of Debbie Bliss Juliet Summer Tweed in the colour of your choosing
  • The Karbonz Interchangeable set contains seven sets of tips from 3.00mm to 6.00mm, four cables, end caps, cable connectors and cable keys. They’re light and strong and fantastic to knit with – you can read Clara Parks’ glowing assessment of Karbonz on Knitter’s Review here. What’s more, the set comes in one of the best-designed and most elegant wallets we’ve ever seen.

    Juliet Summer Tweed is a new offering for spring and summer and comes in a huge range of colour combinations, and the Juliet pattern book features twelve simple and pretty garments.

    And one lucky randomly-chosen customer wins the lot. Happy Valentine’s Day to you all (even if it’s a bit early)!

    There’s something very satisfying about making a garment that fits its wearer comfortably and well, and this little jacket is a perfect example.

    It’s Carol Feller’s Rossbeg and it’s got a massive age range of two to ten years. And since not all wee ones are the same shape, you can customise it very easily.

    Knitted from the top down, starting with that pretty curved yoke shaped with short rows, you can make it as long as you want: just finish when you’re done! The same’s true of the sleeves: full length or three quarter length, it’s up to you (and the future wearer, of course).

    Carol’s use of such simple and clever techniques is one of the hallmarks of her work, and there’s still a couple of places left for her workshops with us on Saturday February 15th. There’s one on sweater surgery, so you’ll be able to improve and fix a garment that hasn’t turned out as you’d like. There’s also one expressly on short rows. You can find out more about both and book a coveted place by clicking on the links. Carol’s workshops are always popular and fun, and we’ve very excited about these ones.

    And for another particularly dotey example of Carol’s short row magic, a Ravi Junior cardigan was featured on our facebook page during the week. Modelled by one of our very favourite young people and knitted by Jen, you can see it here. Aww!

    Sometimes you come across a pattern that makes you want to drop everything else and knit it now, because it’s a gorgeous combination of soothing repetition and engaging interest.

    Well, this is how we feel about Quadrature for Korrigan, which is a baby blanket for a much-anticipated baby.

    Jacqui used Studio Donegal, and the result has to snuggled to be believed. A quick bath and a block, and it’s perfect for newborn fingers and toes.

    The elegance of the pattern means that in finer yarn it would also make a pretty shawl, and in bulky it would be a terrific throw. Stocking stitch for most of the way, with the cables set off by the garter stitch border, means that it’s an easy and satisfying knit.

    We can’t wait to see a new wee person wrapped up in it!

    Doing some good

    With St Patrick’s Day just peeping over the horizon, Age Action Ireland Ireland launched a sweet Knitted Shamrock campaign earlier this week, and we’re delighted to tell you about it.

    Here’s how it works: there’s a pretty shamrock pattern to download at this link. A shamrock takes just minutes to make, and we’ve all got oddments of yarn that can be put to good use.

    Age Action Ireland is aiming for 20,000 shamrocks, which will be sold at a cost of €2 each from retail outlets throughout the country from March 1st, so every single one is precious. The deadline is February 25th, and you can find the address to send them to at that link as well.

    Over the years, our customers have shown staggering generosity and ingenuity in Innocent’s Big Knit, which also benefits Age Action. Seasonal knitting, a fast-as-lightning pattern and a good cause – what could be better?

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