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Brioche 1

The word Brioche may get you craving the warm, fluffy, diet-crushing French bread, but today we’re referring to a considerably less guilty indulgence (which is also quite fluffy in it’s own way): the Brioche knit stitch. A textured stitch pattern that creates a voluminous fabric with a ribbed look, with just as much elasticity as a traditional 1×1 rib. Brioche may look intimidating, but it really is just a combination of stitches you likely already know well: a few yarn overs, slipped stitches, knit-two-together and you’re set! The perks of Brioche stitch? It’s reversible, it creates a thick, cushy fabric, and looks gorgeous when done with two colors, which can create beautiful color work that is almost 3D in its plushy texture.

This stitch is ideal for projects where you’ll want lots of stretchiness, such as hats or fitted garments with negative ease, or when you don’t want a “wrong side” to your project, such as in scarves or blankets. With its almost double-knit texture, this stitch also creates a dense fabric with lots of structure, which can be useful for something like the collar of a sweater. Within Brioche stitch there are also a dozen variations, including Waffle Brioche, Twisted Brioche, Moss Brioche, Honeycomb Brioche, Double Brioche and more. Most create a reversible fabric, and many can be worked with one or two colours, with some even incorporating a third colour.

Brioche 4

Fancy giving Brioche a try? After all, this kind is calorie free, what do you have to lose? Join us at the shop for a Beginner’s Brioche class on December 6th, from 3pm – 4:30pm where you’ll learn how to knit a pair of reversible fingerless mitts with two colours, just like the one’s worn by the lovely Jenny seen here! The sample was knit with the multicolour Noro Kureyon and Lamb’s Pride Worsted in a solid shade.

Brioche knitting is seeing a comeback these days, thanks in part to Stephen West, who released several patterns recently all of which feature Brioche. The stitch beautifully highlights both colour and texture in his gorgeous designs, as seen in the “Bundled in Brioche” scarf where colour blocking and vertical stripes create a vibrant, plush scarf showcasing a spectrum of colours. Great for eating up leftover yarn from other projects!

Brioche 3

An important tip to remember when knitting Brioche is to use a cast-on and bind-off method that will allow for the large range of elasticity you’ll get with this stitch. In this case it is often suggested to use the Italian cast-on, or Tubular cast-on, which create a very elastic, ribbed “invisible” edge where stitches seem to wrap around the hem.

So, have you worked up an appetite for Brioche yet? What is your favourite Brioche pattern or one you’ve been hungry to try?

We’re thrilled to announce our next workshop, coming up next month. Elanor King will be here for the morning of Saturday 8th August, teaching us her amazing techniques for embellishing our knits.

Elanor, who is catchloops on Ravelry, is an Irish designer based in London. With an engineering background and an artist’s eye, she produces beautiful things using fun decorations like thrums and sequins and even loom bands, as well as the most effective embroidered details.

With Elanor’s help, you can learn how to add those distinctive touches that make your knits unique, and have a ball in the process! It all happens from 10.00am on Saturday August 8th, and you can nab a place right here.

And we really can’t wait to see the finished objects that happen then, can you?

In the shop right now, we’ve got beautiful things on display. You see, we’re hosting Tin Can Knits’ trunk show, leading up to Emily Wessel’s classes next weekend. So we thought we’d showcase some of the gorgeousness here.

First up, that’s I heart rainbows above. Made in fingering weight and sized from newborn to four years old, this is simply the dotiest thing we’ve seen in ages!

Right beside it is a child-sized Clayoquot cardigan. It’s a fast knit in DK, and that lovely colourwork yoke works for people of all sizes – literally. It’s sized from newborn to 58 inches, so everyone can have one! (And hidden in the pocket of this one is a sweet little matching hat!)

And then there’s Thistle, a delightful lace stole which is really straightforward to knit. This is lace easy enough for TV knitting and it’s easy to customize the size any way you like.

And we’ve got the most gorgeous Vivid blanket on show as well. Just look at this beauty…

This is why we’re looking forward so much to Emily’s workshops on June 27th – clever design and wonderful knits! You can be part of the fun too – there’s a couple of places left for both the Lush cardigan workshop and the Vivid blanket session.

And if you get the chance, drop by to admire these beautiful Tin Can Knits – and this isn’t even all the show! There’s lots and lots of others too. Tt’s going to be so, so hard to send them back!

We’ve found a wonderful pairing – Tin Can Knit’s Vivid blanket and Townhouse Yarns’ “Saoirse” colourway!

Vivid is the teaching pattern for one of Emily Wessel’s workshops on Saturday June 27th. We can’t wait to host Emily – she’s a wonderfully inventive designer and such a good teacher.

Vivid is the most versatile pattern – made in easy bite-sized squares like the ones above, it’s a great baby blanket. And it’s surprisingly easy, especially when Emily’s showing you how. You’ll learn the pinhole cast on method, how to read a lace chart, how to knit in the round using the magic loop method (if you want – you can use double-pointed needles if you prefer), how to block your individual lace squares and finally how to seam your pieces together with an overhand stitch. And best of all, it’ll be enormous fun!

The Vivid workshop is from 2.00pm to 5.00pm in the afternoon. You’ll find the booking page for it at this link. There’s still a few places left, both for Vivid and for Emily’s Lush cardigan workshop in the morning. It’s hard to think of a better way to spend a Saturday!


What’s that in the background there, behind the tissue paper pompom? It’s the newest edition to our garment display in the shop: Jacqui’s Lush cardigan (boy, she’s a fast knitter)!

Lush is Tin Can Knit’s beautiful design, and it’s the pattern Emily Wessel will be using for her cardigan workshop at the end of June. (There’s still places left for that, and for her baby blanket workshop as well – you’ll find details at our booking page).

Jacqui used Juniper Moon Farm’s gorgeous Findley DK for hers – it’s a beautifully plied silk and merino blend, and it’s delicious to work with. Just look at the stitch definition on the Lush lace….

And the pompom? We can’t stop making them, you see, using this tutorial, and we’re having a tremendous amount of fun doing it! It’s properly spring now, so why not celebrate with some tissue paper frivolity!

We gave you some tantalising hints a few weeks ago, but now it’s official and bookable: Emily Wessel of Tin Can Knits is coming to give two workshops at This Is Knit!


Both workshops are on the same day, Saturday June 27th. In the morning, she’ll be presenting the Lush Cardigan. It’s worked from the top down, starting with the lace yoke. You’ll learn a nifty provisional cast on before getting started on the lace section, and then you’ll master picking up stitches for the bodice and sleeves. It’s a versatile garment, and you’ll definitely want to make more than one – so it’s handy that the pattern comes in a terrific range of sizes, from newborn all the way to 60″.


Then in the afternoon, Emily will introduce us to the Vivid blanket. This one is versatile too – made in squares and pieced together afterwards, it’s a great baby blanket (though it’s not hard to imagine plenty of other sizes). It will work for any size of yarn, too. You’ll learn the pinhole cast on method, how to read a lace chart, how to knit in the round using the magic loop method (if you want – you can use double-pointed needles if you prefer), how to block your individual lace squares and finally how to seam your pieces together into a blanket with an overhand stitch.

Both workshops last three hours, from 10.00am to 1.00pm for Lush and from 2.00pm to 5.00pm for Vivid, so if you wanted to attend both, there’s plenty of time to relax over lunch in between. Places are certain to be snapped up fast, so book early! You’ll find the booking page for the Lush workshop at this link, and the Vivid workshop can be booked here.

As usual for this sort of event, a waiting list will start as soon as all the places are filled. It’s really worth putting your name down, because once there’s a cancellation and a places becomes available, our very clever booking system will email everyone on the list, and then it’s fastest finger first!

We’re really excited about welcoming Emily to This Is Knit – we’re big fans of Tin Can Knits, and these workshops are going to be enormous fun!

Ok, we can’t keep this all to ourselves any longer. We’ve got exciting news, and we can’t wait to tell you! Tin Can Knits is coming to This Is Knit, to give not one, but two workshops!

We’ve featured a lot of her designs here, because they’re simply some of the best patterns we know. There’s the Snowflake jumper above (Maria and Jen made one each), and there’s Bonny, which Jacqui whipped up in no time.

And back at Christmas, one of our bestselling kits was the Gothic Cowl:

Thing is, we’re not sure of the date yet, but it’s looking like a weekend date in June, and there’ll be two half day workshops, on different topics. And the best way to find out all the details as soon as we do? Follow us on twitter, where we’re @ThisIsKnit, and keep an eye on this blog. Places will be limited and first-come-first-served, and our booking page will be the place to nab your reservation!

We’re heading into St Patrick’s Weekend, so we’d like to wish you all, at home and abroad, a terrific time. We’ll be closed on Tuesday March 17th itself, but open as usual right through the weekend!

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.

Wee dotes!

If a small someone in your life needs a bear (or if you need one yourself!), we can help. These two characters are the project for Colette’s two-session Toy Knitting class which we recently started offering.

On the way to having your own wee bear, you learn useful toy-making skills: increasing and decreasing for little arms and legs, embroidering those little faces, using stuffing and lots more techniques for making perfect little companions.

Our next Toy Making class will be held on October 18th and 25th (both Saturdays), and you can nab a place at this link. In fact, you can see all of our October classes freshly announced right here, and even if you don’t need a wee knitted friend, there’s lots of other skills and fun on offer.

Learning something new

It’s the time of year when taking up a new skill or perfecting an old one comes to mind, so this month we’re concentrating on equipping you with the best possible expertise!

We’ve revampled our schedule a bit this autumn. In addition to our very popular beginners’ courses, we’re offering a Level 2 course both for knitting and for crochet, so if you’ve got the basics already and are wondering where to go next, we’ve got you covered.

Our Level 1 knitting beginners’ course happens, like before, over three weeks, and you’ll learn right from the ground up with our experienced teachers. If you’ve never touched needles in your life, or if you’re reviving skills from years ago, this is where to start. Through two simple projects, you’ll master casting on, working both flat and in the round, simple decreasing, casting off and assembling your work for that expert finish. What’s more, the cost of the yarn and needles for both projects (a pair of handy fingerless mitts and a dotey child-sized hat) is included in the price, and the classes happen right here in the shop in the most relaxed setting you can imagine!

Our new Level 2 knitting course equips you to make garments, and again there’s two projects: a child’s topdown cardigan and the sweetest wee booties. You’ll learn shaping using increases and decreases and making buttonholes and picking up stitches – in fact, everything you need to embark on adult-sized garments! Before starting this course, you’ll need to know how to cast on, knit, purl, cast off, weave in ends and knit in the round using the Magic Loop technique (if you have already completed Knitting Level 1 with us then you’ll have all this covered, though). And after it, the sky will be the limit!

And we’ve got your crochet desires covered too. The Level 1 crochet beginners’ course will cover how to work a foundation chain, double crochet and seaming up crocheted pieces. You’ll also learn simple increases and decreases, and work half-double crochet and treble crochet stitches on a small motif. So if you’ve never crocheted at all, or have the dimmest memories of working with a hook, this is the place to start.

In the Level 2 crochet course, we’ll build on the Level 1 skillset: pattern and chart reading, working in the round, working trebles, changing colours and working square motifs are all covered, and you’ll make a baby hat with a charming flower decoration and a granny square pattern that can become a cushion cover, or the coziest scarf, or even a blanket.

So click on over to our booking page to find out more about all these classes! Knitting and crochet are fun and easy and waiting for you, so come on in!

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