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Deck the halls!

It’s that time of year again! Festive preparations are in full swing all over the place, the decorations in the Powerscourt Centre are particularly beautiful, and we’re well into the swing of Christmas crochet and knitting.

We’re delighted to announce that we’ve scheduled extra crocheted and knitted Christmas decoration classes this year. These are some of the most fun classes at This Is Knit, and the pretty little decorations that get produced make charming gifts (in no time at all!) or lovely accents for your tree.

You can find the booking page for the knitted class at this link – it’s on Saturday November 30th from 3.00pm to 4.30pm. The crocheted decorations class is on Sunday December 8th from 1:15pm to 3:15pm, and you can book a place at this booking page.

Don’t forget to keep an eye here and on our twitter feed for lots and lots more seasonal news over the next month. There’s so much more to share with you!


With the Yarn Tasting over, the shop stuffed with Autumn/Winter stock and with winter opening on Sundays starting this week, we’ve got an exciting range of classes coming up over the next few weeks.

You can see the full range on our booking page at this link. Fancy learning how very easy socks are? Then our two-session sock knitting class would be just the thing! Or have you always wanted to pick up crochet but never got round to it? Then we’ve got three-week beginner’s courses running on Sundays or Mondays which will have you crocheting like a whirlwind in no time.

And that’s not all – there’s lace knitting, and stranded colourwork, and our terribly popular finishing class, and top-down seamless cardigan construction in the mix. Expanding your skillset is such an enjoyable thing to do.

And that’s without even mentioning the workshops we’ve got lined up: Tunisian lace with AoibheNí’s booked solid, but there’s still places available for Gudrun Johnston and Mary Mucklestone’s workshops on October 5th. You’ll find details of these at that booking link too. And remember: if a class that you fancy is booked out, it’s always worth putting yourself on the waiting list.

Red letter day

We have two announcements in one today! On Saturday 5th October, we’ll be hosting not one but two wonderful workshops, led by internationally renowned designers!

In the morning, Gudrun Johnston will be giving a class on Shetland lace. She’s the designer of many This Is Knit favourites, including the Aestlight shawl. Lisa and Jacqui each knitted one each last year – you can see the two of them in the picture above. They’re the perfect examples of the techniques that will be taught in the workshop.

Gudrun was born in Shetland, and is carrying forward that great tradition in her mother’s footsteps. Her designs, which you can see in this Ravelry link, combine innovative techniques with long-established stitch patterns. It will be a privilege to welcome her to Dublin and this will be a terrifically exciting class. You can nab a place at this booking link.

(Image © Mary Jane Mucklestone and used with permission)

Then in the afternoon, we’ve got the honour of welcoming Mary Jane Mucklestone, who’s presenting her workshop on Scandinavian colourwork. This will be a huge treat – you can see her glorious take on stranded colourwork in the Halcyon hat in the picture above and on her pattern page. With her background in fine art and many years of teaching and working in the textile and fashion industries in the US, Mary Jane’s designs are practical and enormous fun, with novel techniques and clever details. You’ll find the booking link for this workshop at this link.

The only problem is which one to choose (and why not both?) – and don’t forget about our terribly clever waiting list system. When an event is sold out, adding your name to the waiting list gives you as much of a chance of a cancelled place as anyone else on the list. You’ll get an email telling you if a spot becomes free, and then the fastest finger wins!

Two workshops from two such eminent knitters in one day? We hope you’ll join us!

We’ve talked here before about the fun of diverging a little from the written pattern, and of the loveliness that can result. Well, here’s another example. This is an Ashton Shawlette – a pattern by Irish designer Dee O’Keefe and a free download on Ravelry.

Our version has a little variation, and we love it as much as the beautiful original. It’s made from Fyberspates Scrumptious 4-ply, and to ensure that it took only one skein, the edging was shortened a little by a few rows. But in compensation, beads! Just look at the effect from adding a sprinkling of beads to the lace pattern on the body of the shawl, and from placing lines of them on the points of the edging scallops. The lace simply glitters!

The Ashton Shawlette is an ideal first shawl project, too. Indeed, if you’re intrigued by lace, we’ve got both an introductory and a “next steps” class coming up in the next couple of months – you can find details of both and book your place at this link. You’ll be making beautiful things like this shawl in no time at all!

What a snug little centre that crochet circle has! It’s far tighter than you could ever get by making the familiar few chain and slipstitching to the first of them, and sometimes you want the gap in the middle of your circle or square just to disappear. It’s called a Magic Circle, and here’s how you do it.

As well as beginning squares and circles, it’s also used as the very beginning of some of AoibheNí‘s beautiful Tunisian lace shawls, like Bel and Venus, so it’s a very versatile technique.

So, to start, just wind a loop of yarn around your finger…

…and slip the hook in under the loop, between the yarn and your finger.

Wrap the yarn around the hook, and bring the ensuing loop back towards you out of the loop.

Wrap the yarn around the hook once more, and pull a second loop through the first.

Once you’ve made this stitch, you’re ready to work whatever your pattern tells you for your first round, using the long end of the yarn (the one that goes to the ball). You’ll notice that the original loop that you wound round your finger is still all loose and floppy; this is entirely as intended, and it’s what you work your first round into.

This picture shows the work a little later – we’ve worked a series of double crochet stitches into the loop, which is still all floppy. You can see its single strand just below and to the left of the live stitch.

Now the Magic happens. Take a firm hold of the short end of the yarn in one hand, and hold the live stitch that’s on the hook with the other. And pull…!

Because you made your stitches around the strand of yarn, it’ll pull up through them, turning your loose association of stitches into a firm little circle!

And the result is what you can see in the top picture. Until you finish off the yarn, the circle might try to relax, but just give it a wee tug and it’ll smarten up promptly if needed.

Speaking of AoibheNí’s amazing work, we’re delighted to announce another date for her inspiring Tunisian lace workshop, on Saturday September 21st. This full-day workshop is bound to fill up as fast as ever, so you can book online at this link.

Today’s the first day of summer, so may we wish you a happy, sunny, craft-filled one!

We’ve had this beautiful shawl on display in the shop for a little while, and it’s attracting a huge amount of admiration. It’s AoibheNí’s Bel, the final shawl in her Legendary Shawls series (our Crochet-A-Long pattern, Venus, came from there too). Made with her signature Tunisian lace crochet technique, it’s clever and charming.

The yarn’s Coolree Yarns Alpaca/Silk/Cashmere 4-ply, and the combination of Aoibhe’s crochet design with Alex McLeod’s amazing eye for colour make it something really special indeed. Did we mention that we got a new delivery from Coolree Yarns last week? Oh, it just makes you smile to look at it.

Aoibhe’s Tunisian lace workshop on May 25th has been sold out for a while, but there’s still a couple of places available for the July 6th workshop (but they probably won’t be for long!). Her day-long workshops are fascinating and so much much fun – why not have a go this summer? You’ll find the booking page at this link.

As such a delightful collaboration between two talented Irish craftspeople, of course Bel is attracting admiration. Drop by and see it in person if you can!


Spring officially started on Friday last, and it’s really beginning to feel like it. There’s light in the sky after five, there’s daffodil leaves poking insistently up from the soil, and we’re starting to think of new season colours and yarns.

So the timing of yesterday’s delivery from Hedgehog Fibres couldn’t have been better timed. It was a big box filled with the most gorgeous yarn in colours that lit up the day.

That’s some of the pure cashmere lace – 400 metres of the softest, lightest fibre imaginable.

And there’s new Hedgehog Fibres sock yarn in stock too – 350 metres of vibrant, smoothly plied knitting or crocheting delight.

And up at the top of this post you’ll see something that we’re very very proud of indeed: the “Powerscourt” colourway in sock yarn. This is a collaboration between Beata Jezek, the very talented dyer behind Hedgehog Fibres, and This Is Knit. It’s exclusive to us, and we think it’s rather special.

Carol Feller’s workshops went down an absolute treat on Saturday, and we can now report an upsurge in both charted cable and short row knitting as a result. People came from all over Ireland to attend and they went away with lots of neat new tips and tricks under their belts!

We’re also very happy to be able to tell you that Aoibhe Ní will be giving a full day workshop in This Is Knit on Saturday April 6th on her marvellous Tunisian Lace techniques. Aoibhe designs stunning crocheted shawls in the some of finest yarns available. Places at the workshop are limited, but you can nab yours at this link.

So onwards into spring! (Pay no attention to the falling snow.)

In short

Knitting can be a little square. Working rows and rows one above the other tends to give you a two-dimensional fabric, and sometimes it would be nice to have a bit of a curve. That’s where short rows come in.

Short rowing is what makes the lovely curve on Carol Feller’s Maenad shawl in the picture above. It means that your knitting can be curved or three dimensional, and it’s a technique that’s useful in so many places.

The reason we’re thinking about short rows is that Carol is coming to give us a workshop on them on February 2nd, and we can’t wait. She’s bringing a brand new mini cardigan pattern for the class, so here’s a chance to learn a cool skill with a new pattern from an internationally renowned designer. As well as Maenad, you can see the magic she works with short rows in Ravi – such clever and interesting shaping.

So where else does short rowing come in useful? In short row heel and toe socks, for one, or when you want to add bust shaping to a jumper, or raise the neckline of a cardigan a touch at the nape of the neck…. Once you start putting them in, you’ll be using them everywhere.

Here’s a couple of examples: the terrifically popular Color Affection shawl uses them to give beautiful swoops of colour and texture – we’ve been making quite a few of these recently (we’ll talk about them in an upcoming post) but here’s a quick preview of Lisa’s. The rows meet each other at unexpected and delightful angles, as you can see:

And where you want to get a smoother fitting cardigan or shrug, reach for the short rows. Lisa did in her Winterberry Shrug, where the lower back curves around the ribcage in the most flattering way:

You’ll find the booking page for Carol’s class at this link. It could be the best thing you do for your knitting this year.

One of the best things about the Autumn/Winter season here at This Is Knit is discovering how well the new yarns work with well-loved existing patterns. So imagine how delighted we were to make this connection: our Glenties möbius cowl and brand-new Mirasol Api. We’ve added a few stitches to the pattern (it’s free with the purchase of the yarn) for even more snuggle, and it’s so soft and cosy. And just look at the colours…

Api is a lovely blend of alpaca and Highland wool, and this cowl takes just two skeins. Cowls make splendid and rather economical gifts, too, if you’re pondering Christmas knitting.

The pattern’s a true möbius, starting at the centre with Cat Bordhi’s clever cast on, and it’s free with the purchase of the yarn. If you’d like to take a class on this method of construction, then we’ve got one coming up at the end of the month, and you can make a booking at this link.


If you’ve ever wondered why the pictures of your lovely finished objects come out too dark, too bright, or weirdly orange, then we can help! Julie and Siobhán, respectively elven and jewelandarlin on Ravelry, are giving a photography workshop on Saturday June 30th.

We’ll start by looking at the “ingredients” that go to make up a successful photograph – lighting, background and composition, then how to use the right settings on your camera to get the best results. We’ll have a hands-on session to put it all into practice, then some questions and answers back in the classroom.

You won’t need fancy equipment – a point-and-shoot camera and a yarny finished object is all that’s required. And you’ll find that what you learn makes all your photography better, not just your project pictures.

Julie’s photoblog is at and Siobhán’s is

You can book a place for this workshop online at this link, or give us a call – your finished objects will thank you!

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