The knitting internet has been abuzz with reports from the Edinburgh Yarn Festival these past two weeks. You may well already have read about the amazing atmosphere, the inspiring classes and the wonderful products on offer. But we just had to add our own voices to the chiming chorus of praise for a truly spectacular event and, of course, to let you all know a little bit about some exciting new things that will be coming to TIK as a result of our research trip!
While we took lots of photos of the stands and pretty knits, this one of Jenny seems to sum up the weekend the best… Walking in to the marketplace on Friday was literally a jaw dropping experience. It’s difficult to describe in words the impact of so many beautiful yarns in one place, alongside the buzz of the (massive) crowds of knitters and the energy of the many enthusiastic stallholders.
We dove right in to the melee and spent a wonderful afternoon immersed in colour, texture and creativity. Frequently our eyes were caught by a stunning garment or accessory passing by. Many hardy knitters disregarded the rising heat levels among the crowds and continued to proudly display their wares. My own Cameo was packed away after the first hour, but those wonderful knitters have placed “Breathing Space“, “Enchanted Mesa“, “Epistrophy” firmly at the top of my queue. This gorgeous Carpino also made me delighted about my choice of project for our Spring KAL!
Speaking of Carpino, Carol Feller was just one of the many familiar faces we spotted. She was at EYF to exhibit her own exclusive yarn line, called “Nua“. If you haven’t had a chance to check it out yet then pop on in to the shop for a peek when you can! We also got the chance to catch up with some of our previous guest tutors, including Woolly Wormhead and Justnya Lorkowska. Justnya will be back at TIK this coming July (details very soon) and we’re hoping to nab Woolly for a return trip to Dublin later in the year too.
So back to the pretties then. If you’ve been following our social media these last few days you will know we have already had a delivery of yarns from The Fibre Co. Their stand was really special, filled with truly stunning yarns, fresh flowers and fabulous samples. Among them was Tsumuzikaze, which I had been eyeing since it’s release and just had to try on. It is wrong to order a whole line of yarn based on a love for one project? If so, I don’t want to be right… 😉
Keep an eye out for more fabulous new lines coming to our shelves in the coming months, and not just yarns either. How about these quirky cards from Tilly Flop? Top picks from her range for me were: “Casting on Means You Believe in Tomorrow” and “Congratulations on your new yarn storage facility home”. These will be in stock very soon, so you’ll be sorted the next time there’s a special occasion for the other knitters in your life.
Beyond the research and the networking, EYF was also a really fun weekend away. Edinburgh is a stunning city, and somewhere I’d very much like to go back and explore further some day. There was knitting, prosecco, dancing, selfies, silliness and lots and lots of wonderful people under one roof.
Thanks to Jo and Mica for making it all possible, and congratulations to you both on an absolutely stellar event.
It’s an exciting time to be part of the independent, creative world. There has been a worldwide resurgence in the appreciation of craft and we’re seeing a growing recognition of the power of collaboration and support within the creative industries. This sense of community and collective momentum was evident in spades at the recent Edinburgh Yarn Festival, where Kate from A Playful Day took a few minutes out to tell us more about her own journey in the online sphere.
When and why did you start the “A Playful Day” podcast and blog?
A Playful Day began as a blog in 2010 when I was struggling with my job. I felt suffocated and was ill a lot of the time. I used to commute for hours a day and while I did, I listened to knitting podcasts. At the weekends I devoured blogs and I felt like I wanted to be a part of that world. I began A Playful Day as a reminder to find a playful moment in everyday and it kind of grew from there. People responded to my photography and writing as I documented simple pleasures like curling up with a knitting project or my new favourite soup recipe. The idea of dwelling on life’s little moments is something we all need to remember from time to time I think.
What doors have been opened for you as a result of the “A Playful Day”?
My whole life changed because of A Playful Day! At first, the blog and podcast were something I did alongside a job I desperately wanted to escape from but soon it began to lead me to new spaces. Magazines, designers and yarn companies began to take notice of my writing and the community I was creating. I started freelancing, helping these businesses put their best foot forward online by managing their social media accounts, developing campaign plans or helping with press releases. I didn’t really know what I was doing at first but realised I was developing skills every day that online businesses desperately needed to excel at to stand out. I’m a curious person so I stuck with it to see where it would lead me.
Over the years, the blog and podcast became a place brands wanted to collaborate meaning it began to support my daughter and I financially. APD was a portfolio and I began taking bookings as a photographer, writer and content creator. One day, I travelled to Dorset for an interview and fell head over heels in love with the landscape. When I stumbled across a sweet little thatched cottage, I jumped. Packing my daughter, myself and what possessions I could move in a van, we switched city life for the country. Now I am a regular contributor at Project Calm magazine and am the Brand Marketing Manager for The Fibre Co. All this happened because of a blog that began with a cookie recipe for friends; I am constantly grateful!
Have there been any key milestones along the way – when you felt you were taking your online presence to the “next level”? What led to these developments?
Having been doing this online thing for 7 years, I often say that when you start building an online presence, there are milestones in growth. At first, you just share and are amazed people find you. Just putting it out there feels like a big step. Soon you start to realise you might need to find a more strategic way of sharing if you want to grow an audience or community, especially if you’re doing it for business. This is the stage that often leads a lot of people to do more: more tweets, more blog posts, launching a new challenge….. it can get a bit much and burn out isn’t uncommon.
I think for me, the moment I realised I was ‘doing it’ was when I did less, more strategically. I slowed down and looked at what my audience consistently responded to and then I used that to shape what I did. Increasingly, press requests came without any effort on my part- my content was out there and being shared in ways I wasn’t controlling anymore. I looked at my website and thought about what it said to a new visitor. Could people find what they needed? I shared from the heart and I spoke directly to people and then I carefully went about putting myself out there in such an unguarded way. This is a tricky balance and defining my boundaries so I could be myself was a big personal milestone.
2016 was the year everything came together. I was flying to international events, speaking in front of rooms full of creative people and collaborating with some of the most inspiring businesses I know. My work was been shared on so many prestigious platforms that I sometimes have to hide a bit or I get overwhelmed! At the core though, I was a single parent who worked freelance and those things were what I needed for my daughter and I to have the beautiful life we now have here in Dorset. You know you’re doing it right when you’re living your life and your heart sings. If you’re too tired and strung out to enjoy it? It’s time to regroup. I
What can your workshops offer to people who are sharing their creativity online for purely personal reasons?
I’ve called myself a story teller for years. When I write, photograph or shoot a video I start with a simple question, “What is the story here?” For me, chasing a story has led to a complete life change- the possibilities are endless! You can escape into a creative life, or you can heal. You can find yourself or you can explore the idea of a business you didn’t imagine months before. Unleashing that creativity will wrap you in a community that responds to what you are creating. Even if you’re doing it just for fun- how good does owning your identity feel?
You have written recently about the importance of slowing down and taking a step back sometimes. How do you think people can approach their online presence more thoughtfully?
The online world gets a lot of stick for being fake, too fast, too critical, too much. I am a strong believer that you can find your place online and use it to nurture your sense of self and your creativity. You can try on an identity that you might not be brave enough to in your everyday life. Women aren’t restricted by childcare or glass ceilings online. Yes, these issues exist but there are so many women forging paths online and they’re doing it as they hold hands with others around them. You can choose the path you want online because the possibilities really are endless. I’ve made friends for life thanks to our worlds colliding online. Without this creative world, I’d be a much less developed person, I’m sure of it.
Would you like to know more? You can catch Kate here at This is Knit over the weekend of the 13th and 14th of May, as she teaches a series of workshops on writing, smart phone photography & social media skills. Pop on over to those links and book now – this creative community is going great places, and we’re going there together!
We had a fantastic afternoon in the shop on Saturday, when we officially kicked off our Spring KAL with a bunch of lovely knitters and a healthy dose of sugar and caffeine!
For many of us swatching was the order of the day, and there was some cajoling, coaxing and convincing to be done about the merits of the task. My own swatch showed just how crucial an exercise it is – on the recommended 3.5mm needles I was no where close to hitting the 23 st tension required. My own version of Carpino will now be knit on 4mm needles.
There were a number of other techniques discussed and demonstrated during the afternoon so, for the benefit of those who couldn’t be there, here are some helpful links to tutorials on the topics that were raised.
By the way, it’s not too late to join in the KAL antics. Anyone who completes their KAL Sweater in TIK Yarn before Saturday 13th of May will be in with the chance to win some of our fabulous prizes. Thanks again to everyone who came along and we hope to see you at our next meet up on Saturday 1st April, if not before!
Today at 3pm we’ll be hosting the official TIK Spring KAL Cast On Party! We’ve a lovely afternoon of tea, cake and knitting planned. We’re looking forward to welcoming our KAL knitters in to the shop for a few tips and tricks on their chosen pattern and for a bit of a general natter too.
If you’re just learning about the KAL today, or if you’ve been following our posts and are still undecided about joining, then rest assured you don’t have to be casting on today. We’ll be delighted to welcome new members over the course of the Knitalong and everyone who completes their project in TIK yarn before Saturday 13th of May will be in the running for our fabulous prizes.
We posted a fun graphic during the week, showing the relative popularity of the four sweater designs. Here’s the very latest update:
As you can see “Ravello” is proving the most popular so far, and we’ve been putting together some lovely colour combinations for this design over the past while. We thought we’d share a few suggestions today, just in case there are a few of you still seeking inspiration…
Can you tell that we got a lovely delivery of Malabrigo Yarns during the week??? Don’t forget that you’ll receive 10% off your KAL yarn, using the code SKAL17 …
Did you spot our Spring Knit-a-Long announcement earlier this week? In that post we introduced two of the four pattern options for this year’s KAL, so today we’re going to take a quick look at the other two designs – Timeless Henley and Nogat.
A refined, tailored sweater with rib and lace details, Joji Locatelli’s Timeless Henley is the sweater that you would wear to Sunday brunch or tea with friends. The buttons on the henley neckline are carried through the design to the deep cuffs on the sleeves, and the lace motif is an easy-to-memorise repeat that lends further interest to the overall design.
Choosing this pattern would allow those of you who are comfortable with Top Down Raglan construction, to try Top Down Set In Sleeves for the first time. This method will require close attention to gauge, which means diligent swatching, but again we’re here to help!
Set In Sleeves are generally considered to be the most flattering of sleeve shapes so, if you’re a fan of seamless knitting, it’s certainly worth giving this method a go. For project inspiration you can click on through to Ravelry here.
Also, to see the best and brightest versions of each design make sure you have selected “Most Favourites” from the drop down menu toward the top of the page.
Nogat really has it all going on: cables, lace, garter and rib plus a glamorous scooped neckline – this is one elegant sweater. The designer, Justyna Lorkowska, describes Nogat as a “lively and adventurous sweater”. This is one adventure we’d love to help you embark on!
We’re back to the Top Down Raglan method here, but the non-standard neckline should add an element of interest to the technique. And then the fun really starts, as every row will combine panels of intriguing stitch patterns.
There are many spectacular finished versions on Ravelry, and it would certainly be worth browsing through the projects to decide on the amount of ease and length that would suit your own shape best. This is one of the many advantages of top-down knitting: you’ll be able to try on the garment and custom fit the project as you go.
Are you ready to join our Spring Knit-a-Long? Check back very soon for all the details on yarn discounts, fabulous prizes and, of course, how to register ahead of the start date of Saturday 4th of March.
It will soon be Knit-a-Long time again here at This is Knit, and this year we’re encouraging you all to dive in to lightweight garment knitting for spring.
This year we’re all about lightweight garments, with a choice of 4 stunning sweaters, all knit in 4-ply yarn and coming from 4 of our favourite Independent Designers.
We’ve selected a range of designs, covering several unique techniques and across a spectrum of skill levels, so there’s something here for everyone. We’d encourage you to choose a pattern that’s just a bit out of your comfort zone though, and then make use of all the support that will be available to make that project a reality. Our aim is to help you learn some new skills along the way and to enjoy the process of knitting along with other members of the extended TIK community.
With four patterns to choose from we’re going to take a closer look today at two of the four designs: Carpino and Ravello.
Check back soon for our post highlighting options three and four for this KAL: “Timeless Henley” and “Nogat”. We’ll wrap everything up in a third blog post, with all the details about the yarn discount, the prizes on offer and the plans for our KAL Cast On Event!
Are you familiar with the top-down raglan technique, but would like to take it to the next level? Then Carpino may be the choice for you. This refined design from Carol Feller features a simple lace repeat that adds texture and interest to the finished garment.
For colour and styling inspiration have a browse through the beautiful selection of finished versions here on Ravelry. As you can see, this design works well in many yarn types, but our suggestions are Debbie Bliss Fine Donegal and Townhouse Yarns Camden Tweed.
Simple and stylish, Ravello by Isabell Kraemer is an ideal easy-going knit for those of you dipping your toes in the 4ply water… This design uses the seamless top-down raglan method too, so there’s no sewing up to worry about. It’s also a perfect choice if you’d like to mix in a bit of stash yarn to your KAL project, as you can base your colour choices around that special skein or two.
Again there’s lots of project inspiration on Ravelry, and we’d be delighted to help you with colour choices in the shop or by email. We think Malabrigo Sock will be a popular option for this design and Juniper Moon Herriot Fine could be a winner too.
So what do you think of our line up so far? Are you tempted to jump in and knit either of these designs? Check back soon for more KAL info (including how to join in!), ahead of our official cast on date of Saturday 4th March…
You may have already heard that Kate O’Sullivan from “A Playful Day” is coming to This is Knit in May. Her workshops are now open for booking and, in today’s blog, we’re sharing a little background as to why that makes us very excited indeed!
We were very lucky to celebrate our 10th year in business last year. Back in early 2006 “This is Knit” was but a twinkle in our eye: a vision of a vibrant space, filled with like-minded crafters, all squishing and coo-ing over a delicious ranges of top quality yarns. We are so fortunate to have made that dream a reality and we are keen to carry on building our business and to continue fostering the great sense of community that exists around the knitting and crochet scene in Ireland.
We’ve always been keen too, to support fellow creative businesses along the way. It’s an ethos that Kate O’Sullivan shares. She is a strong believer in the power of collaboration and community support and, by partnering with Kate this May, we hope to help bring all of *your* creative plans to life.
Would you like to launch a blog, a podcast, or grow your existing online audience? Do you own a creative business and would you like help telling your brand’s story online? Are you a budding knitwear designer or Etsy store owner? Kate’s experience in journalism, blogging, copy-writing, product branding and social media and will help you stand out from the crowd.
Over the weekend of the 13th and 14th of May we have a trio of tempting workshops to choose from. Click on the images below to reserve your place, and remember that a 10% discount will automatically apply if you book to attend 2 or more of the sessions.
Are you already a fan of Kate’s “Playful Day” podcast? Are you counting the days until May?
Nadia brings us some of the unmissable events of 2017…
January is always a time of plotting and planning here at TIK, as we’re sure it is for many of you. We’ve been busy finalising details and setting other wheels in motion and it’s safe to say that we’re very excited about what 2017 is going to bring! Are you sitting comfortably? Then let’s have a look at just some of what’s coming up this year:
Irish Yarn Club
Starting in February you will be seeing the first instalment of the Irish Yarn Club 2017 hitting the hands of the lucky knitters who managed to nab a coveted membership. There will be stunning, never to be repeated, colourways from Hedgehog Fibres, Townhouse Yarns and The Dublin Dye Company and designs by the lovely Carol Feller. If you’d like to be a part of it all then you can still join the pattern-only collection here.
Along with our usual class schedule and tutorials, we have 3 very special workshops with the wonderful Melanie Berg coming up in April. Starting on Saturday the 8th of April, Shawl Design with Melanie Berg is *the* workshop to attend if you want to bring the shawl of your dreams to life. You’d want to be pretty quick clicking that link because there are only 2 places left as I type!
Saturday afternoon Melanie takes it one step further with Design Your Own Mosaic Shawl. Here you will create an original mosaic pattern and Melanie will walk you through all the necessary steps, from casting on, over fitting your pattern into a triangular shape, to finally binding off.
As if that wasn’t enough, on Sunday the 9th of April some lucky knitters are joining Melaine in her workshop on Colourwork Shawls. This class is fully booked but do add your name to the waiting list in case some places become available.
We have a number of other special guests planned, some return visitors and some first-timers! In fact we just revealed yesterday that Kate from the stunning craft and lifestyle blog A Playful Day will be joining us for a weekend of talks and workshops on the 13th and 14th of May. More details shortly, we promise!
It might be worth keeping Saturday the 15th of July free too, as we welcome back a friendly face. You know it’s always good to indulge in some mid-summer technique enhancement…
Ok so that’s enough hint-dropping for now! Make sure you don’t miss any upcoming announcements by signing up to our newsletter here.
The Spring KAL Returns
We’ve been running the TIK Spring Knit-along for several years now and it’s always great fun and leads to lots of stunning FOs. We’ll be mixing things up a little this year, with several projects on offer across a common theme. Have we piqued your interest? Stay tuned for more details of yarn discounts, in-store events, prizes and frolics!
Are you making any exciting plans for 2017? Let us know in the comments we love hearing from you.
And if you need some instant gratification right this second, you can catch our SALE which includes the fabulous Lhasa. Find out more here.
We love a good shawl around these parts, and we know you all do too. So what’s an LYS to do? Well, how about scheduling an entire weekend of Shawl Workshops in April next year?
We’ve invited the wonderfully talented Melanie Berg to Dublin, and she’ll be teaching three topics with us: Shawl Construction, Mosaic ShawlsandColourwork Shawls. It’s all happening over the weekend of the 8th and 9th of April and the spaces are filling up fast.
Melanie combines texture and colour into wearable modern designs that are both playful and beautiful. She enjoys matching cheeky stripes with elegant lace, and choosing unexpected colour combinations. We love absolutely Melanie’s designs, so much so that it’s hard to choose just one favourite. So instead we’ll let the Ravelry ratings give you the run down!
You will automatically receive a 10% discount if your sign up for more than one of the weekend’s workshops, so you can really immerse yourself in all-things-shawl! And if you happen upon this post and discover some of the sessions have been booked out, then we’d encourage you to add your name to the waiting list. There’s always a chance of cancellations between now and April.
Have you ever knit any of Melanie’s designs? Or which ones are on your “wishlist”?
Finally we just have a small reminder that we will be closed for the Christmas Break from 5.30pm this Friday. We wish you all a lovely Christmas, full of cosy knitting time, gorgeous yarns and good company too.
We thought our readers might like a peek at something a little different that we did last week – a Client Entertainment “Mini Workshop” over at the stunning Radisson Blu Hotel. It was an really fun event, with a wonderfully festive atmosphere. We thoroughly enjoyed meeting everyone and we were delighted at their enthusiasm for the tasks too.
We had been challenged with coming up with a Christmas-themed craft activity. The catch? It had to be completed in under 20 minutes, and we had to presume no previous experience of knitting or crochet. It took a few trials, and we “cheated” a small bit with the advance preparation of materials, but our winner was these little woolly hat decorations. Aren’t they the sweetest?
We used Rico Melange Glitz yarn in a range of seasonal shades – the dash of glittery fibre really added that festive flair. We then hot-glued on some sparkling embellishments and strung a little jingle bell on to each hanging loop as a fun finishing touch. All told there were at least 40 of these made (some people came back to make a second, or even third) and we love the idea of these little decorations being spread among the trees of Dublin and beyond!
Thank you to everyone who came along and particularly to the lovely ladies at the Radisson Blu for planning such a wonderful event and for making us feel so welcome.
Are you planning a corporate event or staff entertainment in 2017? We’d be delighted to work with you! Contact Lisa today for a proposal and quotation.