Pattern Faves

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Meet Korrigan, a sweet cardigan which Lisa recently made as a gift for a brand new little girl. It ticks so many of our favourite boxes: one skein of luscious handdyed sock yarn? Lisa used Hedgehog Fibres Sock in the exclusive Irish Yarn Club January colourway. Top down for no-fuss seam-free construction? Naturally! A simple cable used to lovely effect? Of course!

We’ve talked about this cable before. Back in February, we showed you Jacqui’s Quadrature for Korrigan, a pattern by the same designer, Solenn Couix-Loarer, which uses exactly that cable, mixed with the simplest garter stitch and stocking stitch. What clever, versatile design work!

To underline the point, Maria recently finished a Quadrature for Korrigan of her own, in Soft Donegal, and it’s huge! The weather’s warm right now, but come cooler days and this wrap will be perfect to snuggle up in.

You might very well suspect that we’re not done with these designs, and you’ll probably be proved right. There’s a matching hat, you see, in sizes from newborn to adult and in three weights of yarn, and we love a cabled hat round these parts!

We’re big fans of simple baby garments, the ones that you can make as your first project, and then make over and over again! Here’s one that fits the bill: it’s Debbie Bliss’s Shawl-collared Baby Jacket from her Baby Knits for Beginners, and we love it.

Debbie’s book is terrific. It’s one of the best books for beginners out there, taking you from casting on through garter stitch and stocking stitch to shaping with short rows, all with clear explanation and diagrams and the dotiest collection imaginable of little knits. There’s scarves and hats and blankets and jumpers and the sweetest wee dress.

For our little jacket, we used Rico Soft Merino Aran, soft for baby skin and machine-washable to boot – and it comes in a gorgeous colour range.

The jacket comes in three sizes to fit from six months to two years, and the largest takes just four balls of the yarn, so it’s an economical little garment too.

But best of all, babies and knitted things just go together so well!

Jacqui came back from holiday last week, with a stunning new FO to show for the extra knitting time. It’s on display in the shop, and we thought you might like a look.

It’s Gudrun Johnston’s Halligarth, from Wool People 7, and available to download from Ravelry. We’re enormous fans of Gudrun’s – she gave us a fantastic workshop last year, and we’ve knitted many of her patterns (Aestlight and Flukra, just to name two).

Halligarth is knitted entirely in one piece, beginning with a single stitch at the apex of the triangle. This grows into the most beautiful leaf pattern, so it’s named for a woodland on Unst, the largest of the Shetland islands. When the body’s completed, you work the knitted-on border, and finally there’s a garter stitch band along the top edge.

As for the yarn, Jacqui chose Mirasol Sulka Legato, which comes in a range of lovely muted colours. There’s two sizes, and Jacqui knitted the large. It came out deliciously huge – she says that next time, she’ll knit the medium (she’s definitely making another). The large just squeaked into a fourth skein of the yarn, so three would be plenty for the medium.

You can read a Wool People interview with Gudrun Johnston about Halligarth at this link. What’s more, if you’re thinking about joining in our HapKAL, her Hansel is one of the nicest hap patterns around – Lisa’s lovely blue and cream FO can attest to that!

Next up in our continuing series of staff posts, Maria tells us about a gorgeous jumper, the power of persuasion and the joy of knitting garments that fit!

When it comes to knitting, I have a tendency to go for shawl patterns involving a single skein of sock yarn and a very loose interpretation of gauge. This approach has generally yielded more pretty neck pieces than I can reasonably expect to get around to wearing. But hey, they’re fun to knit, and that’s the point! Right?

Okay, confession time… years ago, after a few disastrous attempts to construct a garment that actually fit (tension square? what tension square?), I gave up. I decided handknit sweaters were not in my repertoire. I became a knitter of shawls, (and the occasional pair of socks), and that was that. However, it turns out you’re never too old to be susceptible to peer pressure, and when Jen and I came across this pretty little pattern, we decided that we would do it. Both of us. At the same time. So I couldn’t chicken out!

The pattern is called Snowflake, from TinCanKnits, and it’s just lovely. Jen used a beautiful combination of Louisa Harding Orielle and Malabrigo Arroyo (she has a thing for the hand-dyes!), and I plumped for Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino (because I already owned some. Okay, a lot. And I wanted an excuse to buy some of the purple. Cuz it’s pretty).

A top-down knit, try on as you go, pretty lace yoke for a bit of interest and detail. Using a finer yarn on slightly larger needles, it knit up surprisingly quickly! (Even more quickly when you’ve Jen in your ear constantly nagging. I mean encouraging. Yeah. Encouraging).

The end result? A finished garment. And it fits me! I am ridiculously happy with this FO! It turns out I know how to knit stuff that fits, who knew?

Of course, given the temperatures at the moment, it’ll probably be a while before either of us get to wear our sweaters in the shop! But we’re okay with the sunshine… we’re just a little better prepared for the autumn now, too.

And sure if we start to feel chilly, I think there might be a shawl or two hanging around that we could use…

A month or so back, we featured a guest post from Fiona Parker and Daniel Rye, who keep us supplied with Navia Yarn. They gave us a glimpse of the sort of garments they feature, and now we’ve got sample garments and pattern books in the shop too, and oh my, they’re gorgeous!

Our display garments come from Navia Book 18, and we’ve also got Book 17 in stock. Using the amazing colour palette of Navia to the full, they’re packed full of lovely stranded colourwork pieces. They’ve got clever design details like in-the-round construction (no awkward purling while trying to follow the chart backwards!), cool touches like the neon flash on that shoulder placket, and simply effective colourwork motifs.

What’s more, these garments will stand up to a terrific amount of wear – the unique blend of Shetland, Faroese and Australian wool will ensure that.

And if you’ve never tried stranded colourwork before, then we’ll let you in on a secret: it’s not hard at all. In fact, it’s easy, and we can show you how! We have regular colourwork classes in the teaching schedule, so keep an eye on our list of classes and get yourself all skilled up!

We’re only barely containing our excitement at the moment – Ysolda Teague’s shawl design workshop is happening here in less than a month, on Saturday May 17th. There’s still a couple of places available, though there’s been a lot of interest. There’s even a group flying in specially from Scotland for the day!

When it comes to shawl design, Ysolda’s one of the greats (this is her portfolio). We’ve featured many of her designs, like lovely and popular Ishbel above, and elegant Marin below.

In this workshop she will give you the skills to make your own completely original shawl, just as lovely but completely exclusive to you! All you need is yarn, needles, squared paper, pencil and stitch markers – and your ideas!

You can snap up a place at this link, and then just imagine the thrill of saying “Oh this? It’s a design of my own, thank you!”

KAL news!

A month in and with two Bank Holiday weekends under our belts, the Spring Daybreak Knit-a-Long is romping along! We’re having so much fun in the shop helping you out together colour and yarn combinations (we’re offering the discount on suggested yarns right through the KAL).

Over in the Ravelry thread, there’s hints and support and a chance to see each other’s work in progress, so please drop in for a chat or some inspiration. There’s dozens of completed projects, and several of us have started second or third Daybreaks!

And there’s another Bank Holiday weekend just round the corner, and Daybreak’s an ideal combination of intriguing shaping and easy stocking stitch. So why not join the fun?

Today, we feature the latest in our continuing series of staff projects. This one’s already gone viral here, and we’re always happy to spread the word, so over to you, Jen!

If you have visited This Is Knit you might have noticed there is, a lot of the time, more than one sample of the same pattern hanging from a shop wall. (*ahem* Color Affection!)

Sometimes more than one of us TIKer’s get taken by a certain pattern for its beauty, cleverness and downright handiness…. Introducing said pattern in this case: Zuzu’s Petals. It’s a clever cowl that looks like a shawl and it is such a quick, adjustable (with a bit of playing) enjoyable knit.

Maria knit her Zuzu in Malabrigo Rios in the highly variegated Arco Iris, Jacqui used self-striping Amitola by Louisa Harding. I decided to stray from the written pattern and use gorgeous heavy lace weight yarn, Mirasol Sulka Legato with added Swarovski crystals (you can see them shining in the first picture). I loved knitting this, and I love the finished object.

Have I tempted you? What would you knit yours from?

Weaving in ends is one of the final stages of a project, and despite our best efforts (splicing when adding a new ball, working seamlessly and so on), there’s always some to do.

The Garter Yoke Baby Cardi (a hugely popular and dotey free pattern on Ravelry) is a case in point. It’s a delight to work in sportweight yarn (this one’s in Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino), made from the top down with the option of a neat i-cord edging. It’s quick and it’s easily customisable.

But there’s no denying it: that’s a lot of ends.

It’s a good idea to leave your ends long while you wash and block and snip them off only at the end. But then it’s easy to get confused about forget which ones you’ve woven in and which you haven’t, and you can easily end up peering crossly at your work trying to decide. So here’s a handy trick to speed things along: as you finish weaving in a strand, just tie a knot in it.

Then it’s easy to run your fingers down the length of any end and spot if you still need to deal with it. It’ll keep you a little further away from your wits’ end!

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.

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