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Omena Vest

Cold and blustery weather doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom, for knitters it just means it’s time to get started on winter projects! If you’re all stocked up on hats and mittens, maybe it’s time to try your hand at knitting a garment?

Omena Image from Ravelry…  (c) Plucky Knitter

Knitting a jumper or cardigan can seem a bit intimidating, or maybe it’s just that you want something that will be off your needles and over your shoulders as quick as possible. Omena by Jill Zielinski is an excellent example of just that: a quick, easy, and oh-so-wearable layer that is sure to keep you cozy against the chill. It’s clever shape means no complicated construction, the armholes are even self-finishing – it really doesn’t get easier than that.

Omena truly is a great transition into garment knitting; if you’re ready to adventure beyond scarves and hats, this pattern is the perfect introduction. The pattern calls for worsted or aran weight yarn, which means it knits up quickly. Done in the round, it requires no seaming or special techniques, just some basic decreasing and increasing. The fit won’t be a problem, either; being a loose and flowy vest, it is universally flattering and easy to wear. It’s circular shape makes for the ideal layer to wrap up in!


Here’s our shop sample, knit using three shades of Ella Rae Superwash Classic for a gradient effect. For our version, 2 balls each of colours 117, 119 and 132 were used. As with all our shop samples, feel free to pop in and try it on. This project also looks great in just one solid colour, as you can see from some of the gorgeous versions on Ravelry.

What patterns are in your winter knitting queue? What was the first garment you ever knit?

Garter Flap Hat

We meet a lot of customers in the shop who confess to having “too many” projects on the go at home. This fact is whispered conspiratorially, often guiltily, and quite often during a purchase of yarn for a new project to be started.

Of course, we understand, I’m sure not I’d like to know the actually number of items that I have languishing half-finished on needles, scattered around my house.

That said I think there’s a great benefit to be had from not feeling too tied-down to a project. Sometimes our enthusiasm can wane mid-way through a second sleeve (as is currently happening with my Nanook) and all we need is a little pick-me-up: a quick project to boost the knitting mojo again, to remind us that FOs can and *will* happen, and we’ll be delighted that we plugged on through another few inches of stockinette.

Garter Flap Hat

And, for me, the Garter Ear Flap Hat from the wonderful Purl Soho website has been that project. A two-night diversion, with just enough detail in the techniques to keep things interesting. The clever short row shaping used for the ear flaps creates a flowing, seamless finish, and the visible line of double decreases lead in to a pleasingly whimsical tassel.

The pattern is free and this baby size version was knit using less than one ball of Katia’s Cotton-Merino. All in all, a pretty much guilt-free diversion, one which has magically restored my mojo.

Now… where’s that second sleeve?

Events like last Saturday’s really bring home how lucky we are to work within a community of such talented and creative individuals. It’s incredible to think back to Carol’s first free pattern in Knitty and to see how far her clever designs have taken her (with a lot of hard work along the way I’m sure).

So we thought it would be a good time to showcase some other local designers – Yvonne McSwiney and Eimear Earley – as they have each recently released new patterns, and they both happen to be adorable knits for little ones!

Camden Twist

First up is Camden Twist by Eimear: a 4ply cardigan of top-down construction, with just enough cabling to keep things interesting, and to tie in with the look and feel of Townhouse Yarns Camden Tweed. This cardigan is available in sizes ranging from 0-3 months to 2 years and is absolutely free. Go check it out!


Yvonne has covered sizes all the way up to 14 years with this refined saddle-shoulder vest: Castleknock. The design is clever, using interesting techniques to achieve a tailored finish. This vest is also knit in Yvonne’s very own yarn, Swing Sock, demonstrating that she is a woman of many talents! :)

Thanks for the wonderful designs ladies – we look forward to seeing what you come up with next…


The Short Row Knits Book Launch last Saturday was an event full of good will – and how could it not have been when it was so made up of so many great people and an impressive array of simply gorgeous knits?

It was a busy day at the shop, but we did manage to squeeze in some extra decor that morning, such as the impromptu bunting above that was on proud display before Carol’s arrival for the kick off at 4.30pm.


It didn’t take long for the shop to fill up then, with visitors from all corners of Ireland, including one extra special little guy who was definitely in contention with Carol for the title of star guest!


Carol was on hand for the entire evening, signing books, offering technical advice and taking us on a tour through Short Row Knits and Dovestone Hills with a quick talk and a mini fashion show.



Of course one of the best things about any event like this is the chance to fondle and try on the actual garments from the book, and there were many “oohs” and “aaahs” coming from the Mezzanine level, as projects lept up the ranks in people’s queues (and in a lot of cases were going to be cast on on the journey home!)

Brilliant Night

We’re really delighted you could all come, and that Carol chose to have the launch with us. It was such a fun evening and it was brilliant to see you all!

PS: If you couldn’t make it in on the day then we do still have limited stock of some signed copies of Short Row Knits available. They can be ordered online or set aside for collection in the shop – just comment below if you’d like one held for you.

This gorgeous knit was one of the stars of Yarn Dating 2015, and no wonder: it’s a combination of a simple, elegant pattern, a little buttony magic and a lovely new yarn.

The pattern is I Want That Wrap, and it’s a joy to knit. It’s a very wide simple rib, so it’s a terrific beginner’s pattern. And it’s TV knitting at its best – no chart to follow or shaping to work, and the result is cozy and smart. Even better, the pattern is a free download on Ravelry!

The yarn is a new offering from Studio Donegal, called Donegal Wool Spinning Company, and this project used 2.5 skeins (knit on 6mm needles). It’s a lighter version of Donegal Aran Tweed, with a new plied construction and a lovely range of colours. It’ll work for any aranweight pattern, and we think it’s going to be a firm favorite.

And the final touch to this project is an orderly row of buttons, and they really make it, don’t they? In short, we all want this wrap!

The weather’s been miserable over the last little while, so here’s some gorgeous things to cheer us all up. You see, we think nothing can brighten a day like some luxurious yarn and a clever pattern, and here’s two of our current favourites.

In the picture up above, we have a sweet little shawlette called Lilac Wish. It’s fast to work and combines easy stocking stitch with a gorgeous lace border studded with nupps. Maria worked it in Malabrigo Baby Silkpaca, and it took only one skein, so it’s economical too!

Lace makes a terrific summer project. It’s light and pretty, and you get to knit without a great thick covering of jumper in the heat (right now, such a thing might be welcome!). And if the ornateness of Lilac Wish isn’t your cup of tea, then we have another suggestion: our good friend Gudrun Johnston’s Havra.

A former Mystery Knit-Along pattern now released to everyone, Havra is elegant and unfussy. It’s easy to work and very simple to customise for size, and here it’s found a perfect partner: our very own Townhouse Yarn’s Trinity 2-ply laceweight. Again, this took less than a skein, and the result is simply beautiful.

We can’t promise to make the sun come out, but with lace like this, you can light up your day!

This is Cecil. He’s part of a very special movement: the Little Yellow Duck Project. All over the world, little crafted yellow duckies are popping up in unexpected places, looking for a home.

The project has a serious basis. Founded in memory of a young woman who died of cystic fibrosis before a suitable lung donor was found (here’s the page giving the full story), its aim is to make us think about the importance of donating blood, tissue and organs. The little duckies are powerful little messengers.

It’s very easy to get involved. Make a duck – knitted or crocheted or sewn. You’ll find patterns here or you can make up your own! Print out a tag (there’s several styles to choose from) which points to the Project’s website so the message gets through.

Then you leave your duck to be found, and the tag explains why he’s there, waiting to be taken home. The lucky adopter of a duck can log the find – more than four thousand ducks all over the world have already spread the word.

Some of the tags also have a space for the duck’s name – that’s how you’d know that our little crocheted chum above is called Cecil. And this is Gertrude.

Between them, Cecil and Gertrude took an evening to make, and took 25g of aranweight (any weight will work beautifully if you choose a suitable needle or hook size). What’s more, they’re a ball to make! Here they are with their labels attached, waiting to find their new home.

We can help save lives with these little characters. So will you join us in reminding the world, just by making someone smile, and then think, with a little yellow duck?

And if you were in Stephen’s Green earlier, just by the duckpond, maybe you saw Gertrude waiting patiently on a bench. She’s got something important to tell someone.

The menagerie just keeps getting bigger! To the great delight of our child customers (and a lot of the adult ones too), Big Ted has recently arrived in the shop.

His two bear relations have been here for a while – they’re the teaching project for Colette’s toy-making class. So, in fact, is Big Ted. You see, this splendid trio have a message for us all: be adventurous with yarn choice!

All three bears are knitted with exactly the same pattern. The difference between them comes from using different weights of yarn, with needle size chosen to fit. The littlest Ted is made with Debbie Bliss Rialto Lace, and he comes out small enough to put in your pocket. Middle-sized Ted is more portly, made in Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino. And our magnificent Big Ted is made from superbulky Debbie Bliss Roma!

The easiest way of sizing a pattern up or down is to change your yarn. Have you seen a baby cardigan that you’d love to make for a toddler, but the pattern doesn’t come in larger sizes? Try a thicker yarn. Matching hats for parent and child are adorable, and two different yarns can get you there without having to change anything else.

You can swatch and do the sums to work it all out in advance if you like, but most of the time it doesn’t matter. Colette knew when she started with Big Ted that he would be Big, and that was good enough! He’s an epic bear, and along with his friends, would love you to come and visit.

It’s a glorious summer’s day in Dublin, so what better than to announce the winner of our Chicane Knit-Along! As you can see, Lisa’s already rocking hers!

Before we do, though, we want to thank Jimenez Joseph, the very clever designer of Chicane, both for the pattern and for her amazing input in the KAL thread on Ravelry (she’s JimiKnits there). Jimi, you made this a very special KAL indeed!

The lucky winner gets two prizes – first of all, a free pattern from JimiKnits, and second, ten balls of gorgeous Juniper Moon Findley DK!

Now..drumroll, please! Congratulations to ludivine77! To claim your prizes, just get in touch with us and with JimiKnits!

Thank you to everyone who took part in the KAL, and here’s to wearing your gorgeous Chicanes all summer long!

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!

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