Powerscourt Townhouse

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Last weekend, the winners of the Irish Times Best Shops
for 2014 were announced, voted for by the public and carefully judged by secret shoppers. The list covers the entire country, so we were very proud to learn that two of the winners are our neighbours: Article in the Best Gifts, Design and Interiors section and The Garden for Best Shop Window.

So imagine our delight when we discovered that Article currently stocks the most beautiful knitting- and crochet-themed platters at the moment. The image above shows the knitted version: the striking design is made by pressing a piece of knitted lace onto the surface of the plate before the coloured glaze goes on.

This is the crochet version – again, a delicate lace doily is preserved forever on the surface. They’re made in Italy by Ceramiche Bucci. They’re so characteristic of what Article offers: unique, practical and beautiful design. And what a special occasion gift for a knitter or crocheter!

So if you’re visiting us, schedule a wee detour into Article – you’ll be very glad you did, and you never know what you might find.

And you’ll be only steps away from the most beautiful shop window in Ireland – Mark Grehan’s astoundingly lovely flower shop in the front hall of Powerscourt townhouse….

It’s St Patrick’s Festival this coming weekend (hurray!) and we’ve got some changes to our usual Bank Holiday weekend opening hours.

We’re open on Saturday and Sunday as normal, but we’re closed on Monday March 17th itself.

So if you’re in town on Saturday or Sunday, drop by and say hello. The Powerscourt Centre’s all dressed up for the Festival and the Pepper Pot’s sure to be serving something special…!

It’s not every Monday evening that you get a chance to pay a friend a compliment and have it written up in lights and do some good, all at the same time.

This Monday evening’s different. From 5.30pm until 8.30pm, Innocent (yes, they of the Big Knit) are going to cover the front of the Powerscourt Centre with our compliments! And if you want yours to appear, here’s how it works.

But just think: we could festoon the front of the building with yarn-related compliments, couldn’t we?

  • Hey @friend, even your frogging looks good! #SpreadGood
  • Hello @XX, you’re the foundation chain in my life! #SpreadGood
  • Hello @friend, you’re the best thing since Magic Loop! #SpreadGood
  • We really could! And if you have better compliment suggestions than these (and you surely have!), share them in the comments!

    Right outside our front door, you’ll find the Pepper Pot café. We’re devoted fans of their food: the most delicious sandwiches and salads, wholesome and inventive soups, the most epic scrambled eggs, and terrific cake and coffee. Well, now the Pepper Pot has got even better! They’ve begun serving supper in the evenings on Thursdays and Fridays.

    The food’s lovely: currently, the choice includes meat and cheese boards, and a warming sausage stew, and delicious savoury tarts, with distinctive Pepper Pot cake for dessert, baked on the premises every day (chocolate and espresso? orange, cinnamon and buckwheat? Oh yum!). The menu’s online at their facebook page here.

    You can have wine or prosecco with your meal too, and with the twinkly tealights on the tables and the unique surroundings of the Powerscourt Centre, it’s hard to imagine a more charming place to eat.

    Supper is served from 6.30pm to 9.00pm on Thursdays and Fridays. Dervla, Marion and the rest of the team are simply the nicest neighbours a yarn shop could wish for!

    Here in the Powerscourt Centre, it’s a lovely Christmassy day. There’s live music from Lyric Opera, there’s a happy buzz from the Pepper Pot tables outside the door (the mince pies probably have a lot to do with it), and there’s little hand-crafted decorations all over the place.

    When it comes to yarny gifts, we’ve got loads we’d like to show you – kits and notions and buttons and books galore. We’re also delighted to see an awful lot of non-crocheters and non-knitters, and helping them pick the perfect gift is so much fun.

    If you’re looking for a very special gift for yourself or a very lucky person, there’s still a couple of days left to sign up for Irish Yarn Club 2014 – world-exclusive hand-dyed yarn from independent Irish dyers, paired with exciting new patterns from Carol Feller. You can sign up until Sunday, online, over the phone, or in person.

    If you’re passing over the weekend, do drop in and say hello!

    On Thursday next, all of us at the Powerscourt Centre are having a very special evening in aid of the Simon Community, and we’d love if you could make it.

    There’ll be music and mulled wine and a light show against the front of the building on South William Street, all in aid of a very good cause.

    As our part of the festivities, This Is Knit are offering a 10% discount from 6.00pm, and we’re giving a further 10% of the evening’s takings to Simon. So please drop in – we’d love to see you all!

    Discount Offer

    If you are planning a trip to a certain Show this weekend, then we’d like to invite you to pay us a visit too :)

    We are offering a juicy 15% off in-store purchases of the following 15 yarn ranges* – these are bargains not to be missed!

    Debbie Bliss BFL Aran
    Debbie Bliss BFL DK
    Debbie Bliss Milano
    Debbie Bliss Winter Garden
    Louisa Harding Akiko
    Louisa Harding Grace
    Louisa Harding Luzia
    Louisa Harding Orielle
    Malabrigo Arroyo
    Malabrigo Rios
    Malabrigo Sock
    Mirasol Miski
    Mirasol Paqu Pura
    Mirasol Sami
    Rooster Almerino

    *This discount cannot be combined with any other special offer or with redemption of Loyalty Card discounts.

    Yarn Tasting 2012 can really be summed up by that picture: lovely new yarn and fibre, and it’s hers, all hers!

    We were so excited as 7.30pm approached on Friday – we had so much to share with you and so much to talk about. We gathered in the Powerscourt Townhouse Theatre for the first part of the evening (the same space we’ve used before, though it’s now a rather spiffing performance space used by Jig), and it was on with the show.

    We had not one, but two eminent guests – Carol Feller and Ysolda Teague. Carol was at last year’s Yarn Tasting, so she talked about what she’s been up to in the last year. It won’t surprise you to hear that she’s been busy – she launched a new collaborative project with Hedgehog Fibres on Friday (we’ve got kits for the hat pattern all made up for you), and she’s now got a craftsy class for this gorgeous cabled cardigan:

    There were also lots of Ravi cardigans in the audience – you’ll remember that Carol had a KnitALong to celebrate her 100th pattern and that we had a chance to see it during her workshop back in May. Lisa was wearing hers, and we kept seeing them walking by:

    Our next guest was Ysolda Teague. She’s a true knitting superstar, having built an international reputation with her charming, innovative and colourful patterns. Her talk to us was fascinating: it detailed how she had come to be a knitter in the first place (because of a doll unfortunately named Annabel), and how she’d embarked on a career as a designer.

    The only really committed knitter in her family was her grandfather, who learned to knit while serving with the RAF during the Second World War. The picture above shows the two of them, both wearing garments he’d made. He was with us in spirit, I think.

    If you’re on twitter, then you may have noticed #yarntasting trending in Dublin on Friday night – we were all encouraged to tweet with that hashtag, and hence there was this sort of thing happening all over the place (and if you’re not following us yet, we’re @ThisIsKnit – it’s a great way of getting our news very fast indeed).

    As the samples of yarn were handed out, each member of the audience got a sheet of paper with ready-attached strands, so it was easy to record first impressions as we knit with them.

    As the weights of yarn were distributed and eagerly pounced on, we got to see sample garments made up from each. For example, Sublime Baby Cashmere Merino Silk is what was used for this garment. If there’s a sweeter poncho available, we’d be very surprised.

    As you arrived, you received a This Is Knit goody bag, with a copy of the Debbie Bliss magazine and a raffle ticket. Then, right through the evening, tickets were drawn for really excellent prizes, ranging from special skeins of Malabrigo to jumper quantities of Studio Donegal Merino 2-ply. (If you won one, we’d really love to see what you make with your well-gotten gains!)

    Then we went downstairs for the second part of the evening: hanging out in the shop, knitting at the tables outside, trying on Carol and Ysolda’s lovely garments on the balcony, with refreshments served by Rónan and Liam, our delightful barmen.

    In the shop, there were a lot of happy people with wide smiles and arms full of new yarn. It’s going to be a very warm and colourful winter.

    On the balcony, there were heaps and heaps of the garments we’ve admired online and in books – lovely sweaters like Ysolda’s Chickadee

    …and literally piles of mittens and hats and shawls…

    And quietly overseeing it all, James McCullagh’s breathtaking staircase ceiling in the original Powercourt townhouse. It’s one of the world’s great Georgian buildings, and we get to have our friends over to visit.

    We’d like to say a very big Thank You! to the Pepper Pot, to Jig, and to the staff and particularly the security personnel of the Powerscourt Centre. It was a wonderful evening, and you all made it easy.

    Choosing a gift for a yarn lover can be fraught. Is he allergic to that fibre? Does she already have the new Alice Starmore book? Is the vibrant purple sock yarn the perfect colour, or will it just make the recipient look ill? We’re happy to report that we’ve found unusual and charming gifts and tokens for yarny people which neatly avoid all these quandaries.

    First of all, we’re stocking Christmas cards specially photographed and printed by Julie of halfadreamaway.com. We’ve previously blogged about her greeting cards, and now she’s come up with some beautiful Christmas cards too.

    Next, we’ve found ideal gifts for knitters and crocheters in Article, our neighbours in the Powerscourt Centre. What about a plump yarn ball candle, or one wearing a perfect waxy cable? Or a versatile glass cylinder wrapped in a smart cabled jacket – it would look equally elegant with flowers or a candle inside? Or a sweet Ladybird Book-themed craft box for keeping tools and notions tidy?

    Article were the previous occupants of our new premises, and we still get the odd perplexed person wondering where they’ve gone. Well, they’ve gone to a truly beautiful unit in the old house, just thirty three steps from our front door. We recommend a visit – original and beautiful objects in a completely unique space.

    Last Friday, the Christmas lights were switched on in the Powerscourt Centre. It’s a bit of a special year here, because the Centre’s thirty years old. Over the last couple of weeks, our friends in A Rubanesque have been working astonishing hard decorating every possible surface – there’s a Nutcracker theme this year, so there’s ballet shoes, boughs and bows everywhere. It’s simply beautiful.

    At this time of the year, we start to get non-knitters and non-crocheters through the doors, looking for gifts for yarny loved ones. Happily, we’ve got lots of suggestions – luxurious yarn, like Hedgehog Fibres pure cashmere, pretty Peace Fleece needles, hand cream for softening you up, sweet stitch markers to keep your place, adorable keyrings with woolly sheep to guard your keys. We’ve got books such as the Barbara Walker Treasuries and the genius of Elizabeth Zimmermann – and so much more that there wouldn’t be room to list it all.

    So whether you’re a lurking present-seeker or a subtle hint-dropper, we can help! There’s even a thread in the Ravelry group for your wishlist (with added poetry!).

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