Stock Updates

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In the last couple of weeks, we’ve had a completely new 100% Irish offering in the shop: S Twist’s gorgeous new Hiking Sock Yarn in lovely colours. When Diarmuid Commins introduced his handspun yarn in undyed colourways last May, he wrote a guest post about it for us. We’re very happy that he’s done the same for his new range!

The wool comes from Castlecomer, Kilkenny and is from Cheviot sheep, a breed with a centuries-long history. They’re a reliable producer of dense, firm wool that is durable without being harsh, with a long staple length and lovely bouncy crimp.


(Cheviot ewe and lamb © Donald Macleod and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons BY licence.)

In other words, it’s perfect sock wool. I add 10% nylon for extra strength, and then the wool is blended and spun for S Twist Wool. Each skein is then dyed individually. After the skeins have dried, I go through them to see which are finished as they are and which need to go back for another dyeing. Each round of dyeing adds another layer of complexity and depth to the colours of the skein. This, of course, is the part which is the most fun. It also means that every single skein is unique!

One of the main things that I love about this line of yarn is that it is like the knitter and I are doing it together. As I am dyeing up the different families of colour, I have an image in my mind of how the different skeins would work together and I use the techniques and tools of a dyer to make my image happen. As at least two skeins are needed to make a pair of socks, the knitter goes through a similar process while choosing which skeins to get. They then use the techniques and tools of the knitter to make their vision happen. At the end of it, the knitter and I have worked together to create something truly unique and special. I find that idea very exciting and a lot of fun.

I’d love to see pictures of your finished Hiking Sock Yarn projects – you can email them to thespinner@stwistwool.com, or post them in the S Twist group over on Ravelry!

Theere’s something about that weather outside that’s calling for quick knits in comforting fibres. We’ve got just the yarn, and it’s called Herriot Great! It’s from Juniper Moon Farm and it’s 120 metres of the cosiest, softest baby alpaca you can imagine.

The sample hat we have on show at the moment is called, simply, the Herriot Hat, and it takes just a single skein. As you can see, it’s a fast knit with a clever smocked brim, and the pattern is free on Ravelry. It’s a quick weekend project, and the result is so warm and smart. And just look at the colour range!

Yes, that’s another fun fur pompom. It’s great, too!

As we write, it’s proper January weather out there: high wind, grey skies and rain. But we’ve got the antidote to all of that grimness. We’ve got bright pink silk lace, the combination of very special new yarn and a lovely pattern!

This is Heaven Scent, a stunning crescent shawl by Boo Knits. It’s got a simple stocking stitch basis before the stunning lace border. And as with all of her patterns, it’s extremely clearly written. If you’re looking for something that’s straightforward to knit and very impressive indeed, this is it.

The beading is optional, but Jacqui couldn’t resist (she used about 220 beads). Isn’t the result spectacular?

And the yarn? The yarn is Townhouse Yarns newest offering, Pembroke Silk! It’s simply beautiful to touch, to knit with and to wear, and it comes in the brightest lustrous colours!

It’s fingering weight, and a skein is a generous 400 metres long. Townhouse Yarns is our inhouse hand-dyed offering, so we’re very happy to introduce you to Pembroke.

See? The day seems brighter already!

We all seek comfort at this time of year… some people find it in steaming mugs of hot chocolate, others basking in the warm glow of a fire. But we know there’s nothing better than snuggling up with a special yarn, especially one with the soft, fluffy halo of Baby Alpaca…

Cumulus 2

Fyberspates Cumulus is new to our shelves, but it had been on our wish list for some time. Jacqui in particular had been plotting an Ellora Scarf since late summer! We’ll be posting her FO as soon as it’s off the needles, but in the meantime here’s our top 5 pattern suggestions from Ravelry for this dreamy yarn.

(c) Susanna IC

1. Cumulus

This exquisite shawl from Susanna IC has to be top of the chart, with its dainty bead detailing and striking lace pattern. The beading is optional, but it does add a lovely drape to the finished shawl.

(c) Louise Zass-Bangham

2. Winter Shadows Wrap

Just as elegant, but much simpler in its execution, the Winter Shadows Wrap is a great example of using two complimentary yarns to great effect (in this case we would suggest combining Fyberspates Scrumptious 4ply and Cumulus). The finish is subtle, but the resulting wrap would surely be a wardrobe staple for years to come…

Ellora

3. Ellora

The scarf is the result of a nifty combination of textured moss stitch and delicate cables. We love it in this icy shade and think it would make the perfect accessory for brisk winter walks.

(c) Flickafish

4. Il Grande Favorito

This project would be sheer indulgence, knitted with two strands of Cumulus held together. We love the modification made by Ravelry User FlickaFish to make the front in garter stitch (as photographed). Pure luxury.

Seascape Stole

5. Seascape Stole

Kieran Foley is one of our favourite designers here at TIK, and his Seascape Stole has always been a popular pattern. The simple, flowing stitch pattern would be stunning in one of the jewel tone shades of Cumulus.

GIVEAWAY

So that’s our top 5, but we’d like to know which pattern is top of your list for this yarn. Let us know, and you just might be lucky enough to win the yarn and the pattern to make your dream project.

Simply leave a comment below, stating the name of the pattern and the shade of Cumulus that you would knit it from. You can comment any time until the close of 2014 and we’ll announce a lucky winner in the New Year.

We’re very pleased to present a brand new kit this year: the Gothic Lace Cowl. It’s by the wonderful Tin Can Knits and it’s the perfect introduction to lace.

Made in delicious kettle-dyed Malabrigo Rios, it’ll knit up fast and smoothly. Just look at these glorious saturated colours!

We’ve even handpicked toning buttons to complete your beautiful cowl and included them in the kit.

But that’s not all: this pattern has outstanding pattern support. On Ravelry, the pattern page for the Gothic Lace Cowl has links to free tutorials on how to work lace and how to read a chart, so success is a given. You can browse through the hundreds of projects that have been made and then add your own.

So that’s luscious yarn, the pattern, the buttons and all this expertise wrapped up with a bow! The only problem is which colour to choose!

Last year, our Marin kit was one of your favourites, so we’re delighted to offer it again this year. Ysolda’s clever design is a joy to work: interesting enough to keep the knitter engaged, but straightforward enough to let you relax.

The result is simply lovely and unfussy, and the yarn really shines through. Once more, we’re offering the kit in Fyberspates Scrumptious 4-ply. It’s delicious to work with and comes in gorgeous saturated colours.

And we’ve got Marin all wrapped up with a bow for you, in a sweet little kit containing the yarn and the pattern. It’s the most elegant gift a knitter could receive!

It always seems more like the holiday season when the This Is Knit gift kits start appearing, and we’ve just reached that point. In useful and pretty packaging, we’re offering a terrific range this year: yarn and patterns specially chosen to complement each other, giving hours of crafty fun and a gorgeous finished object to boot. There’s something for everyone: for children and adults, knitters and crocheters, beginners and experts alike!

Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll be shining a spotlight on some of our kits, and we’re starting with Eimear Earley’s Dapple Cowl. The package contains Eimear’s tempting pattern and a skein of Juniper Moon Farm’s Herriot DK weight.

We blogged about this yarn here when it came into stock, and the Dapple Cowl was written specially for it.

Together, the entire kit weighs in at less than 150g, which is excellent news if you’re posting your presents. So in the New Year, someone somewhere will be able to snuggle up in the warmest alpaca, whatever the weather brings.

And finally, if you fancy winning some Juniper Moon yarn, a mere mouse click will enter you into our twitter competition. Follow and retweet, and an entire gorgeous kilometre of yarn might be yours!

Named for James Herriot, much-loved author and country vet, here’s our new Juniper Moon DK. When we showed it at the Yarn Dating, there was a lot of excitement about this delicious 100% alpaca, with incredible softness and the loveliest gentle colour palette.

It’s finally in stock, and we love it. And we’ve got the perfect pattern for it too: Eimear Earley’s Dapple Cowl.

Designed specially for Herriot and both simple and elegant, it’s got just enough detail to keep you interested and just enough soothing stocking stitch to ensure a relaxing knit. Needing just one skein, it’s a perfect gift knit, too.

So whether your project’s great or small, Herriot’s here.

…and yarn that lights up in the dark!

It’s nearly Hallowe’en, and here’s a suitably spectral thing: yarn that glows when light shines on it! It’s Rico Glow Worm Luciole, and it’s terrific fun.

When light isn’t shining directly on it, all you see is the bright neon colours. The dazzling strands vanish:

What’s more, it’s got a practical side. For anyone who needs to be seen in headlights (children going to school in the early morning, runners and cyclists out training when the sun’s gone down, to name just two), it’s a bit of extra visibility.

But it’s perfect for scary Hallowe’en spooks, too!

One of the undisputed stars of our Yarn Dating evening back in September was our new lace offering, Juniper Moon Findley. It’s a beautiful blend, 50% silk and 50% merino, and as you can see, the colours are breathtaking.

The delivery has been avidly anticipated, but now it’s arrived. As our sample garment, Jacqui’s whipped up the sweetest little lace top: Bonny, by TinCanKnits.

Worked in the round, with just a touch of lace detail, this is a fast and easy knit. With Findley’s generous meterage, it’s economical too: a 700m ball (enough to make Jacqui’s Bonny) only costs €16.95!

With all this lovely laceweight in jewel colours, it’s going to be a very bright winter indeed!

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