Beginner Beauties

As we had our adventurous knits last week, today is a good time to strike some balance and have a little peek at two of our favourite Beginner Knitting patterns.

You may be a regular reader of our blog, or you might just have stumbled upon this post when searching for a somewhere to start on your knitting journey.  Either way we have some very pretty projects to share with you – and both demonstrate that simple doesn’t have to mean “basic” or “boring” at all.

Bread and Buttoned Mitts in Rico Soft Merino Aran pictured with lots of buttons. Simple Fingerless Gloves pattern for beginner knitters.

Our “Bread and Buttoned” Mitts

It’s a common misconception that a first project for a new knitter should generally be a scarf. Don’t get us wrong – scarves are very good introductions to the world of knits and purls. However the more impatient among us can find them a bit same-y after a while and be eager to try to something new.  That’s where the Bread and Buttoned Mitts come in! They have all the same techniques that you’d learn in a scarf – cast on, knit and cast off – with the added bonus of just being 5-6 inches worth of knitting per mitt.

Bread and Buttoned Mitts in Rico Soft Merino Aran pictured with a Debbie Bliss Mug. Simple Fingerless Gloves pattern for beginner knitters.

You’ll have a pair of these mitts whipped up in no time, and will be an expert at the basics by then, because you will have done them all twice in a short space of time.  So the simplest of stitches is turned sideways, and then a bit of whimsical embellishment is added… the result? One happy new knitter with a funky new pair of fingerless gloves!

The Mistake Rib Scarf

So maybe after that you fancy a scarf after all? And why wouldn’t you, when you can throw in a fun new stitch pattern, and maybe try a new yarn now that you’re confident in your skills?

Mistake Rib Scarf pictured in front of the Powerscourt Townhouse. Knitted in Louisa Harding Trenzar. Simple scarf for beginner knitters.

We’ve been knitting Mistake Rib scarves for over a decade now, and they never fail to please. They are perfect as gift knits for men or women, and the broken rib stitch pattern works well with almost every yarn imaginable. This season we have chosen Louisa Harding Trenzar, for its subtle tweedy finish and for the warmth of its merino and alpaca base.  It’s a winning combination, and the end result certainly looks much more than the sum of its parts.

Mistake Rib Scarf pictured in front of the Powerscourt Townhouse. Knitted in Louisa Harding Trenzar. Simple scarf for beginner knitters.

So have we convinced you to give this knitting lark a try? Let us help you get started – our January knitting courses are booking now.

Or are you one of our regular readers? If so then remember that we offer beginner kits for both of these designs so that you can share your love of the craft this Christmas… Knitting is contagious – so pass the bug around!

Learning Curve – Two Shawls for the Adventurous Knitter

Are you ready for your next knitting adventure? Today we are featuring two elegant knitted shawls from among the fabulous selection on display in store. Both are suitable for the more adventurous knitters among you, and I think we’ll dive right in with the more challenging of our pair…

The Cypri Shawl by Amanda Scheuzgerin Hedgehog Fibres Sock Yarn. Draped over a chair.

The Cypri Shawl

This beauty is the work of Twist Collective designer Amanda Scheuzger, and comes from the needles of our own guru-of-shawls, Jacqui :)  Cypri is cast on at the bottom edge, and shaped with short rows to create a gently flowing crescent.  The travelling stitches are achieved with a slipped stitch technique, over a garter stitch background, with the instructions for these details given in charted form only.

The Cypri Shawl by Amanda Scheuzgerin Hedgehog Fibres Sock Yarn. An elegant knitted shawl.

Jacqui really enjoyed working on this project but she did confess to having to rip back on a few occasions.  Her advice?

“Switch off the television and focus 100% on the pattern. The instructions are very well written but some of the techniques may be unfamiliar, so keep an open mind.  The results are so worth the effort though!”

This version was worked in Hedgehog Fibres Sock Yarn, in colours that mimic the original design, but of course there’s lots colour combination inspiration to be had among the other finished projects on Ravelry.

So what do you think? Are you ready for the challenge? Or perhaps our next shawl, Holyrood, is more your cup of tea?

The Holyrood Shawl by Justyna Lorkowska in Townhouse Yarns Fade St 4ply. An elegant knitted shawl. Modelled.

Holyrood

Chevrons, eyelets, cables, stripes and ribs – Holyrood is a shawl that has it all.  In fact, this is a perfect learning project for someone looking to expand their stitching repertoire.  We’re a big fan of Justyna’s patterns here in the shop, and this design proved to be everything we’ve come to expect from her: clever, stylish and interesting to knit.

The yarn combination this time is two shades of Fade Street 4ply from our own Townhouse Yarns line – Rippleberry and Mustard Seed. And again there are oodles of inspiring combinations to browse through in the gallery of finished projects.

The Holyrood Shawl by Justyna Lorkowska in Fade St 4ply by Townhouse Yarns - Detail

While some patterns would have you plough through miles of garter stitch or stockinette just to get to the fun parts, Holyrood’s frequent change of stitch pattern can, almost counter-intuitively, lead to a faster end result.  It’s similar to knitting with self-striping yarns: you keep going just to see what’s coming next and then, all of a sudden, it’s done!

So there you have it, two elegant knitted shawls for the intermediate knitter, both tried and tested and guaranteed to give you warm fuzzy feelings of accomplishment when complete.  While each may pose their own learning curve, both will definitely provide hours of knitting fun.

Have we tempted you to push your knitting boundaries? Or are you working on your own challenging knits right now? We’d love to hear about them in the comments. :)

Warmth without the Weight

Oh Chunky Sweaters, how we yearn for them on days like these. So satisfying to knit, so cosy to snuggle in to, but so often such a drag (literally). You see, there has traditionally been a trade off for these quick-knitting beauties: weight.

We have seen Super Chunky sweater patterns that call for upwards of 2kg of yarn. And while those all-over cabled tunic-length garments are beautiful creations, they often sag and grow with time, turning into shadows of their former selves.

But fret not – we have two solutions for you today! Both sweaters are still quick to knit, and warm to wear, yet they each took less than 400 g of yarn. So you can have the best of both worlds: warmth without the weight and without the wait

Coda Sweater in Woolfolk Får Chunky Knitted Sweater

The Coda Sweater

While this is technically a worsted weight pattern, it falls in to this quick-knitting-and-cosy category due both to the fitted finish (less knitting) and to the incredibly warm yarn we chose for our shop sample: the simply divine Woolfolk Får. This sweater was worked up in less than 7 skeins (under 350g), so it’s very lightweight to wear, but the “chainette” construction of the yarn lends extra insulation to the garment. Rather than being spun in the traditional sense, chainette yarns are very fine knitted tubes in themselves.  These tubes or chains have lots of tiny air pockets that trap the wearer’s own body heat proving that, when it comes to wool and warmth, bigger is not always better. Very clever stuff indeed.

The pattern from is from Brooklyn Tweed and it has all the signature style and smart detailing that you would expect from this respected design collective.  We opted to stick with the three-quarter length sleeves as provided for in the pattern, but they could easily be lengthened for added warmth.

Il Grande Favorito in Rico Alpaca Blend Chunky Knitted Sweater

Il Grande Favorito

Aptly named, this pattern is a firm favourite among us all at This is Knit.  “Il Grande Favorito” is a top-down sweater with optional short row shaping at the lower back to create a flattering dipped hem.  The original pattern called for holding two strands of yarn together to get the correct tension, but we have happily discovered that Rico’s  Alpaca Blend Chunky is perfect for this design, just as it is.

While the chainette construction of Får kept things light in our first example, this time around it is blended nature of the yarn creating a “best of both worlds” scenario.  Alpaca Blend Chunky contains 50% natural fibres (alpaca & wool) and 50% acrylic, and this allows for a full sweater to be made with just 8 balls (400g for the 38 inch size).  So we get all the cosiness of natural fleece fibres, with the dash of practicality from a lighter weight synthetic and it all adds up to a stylish winter “must-have”.

Do you have a favourite Chunky Sweater pattern?

Or have we inspired you to make one of these two?

Don’t forget you can pop in to see these garments (and all our shop samples) any time!

15 Knitted Gift Ideas

Are you in need of some knitted gift inspiration? Then this post is for you! We have compiled a list of our favourites along with some yarn suggestions so that you can whip up a gorgeous handmade gift in no time at all…

 

15 Knitted Gift Ideas from This is Knit 2016

 

15 Knitted Gift Ideas Zuzus Petals
The best thing about this quick  lace cowl pattern is that you can chose to knit it in either a sock weight or a worsted weight. This cowl is knit from the top down starting straight and then moving to working in the round for the lace chart section.  Jenny and myself have both made beaded versions for that extra bling and Maria has made a worsted version in Malabrigo Rios.

Willow Cowl 15 Knitted Gift Ideas
Do you have a skein of sock yarn that is just screaming to be a certain person’s gift? Then, this is the pattern for you. This is an easy relaxing knit that swaps between a simple eyelet pattern and stocking stitch to give it a springy concertina effect. Our sample was knit in Malabrigo Finito and I’m dreaming of one of these in Clarendon Sock.

15 Knitted Gift Ideas Antler Mittens
In case you missed it, Maureen knitted the above mittens in one skein of Malabrigo Rios in no time at all. A spark of an idea and some DART journeys later and she had these ready to go for the cold snap. The sizing on these goes from toddler to adult, so you can make a matching set for all the family.

Garter Ear Flap Hat 15 Knitted Gift Ideas
This is a firm favourite for the tiny humans among us but the sizing does go all the way to an adult large. This simple aran weight pattern is on and off the needles almost overnight so it’s my go to pattern for the grab and go gift. I’m excited to try this in the new Falkland Aran by Debbie Bliss and a new set of Zing tips.

The Graham Hat 15 Knitted Gift Ideas
We are always asked about knitting patterns for men and this is a popular suggestion here in the shop. It’s a simple broken rib pattern worked on 5mm needles and sized for an adult medium and large. The hat is completely reversible with the decreases worked seamlessly into the pattern.  The Ella Rae Classic range and Malabrigo Rios would look great in this pattern.

Tea Sympathy Tea Cosy 15 Knitted Gift Ideas
You would be surprised the number of requests we get for a tea cosy pattern. This is a simple garter stitch pattern in Studio Donegal Aran worked flat and seamed. This means it can fit any teapot and I know a lot of people have been choosing their colours to match their dishes. The blue and white Denby combination is very popular and topped off with a luscious pom pom, what’s not to love!

15 Knitted Gift Ideas Barley Hat
Another worsted weight hat pattern sized from baby to adult. This is perfect for a relaxed weekend knit. I have also knit this pattern in Hedgehog Fibers Sock held double on a 5mm needle as an alternative to using aran weight yarn and ended up with a super soft hat that just begs to be worn.

15 Knitted Gift Ideas Probys Armwarmers
One of our favourite patterns from Carol’s wonderful book, Knitting with Rainbows. If you picked up any mini skeins during 2016 then this is the perfect way to showcase them. This pattern would be a great way to use up any 4ply leftovers that you might have from shawls or socks – what a wonderful way to wrap up the year, with a trip down your very own knitting memory lane..

Rye Socks 15 Knitted Gift Ideas
Sock patterns usually take a lot of time but these Rye Socks knit up rapidly using worsted weight yarn on 3.75mm needles. The pattern goes from baby to adult large and is adorned with a garter stitch panel from cuff to toe. Perfect for toasty toes in front of the fire at Christmas.

Iceling Jacket 15 Knitted Gift Ideas
This two piece aran weight cardigan and hat set is ideal for wrapping those winter baby arrivals in snuggles. This timeless piece has a broad size range from 3 months to 10 years old. This is also a great introduction to a top down raglan knitting with a beautiful i-cord edging. The double row of buttons allows this garment to grow with the child making this a perfect gift knit that might even still fit next winter too.

Blackrock Vest 15 Knitted Gift Ideas
This is a beautiful little cable pattern worked in fingering weight yarn for added warmth without excess bulk. The yarn of choice is of course the Dublin Dye merino sock for softness and durability. Firstly, the vest is worked in the round from the bottom up then the stitches are picked up around the arms and neckline to form the collar and arm ribbing.

Composite Tunic 15 Knitted Gift Ideas
This is a beautiful DK pattern with lace sleeves and  a gorgeous button side panel. This newborn size is free but you can get the child version called Quaintly which has sizes to 10 years old . This is a perfect pattern for any double knit yarn. How about Rialto DK by Debbie Bliss?

15 Knitted Gift Ideas Herriot Hat
Made with 1 skein of Herriot Great on 5mm needles, this is a hat filled with Alpaca-y, Pom-Pom-y Goodness! This has been a firm favourite for teens with a choosy, hard to knit for attitude. The largest size in this hat, has less than 60 rows so this hat is easily achieved in a weekend.

Quilted Lattice Cowl 15 Knitted Gift Ideas

A sumptuously soft cowl (our version was worked in the truly exceptional yarn that is Woolfolk Får), featuring an easy repeat of an interesting stitch pattern. This gift knit is guaranteed to be enjoyable to work up, and quite difficult to give away!  Our sample used three skeins of Får but you can customise the length to suit your time frame and budget…

 

15 Knitted Gift Ideas Powder Snow Cosy

What knitted gift list wouldn’t be complete without a hot water bottle cosy. This is a quick and interesting knit in Malabrigo but you can of course choose any cosy aran to snuggle up to. This elegant knit is worked in the round from the bottom up with a charted cable pattern with written instructions provided.

And there you have it folks. Is your favourite gift knit missing from the list? Let us know in the comments!

We’ve got the blues…

… but in the very best way!

Anyone who has stepped foot in our shop (and many of you that have followed us from afar) will know that we’re addicted to knitted shawls, wraps and scarves.  We have so many samples in the shop, and so many pretty hand-dyed yarns to play with – it’s can be hard to keep up with the many wonderful creations that fly off the needles of our talented staff!

Watering the Garden knit from a Burlington Sock Blank by Townhouse Yarns
Watering the Garden

With that in mind we have a mini shawl round-up here on the blog today, with two true-blue creations, both of which play with colour in a different way.

Burlington Blank in "Myst" Gradient
Burlington Blank in “Myst” Gradient

First up is “Watering in the Garden” by Giddy Davies, which was knit using one of Townhouse Yarns’ “Burlington Blanks”, to achieve this beautiful gradient effect. The pattern is available to purchase and download on Ravelry, and the instructions are given in both written and charted form.

Also, if you have never come across a sock blank before, then you might want to know a little more about how they are used.  They may be a little odd to use, at first, but the effect is certainly worth it! These blanks are limited editions, but there are still a few available in the Townhouse Yarns Etsy Shop.

Bryum Shawl in Hedgehog Sock
Bryum Shawl in Hedgehog Sock

 

Our second shawl takes a more traditional route when combining colours – this time using stripes and slipped stitches to produce a beautifully textured scarf.

This sample is the “Bryum Shawl“, again available for purchase on Ravelry, where there are (currently) 518 stunning projects to browse for colour inspiration.  We opted for the Hedgehog Fibres Sock for our version, and it is just a dream to be wrapped up in.

Byrum Shawl Detail
Byrum Shawl Detail

 

 

We don’t currently list Hedgehog Fibres on our website, but we do get regular deliveries… so if you’d like to get some shipped to you just contact us today for the latest picture of what we have in stock.

Don’t forget to follow us over on Instagram for further project inspiration and yarns to drool over!

So what colour are you knitting with right now? Winter blues and icy greys? Or warming reds and rich jewel tones?

Do you have a colour “comfort zone”?

Simple and Swift

Are you looking for some quick, cosy and stylish accessories to whip up with some very squishable yarn? On today’s blog we’re highlighting two fabulous shop samples that we think will do the job quite nicely…

File 17-10-2016, 21 55 35  October_15__2016_at_1122AM

First up is this Cable Edged Cowl from the lovely people at Conway and Bliss.  Using just two balls of their Odin yarn and 10mm needles, you can cast on for this project on Friday evening and be snuggling in to its cosy depths come Monday morning… This project would be a wonderful introduction to cables for the newer knitter, or a super gift-knitting option for the more experienced of you out there.

October_15__2016_at_1116AM

It’s been all about hats at TIK recently, and the project choices just keep piling up! Sample number two is a sweet slouchy beanie, made using a nifty free pattern from TinCanKnits and one skein of cloud-like merino in the form of Debbie Bliss’s new Falkland Aran. The pattern is called Barley and it’s available in sizes from newborn right up to adult’s large. Why not make one for everyone?

Are you getting a head start on gift knitting right now? Or using any super chunky yarn? We’d love to hear all about the quick-knitting projects you have on the needles!

Airflow Cardigan

These days we’ve all been kept on our toes, with the weather bouncing around from warm, Summer-like days, to rainy, blustery ones. We are reminded that practical layers are essential, and the Airflow Cardigan by Justyna Lorkowska is definitely one of them! A simple, stockinette, open-front cardigan featuring three quarter sleeves is the perfect go-to for unpredictable weather.

Airflow Cardigan Fade St 4ply

Our sample was knit up in the beautiful Townhouse Yarns Fade St 4ply in the colourway Thea. Superwash Merino and Silk is the ideal match for this flowy cardigan, the luxuriously soft blend giving it the perfect drape. Not a fan lots of finicky finishing? This easy, seamless design features an open front and set-in sleeves, which makes it a pleasure to knit. A subtle eyelet detail runs the length of the front, and the sleeves and hem are finished off with simple ribbing. And the asymmetric hem, being short in the back and longer towards the front, gives it a flattering shape. It truly is a classic design that is sure to get plenty of wear all year long.

Airflow Cardigan Knitting Pattern

Stockinette cardigans like this one are a great way to show off the subtle variations in hand dyed yarns. Without a button band or separate sleeves, the flow of the color transitions aren’t interrupted, leaving the effect to be truly seamless. The sheen of a silk blend like Fade St. really give it an elegant feel, making it easy to dress up or down. Just 2 skeins were needed to knit up our sample, which is available to try on in the shop next time you pop by! The pattern for the Airflow cardigan is available for purchase via Ravelry, and likely one you’ll knit more than once; a couple of these cardis in your wardrobe would not go amiss!

What are your favourite garment patterns for unpredictable seasons?

Bonny Lace Top

Warm, sunny days may feel fleeting in Dublin, but their rarity makes them all the sweeter! We’ve had some lovely summery days recently, and it’s inspired us to share this beautiful lace top by Tin Can Knits. Knit up in the luxurious Findley by Juniper Moon, in the shade 22 Menemsha, Bonny is the perfect lightweight garment for the warmer months. It’s sleeveless design, lace neckline and loose gauge makes for an airy and elegant top, and perfectly matched to the silk and merino blend of Findley.

Bonny Lace Top Knitting

The only thing more impressive than this buttery soft yarn is the value; each ball contains 730 metres, which is plenty to knit up this top in one of the smaller sizes! Our shop sample took less than one ball to knit up the small size. This is also the perfect pattern for those keen to try knitting garments: no sleeves or seaming is involved, it’s simply knit bottom up, in the round with no complicated shaping. The lace at the neck is a simple stitch pattern, which is easy to memorize once a few rounds have been worked. The cowl-like drape at the neck is flattering, and the airy gauge makes this a pretty quick knit too.

Bonny Tin Can Knits Pattern

Findley gives this top a luxurious feel, while being very economical in both yardage and price. It’s available is several vibrant colours that are just perfect for summer. This deep blue is prime for an elegant evening, but knit up in white or a pastel would make it casual and fun. It really is a truly versatile and simple pattern, and an overall enjoyable knit! Stop by the shop to see our sample, or admire all the beautiful shades of Findley first hand.

What’s in your queue for the Summer? What are your favourite lace weight garment patterns?

Waiting For Rain

We recently wrapped up our Spring KAL for the Waiting For Rain shawl, and were blown away by all of your beautiful FOs! In case you missed all of the excitement, we’re talking a bit about this pattern today. Super simple garter stitch, short row lace inserts, beautiful drape… what’s not to love? I mean, have you seen our stunning shop sample in Townhouse Fade St 4ply?

Waiting For Rain Shawl

While the bulk of the shawl is easy garter stitch, what makes it unique is the lace “windows” throughout, created using a short row technique. This pattern is extremely user-friendly, with lots of notes and extra instructions to help you navigate your way through the pattern or any alterations you might want to make, including: changing the lace, using two colours, cast on and bind off methods among others. Details such as stitch counts, as well as both written and charted instructions make it easy to follow no matter what your preference. It truly is a fine example of thorough pattern writing, which made it an easy choice for this year’s Knit-a-long.

Waiting For Rain Knit Pattern

Ready to add it to your queue? You’ll need 2 skeins of Fade St 4ply to knit up this shawl, or just over 700 metres of a fingering weight yarn. We’d recommend Debbie Bliss Fine Donegal if you’re looking for some texture. We’re also loving the sister shawl to this pattern which was recently announced, it’s called The Rain Outside, and it’s equally beautiful. Both patterns are available for purchase via Ravelry. If you’ve decided to dive into this pattern and need some help along the way, pop by the shop for some tips and advice, we’re happy to help! Our sample shawls are also in the shop, if you feel like test driving this beauty before you cast on!

Did you join along in our Spring KAL? Have you knit up your own Waiting For Rain shawl?

Piewhacket Shawl

The sun has been taking a short hiatus here in Dublin, though the return of rain means it’s time to wrap up in a beautiful shawl! Recently we shared the lovely Rondelay Shawl, a fun short row pattern by Jennifer Dassau. Today, we have another shawl from the same ebook collection, the Piewhacket Shawl. While the Rondelay design is made of several overlapping rondel shapes, the Piewhacket is more triangular in shape, with subtle peaks along the bottom edge. Check out our shop sample, knit up in Townhouse’s Merino and silk blend Fade St 4 ply, in the stunning shade Dazzle!

Piewhacket Shawl

Townhouse Fade St 4 Ply

It’s unique asymmetrical shape is perfect for draping over your shoulders, and the clever use of short rows means you never have an unmanageable number of stitches on your needles. The Piewhacket shawl pattern can be purchased individually, or as apart of the complete ebook containing 5 short row shawls, via Ravelry. We love these shawl patterns, they’re a great way to ease your way into short rows, and they really showcase just how versatile short rows can be in the construction of a garment. Everything from cardigans to socks can use short rows in their construction, and there are many different ways to do them, in fact we just covered the double stitch method (or German Short Row) used in the popular Pfeilraupe shawl.

Piewhacket Shawl

Our second shop sample above was knit up using Cathay 4 ply by Lotus Yarns, in the natural, creamy shade 01, this yarn is a luxurious blend of Tibetan Yak and silk. The texture of the Yak fibre, along with the heavenly drape of the silk, make this yarn the perfect compliment to this pattern. Cathay 4 ply is available in a few complimentary jewel tones, and you’ll need 2 skeins to knit up this shawl.

What’s the most recent project you knit that included short rows? What’s your preferred short row method?