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?

Violet Dress

We have the most darling dress to share with you today! The Violet Dress is a super sweet and simple pattern that is available to download for free via Ravelry. Our shop sample was knitted up in the colourful Cassia Prints by Louisa Harding in the beautiful shade 506, and what a perfect match they make! Knitted up with 3 balls(?) to get the toddler size(?)

Violet Dress Kids Knitting Pattern

It’s simple, top-down construction includes garter stitch straps, decorative eyelet increases down the center front and back, and is finished off with a garter hem. The skirt flares out steadily towards the bottom, giving it a lovely shape. This little dress is a great opportunity to showcase a variegated yarn; with a full stockinette skirt, it’s a great canvas for some fun colours. The simple design leaves room for plenty of creative freedom, perhaps using a contrast color for the straps and bodice? Adding a decorative stitch at the hem? This pattern is very straight forward and would be easy enough to alter, even for those knitters without much experience knitting garments. No button bands or sleeves means quick and easy knitting, a great little project for summer!

Louisa Harding Cassia Prints Violet Dress

We just love the Cassia Prints for kids knits, with it’s cheerful, variegated shades, and easy to care for wool/nylon blend. It’s a DK weight that stands up well to wear, which means it’s also great for a cosy pair of socks. The colourways range from warm pinks and yellows, to cool blues and greens, all blending together giving it a hand painted look. Pop by the shop any time and check out the colourways in person, photos just don’t do them justice!

What projects do you have in your queue for the summer? Have you knitted with Cassia Prints yet?

Rondelay Shawl

Don’t you just love one skein projects? We do! And we have a great one to share with you today: the Rondelay shawl is a beautiful pattern with unique construction, and our shop sample used up just one skein of the lovely Tibetan Cloud by Lotus Yarns in shade 15! Using the wonders of short rows, this design features three half circles, making for a simple shawl with a clever design. Featuring garter stitch and yarn over eyelets, the rondel patterns overlap each other, creating a semi-circular overall shape that drapes beautifully. It’s design suits both variegated yarns as well as it does solids, as you can see with our sample in this deep purple colour!

Rondelay Shawl Knitting Pattern

The yarn used in this shawl is 100% Tibetan yak, which isn’t a fibre you come across very often. It is strong while being light and airy, really coming into it’s own with lace stitch patterns. A solid 450 meters per skein means you’ll have all you need to finish this shawl. The result is something dreamy: light as a feather and with wonderful drape. Tibetan Cloud comes in a stunning spectrum of deep jewel tones, as well as some natural shades. If you’ve never worked with a Yak fibre yarn before, Tibetan Cloud could definitely make you a fan!

Rondelay Shawl Knitting Pattern

The Rondelay shawl pattern is available for purchase on Ravelry individually, or within an ebook by Jennifer Dassau which includes 5 patterns featuring short rows and garter stitch, all which use just one skein! We’ll also be featuring the Piewhacket shawl in another post here on the blog very soon.

Have you ever knit with Yak fibre before? What’s your favourite one-skein project?

Pfeilraupe: Slots

We’re back to Pfeilraupe today, with another post to help you along with this popular pattern. Pfeilraupe has a peculiar construction, but we can all agree the beautiful design is innovative and versatile, and definitely worth a spot in your queue! In previous posts, we talked about the crochet cast on and the short rows used in this pattern, and today we’re covering the “slots” or holes that are along one side of this shawl. If you’ve worked a 2 row button hole, you’ll find that the instructions create a similar effect: stitches are cast off in between the stitch markers, the row is completed (in this case, turned according to the short rows) and worked back up to the point where the stitches have been cast off. Then, the same number of stitches are cast on, and the row is completed. The holes in this pattern are worked over 11 stitches, and repeat every few inches for a total of 6 slots. There are very detailed photo instructions linked to from this pattern, but the instructions are written up in German. Don’t panic! We’re here to help. It really is just casting off and casting on, and although you’re welcome to just keep it simple and do just that, there are a few extra steps you can do to make the slots nice and tidy. So, let’s dive in!

Pfeilraupe

Part 1: Casting off for slot

Knit until you reach the stitch marker on row 34 (see “Start Corner” chart on page 5 in pattern), you’re ready to prepare to cast off the subsequent 11 stitches. Before doing that, we will do an extra step to keep the edge tidy. With stitch marker still on the left hand needle, insert left needle into first stitch on right hand needle purlwise. Your right needle should be in front of the left needle. Wrap yarn around left needle counter-clockwise (see photo).

Pfeilraupe

Bring that wrap through the stitch, keeping the live stitch (purple) on your right needle, and the wrap (red) on your left needle.

Pfeilraupe

Move the wrap stitch from your left needle to your right. 1 stitch has been increased. The “wrap” (red) should now be the first stitch on your right needle, with the live stitch (purple) next to it. Remove stitch marker.

Pfeilraupe

Knit the next stitch. Pass the second stitch (red) on right needle over the first stitch (bring the red “wrap” stitch on right needle over the knit stitch you just worked, and off the needle). 1 stitch decreased. Note: at this point, no stitches have been cast off.

Give it a tug to tighten the wrap over the stitch. You can now begin casting off the stitches. Cast off until you reach the next stitch marker. Remove stitch marker, cast off one additional stitch (for a total of 11 stitches cast off). Finish row as in pattern, turning at the short row, and work back until you reach the cast off stitches.

Part 2: Casting on for slot

You’ve now reached the cast off stitches. Turn your work, so the front is facing you. Yarn should be at the back; you can now cast on.

Pfeilraupe

(Switch to a crochet hook for this step) Insert crochet hook into stitch below the first stitch on left hand needle, from the front. Pick up right leg of stitch by twisting hook clockwise to create a loop on the crochet hook.

Pfeilraupe

Bring yarn to front, across the top of the left needle (creating a yarn over), and draw yarn through loop on crochet hook. 1 stitch has been cast on.

Pfeilraupe

At this point it is important to replace your stitch marker in between the two stitches, as in photo. This will help you accurately count the number of stitches you cast on.

Pfeilraupe

Bring yarn behind left hand needle (make sure you don’t create a yarn over here, just bring the working yarn to the back of the work) and prepare to cast on using crochet method. Your needle will be on the left, and your crochet hook parallel to the right. Wrap yarn around front of needle and crochet hook, from left to right. Draw through loop on the crochet hook to complete cast on of one stitch. Repeat to cast on remaining stitches.

When counting cast on stitches, make sure you count from stitch marker. You will have 11 stitches on your left needle, with the remaining loop on your crochet hook. Place this loop onto your right needle. Turn your work. (The cast on stitches are now on your right needle, and the remaining loop is on your left needle)

Pfeilraupe

Bring yarn to the back. Pass the second stitch on left hand needle over the first (you will be bringing the first stitch from your cast off, over the last stitch from your cast on, and off the needle.

Pfeilraupe

Move this stitch from your left needle to the right. You are now ready to complete the row as in pattern: knit to end.

Yarn used in this sample is Pittura by Louisa Harding in colour 601, which is available in several watercolour shades!

Pfeilraupe: Short Rows

We’re back for more Pfeilraupe today, with another post in our techniques tutorial series for this pattern. This beautiful and unique shawl is a free pattern available on Ravelry, and has been translated from German, so we’ve been compiling some tips and advice to help you navigate this foreign beauty. Previously we covered the crochet cast on to get you started, and today we’re diving into short rows.

There are many different methods you can use to accomplish short rows, and as they all have the same result, the method you use will often only vary in how to handle the stitch when turning your work, and how to handle the stitch when coming across it in the next row. In this pattern, there is no wrap to be worked, and therefore no second step when handling the turning stitch on the following row. You simply knit to the designated stitch, leave your yarn at the back of the work, and turn.

Pfeilraupe Shawl Tutorial

Now the working yarn is towards you. Slip the first stitch on your left needle (the last stitch you worked before turning) to the right needle.

Pfeilraupe Short Rows Tutorial

Bring the working yarn to the back of the work, and continue knitting the row.

Knitting Pfeilraupe Pattern

Because the turning stitch will always be at the cast on edge, it is a fairly invisible transition. Without the wrap, you also don’t have any bulk in the turning stitch, so the bottom edge is very smooth and there’s no bumps where your short rows are turned.

This pattern is a great way to showcase variegated yarn; the yarn in this sample is the lovely Pittura by Louisa Harding in colour 601 which we just love!

Next time we’ll talk about working the slots, which create the holes which you can weave the long end through.

What short row method do you prefer? Have you added the Pfeilraupe to your queue yet?

Pfeilraupe: Crochet Cast On

Pfeilraupe has taken Ravelry by storm. It’s likely you’ve seen or heard of this pattern, it might also be likely you were overwhelmed when you dove into the instructions. Using uncommon construction techniques, this scarf grows asymmetrically, and finishes as a skewed triangle. The shape is unique, with holes along one side to weave the longer end through, making it quite versatile. Originally designed in German, there are now quite a few translations quickly becoming available, though the links in the pattern to photo tutorials for techniques needed are all in German. Because of it’s popularity, we’ve decided to do a few blog posts with tips and resources to help along anyone else venturing into Pfeilraupe. In this first installment, we’re going to cover the crochet cast on. So, let’s get to it!

A crochet cast on is recommended in this pattern. There are two reasons you might do a crochet cast on, one being a provisional cast on, so that you have live stitches to return to at your cast on edge; the other reason would be to have a tidy edge that compliments the project. In the case of Pfeilraupe, it’s to have a clean cast on edge (you won’t be doing this cast on provisionally). I found this video very useful when doing the crochet cast on. Though the photo tutorial linked to in the pattern might seem slightly different, the only variation is how you hold the needle and crochet hook. The result is the same, and I find the positioning of the hook and needle in the video easier to follow.

The tutorial linked in the pattern also helps with setting up the cast on. You’re welcome to use a slip knot and draw a loop through with your crochet hook (as in the video linked above), but the pattern suggests a special “knot” that gives you the cleanest start.

Pfeilraupe Crochet Cast On

Your needle will be on the left, and your crochet hook parallel to the right. Wrap yarn around front of needle and crochet hook, from left to right, and around to the back. Draw through loop on the crochet hook to complete cast on of one stitch. Repeat to cast on remaining stitches.

Knitting Crochet Cast On

Pfeilraupe Crochet Cast On

Next time we’ll be talking about the short rows used in this pattern. And, if you were admiring the yarn in this project, it’s Pittura by Louisa Harding in colour 601, isn’t it just the most lovely watercolour rainbow? It’s an extra soft Merino and Bamboo Visose blend.

Have you tried the Pfeilraupe pattern yet? If not, is it in your queue?

Spring KAL – Short Rows

We kicked off our Spring KAL last Thursday, and hope many of you are well into your own beautiful Waiting For Rain shawl! If not, cast on asap and join us in all the fun! Today we have some tips and advice for you; this will mark the first in a series of posts we’ll be doing during the KAL, to help you along the way. In this post, we’ll be focusing on the short rows used in this pattern. The short rows are what give this shawl is unique “panels”, where the lace pattern peeks through the garter stitch. If it’s your first time with short rows, it can seem a little daunting, but we’re here to help! Now, let’s get to it…

Waiting for Rain Spring KAL

In the pattern notes, when you reach the short rows, the pattern will ask you to turn the work, and NOT wrap the stitch. Wrapping the stitch is typically part of the “Wrap and turn” method of short rows, but in this case, you won’t be making a wrap. Do not wrap the stitch. This will ensure smooth edges in the lace sections, and won’t leave you with any visible holes. If you’re familiar with short rows, this will go against your instinct, but it’s important you fight the urge: Don’t wrap.

However, the down side of this is that it makes it nearly impossible to identify where, exactly, you last turned your work. This can lead to a lot of counting, and a bit of confusion, especially at the beginning when you’re just getting used to the pattern. So, what’s the solution? Here’s a work around we found useful:

First, you’ll need two removable markers (locking markers or split-ring markers will do the job), then when you are beginning the first row of the lace chart, place a marker. Work along the row, up until the point where you would need to turn your work. Then: place the second marker.

For all subsequent short rows, you will be working to within two stitches of the marker. When you come to this point: stop, turn your work, remove the marker, and re-position it at the new “turn” point. You will always be working within two stitches of the marker, so it’s an easy way to keep track of what you’re doing, and it also makes your purl rows a little less stressful!

Waiting for Rain Spring KAL

Good luck to all our Spring KALers! We look forward to seeing your progress over in the KAL thread over in the This Is Knit Ravelry group.

Are you joining us for our Spring KAL? Have your knit a Waiting For Rain shawl before?

Ready, Steady, Go!

It’s almost time! Are you ready to dive into our “Waiting for Rain” Spring Knitalong? If you haven’t already signed up, it’s not too late to join in for all the fun, which will be kicking off tomorrow, March 17th.

This Is Knit Spring KAL

What do you need to do? It’s easy:

1) Pop over to the KAL thread on Ravelry and say “I’m in!”

2) Grab the pattern on Ravelry here.

3) Purchase supplies: tomorrow is the last day to take advantage of our special Spring KAL discount; use the code SKAL16 when you checkout online for 10% off the yarn for your shawl! That includes 3 gorgeous Townhouse Yarns: Grafton 4 ply, Fade Street 4ply and Camden Tweed, as well as Debbie Bliss Fine Donegal and Louisa Harding Pitture. So, how much do you need? We’ve got you covered:

2 x Townhouse Yarns Grafton 4ply (approx €44.90, discount included)
2 x Townhouse Yarns Fade St 4ply (approx €46.70, discount included)
2 x Townhouse Yarns Camden Tweed (approx €41.30, discount included)
2 x Debbie Bliss Fine Donegal (approx €26.90, discount included)
2 x Louisa Harding Pittura (approx €25.10, discount included)

In addition to the yarn, you’ll also need the following: 4mm long circular needle (at least 80cm, although 100cm might be more comfortable as your work grows), 25 Stitch Markers to keep track of short rows (optional), darning Needle for ends, and pins for blocking your beautiful finished shawl.

It’s that simple! You can also keep an eye out for tips and techniques here on the blog, and check out the Ravelry thread to get help, share your notes and photos of your progress, and just chat about this lovely pattern. Assistance is also available in-store, if you ever need any guidance with techniques or have any questions about the pattern.

Don’t forget: Everyone who has finished their shawl by Sunday 15th May will be entered in to a prize draw to win a bundle of Softsweater shawl patterns (with kind thanks to Sylvia for supporting our KAL). We will then also provide the winner with the yarn needed to knit one shawl of their choice from the range.

So, what are you waiting for? Get your needles ready and join us in the KAL starting tomorrow, and kick off Spring with a gorgeous new shawl!

Wee Austin Hoodie

Continuing with our theme of absolutely adorable baby knits, we bring you the Wee Austin Hoodie! Much like the other “wee” features here on the blog, this little cardigan is a scaled down version of it’s adult counterpart. While the style is true to the original, a few details have been changed to accommodate the age range: an elfin pointed hood, a button band, and super simple garter hems make this an adorable addition to the original Austin Hoodie design.

Wee Austin Hoodie Baby Knitting Pattern

Knit from the bottom up as one piece, this seamless design is a quick knit, while creating a gorgeous little cardigan with beautiful detail. The woven, slip stitch band adds texture and visual interest, while still remaining gender neutral; the perfect knit for boys and girls! A full spectrum of sizes are also included, covering 6 months up through 6 years. The gauge is tighter than the original hoodie, to make for hardier wear, and the shaping has also been omitted. But, it does use the same fingering weight yarn as the original Austin Hoodie, which means you can knit up two in the same colourway to match! You can find both patterns available for purchase on Ravelry.

Hand Dyed Yarn Grafton 4 ply Townhouse Yarns

This gorgeous sample was knit up in our very own Grafton 4 ply, hand dyed by Jenny at the fabulous Townhouse Yarns. Less than 1 skein was used to knit up the smallest size, and the colourway featured is Antigua. The colour is just stunning with these wooden Textile Garden buttons that we just can’t get enough of! Grafton 4 ply comes in a range of irresistible shades, all of which would compliment this pattern beautifully. Both the wool and buttons are available for purchase in the shop, and you can check out the Facebook page for updates on the latest Townhouse Yarns colourways and stock!