TIK Knits

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Today, we feature the latest in our continuing series of staff projects. This one’s already gone viral here, and we’re always happy to spread the word, so over to you, Jen!

If you have visited This Is Knit you might have noticed there is, a lot of the time, more than one sample of the same pattern hanging from a shop wall. (*ahem* Color Affection!)

Sometimes more than one of us TIKer’s get taken by a certain pattern for its beauty, cleverness and downright handiness…. Introducing said pattern in this case: Zuzu’s Petals. It’s a clever cowl that looks like a shawl and it is such a quick, adjustable (with a bit of playing) enjoyable knit.

Maria knit her Zuzu in Malabrigo Rios in the highly variegated Arco Iris, Jacqui used self-striping Amitola by Louisa Harding. I decided to stray from the written pattern and use gorgeous heavy lace weight yarn, Mirasol Sulka Legato with added Swarovski crystals (you can see them shining in the first picture). I loved knitting this, and I love the finished object.

Have I tempted you? What would you knit yours from?

To mark the day, here’s a lovely little lace shawlette, recently knitted by Jacqui. It’s called Fragile Heart, and it’s designed by the wonderful Boo Knits.

It’s lovingly accented with Swarovski crystals – just enough beading to give sparkle to the lace and interest to the knitter.

The yarn is Malabrigo Baby Silkpaca, and Fragile Heart took just over a skein.

And given the day that’s in it, don’t forget about our Valentine’s Day prize draw – it runs until midnight on Monday week, and you’ll find all the details over at that link!

Sometimes you come across a pattern that makes you want to drop everything else and knit it now, because it’s a gorgeous combination of soothing repetition and engaging interest.

Well, this is how we feel about Quadrature for Korrigan, which is a baby blanket for a much-anticipated baby.

Jacqui used Studio Donegal, and the result has to snuggled to be believed. A quick bath and a block, and it’s perfect for newborn fingers and toes.

The elegance of the pattern means that in finer yarn it would also make a pretty shawl, and in bulky it would be a terrific throw. Stocking stitch for most of the way, with the cables set off by the garter stitch border, means that it’s an easy and satisfying knit.

We can’t wait to see a new wee person wrapped up in it!

Cuddle

New babies like snugness and warmth, and Jen’s just made a wee project that steps right up to the mark. It’s a newborn sleepsack called Owlie.

Knitted in the softest wool, with ample room for little legs to wriggle and kick, there’s no fiddly buttons or ties to get in the way (or puzzle new parents).

Keeping watch all the way round, there’s a line of clever cable owls, with a practical purpose: the cabling pulls the sack in just enough for comfort. What a terrific colour too – Malabrigo Rios comes in a whole paintbox of happy bright hues, with plenty of gender-neutral options, and a single skein is enough for an Owlie.

It’s an unusual and practical gift for a new baby, and oh, how cozy it’ll be to cuddle up in!

Hot off Jacqui’s needles comes this divine little shawlette. It’s called Jackson Square, and it’s a Beth King design. It’s got it all – a lovely twisted rib body, a delicate lace border and a sweet picot cast off.

This example is made in Hedgehog Fibres Sock (the colourway is Petrol), and only takes a single skein.

Jackson Square starts with a garter stitch tab, and if you haven’t worked one before, you’ll find our photo tutorial at this link. The picot cast off is both decorative and practical – it gives the lace edge plenty of ease (and we have a tutorial for that too). But most of all, we love the clean etched quality of the twisted stitches.

A quick pretty knit in a luxurious yarn, with just the right amount of interesting technique? Yes please!

Well, it’s not actually snowing, but these little hats have the dashing part all wrapped up – if you need a quick project for a baby before Christmas, there’s plenty of time to knit one (or even two)!

This is the Little Scallops hat by Maria Carlander. You’ll find a link to the free pattern at that Ravelry link. This wee hat has all you could want – a little colourwork, a simple stocking stitch fabric, a practical slouchy shape.

Our examples are made in Debble Bliss Baby Cashmerino, so they’ll wash and wear like a dream. They’re the smaller size of the two sizes, and they took about a third of a ball of the main colour and a fifth of the contrast, so they’re perfect for using up those odds and ends.

And best of all, they’re fast! The two of these took a couple of leisurely evenings to make, so they’re the perfect relaxing knit in front of the TV after a day’s rushing about.

We’ve talked about blocking techniques before, and about how magically it transforms your hunched and lumpy work into something smooth and beautifully professional, with practically no effort at all.

That neat and orderly finish is what you want for knitted and crocheted gifts, and since time is getting on and a lot of hats are being made for Christmas, we thought it would be a good idea to talk about how to block them.

The trouble with hats, put simply, is that they’re very rarely flat. You can’t pin just them out like a scarf or a shawl. But help’s at hand, and the picture below shows all you need.

After you’ve soaked your hat well and blotted out most of the moisture in a towel, take a moment to consider: is it flat, like a beret or a tam, or is it round like a beanie? If it’s flat, like this wonderful Neep Heid by Kate Davies, simply pop a plate inside it, one large enough to smooth out the knitting. Since our Neep Heid is adult-sized, we used a dinner plate, but smaller hats would need smaller plates. Let the hat dry, and slip the plate out.

If your hat is curved, like our own Thistle pattern, then you need the balloon. Soak your hat and blot it as before, and then blow up the balloon to the size you need (smaller for a child, larger for an adult. Crown it with the uniformly damp hat.

Wait for it to dry completely and remove the balloon (it can then find a deserving home!).

Ta da! Perfectly blocked hats, with even stitches, smooth fabric and impressed recipients. And another thing crossed off the To Do list!

This is Jen’s latest shawl, just off the blocking mat a few days ago, and it’s a while since we’ve seen so many gorgeous components come together to such effect.

First of all, there’s the two yarns: Katia Airlux and Hedgehog Fibres Sock. It’s an unusual combination for a shawl, but Airlux takes to lace like it was born to it (remember it as a Swallowtail?), and these two colourways work so well together.

And then there’s the pattern. It’s Shaelyn, and it’s perfect for working in two colours. The alternating lace and stocking stitch sections adapt beautifully to striping, and if you’re looking for a very simple and effective shawl pattern, Shaelyn’s perfect. The stocking stitch sections are the easiest thing imaginable and the lace keeps the project interesting.

But that’s not all the prettiness in this project. Jen found perfect matching beads and beaded the scalloped border. The beads add a little touch of sparkle and a bit of weight to the edge. If you haven’t beaded your knitting before, this is a perfect introduction.

We’re always looking for new yarn and pattern combinations, the ones that venture outside the box a bit, and we love seeing your finished objects – why not leave us a comment below sharing your good ideas? We’d all love the inspiration!

Here at This Is Knit, the best part of the Christmas season is the presents! We get such a kick out of helping our customers choose the perfect gift, whether for the yarnlovers in their lives or for themselves.

But what to choose? This year we’ve made that fraught decision much easier with a hand-picked range of kits. From beginner to accomplished knitter, there’s something for everyone.

If you can knit and purl, then our Mistake Rib scarf makes a terrific project. In Debbie Bliss Rialto Chunky, it grows in front of your eyes and will be done in no time at all. What’s more, this is the sort of elegant and understated scarf that makes an excellent gift for a man.

To make our Bread and Buttoned Mitts, the only thing you need to add is garter stitch – speedy to work in Rico Essentials Soft Merino Aran, this kit is very popular as a “first project” gift, and we’ve even included a pair of knitting needles, along with toning buttons.

Everyone needs a jolly hat, and here’s our Thistle kit, with two toning yarns, Louisa Harding’s Akiko and Debbie Bliss’s Milano, to brighten up winter (including enough for the all-important pompom). Knit in the round, this hat’s fast and fun.

And for a touch of unabashed luxury, what could be better than a kit for ysolda’s stunning Marin shawlette, featuring 400 metres of Fyberspates Scrumptious 4-ply? It’s a straightforward knit, and that silk and merino blend complements it beautifully. And the finished object is so beautiful – the sample on display in the shop is breathtaking.

There isn’t even any need for gift wrapping – that’s already done, with a bow for extra pzazz! And that makes the Christmas shopping a little easier!

Versatile

Sometimes you come across a pattern which is a delight to knit, easy on the eye and as comfortable as anything. They’re the ones to treasure, and Ysolda’s Marin is just such a pattern.

Jacqui finished her Marin a week or so ago, and it’s on display in the shop. With its gently curved crescent shape and elegant detail, it’s a perfect partner for the yarn: Debbie Bliss Luxury Silk DK.

Marin is reversible and knitted from end to end, and all that textured garter stitch gives a wonderful supple finish.

The drape of the silk needs to be felt to be believed, but it’s easy to imagine lots of other yarn options too – a worsted weight or Aran weight would make a gorgeous warm winter accessory. Beautiful and versatile – what more could we ask?

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