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!

Wee Envelope

Is there anything more endearing than a cute little baby sweater? We don’t think so! The Wee Envelope pullover, by the always amazing Ysolda Teague, is just one of many new baby samples we have in the shop. Knit up in the super soft Baby Cashmerino by Debbie Bliss, in complimentary solid and Tonal shades – which we are excited to have new in the shop for Spring – our sample features the Baby Cashmerino Tonals colourway 01 Storm, and the solid colour 207 Indigo. Only one ball of each were used to make the smallest 0-3 month size. The construction has some clever details, for both form and function, which is a trademark for Ysolda’s patterns, so you can expect it to be a fun and easy knit.

Wee Envelope Baby Sweater Baby Cashmerino

The simple garter yoke and stockinette body makes this an easy and unisex knit, with button details at the shoulders, which are both stylish and useful. The construction is clever, with the garter yoke knitted as one piece, from sleeve cuff to sleeve cuff. Stitches are then picked up to work the stockinette body, finishing with a garter hem. Leaving you with no seams and very little finishing, which is always welcome news to knitters! This is a project you could easily knit in a day, or over a weekend, which is great for gifting, or when your due date is quickly approaching. The two piece construction gives you the perfect opportunity to use two different colours, perhaps trying out a variegated colourway with a complimetary solid, for a fun pop of colour. With such a simple yet versatile pattern, it’s easy to knit up a few sweaters, each with their own unique detail.

tonalsgrp

The Cashmerino tonals come in a range of lovely Spring inspired colours, and all can easily be paired with their solid counterpart. The merino cashmere blend is oh-so-soft yet easy to care for, being machine washable, which makes for the perfect combo and ideal for baby knits.

Have you worked with Baby Cashermino recently? What’s your favourite pattern from Ysolda?

Burren Scarf

We’re back to Brioche today, with a free pattern to share with you! Recently we talked a bit about the revival of Brioche, and it’s growing popularity among pattern designers and knitters alike. Today we’re revisiting this technique, beautifully featured in The Burren Scarf. Available as a free PDF download, this is a super quick knit, and a great introduction to the technique. The gorgeous, soft, variegated shades of Noro Kureyon Air, complimented by the heathered Debbie Bliss Roma Weave, makes for great visual interest and perfectly suits the stitch definition that is characteristic of Brioche. The chunky weight wool knits up quickly, and creates the most fluffy, cushy fabric you’ll ever have the pleasure of wearing! Our sample used up one skein of each, with a width of 14cm and modest length of 160cm, including the 15cm tassels at each end. If you’d like a longer scarf, we recommend purchasing two skeins of each.

Brioche Burren Scarf Free Knitting Pattern

Brioche is a tricky technique that even the most advanced knitters can struggle with at the beginning. The method for two colour Brioche is particularly involved, and goes against the traditional “rules” of knitting. Worked flat on circular needles, you will work across one side of the fabric twice, before turning your work, which is why circular or DPN needles is so important. Just as you slide the work from one end to the next in an icord, you will work across the same side in one colour, and then the second colour; turn your work and do the same on the opposite side. Though, much like everything in knitting, you will quickly get a feel for the rhythm of the repeat, and understand how the fabric is formed through the series of stitches, making it easier to catch on, and catch mistakes.

Brioche Burren Scarf Free Knitting Pattern

Interested in knitting up your own Burren scarf? Finally ready to tackle the mysterious Brioche technique? Check out our technique class, which has spaces available to book for Sunday, March 13th, as well as Saturday, April 2nd. You’ll learn everything you need to know to make the Burren scarf and the fingerless mitts (seen in this post), and leave the class well on your way to finishing your project.

Have you tried Brioche yet? What’s your favourite Brioche pattern?

Spring Knitalong 2016

WFRKALGraphic

Like sunlight glinting off droplets of rain, this shawl pattern just keeps catching our eye every time we log on to Ravelry. It has been calling to us for weeks now, and simply begging to be knit, so it has “jumped the queue” a bit and become the pattern of choice for our Spring Knitalong 2016!*

Would you like to join us and knit your own stunning version of this garter-and-lace beauty? There are some fun techniques involved and we’ll be sharing tips on the blog and offering advice on a rolling basis to all members both in-store and in the dedicated Ravelry thread for the KAL.

We’re offering 10% off the materials for the shawl and, bearing in mind the proposed cast-on date is Thursday the 17th of March, there’s a strong Irish bias to our suggested yarns:
1. Any Townhouse Yarns 4ply (i.e. Fade St, Grafton 4ply or Camden Tweed)
2. Debbie Bliss Fine Donegal – we think the soft tweed will lend a lovely texture to this shawl. As added bonus – it is spun and dyed by the lovely people at Studio Donegal in Kilcar.
3. Louisa Harding Pittura – the “wild card” here, but we’re just so in love with this yarn right now, so we want to offer it as an option for *every* project!

How the KAL works:
• You will receive 10% off the yarn with the code SKAL16 until start date of 17 March 2016.
• Specific techniques will be covered by tutorials on this blog, potential modifications will be discussed and general support (both technical and moral!) will be offered all along the way.
• Pattern assistance will be available in the shop for any specific technique challenges that come up and we’re always happy to lend a hand during quieter times in store.
• Virtually round-the-clock help will be on hand via the dedicated thread in our TIK Ravelry group.
• 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 to knit one shawl of their choice from the range!
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Would you like join us? Simply pop on over to the thread on Ravelry and say “I’m in”.

Or do you have any questions? Post a comment below or over on Ravelry and we’ll get back to you asap.
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Materials Required

Yarn:
Approx 714 metres of 4ply / fingering weight yarn which translates as:
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)
To avail of 10% discount online, use the code SKAL16

Needles and Notions:
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
Pins for blocking the finished shawl

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* The eagled-eyed among you will recall we had planned to knit Pfeilraupe for our KAL, and we do still have a few blog posts planned on the techniques used in that pattern. In the end we didn’t feel the translated pattern was clear enough for all knitters and we’re delighted to have discovered another stunning shawl to take its place.

Nanook Cardigan

Ravelry can confirm that there are tons of cardigan patterns out there, but many of them aren’t particularly memorable or revolutionary in their style or construction; The Nanook cardigan is the exception, and is one of few to break the traditional cardigan mold. It’s scalloped lace detail and A-line shape makes it versatile garment to wear, and a fun project to knit.

Knit Pattern Nanook Cardigan Noro Silk Garden Solo

The construction of Nanook is simple: knit top down, with minimal finishing and seaming. Our gorgeous shop sample was knit up with Noro Silk Garden Solo, in the stunning teal shade 11. It took 10 balls to make the M1 size (36 inch bust). The worsted weight gauge means it’s a quick knit, and it’s garter stitch body means it’s also an easy one. The pattern design includes long sleeves, but can easily be changed to 3/4 length if you prefer. The lace collar is a simple repeat with basic yarn overs, which adds just enough visual interest without being too complicated. The eyelet lace naturally accommodates for buttons within the design, so you can decide to add buttons last minute and no changes need be made. If you have a shawl pin or a few buttons you’ve been waiting to use, this is the project to showcase them! The lovely twig shawl pin on our sample is available for purchase in the shop.

Knit Pattern Nanook Cardigan Noro Silk Garden Solo

This is one of those patterns that really does let the yarn shine. Use a wool with some texture for a cosy cardigan, or a luxury blend with some sheen for something a bit more fancy. Wear it open or closed with some complimentary buttons, wear the collar up or folded; this pattern really is so versatile. It’s A-line wrap style and positive ease also means the fit is flexible, ideal if you want to layer up or even accommodate a baby bump (as Lisa intended here). Pop by the shop to try on our sample and you’ll see just how flattering it is!

What’s your favourite cardigan pattern? Is the Nanook cardigan in your queue?