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Omena Vest

Cold and blustery weather doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom, for knitters it just means it’s time to get started on winter projects! If you’re all stocked up on hats and mittens, maybe it’s time to try your hand at knitting a garment?

Omena Image from Ravelry…  (c) Plucky Knitter

Knitting a jumper or cardigan can seem a bit intimidating, or maybe it’s just that you want something that will be off your needles and over your shoulders as quick as possible. Omena by Jill Zielinski is an excellent example of just that: a quick, easy, and oh-so-wearable layer that is sure to keep you cozy against the chill. It’s clever shape means no complicated construction, the armholes are even self-finishing – it really doesn’t get easier than that.

Omena truly is a great transition into garment knitting; if you’re ready to adventure beyond scarves and hats, this pattern is the perfect introduction. The pattern calls for worsted or aran weight yarn, which means it knits up quickly. Done in the round, it requires no seaming or special techniques, just some basic decreasing and increasing. The fit won’t be a problem, either; being a loose and flowy vest, it is universally flattering and easy to wear. It’s circular shape makes for the ideal layer to wrap up in!


Here’s our shop sample, knit using three shades of Ella Rae Superwash Classic for a gradient effect. For our version, 2 balls each of colours 117, 119 and 132 were used. As with all our shop samples, feel free to pop in and try it on. This project also looks great in just one solid colour, as you can see from some of the gorgeous versions on Ravelry.

What patterns are in your winter knitting queue? What was the first garment you ever knit?

Garter Flap Hat

We meet a lot of customers in the shop who confess to having “too many” projects on the go at home. This fact is whispered conspiratorially, often guiltily, and quite often during a purchase of yarn for a new project to be started.

Of course, we understand, I’m sure not I’d like to know the actually number of items that I have languishing half-finished on needles, scattered around my house.

That said I think there’s a great benefit to be had from not feeling too tied-down to a project. Sometimes our enthusiasm can wane mid-way through a second sleeve (as is currently happening with my Nanook) and all we need is a little pick-me-up: a quick project to boost the knitting mojo again, to remind us that FOs can and *will* happen, and we’ll be delighted that we plugged on through another few inches of stockinette.

Garter Flap Hat

And, for me, the Garter Ear Flap Hat from the wonderful Purl Soho website has been that project. A two-night diversion, with just enough detail in the techniques to keep things interesting. The clever short row shaping used for the ear flaps creates a flowing, seamless finish, and the visible line of double decreases lead in to a pleasingly whimsical tassel.

The pattern is free and this baby size version was knit using less than one ball of Katia’s Cotton-Merino. All in all, a pretty much guilt-free diversion, one which has magically restored my mojo.

Now… where’s that second sleeve?


“Using smaller needles and yarn held double…”

Does the idea of knitting with two (or more) strands of yarn at the same time give you the spooks? We’re hear to tell you that, despite the day that’s in it, there’s no need to fear!

Pictured above are Nadia’s two Barley hats, a lovely Daddy and Daughter set, knit using two strands of 4ply held together. In this case Nadia had the perfect yarns in mind from her stash (Camden Tweed and Hedgehog Sock Yarn) but needed to make them work for a pattern knit at a much thicker tension. Thankfully using two strands created the perfect fabric for this design (which calls for a worsted or aran weight yarn).

But wasn’t it awkward? Did she find it hard to identify each stitch? Were there lots of snagged and dropped stitches? Actually, not at all!


As you can see above the two strands of yarn actually end up quite snug together, and sit quite neatly at the top of their respective columns of stitches. Each stitch is readily identifiable and, should you ever accidentally knit in to only one strand, it’s a quick thing to catch and fix.

And what about the look of the fabric? Do we get uneven stitches, a muddle of texture, gaps and lumps? Again, nope!


You’d have to look very close indeed to see that two strands were used, and we’re actually quite in love with the effect of Camden Tweed held double. The resulting fabrics are plush and soft, and just perfect for keeping everyone warm this Halloween!

Events like last Saturday’s really bring home how lucky we are to work within a community of such talented and creative individuals. It’s incredible to think back to Carol’s first free pattern in Knitty and to see how far her clever designs have taken her (with a lot of hard work along the way I’m sure).

So we thought it would be a good time to showcase some other local designers – Yvonne McSwiney and Eimear Earley – as they have each recently released new patterns, and they both happen to be adorable knits for little ones!

Camden Twist

First up is Camden Twist by Eimear: a 4ply cardigan of top-down construction, with just enough cabling to keep things interesting, and to tie in with the look and feel of Townhouse Yarns Camden Tweed. This cardigan is available in sizes ranging from 0-3 months to 2 years and is absolutely free. Go check it out!


Yvonne has covered sizes all the way up to 14 years with this refined saddle-shoulder vest: Castleknock. The design is clever, using interesting techniques to achieve a tailored finish. This vest is also knit in Yvonne’s very own yarn, Swing Sock, demonstrating that she is a woman of many talents! :)

Thanks for the wonderful designs ladies – we look forward to seeing what you come up with next…

Solo & Strife


Around this time every year a touch of strife visits This is Knit. It comes in the form of oodles of delicious new-season yarns, in all their glorious colours and textures. The reason for the trouble? There’s usually a scuffle among staff over who gets to knit with what yarn for our shop samples!

This time around I pulled rank and nabbed a truly spectacular teal shade of Silk Garden Solo. Once it was mine all mine I had to tackle the next question… just what to make?

This is where our trusty friends over Ravelry come in to play. A quick search for aran and worsted weight garments yielded inspiration by the bucket-load! I was particularly taken by Nanook (having seen a recent version “in the flesh”) and these beautiful projects just pushed me over the edge…


Cln’s Nanook in Malabrigo Rios


Metalandcloth’s version shows the versatility of the pattern – Nanook works just as well as a maternity cardigan (and will still look good long after baby is born).

My own version is very much a WIP right now but stay tuned for progress pics on our Instagram account, and hopefully the “big reveal” on this blog in the not too distant future…

What would you knit from Silk Garden Solo? Have you ever knit Nanook or any of Heidi Kirrmaier’s other patterns?


This post by Lisa is the first part of a staff series all about our Autumn/Winter projects. Stay tuned for updates from Jacqui, Jenny and all the rest of the crew!

The weather’s been miserable over the last little while, so here’s some gorgeous things to cheer us all up. You see, we think nothing can brighten a day like some luxurious yarn and a clever pattern, and here’s two of our current favourites.

In the picture up above, we have a sweet little shawlette called Lilac Wish. It’s fast to work and combines easy stocking stitch with a gorgeous lace border studded with nupps. Maria worked it in Malabrigo Baby Silkpaca, and it took only one skein, so it’s economical too!

Lace makes a terrific summer project. It’s light and pretty, and you get to knit without a great thick covering of jumper in the heat (right now, such a thing might be welcome!). And if the ornateness of Lilac Wish isn’t your cup of tea, then we have another suggestion: our good friend Gudrun Johnston’s Havra.

A former Mystery Knit-Along pattern now released to everyone, Havra is elegant and unfussy. It’s easy to work and very simple to customise for size, and here it’s found a perfect partner: our very own Townhouse Yarn’s Trinity 2-ply laceweight. Again, this took less than a skein, and the result is simply beautiful.

We can’t promise to make the sun come out, but with lace like this, you can light up your day!

The menagerie just keeps getting bigger! To the great delight of our child customers (and a lot of the adult ones too), Big Ted has recently arrived in the shop.

His two bear relations have been here for a while – they’re the teaching project for Colette’s toy-making class. So, in fact, is Big Ted. You see, this splendid trio have a message for us all: be adventurous with yarn choice!

All three bears are knitted with exactly the same pattern. The difference between them comes from using different weights of yarn, with needle size chosen to fit. The littlest Ted is made with Debbie Bliss Rialto Lace, and he comes out small enough to put in your pocket. Middle-sized Ted is more portly, made in Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino. And our magnificent Big Ted is made from superbulky Debbie Bliss Roma!

The easiest way of sizing a pattern up or down is to change your yarn. Have you seen a baby cardigan that you’d love to make for a toddler, but the pattern doesn’t come in larger sizes? Try a thicker yarn. Matching hats for parent and child are adorable, and two different yarns can get you there without having to change anything else.

You can swatch and do the sums to work it all out in advance if you like, but most of the time it doesn’t matter. Colette knew when she started with Big Ted that he would be Big, and that was good enough! He’s an epic bear, and along with his friends, would love you to come and visit.

Hot off Jacqui’s needles is this beautiful shawl, just in time for summer! Like much of her lacework, this is a pattern by Boo Knits. This one is called Wintersweet, and it’s a triumph of lace and beads.

When a knitter knits pattern after pattern by the same designer, it’s a very good sign. Sure enough, Jacqui really recommends all of Boo Knits’ work – beautiful, clearly written and much, much easier to knit than they look.

As for the yarn, the boat got pushed out a bit here. This Wintersweet is made from Lotus Silky Cashmere, 366 metres of luxury. The blend is 55% silk and 45% cashmere, and its softness has to be felt to be believed.

What a summer accessory this would make! Perfect for a elegant wedding (your own or someone else’s!), and easy to pack for a holiday trip, it would really make Summer 2015 shine. (And at the moment, Summer 2015 needs all the help it can get!)


What’s that in the background there, behind the tissue paper pompom? It’s the newest edition to our garment display in the shop: Jacqui’s Lush cardigan (boy, she’s a fast knitter)!

Lush is Tin Can Knit’s beautiful design, and it’s the pattern Emily Wessel will be using for her cardigan workshop at the end of June. (There’s still places left for that, and for her baby blanket workshop as well – you’ll find details at our booking page).

Jacqui used Juniper Moon Farm’s gorgeous Findley DK for hers – it’s a beautifully plied silk and merino blend, and it’s delicious to work with. Just look at the stitch definition on the Lush lace….

And the pompom? We can’t stop making them, you see, using this tutorial, and we’re having a tremendous amount of fun doing it! It’s properly spring now, so why not celebrate with some tissue paper frivolity!

We love projects that take an existing pattern and do something new with it, and it’s even better when they combine knitting and crochet. Here’s a sweet little idea: our easy and adorable Cute as One Button baby cardigan, but with something nestling in a wee pocket.

The apple is the easiest crochet, and we thought you might like the instructions, so here’s how to make one.

You only need scraps of yarn, and pretty much any weight will do, so this is a good way of using up leftovers. Use any size of hook that gives you the apple and leaf you want, though as a guideline a hook a bit smaller than recommended for the yarn weight gives a nice dense fabric.

Starting with a magic circle, work 3 chain.
Round 1: Work 16 tr into the ring and ss to top of first tr to join.
Round 2: Work into the top of the trebles as follows: 1dc, (2htr), (2tr), (2htr), 1dc, 1dc, (2htr), ss, (2htr), 1dc, 1dc, (2htr), (2tr), (2htr), ss. Fasten off.

Work 6 chain. All the stitches of the leaf are worked into one strand only of these chain, first along one side, then along the other.

Working into one strand only of the chain, work along the chain as follows: 1dc, 1 htr, (2dc), 1 htr, 1dc, ss. Without turning, and working into the opposite single strand of the chain, work ss, 1dc, 1htr, (2dc), 1htr, 1dc. Fasten off.

Cast on 16 stitches and work 10 rows of stocking stitch (alternate rows of knit and purl), then 4 rows of garter stitch (every row knit). Cast off purlwise.

ss slip stitch
ch chain
dc double crochet (US single crochet)
htr half-treble crochet (US half-double crochet)
tr treble crochet (US double crochet)

In both the apple and the leaf, where there’s an instruction written in brackets, like (2tr), work both of the stitches in the same place.

Sew the apple and the leaf to the jacket first, and then sew the pocket over them. And that’s it.

Of course, you can put other things in pockets too, and we’d love to hear your ideas in the comments below if you’d like to share them!

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