Antler Cardigan

Antler 1

It’s no secret that we love Tin Can Knits. Over the holidays, we had a series on the blog featuring a giveaway of the beautiful patterns of Tin Can Knits, and today we’re featuring yet another one of their gems: the Antler Cardigan! It is one of the most popular patterns on Ravelry, which is not at all surprising considering just how cute this sweater really is. With it’s cabled yoke detail, and the full spectrum of sizes: including 0 months to 4XL, you could easily make one for every member of the family. And we think you should! Take a look at our shop sample, knit up using 2 skeins of Malabrigo Rios. The deep shades of green in the 138 Ivy colourway does cable detail justice, and is perfectly complimented by the wooden Textile Garden buttons (also available in the shop).

This yoked cardigan is worked from the bottom up, and is completely seamless (we can hear a collective sigh of relief from most knitters!) Construction is very simple, and recommended for knitters looking to dive into their first garment pattern. Knit in Aran weight, you’ll find progress comes quickly, especially in the smaller baby sizes. The cable pattern used in the yoke is also simple and easy to learn, giving you just a bit of visual interest, while the body and sleeves are just straight-forward stockinette. The result is a lovely cardigan that you can make to match your little one, all in the same pattern with plenty of notes and support from Ravelry and the pattern designers.

Antler 2

If you’re looking for a project to compliment the Antler cardigan, you must check out the cosy Antler Mittens, also by Tin Can Knits. Featuring the same cable detail, and also offering a full range of sizes from Toddler to Adult (small, medium and large), they would make a perfect set for gifting. Both are worked with Aran weight, so you can even use up any leftovers from your cardigan to make matching mittens.

Have you knit a yoked sweater recently? What is your favourite pattern from Tin Can Knits?

Wee Lima

Wee Lima 1

We have the cutest little baby knit to share with you today: the very adorable Wee Lima! A free top-down pattern with a simple, unisex design, finished off with a few buttons. This is a quick and easy knit, with a convenient range of sizes from 0 to 18 months. Our shop sample is the 0-3 month size, knit up in Cashmerino Aran, with slightly shorter sleeves to keep the project at 2 balls, which also makes this a very economical project! The buttons used are from the Textile Garden selection available in the shop, and we couldn’t be more in love with them; you’ll be seeing them used a lot in our shop samples!

Cashmerino Aran by Debbie Bliss is an excellent wool for baby knits: the extra soft blend is gentle, while the gauge is large and knits up quickly, which can be essential with time-pressed baby knits. There’s also a large range of colours, with a selection of neutrals, pastels, and fun bright shades which are all perfect for baby projects. This wool also holds up well with wear, it can be machine washed on a gentle cycle, which means no special care instructions if you’re gifting your knits.

Wee Lima 2

Wee Lima’s classic shape, and simple construction makes it a nice introductory project for those new to knitting in the round, or top-down sweaters. It’s also a great project for adding a personal touch: the stockinette body can easily accommodate a textured stitch pattern or even some cables. You could even knit up a few Lima sweaters, in a range of sizes, each with their own unique detail. We love a pattern with room for creativity, and Wee Lima definitely has plenty of potential waiting to be discovered! Check out all of the projects on Ravelry from other talented knitters, and you’ll have plenty of design inspiration for your own Lima.

What is your favourite baby project? Have knitted or crocheted anything in Cashmerino Aran lately?

Enfolded Collar

Enfolded Collar Flat

I think every knitter can agree, there are few things better than a one skein project! Not only are they quick to knit up, they’re a great way to use up the odd skein you have lying around. Or, in this case, gives you the excuse to indulge in a luxurious skein of 100% Baby Alpaca. The Enfolded Collar is a new free pattern which uses just one skein of the buttery soft Juniper Moon Farm Herriot Great, and features a lovely pleated detail with 3 buttons. A simple and stylish accessory that will be a pleasure to knit and wear, thanks to the softness of Baby Alpaca, and the large gauge. This design would also make a great gift, that will knit up quickly, using just a small amount of chunky yarn.

Enfolded Collar Modelled 1

Pleating may be a detail you’ve not yet come across in knitting, but it’s very easily done, no matter your skill level. Detailed instructions and a diagram are included in the pattern, along with a link to a video that demonstrates the technique. You’ll find pleating is so easy, it might be something you’ll want to add to projects in the future. In the Enfolded Collar, it’s just enough visual detail for a small project, keeping things interesting while using up just a single skein of yarn. Beginning with a provisional cast on, and working from the centre outwards means both pleats will be identical, worked exactly the same way and perfectly matched.

Enfolded Collar Modelled 2

If you’ve collected any buttons you’re looking to use, this collar is your chance to showcase them. Just three are needed, recommended sizes being between 2 – 2.5 cm. If you’re in need of buttons, check out our selection in the shop, where you’re sure to pair them perfectly with any one of the beautiful Herriot Great jewel tones and classic neutrals. Pop by and try on our sample, you’ll be desperate to knit up your own after you feel just how soft the Herriot Great really is!
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What is your favourite one-skein project? Have you had the pleasure of knitting with the Baby Alpaca Herriot range from Juniper Moon?

A Zeal for Teal

Ashby Wrap

Every knitter has their weaknesses, whether it be the perfect sock pattern or alpaca blend wool, though I’m sure none are stronger than my unwavering addiction to the colour teal! It’s hopelessly insatiable, I’m quick to snap up any teal skein as soon as it hits the shelves, and that’s not likely to change any time soon. Two of my most recent projects have only proven this: I’ve just finished a wrap with wool I had purchased at This Is Knit’s Yarn Dating (which was so much fun!) There I was introduced to all the beautiful shades of the Studio Donegal tweed, but of course did not struggle with my colour choice, not when the beautiful 3637 Teal shade was there waiting for me!

Ashby, by the always inspirational Brooklyn Tweed, is a big, warm wrap with a gorgeous cabled edge and simple textured body. The pattern asks for 4 balls of Studio Donegal WSC but will leave you with considerable leftovers. In my wrap, I used a 5th skein and added an extra repeat to the edge (two total) which made it slightly larger overall: with a 36 inch spine, 86 inch wingspan, which I just love! This wool is perfectly suited to the pattern, it knits up considerably light, which makes for a nice balance in such a large wrap. I finished mine in time for our trip through County Kerry, and ended up wearing it every day. It was perfect for warding off the October chill on our road trip around The Ring of Kerry.

Cocoon

The Cocoon hat, pattern available for free on Ravelry, is a super quick and easy knit. It uses exactly one ball of Malabrigo Mecha, and I of course opted for the shade: Teal Feather. It’s the most rich, gorgeous colourway, making for a lovely squishy, warm hat. I love the broken rib, which creates a nice, simple texture that really allows the beautiful colour of the yarn to be the focal point. I think this hat compliments Mecha very well, and I’d definitely make another; possibly to gift… but more realistically to keep for myself 😉

What colour would you consider your greatest weakness?

Gifts to Knit

Flobbly Beanie

While some knitters might be well on their way through their Christmas queue, there are a few of us who are way behind. If you’re on the hunt for Holiday gift inspiration, and low on time, here are two hat patterns that we just love. Both are quick and easy, and each have their own charm. Though, the risk is that after you are done knitting them, you’ll likely want to keep them for yourself!

The Flobbly Beanie, which is available as a free download, is the perfect slouchy hat paired with generous bobble to keep someone you love extra cosy this winter. Knit with just one ball of Trenzar (including the bobble) it’s a quick and easy knit. The shop sample, modeled by the always lovely Jenny, was knit in the colourway 307. The eyelet fabric keeps things interesting while still being simple enough to fly off your needles in no time. And don’t forget: there are pompom makers and ready-made pompoms available for purchase in the shop, and we also have some useful tips for attaching a bobble to your hat.

Kernmantle1

The Kernmantle hat by Woolly Wormhead (available for purchase via Ravelry) has a beautiful cable detail, and is the perfect opportunity to add a new technique to your repertoire, if you haven’t yet tried knitting cables. A single horseshoe cable runs from the brim to the crown, which pops beautifully against the textured seed stitch. The sample pictured was knit using just over one ball of Malabrigo Twist in the colourway Pearl Ten. We recommend purchasing 2 balls, which will leave you with plenty of leftovers for a second project; perhaps the Hurricane hat? Or maybe the Turn A Square hat? Both are free patterns available on Ravelry.

Kernmantle1

We’d love for you to pop by the shop to try on our samples, the hats really are even cosier than they look!

When do you start working on your Christmas knitting queue? What are some of your favourite patterns to knit for Holiday gifting?

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!

OmenaSample

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?

Mojo Magic

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?

Easy on the Double

HatsHeldDouble

“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!

HatsHeldDouble

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!

HatsDetail

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!

Local Talent

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!

Castleknock

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

Solo

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…

Nanook1

Cln’s Nanook in Malabrigo Rios

Nanook2

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?

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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!