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.

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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?

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?