TIK Knits

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This is a particularly dotey cardigan, made for a very new baby indeed. It’s the Puerperium cardigan, a wonderfully simple top-down seamless garment, sized to fit a newborn baby.

Jacqui used Malabrigo Arroyo for this project – it’s as soft as a newborn’s skin and superwash to boot. What’s more, it comes in absolutely lovely colours.

She was delighted to find how far a single skein stretched: not only was there enough for a simple matching hat (because babies need hats!), but after making both hat and cardigan, she had 20 grammes left over. That’s the same weight as the hat, and easily enough for a pair of matching booties. (The baby in question needed the cardigan, though, so there wasn’t time!)

An entire outfit from one skein of yarn – we love it!

In the last couple of days, the weather’s been cooling down a lot, and all of a sudden, a warm hat seems like a good idea, or a snug cowl, or some cozy gloves.

So we’ve been mulling over what to make for the coming season, and the very first finished object that comes to mind is the gorgeous cowl above. It’s a Burberry Inspired Cowl, which Lisa’s just finished in Mirasol Miski. It knits up very fast and it’s ever so stylish, don’t you think?

Inspired by this combination of yarn and pattern, we’ve been looking at the shelves and dreaming of warm and practical accessories. What about a Wurm hat in Malabrigo Arroyo? (That would be the bounciest hat imaginable!) Or for warm and practical hands, perhaps a pair of Susie Roger’s Reading Mitts in Debbie Bliss Blue-faced Leicester DK?

Well-tested patterns that just work, and the warmest of yarn to make them in – that’s what it’s all about. And we’re certain you’ve got lots of ideas too! What pattern are you planning, and what yarn are you going to use? Why not share your ideas in the comments below to inspire us all?

That’s Jacqui’s latest lace shawl, Loren by Gudrun Johnston. It’s made from Malabrigo Baby Silkpaca laceweight in Teal Feather, and as you’d expect from the designer, it’s constructed using traditional Shetland techniques.

Hand-dyed yarns such as Malabrigo can vary quite a bit from dyelot to dyelot, so it’s even more vital than usual to make sure you’ve got enough to finish your project. But it happens to all of us: half a ball of one dyelot and two thirds of a second, languishing in the stash wondering if they’ll ever get another chance to shine. This was Jacqui’s dilemma. Or maybe there’s only ten balls of one dyelot left in stock and you need twelve. What to do?

Just working till one dyelot runs out and then switching to the other risks putting the colour change bang in the middle of your work, across your tummy or halfway up your arm. With a bit of cunning, though, it’s possible to place the switch so it looks entirely planned, or even to make it invisible.

The trick is to put the switch over at a point where there’s another change going on. In Jacqui’s Loren, you notice the pattern difference between the border and the centre section: both the direction of the work and the stitch pattern vary. So the variation in colour looks entirely planned, as indeed it was.

If you want to hide the changeover, then welts and cuffs of jumpers, or the ribbing sections of hats, and borders of all sorts work well. And no-one need ever know. The observer’s eye will be fooled by the difference in stitch pattern and hardly register the colour change at all.

Of course another reason to talk about this beautiful pattern is our excitement about the upcoming weekend: Gudrun Johnston’s lace workshop is on Saturday morning, with Mary Jane Mucklestone’s colourwork one in the afternoon. We can’t wait!

Babies need blankets, and we’re convinced that the best blankets are handmade. We’ve two to show you, both beautiful, both practical and each completely different.

First of all, our wonderful customer Jenny recently made the brightly coloured treasure in the picture above and allowed us to share the project and her picture with you. It’s the Chevron Baby Blanket by Espace Tricot (a free pattern on Ravelry), and she made it in five vibrant colours of Katia Mali. You can see her project page for it over at this link. It’s the most cheerful thing we seen in ages – thank you, Jenny! (You can see more of her photography and read about her crafty life on her blog Crafty Tails.)

Isn’t this lovely? It’s Lisa’s latest finished object, an Undercover blanket from Beata Jezek’s pattern. It’s the softest fabric imaginable, knitted with a doubled strand of Hedgehog Fibres Sock. It starts in the centre and works outward, with the regular increases at the corners giving that pretty diagonal line of eyelets.

These are blankets to build forts out of, and to carry as a trusted friend when exploring the world, and to fall asleep in. Their owners will be very lucky babies.

Thistle

With the weather turning a little autumnal, we’re all about the hats at the moment, and we’ve got one in two versions to show you.

This is the Thistle hat, our latest in-house pattern, warm as toast and easy as anything. It’s made with one ball each of two contrasting Aranweight yarns, and we used Louisa Harding’s new merino/alpaca Akiko with Debbie Bliss’s wool-and-silk-rich Milano.

That’s the other version, with a slightly different stitch pattern. The only difference between the two is one round which is knit in one version and purled in the other, and there’s a good story about how it came about. When Jacqui was test-knitting the pattern, she changed the pattern without meaning to. After realising that, many people would have ripped back. But Jacqui liked the fabric she was getting, and just kept going!

The result was a slightly different but equally lovely version, and the two-option Thistle hat was born. And a moral, too: patterns are only a guideline, and if your variation pleases you, go for it! Then it’s not a mistake, it’s a design feature!

Candy Floss

Aren’t those the most adorable little baby booties ever? They’re called Candy Floss, and they’re one of This Is Knit’s latest patterns.

They’re made from Katia Pure Angora, so they’re unbelievably soft, and the pattern is free when you purchase the yarn.

A pair takes two 10g balls of the yarn, and if you choose two different colours the pattern gives you instructions for making a smartly striped pair as well as a single colour option.

And it’s simply not possible not to say “Awww!” when you see them.

Here in the shop, we’re gearing up for a fantastic weekend, because Woolly Wormhead‘s coming back to This Is Knit to give us her Hat Design Workshop! Her class on Saturday has been sold out for ages, but we’ve been inspired of late to make some of her lovely hats. Worked flat, in the round, lacy, cables, funky, elegant, for all genders and ages, her designs are fast, clever and fun. And if you’d like to leap in along with us, we’ve got a special offer below!

The hats that we’ve been working on are Everglade and Ravine. Ravine, on the right and in silver grey above, took just two balls of Grace Silk and Wool, and Nadia found the perfect embellishment in A. Rubanesque downstairs: a beautiful silvery beaded tulle piece (we really do have the very best neighbours!).

Lisa’s Everglade, on the left in purple, is made from Rooster Almerino, a delicious blend of merino and alpaca in lots of glorious colours. It took just two balls as well. If you turn up that deep ribbing, you get a snug fit, and leaving it unturned up gives you the most fashionable slouchy look – your choice!

And until Sunday July 28th, we’re offering you a 10% discount on Rooster Almerino. Mention the discount code Everglade when you buy in the shop or over the phone, or pop it in the coupon code box when you order online.*

What’s more, in warm weather, small projects make much more sense than big weighty pieces. As Elizabeth Zimmermann used to say, summer is the time for stocking up with warm accessories. We’re hoping for a long warm spell, so we’re planning lots of accessories – how about you? Do you have small project plans to share? We’d love to hear about them in the comments!

* This discount cannot be combined with any other offer…sorry!

This pretty summer cover-up has just gone on display in the shop. Knitted by Lisa in Katia Mali, it’s Watershed by Amy Swenson. It’s a delightful little knit, and it produces a very versatile garment.

In fact we’re so happy with how Watershed turned out that we’re giving you 10% off the yarn! Until Sunday 14th July, use the code 07Mali2013 in our online shop or quote it over the phone or in person, and the discount will be applied.* And just look at those gorgeous colours!

You can find Lisa’s Ravelry page for her Watershed at this link. It’s an interesting read, with suggestions of modifications she’s thinking of for the next one (and she’s already decided there will be a next one, in something woollier for cooler weather).

A fast, elegant knit in stunning colours, using just a few balls of yarn, made even more economical by a discount? What more could one ask for?

*This discount cannot be combined with any other offer…sorry!

We’ve talked here before about the fun of diverging a little from the written pattern, and of the loveliness that can result. Well, here’s another example. This is an Ashton Shawlette – a pattern by Irish designer Dee O’Keefe and a free download on Ravelry.

Our version has a little variation, and we love it as much as the beautiful original. It’s made from Fyberspates Scrumptious 4-ply, and to ensure that it took only one skein, the edging was shortened a little by a few rows. But in compensation, beads! Just look at the effect from adding a sprinkling of beads to the lace pattern on the body of the shawl, and from placing lines of them on the points of the edging scallops. The lace simply glitters!

The Ashton Shawlette is an ideal first shawl project, too. Indeed, if you’re intrigued by lace, we’ve got both an introductory and a “next steps” class coming up in the next couple of months – you can find details of both and book your place at this link. You’ll be making beautiful things like this shawl in no time at all!

Don’t you love when you find a pattern that ticks every box? One that’s fun to do, pretty as a picture, with interesting use of colour, and an easy-as-pie stitch pattern?

Meet Elowen!

This delicious project is knitted in Hedgehog Fibres Sock – so much softness and such glorious intensity of colour! Elowen takes 300m of the main colour and much, much less of the contrast, so if you have two skeins of contrasting sock yarn, you can get two complementary shawls, where the main colour of the first is the contrast of the second, and vice versa! One for you and one for a friend, perhaps?

The pretty stitch pattern in the border is simply achieved by slipping stitches, so you’re never using more than one colour on a row. This is the least stressful colourwork you could imagine, and isn’t the result lovely?

A gentle, portable project which gives you a beautiful accessory in no time at all? Perfect!


Would you like to knit your very own Elowen? We’re offering 10% off Hedgehog Fibres Sock Yarn until next Wednesday the 26th of June!

Simply use the code Elowen2013 in our online shop, quote it over the phone or in person, and the discount will be applied.*

While we don’t list all the shades of Hedgehog Sock yarn in our online shop (the colour range changes so frequently) we are very happy to email you a picture of the shades that are currently in stock.

*This discount cannot be combined with any other offer…sorry!

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