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Love lace!

You’ll probably have noticed that at This Is Knit, we love lace rather a lot. So we’re tremendously excited to be organising the first ever Irish Indie Dyers Yarn Club!

The Club will run from January to March 2013, and each month, the members will receive a completely exclusive colourway of a stunning lace yarn from a different Irish indie dyer.

We’re very proud that the participating dyers are Coolree Yarns, the Dublin Dye Company and Hedgehog Fibres. The exact yarns and colours are a secret (shhh!), but these craftspeople produce stunning yarn like the alpaca lace used in the Cold Mountain stole at the top of this post, or like this delicious cashmere laceweight from Hedgehog Fibres…

…and just look at the colour intensity that Coolree Yarns achieves….

This club will have elegance and luxury in spades: from sparkles and silk to cashmere and alpaca, we’ll have beautiful bases in delicious shades, dyed with care and skill expressly for the Club.

The Club is limited to just twenty memberships, so if you fancy a treat for yourself or if you’re looking for a very special gift for a knitter or crocheter, why not visit the This Is Knit booking page from Saturday next, December 1st. We have specific packages inclusive of postage to anywhere in the world, so be sure to select the option for your region (and if you like, you can choose to pick up your lovely lacy surprise in person at the shop each month!).

This morning, we took excited delivery of some very special new things: lovely yarn bowls, exclusively hand-thrown for us by a very talented craftsman. They come in two colours of glaze, the gentle blue in the picture and a pale green, and they’re all individual, as you’d expect in something handmade.

They all have a handy notch in the side to guide your yarn and stop it careening all over the floor. Of course, you could also use them to hold any number of other things (though not, we would suggest, soup). They’d make an ideal gift for any crocheter or knitter, and the perfect souvenir of a visit to Dublin.

Since this is a Bank Holiday weekend, the shop will be closed on Sunday 28th and Monday 29th Octobber. But in the coming week, we’ve got some special offers for you between the 1st and the 4th of November. First of all, if you spend €60 either instore or online on Paloma, Winter Garden, Rialto Chunky, Orielle, Blue Faced Leicester Aran or Amitola, we will give you the pattern book for the yarn for free. And second, if you spend €30 between the same dates, you’ll be entered for a draw to win one of the lovely Soak gift boxes, containing a bottle of Soak yarn wash, another of delicious hand cream, 200 yards of Lorna’s Laces hand-dyed yarn, an gorgeous mitts pattern and nail varnish that matches the colour of the yarn.

This year, we’re not exhibiting at the Knitting and Stitching Show at the RDS, but you don’t have to miss out on This Is Knit if you’re travelling to Dublin. The shop in the Powerscourt Centre will be open until 8.00pm on Thursday November 1st – you’ll find details on how to find us at this link, and you know, we’d really love to see you.

Book the limo!

blog awards ireland

A couple of weeks ago, we were beside ourselves with glee to have been shortlisted in the Grafton Media Blog Awards. Well, now we’re even more thrilled: we are a finalist in the Best Craft Blog category, sponsored by Belleek Living.

We’re in wonderful company too – the other finalists are La creature and you, Molly Moo, Nice Day Designs and Stitchlily. Click over to them – you’ll be amazed and delighted at what you find.

We’ve just booked our tickets for the Awards Ceremony in the Osprey Hotel in Naas on October 13th, so you’ll have to excuse us, as we go figure out what to wear!

Bouquets

That pretty corsage arrived into the shop on Saturday, and we pounced on it with glee. It, or rather its constituent parts, comes in a neat little box, with several flowers of different shapes and all the notions you need to assemble it.

As it turned out, we were looking for a birthday present for a good friend, so we set to work with the kit. Twenty minutes later, if even that, we were proudly displaying our handiwork.

That’s the contents of the kit – so many flower shapes that your combination will be completely original, more toning buttons that you need, a brooch fixing and even a needle to go with the matching thread. So if you’re looking for a smart and pretty accessory, or for a crafty gift, what better than one of these? They come in a variety of muted colours, perfect for this season’s soft palette.

We’ve been thinking of bouquets for other reasons too.

blog awards ireland

On Friday, the shortlist for the Grafton Media Blog Awards was published. We’re shortlisted twice: for the Best Blog of An SME, sponsored by Sage and on the Best Craft Blog list! We’re over the moon about this – it’s such a compliment to us from you, our readers, and we’re very grateful for your nominations.

We have lovely laurels, but we have no time to rest on them. With the Yarn Tasting on Friday and Ysolda Teague’s workshop on Saturday, we’re a bit busy getting ready. We can’t wait!

Ever wanted to work in a Yarn Shop?

We have a temporary vacancy (of 4-6 weeks’ duration) coming up in July to cover staff holidays and we are seeking applications for this part-time position.

We are looking for someone who is:

1. Friendly & enthusiastic, with excellent customer service skills. Experience in customer service would be an advantage.

2. A knitter who is comfortable offering pattern assistance and advice to customers on substituting yarns etc. Knowledge of crochet techniques is also a big plus!

3. Available to work half days on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays (the actual hours will vary week to week).

4. Hard working and flexible as your duties will vary from unpacking boxes and filling online orders to answering emails and dusting shelves!

Please send applications (with a brief CV as an attachment) to office [at] thisisknit [dot] ie

We’re delighted to announce that for the first time ever, This Is Knit will have a team in Ravelympics 2012!

The Ravelympics is a two-week-and-a-bit-long event coinciding with the Olympics, and just like the athletic competitions, it provides a challenge and a stretch and lots of community spirit and a ton of gleeful fun, for Ravelry members all over the world.

Here’s how it works: you join a team (or more than one!) and choose a yarny project or goal (or more than one!). We can’t start before the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Games, and the event officially ends with the Closing Ceremony. So that’s a start date of July 27th with a finish on August 12th. There’s lots more information on the Ravelympics FAQ thread at this link.

We’ve got two excellent captains, Jacqui (Jacquithisisknit) and Nadia (bunnyt), who’ll keep us focussed and on track.

To participate. you need to register with a team (ours is here). Then you decide what events you’re going to take part in – there’s something for everyone on the list, from the Frogging Trampoline (ripping out that thing from the back of the wardrobe that never fitted right) to the Hat Dash (a hat, start to finish), from WIP Wrestling (finish that long-neglected object) to the Sweater Triathlon (a jumper or cardigan, cast on to cast off). You decide what’s a challenge for you, and we’ll cheer you on. Throughout, there’ll be support and camaraderie and good crack, because we are Team This Is Knit.

So no starting before the Opening Ceremony! But we can train. Training is choosing our projects, practising the intriguing cast on, swatching and so forth. And we want to hear about that too – over in the Team This Is Knit thread
we’ll be cheering each other on long before the torch is lit.

Over the next few weeks we’ll be blogging more about the Ravelympics and talking about how to tag your projects and how to report what you’re doing. For now, we’d like to invite you to take part, and to suggest that you might want to save the date and time of the Opening Ceremony for a rather special event at the shop….

Classes at This is Knit

Are you passionate about fibre crafts and enthusiastic about sharing your skills with others? Here at This is Knit we’re on the lookout for new teachers and workshop leaders to host classes with us this coming Autumn/Winter.

If you’d like to join us then please contact us with the following details:

Which crafts would you like to teach?

How would you rate your skill level in these crafts?

Do you have teaching experience?

Are you available to teach on evenings and weekends?

Why do you knit / crochet / felt / spin…?

All applications will be reviewed in the next few weeks and we’ll get back in touch with you as soon as possible. Thanks for your interest!

We must have some of the fastest keyboardists on Earth, you know – no sooner was Woolly Wormhead’s Hat Design Workshop announced than it was booked out. It’s on Sunday August 12th, which is some time away, and a lot can happen in four months. So we’re talking a little about it here, and encouraging those of you who weren’t lucky enough to nab a place to put your names on the waiting list (this worked out very well for Kate Davies’ workshop – a few spaces came free and were made available to the entire waiting list on a “fastest finger first” basis!).

Woolly Wormhead is a terrific designer, specialising in hats: traditional, quirky, show-stopping (often all three together), and all cleverly designed and a delight to knit. But rather than tell you all about her in our words, we thought it would be better to read her own. So here’s our interview with her:

TIK: When did you start designing and why?

WW: I started self publishing my designs in 2005 through my old blog, as a way to not only record what I was doing, but also to see if there was any interest in what I was doing. At the time I was a full time Art/Textiles teacher and was struggling with health issues, and found that writing my designs in pattern form helped keep my brain active, as well as provide another creative outlet for me to explore. I’d always made and designed my own clothes, whether sewn or knitted, that’s something I’ve done since I was a child, but writing them down to share, and grading them for different sizes, made everything more real. The response to those first designs provided the encouragement I needed to continue.

TIK: Why do you design hats?

WW: There are many reasons why I like to design Hats!

They are portable, and as we travel a lot and live in a relatively small space, portable is a must. They are perfect for learning and practising new techniques, as they don’t need the same commitment that a larger project does, and they’re relatively quick to make and reknit. I have a short attention span and get bored very quickly knitting larger projects, so Hats make perfect instant satisfaction projects. Let’s not forget circles and spheres; a Hat builds on these shapes and allows for some pretty amazing patterns and structures. Hats are expressive and fun to wear – they can dress up or dress down a mood, the most versatile of accessories. Finally, to me, Hats are little wearable sculptures. My specialism is 3D Textiles, and Hats are as good as it gets when it comes to mixing fashion and sculpture.

I did say there were many reasons, right?

TIK: What’s the most important characteristic for a hat to have?

WW: Good fit is pretty important – one size doesn’t fit all – sure, knitting stretches, but stretch it too much and it distorts. In my mind, it also needs continuity between the brim and the body and the crown – that’s pretty important for a good design.

TIK: What’s your favourite knitting technique?

WW: Hmm… not sure I have a favourite technique! There are several I like to use, such as kitchener, provisional cast-on, short rows. I’m especially loving short rows at the moment! I think any technique that allows me to create a seamless 3-dimensional construction is going to be a winner with me. I don’t like seams or picking up stitches, and would much rather graft something or find another way around the construction that, while it may seem a little challenging at times, will overall produce a neater finish and provide continuity in the design.

TIK: What do you say to people who claim that hats don’t suit them?
WW: There’s a Hat out there for everyone, they just haven’t found the right Hat yet.

You can read more from Woolly Wormhead and browse her designs at her website at this link. We can’t wait till August, when we get to find the right hat, and design it, and make it!

(All images in this post are (c) Woolly Wormhead)

It’s a couple of weeks since our new online shop went live, and we’re delighted with the positive feedback it’s got. We said at the time that we’d point out some more of the new features in time, so this post fulfils that promise. This post is also a great opportunity to tell you about our fun prize draw, that is running until the end of April. Read on for more…

We’re happy to say that we’ve extended the offer of free shipping to all addresses in Ireland, north and south, until the end of April. As before, you just enter the coupon code “SendMeYarn” when you’re placing your order (you need to set up an account to enable this, but it’s a fast and easy process).

We had a couple of enquiries about how to enter the coupon code, so here’s a screen shot of where to click. When you’ve selected your Shopping Cart, just click the “Use Coupon Code” button, enter the code and carry on with your order. (Click here for a bigger image)

We’re also rather excited by the ability for you to tell us what you think of our products by reviewing them. We really want to hear your opinions, so until the end of April, every review submitted will go into a prize draw for a super goodie bag containing one skein each of our newest yarn ranges. Shetland 2ply, MillaMia Merino Soft, Petra Crochet Cotton and “Powerscourt” (our exclusive shade) in Hedgehog Sock yarn.

Here’s a screenshot of where to click either to write your own review or to read other people’s. (Click here for a bigger image)

You will need to be logged in to post a review and you can submit as many entries as you like…. So please share your opinions with us all – crocheters and knitters everywhere want to hear them!

Need yarn?

Drumroll, please!

We’re thrilled to announce that our new online shop is now open. There’s so many new and exciting things to tell you about it that one blog post won’t be enough, but here’s just a couple of them.

When you create an account, you can set up a wishlist for things you really love the look of. This is, of course, awfully useful for making sure you get the perfect present in the future, but it’s also good for reminding yourself!

We’re very happy that we have so many customers who live outside Ireland, and now we’ve made things a bit easier for them by pricing in three different currencies. At the top of the screen, just to the right of the This Is Knit logo, you can choose whether you want to see prices in euros, sterling or US dollars – just click on the currency you want displayed.

If you’re shopping from outside the EU, you don’t have to pay sales tax (VAT) on purchases here. In the past the VAT could be deducted after an order was placed, but we have now made the process simpler and easier by showing only VAT free prices for customers who register an account with a non-EU shipping address.

There’s an awful lot more to share with you yet, but right now we’re in a mood to celebrate. So if you live in the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland and place an order before midnight on March 31st, we’ll pay your shipping for you. Simply enter the coupon code “SendMeYarn” to avail of this promotion.

So if you fancy an exciting parcel in the post (or want to send a gift to a yarn-loving loved one), come have a look round.

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