The Townhouse Doodler

We have another gorgeous finished shawl to share with you today – Jenny’s version of Stephen West’s “The Doodler“.  This design has been getting a lot of attention in the shop, and it’s easy to see why. The unique construction and clever use of colour both draw the eye, and the beautiful drape and butter-soft texture of Clarendon Sock create a wrap that you would never want to take off.

The Doodler by Stephen West in Townhouse Yarns Clarendon Sock

Jenny used “Toffee Pop”, “Mustard Seeds” and “Velvet” for her version and the effect is really striking.  There are so many stunning versions on Ravelry for colour inspiration too. We’re particularly in love with bronze, teal and grey  but there’s no limit to the options really!

It’s fair to say that Stephen West is a truly unique knitting pattern designer. He embraces colour and texture wholeheartedly and his designs are created with a true sense of fun and adventure.  He frequently encourages knitters to push their boundaries and to see yarn as something to be played with. And if you love this approach then his latest music video is sure to make you smile!

The Doodler in Townhouse Yarns Clarendon Sock Close Up

If all that pop is a little too much for you though, then we would still encourage you to look at some of Stephen’s designs in a more pared back light. A case in point is Enchanted Mesa – a stash busting sweater design, with short rows and funky eyelets that draw attention to the changes in colour and texture.

Image of the original Enchanted Mesa Design by Stephen West, featuring colourful yarns in an autumnal palette
Enchanted Mesa Image (c) Westknits

Then look again at versions by MelleChou and KatiWoolF, and suddenly we are using words like “refined” and “elegant”, rather than “wild” and “eye-catching”. One approach may suit you more as a knitter, or you might love both. Either way, you can’t argue that Stephen’s designs are clever and versatile and more than worth paying attention to…

Golden Yellow Solid Colour Version of Stephen West's Enchanted Mesa Knitting Pattern
Enchanted Mesa (c) MelleChou (on Ravelry)

Have you knit any of Stephen West’s designs? Check out Stephen’s latest Mystery Knitalong here. (If you’re not too busy with our Spring KAL, that is!)

Join Our Spring KAL 2017

It’s almost time to get knitting! Have you chosen your Spring Knit-a-Long pattern yet? Our official cast on date will be Saturday the 4th of March, so there’s still time to review the pattern options discussed in our blog posts from last week.  We first looked at Carpino and Ravello, and then learned a little more about Timeless Henley and Nogat. It will be tough to choose a favourite!

Join the This is Knit Spring Knit-a-Long with a choice of four light weight sweater patterns from four independent designers, all knit in 4ply yarn.

How to Sign Up:

Choose your pattern and either purchase and download it direct from Ravelry or come in to the shop where we can purchase it for you, and add it to your Ravelry library.

Select your yarn, buy online or in our shop and receive a 10% discount with the code SKAL17

Make sure we have your details by signing up to be a KAL Member here. When signing up you also can let us know if you’ll be coming along to the our Cast On Party at 3pm on Saturday 4th of March.

A Little Help From Your Friends:

At the Cast On party we will be offering short demonstrations and general technique assistance, so be sure to come along armed with questions! We’ll also feature tips and tricks here on the blog, and there will be group support available through our dedicated thread over on Ravelry.

Ad hoc support will also be available in the shop, on the usual basis (5-10 minutes of assistance once a staff member is free) and you can also post questions to any of our social media accounts (using the hashtag #TIKKAL17) and we’ll get right back to you.

All-Important Prizes:

Everyone who completes their project before Saturday the 13th of May will be in with the chance to win some of our fabulous KAL prizes!

Our wonderful featured designers have each sponsored pattern prizes, and there will be TIK Goodie Bags up for grabs too!

So what are you waiting for? Sign up to participate in our Spring KAL today.

Two More Pattern Choices for our Spring KAL

Did you spot our Spring Knit-a-Long announcement earlier this week? In that post we introduced two of the four pattern options for this year’s KAL, so today we’re going to take a quick look at the other two designs – Timeless Henley and Nogat.

Timeless_Henley_2_medium2

TIMELESS HENLEY

A refined, tailored sweater with rib and lace details, Joji Locatelli’s Timeless Henley is the sweater that you would wear to Sunday brunch or tea with friends. The buttons on the henley neckline are carried through the design to the deep cuffs on the sleeves, and the lace motif is an easy-to-memorise repeat that lends further interest to the overall design.

Choosing this pattern would allow those of you who are comfortable with Top Down Raglan construction, to try Top Down Set In Sleeves for the first time.  This method will require close attention to gauge, which means diligent swatching, but again we’re here to help!

Set In Sleeves are generally considered to be the most flattering of sleeve shapes so, if you’re a fan of seamless knitting, it’s certainly worth giving this method a go.  For project inspiration you can click on through to Ravelry here.

A screenshot showing how to select Most Favourites as the sorting method when viewing finished projects on Ravelry

Also, to see the best and brightest versions of each design make sure you have selected “Most Favourites” from the drop down menu toward the top of the page.

Our top yarn picks for this pattern are Malabrigo Mechita and Hedgehog Fibres Sock Yarn (we received shipment from Hedgehog just this week).

Nogat by Justyna Lorkowska

NOGAT

Nogat really has it all going on: cables, lace, garter and rib plus a glamorous scooped neckline – this is one elegant sweater. The designer, Justyna Lorkowska, describes Nogat as a “lively and adventurous sweater”. This is one adventure we’d love to help you embark on!

We’re back to the Top Down Raglan method here, but the non-standard neckline should add an element of interest to the technique. And then the fun really starts, as every row will combine panels of intriguing stitch patterns.

There are many spectacular finished versions on Ravelry, and it would certainly be worth browsing through the projects to decide on the amount of ease and length that would suit your own shape best.  This is one of the many advantages of top-down knitting: you’ll be able to try on the garment and custom fit the project as you go.

As with all the project choices you can work them in any 4ply yarn, but we quite fancy Fade St 4ply and Debbie Bliss Rialto 4ply for this particular design.

Join the This is Knit Spring Knit-a-Long with a choice of four light weight sweater patterns from four independent designers, all knit in 4ply yarn.

Are you ready to join our Spring Knit-a-Long? Check back very soon for all the details on yarn discounts, fabulous prizes and, of course, how to register ahead of the start date of Saturday 4th of March.

Join our Indie Designer Knit-a-Long this March

It will soon be Knit-a-Long time again here at This is Knit, and this year we’re encouraging you all to dive in to lightweight garment knitting for spring.

Join the This is Knit Spring Knit-a-Long with a choice of four light weight sweater patterns from four independent designers, all knit in 4ply yarn.

This year we’re all about lightweight garments, with a choice of 4 stunning sweaters, all knit in 4-ply yarn and coming from 4 of our favourite Independent Designers.

We’ve selected a range of designs, covering several unique techniques and across a spectrum of skill levels, so there’s something here for everyone. We’d encourage you to choose a pattern that’s just a bit out of your comfort zone though, and then make use of all the support that will be available to make that project a reality. Our aim is to help you learn some new skills along the way and to enjoy the process of knitting along with other members of the extended TIK community.

With four patterns to choose from we’re going to take a closer look today at two of the four designs: Carpino and Ravello.

Check back soon for our post highlighting options three and four for this KAL: “Timeless Henley” and “Nogat”. We’ll wrap everything up in a third blog post, with all the details about the yarn discount, the prizes on offer and the plans for our KAL Cast On Event!

CARPINO

Are you familiar with the top-down raglan technique, but would like to take it to the next level? Then Carpino may be the choice for you.  This refined design from Carol Feller features a simple lace repeat that adds texture and interest to the finished garment.

Carpino by Carol Feller
(c) Brooklyn Tweed / Jared Flood

For colour and styling inspiration have a browse through the beautiful selection of finished versions here on Ravelry.  As you can see, this design works well in many yarn types, but our suggestions are Debbie Bliss Fine Donegal and Townhouse Yarns Camden Tweed.

RAVELLO

Simple and stylish, Ravello by Isabell Kraemer is an ideal easy-going knit for those of you dipping your toes in the 4ply water… This design uses the seamless top-down raglan method too, so there’s no sewing up to worry about. It’s also a perfect choice if you’d like to mix in a bit of stash yarn to your KAL project, as you can base your colour choices around that special skein or two.

Ravello by Isabell Kraemer
(c) grasflecken

Again there’s lots of project inspiration on Ravelry, and we’d be delighted to help you with colour choices in the shop or by email.  We think Malabrigo Sock will be a popular option for this design and Juniper Moon Herriot Fine could be a winner too.

So what do you think of our line up so far? Are you tempted to jump in and knit either of these designs? Check back soon for more KAL info (including how to join in!), ahead of our official cast on date of Saturday 4th March…

Marvellous Mechita

We think all weeks should begin with project inspiration, so we’re sharing two beautiful staff knits today, both knit in “Mechita” from Malabrigo Yarns.

Emiliana by Lisa Hannes knit in Malabrigo Mechita

If you’re already familiar with Malabrigo Yarns then you will know they specialise in semi-solid and variegated shades, dyed on sumptuously soft merino bases. The Mechita line is a superwash merino, single spun, 4ply / fingering weight yarn and we have some stunning deep jewel tones on our shelves right now.

Emiliana by Lisa Hannes is the most popular project on Ravelry for this yarn, and it’s easy to see why. The shawl uses mosaic knitting to striking effect, especially when two highly contrasting shades are used, as is the case with our sample. Jacqui chose two rich, vibrant shades of Mechita that would contrast well to show the pattern clearly.  The result is an eye-catching, generously sized wrap in versatile colours for everyday wear.

We can’t take our eyes off the mosaic effect – it’s hard to believe that it’s achieved using only one colour per row. If you’d like to learn more about the technique (and maybe even design your own mosaic shawl) then check out the upcoming workshop Melanie Berg workshop on this very topic.

Fallston by Dee O'Keefe knit in Malabrigo Mechita

Our second project is a study of garter stitch and lace – Fallston by Dee O’Keefe. This time around there’s a deliberate interplay in the colour choices, with the predominantly purples and blues of “Whales Road”, occasionally lighting on teal and mirroring the lace section’s use of “Teal Feather”.

Maria found working with Mechita a pleasure, and is really pleased with both the drape of her finished shawl and how well the yarn blocked to show off the lace stitch patterns.  Or, in her own words:

“It’s sooo nommy!”

We can’t help but agree.

Do you have a favourite Malabrigo yarn? Or a favourite colourway from the Malabrigo range?

Learning Curve – Two Shawls for the Adventurous Knitter

Are you ready for your next knitting adventure? Today we are featuring two elegant knitted shawls from among the fabulous selection on display in store. Both are suitable for the more adventurous knitters among you, and I think we’ll dive right in with the more challenging of our pair…

The Cypri Shawl by Amanda Scheuzgerin Hedgehog Fibres Sock Yarn. Draped over a chair.

The Cypri Shawl

This beauty is the work of Twist Collective designer Amanda Scheuzger, and comes from the needles of our own guru-of-shawls, Jacqui :)  Cypri is cast on at the bottom edge, and shaped with short rows to create a gently flowing crescent.  The travelling stitches are achieved with a slipped stitch technique, over a garter stitch background, with the instructions for these details given in charted form only.

The Cypri Shawl by Amanda Scheuzgerin Hedgehog Fibres Sock Yarn. An elegant knitted shawl.

Jacqui really enjoyed working on this project but she did confess to having to rip back on a few occasions.  Her advice?

“Switch off the television and focus 100% on the pattern. The instructions are very well written but some of the techniques may be unfamiliar, so keep an open mind.  The results are so worth the effort though!”

This version was worked in Hedgehog Fibres Sock Yarn, in colours that mimic the original design, but of course there’s lots colour combination inspiration to be had among the other finished projects on Ravelry.

So what do you think? Are you ready for the challenge? Or perhaps our next shawl, Holyrood, is more your cup of tea?

The Holyrood Shawl by Justyna Lorkowska in Townhouse Yarns Fade St 4ply. An elegant knitted shawl. Modelled.

Holyrood

Chevrons, eyelets, cables, stripes and ribs – Holyrood is a shawl that has it all.  In fact, this is a perfect learning project for someone looking to expand their stitching repertoire.  We’re a big fan of Justyna’s patterns here in the shop, and this design proved to be everything we’ve come to expect from her: clever, stylish and interesting to knit.

The yarn combination this time is two shades of Fade Street 4ply from our own Townhouse Yarns line – Rippleberry and Mustard Seed. And again there are oodles of inspiring combinations to browse through in the gallery of finished projects.

The Holyrood Shawl by Justyna Lorkowska in Fade St 4ply by Townhouse Yarns - Detail

While some patterns would have you plough through miles of garter stitch or stockinette just to get to the fun parts, Holyrood’s frequent change of stitch pattern can, almost counter-intuitively, lead to a faster end result.  It’s similar to knitting with self-striping yarns: you keep going just to see what’s coming next and then, all of a sudden, it’s done!

So there you have it, two elegant knitted shawls for the intermediate knitter, both tried and tested and guaranteed to give you warm fuzzy feelings of accomplishment when complete.  While each may pose their own learning curve, both will definitely provide hours of knitting fun.

Have we tempted you to push your knitting boundaries? Or are you working on your own challenging knits right now? We’d love to hear about them in the comments. :)

15 Knitted Gift Ideas

Are you in need of some knitted gift inspiration? Then this post is for you! We have compiled a list of our favourites along with some yarn suggestions so that you can whip up a gorgeous handmade gift in no time at all…

 

15 Knitted Gift Ideas from This is Knit 2016

 

15 Knitted Gift Ideas Zuzus Petals
The best thing about this quick  lace cowl pattern is that you can chose to knit it in either a sock weight or a worsted weight. This cowl is knit from the top down starting straight and then moving to working in the round for the lace chart section.  Jenny and myself have both made beaded versions for that extra bling and Maria has made a worsted version in Malabrigo Rios.

 

Willow Cowl 15 Knitted Gift Ideas
Do you have a skein of sock yarn that is just screaming to be a certain person’s gift? Then, this is the pattern for you. This is an easy relaxing knit that swaps between a simple eyelet pattern and stocking stitch to give it a springy concertina effect. Our sample was knit in Malabrigo Finito and I’m dreaming of one of these in Clarendon Sock.

 

15 Knitted Gift Ideas Antler Mittens
In case you missed it, Maureen knitted the above mittens in one skein of Malabrigo Rios in no time at all. A spark of an idea and some DART journeys later and she had these ready to go for the cold snap. The sizing on these goes from toddler to adult, so you can make a matching set for all the family.

 

Garter Ear Flap Hat 15 Knitted Gift Ideas
This is a firm favourite for the tiny humans among us but the sizing does go all the way to an adult large. This simple aran weight pattern is on and off the needles almost overnight so it’s my go to pattern for the grab and go gift. I’m excited to try this in the new Falkland Aran by Debbie Bliss and a new set of Zing tips.

 

The Graham Hat 15 Knitted Gift Ideas
We are always asked about knitting patterns for men and this is a popular suggestion here in the shop. It’s a simple broken rib pattern worked on 5mm needles and sized for an adult medium and large. The hat is completely reversible with the decreases worked seamlessly into the pattern.  The Ella Rae Classic range and Malabrigo Rios would look great in this pattern.

 

Tea Sympathy Tea Cosy 15 Knitted Gift Ideas
You would be surprised the number of requests we get for a tea cosy pattern. This is a simple garter stitch pattern in Studio Donegal Aran worked flat and seamed. This means it can fit any teapot and I know a lot of people have been choosing their colours to match their dishes. The blue and white Denby combination is very popular and topped off with a luscious pom pom, what’s not to love!

 

15 Knitted Gift Ideas Barley Hat
Another worsted weight hat pattern sized from baby to adult. This is perfect for a relaxed weekend knit. I have also knit this pattern in Hedgehog Fibers Sock held double on a 5mm needle as an alternative to using aran weight yarn and ended up with a super soft hat that just begs to be worn.

 

15 Knitted Gift Ideas Probys Armwarmers
One of our favourite patterns from Carol’s wonderful book, Knitting with Rainbows. If you picked up any mini skeins during 2016 then this is the perfect way to showcase them. This pattern would be a great way to use up any 4ply leftovers that you might have from shawls or socks – what a wonderful way to wrap up the year, with a trip down your very own knitting memory lane..

 

Rye Socks 15 Knitted Gift Ideas
Sock patterns usually take a lot of time but these Rye Socks knit up rapidly using worsted weight yarn on 3.75mm needles. The pattern goes from baby to adult large and is adorned with a garter stitch panel from cuff to toe. Perfect for toasty toes in front of the fire at Christmas.

 

Iceling Jacket 15 Knitted Gift Ideas
This two piece aran weight cardigan and hat set is ideal for wrapping those winter baby arrivals in snuggles. This timeless piece has a broad size range from 3 months to 10 years old. This is also a great introduction to a top down raglan knitting with a beautiful i-cord edging. The double row of buttons allows this garment to grow with the child making this a perfect gift knit that might even still fit next winter too.

 

Blackrock Vest 15 Knitted Gift Ideas
This is a beautiful little cable pattern worked in fingering weight yarn for added warmth without excess bulk. The yarn of choice is of course the Dublin Dye merino sock for softness and durability. Firstly, the vest is worked in the round from the bottom up then the stitches are picked up around the arms and neckline to form the collar and arm ribbing.

 

Composite Tunic 15 Knitted Gift Ideas
This is a beautiful DK pattern with lace sleeves and  a gorgeous button side panel. This newborn size is free but you can get the child version called Quaintly which has sizes to 10 years old . This is a perfect pattern for any double knit yarn. How about Rialto DK by Debbie Bliss?

 

15 Knitted Gift Ideas Herriot Hat
Made with 1 skein of Herriot Great on 5mm needles, this is a hat filled with Alpaca-y, Pom-Pom-y Goodness! This has been a firm favourite for teens with a choosy, hard to knit for attitude. The largest size in this hat, has less than 60 rows so this hat is easily achieved in a weekend.

 

Quilted Lattice Cowl 15 Knitted Gift Ideas

A sumptuously soft cowl (our version was worked in the truly exceptional yarn that is Woolfolk Får), featuring an easy repeat of an interesting stitch pattern. This gift knit is guaranteed to be enjoyable to work up, and quite difficult to give away!  Our sample used three skeins of Får but you can customise the length to suit your time frame and budget…

 

15 Knitted Gift Ideas Powder Snow Cosy

What knitted gift list wouldn’t be complete without a hot water bottle cosy. This is a quick and interesting knit in Malabrigo but you can of course choose any cosy aran to snuggle up to. This elegant knit is worked in the round from the bottom up with a charted cable pattern with written instructions provided.

And there you have it folks. Is your favourite gift knit missing from the list? Let us know in the comments!