The Edinburgh Yarn Festival

The knitting internet has been abuzz with reports from the Edinburgh Yarn Festival these past two weeks. You may well already have read about the amazing atmosphere, the inspiring classes and the wonderful products on offer.  But we just had to add our own voices to the chiming chorus of praise for a truly spectacular event and, of course, to let you all know a little bit about some exciting new things that will be coming to TIK as a result of our research trip!

Jenny overwhelmed by pretty yarn at EYF

While we took lots of photos of the stands and pretty knits, this one of Jenny seems to sum up the weekend the best… Walking in to the marketplace on Friday was literally a jaw dropping experience. It’s difficult to describe in words the impact of so many beautiful yarns in one place, alongside the buzz of the (massive) crowds of knitters and the energy of the many enthusiastic stallholders.

Self Striping Sock Yarn at EYF

We dove right in to the melee and spent a wonderful afternoon immersed in colour, texture and creativity.  Frequently our eyes were caught by a stunning garment or accessory passing by. Many hardy knitters disregarded the rising heat levels among the crowds and continued to proudly display their wares. My own Cameo was packed away after the first hour, but those wonderful knitters have placed “Breathing Space“, “Enchanted Mesa“, “Epistrophy” firmly at the top of my queue. This gorgeous Carpino also made me delighted about my choice of project for our Spring KAL!

Carol Feller at EYF

Speaking of Carpino, Carol Feller was just one of the many familiar faces we spotted. She was at EYF to exhibit her own exclusive yarn line, called “Nua“.  If you haven’t had a chance to check it out yet then pop on in to the shop for a peek when you can!  We also got the chance to catch up with some of our previous guest tutors, including Woolly Wormhead and Justnya Lorkowska. Justnya will be back at TIK this coming July (details very soon) and we’re hoping to nab Woolly for a return trip to Dublin later in the year too.

Lisa wearing Tsumuzikaze at The Fibre Co stand at EYF

So back to the pretties then. If you’ve been following our social media these last few days you will know we have already had a delivery of yarns from The Fibre Co. Their stand was really special, filled with truly stunning yarns, fresh flowers and fabulous samples. Among them was Tsumuzikaze, which I had been eyeing since it’s release and just had to try on. It is wrong to order a whole line of yarn based on a love for one project? If so, I don’t want to be right… 😉

Tilly Flop cards at EYF

Keep an eye out for more fabulous new lines coming to our shelves in the coming months, and not just yarns either. How about these quirky cards from Tilly Flop? Top picks from her range for me were: “Casting on Means You Believe in Tomorrow” and “Congratulations on your new yarn storage facility home”.   These will be in stock very soon, so you’ll be sorted the next time there’s a special occasion for the other knitters in your life.

Spin City Drop Spindles displayed in tea pots at EYF

Beyond the research and the networking, EYF was also a really fun weekend away. Edinburgh is a stunning city, and somewhere I’d very much like to go back and explore further some day.  There was knitting, prosecco, dancing, selfies, silliness and lots and lots of wonderful people under one roof.

Thanks to Jo and Mica for making it all possible, and congratulations to you both on an absolutely stellar event.

Postcard style collage of snap shots from Edinburgh Yarn Festival

EYF Photobooth with Yvonne of Dublin Dye Company, Kersti of Knitmastery and Lisa and Jenny from This is Knit

 

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.

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. :)