You may not be aware of it but knitting is huge in Dublin.
Yes, knitting. I said it would be different.
You might have bought an Innocent Smoothie with a little hat on it at some point but may not have known they were knitted by ordinary people who donated their time so Innocent would donate some money to Age Action Ireland. But there is also a healthy undercurrent of knitting circles and shops popping up all over the city. Stitch in Beaumont, Springwools in Walkinstown and This Is Knit in the Powerscourt Townhouse shopping centre are a modern kind of knitting shop – a far cry from the dreary basement of Hickeys on Henry St. Here’s an example of why.
On Thursday night I attended the second annual “Yarn Tasting” at This is Knit. What the feck is a “yarn tasting”? Well:
60 ladies of every age gathered at this ticketed event in The Loft of Powerscourt Townhouse Centre. Jackie and Lisa, the mother and daughter team who run This is Knit, had assembled 32 samples of different yarns that they stock for us to try out. They must have spent days winding little balls of each type! We were instructed to bring needles of varying sizes. Yarns of different sorts were also on display, in unique ways, along with finished knitted items for people to try on. We started with samples of lace weight yarn, which is the fiddly sort that you see on diaphanous shawls and wedding shrugs. From there, we progressed to sock weight. Many many knitters love to knit socks but I think it’s the dark side of knitting. Honestly, I prefer to just buy socks! Next came double knitting (or dk to us in the know); what everyone else might call “normal wool”, then Aran (Ireland’s own hefty contribution to the world of knitting) and lastly chunky. We were treated to refreshments and nibbles. On a tangent, I also had a fantastic roasted red pepper pesto and goats’ cheese sandwich from The Pepper Pot. Sandwiches are to me what coffee is to Dave!
I attended solo and soon adopted a group of 3 other women. We bonded over the needles and exchanged Ravelry usernames. Ravelry is basically knitting facebook – you post up pictures of things you’ve knit, can search a massive database of patterns, and ask for help on the extensive forums.
This is Knit also runs classes for knitters and crocheters of various levels. Here's what I came home with.