This is Knit has its home in the Powerscourt Centre – a place that strongly reminded me of what the Corn Exchange in Manchester used to be like in the 1980s (ie, when it was a happy mecca of independent retailing, rather than just another anonymous mall). In the English North, such places tend to spring up in the ruins of Victorian industry, but the Powerscourt Centre began life as a Georgian townhouse, at its heyday during the years of Grattan’s Parliament. The architecture and stuccowork are still impressive — the Powerscourts clearly liked to spend the season entertaining in considerable style.
In the present era, when multinational capitalism has reduced the world of goods to a dull, mass-produced uniformity, I found it rather heartening that all but two of the numerous businesses in the Powerscourt Centre are independents. There are local fashion designers, florists, antique dealers, nice wee cafes like The Pepperpot, and a number of places to please anyone interested in craft and design.
This is Knit is top of the list, of course. One of the many nice things about the shop is how it supports other Irish yarny businesses. There you will find tempting skeins from the Dublin Dye Company . . .
. . . and Laura Hogan
. . .as well as the work of talented designers, such as crocheter Aoibhe Ni Shuilleabhain .
Round the corner from This is Knit is Article, where you can find Anouk Jansen’s cups, Bold and Noble’s prints, and Rob Ryan’s all-sorts-of-things, as well as throws and blankets from the lovely folk at Studio Donegal.
But my own personal find has to be A Rubenesque, on the ground floor of the Centre . . .
I have a mild addiction to trim and ribbons, evidenced in a large and ever-expanding stash (perhaps I shall show you the boxes one day). Here, I was in ribbon heaven.
I don’t know about you, but in me, haberdashery induces a ridiculous excitement that I really don’t feel in any other sort of store. . .
. . . perhaps this is because there are so few good haberdashers about. Anyway, A Rubenesque struck me as a very good one indeed. Not only is the range of trim and ribbons vast and well-selected, but the store also has a pop-up showcasing the work of local textile designers. . .
. . and it is one of just a few places where you can still buy traditional lace, hand-made by the talented lacemakers of Clones in County Monaghan.
Did I come away with something? Yes, of course I did.
Ahem. Time to excavate the ribbon stash again . . .