Hello, Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift.

We’ve long been stockists of Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift, a classic fingering weight 2-ply shetland wool. One of my favorite (and hardest-wearing) sweaters is knit in Shetland Spindrift, in fact. Anne and I were delighted to replenish our supply of the stuff recently, and picked up a couple of new patterns as well.

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Shetland wools are somewhat rustic and some people find them a bit prickly, with little fibers sticking out of the yarn. Because of each stitch’s willingness to stick to its neighbor, Shetland Spindrift is ideal for steeking, where knit fabric is cut to make cardigans, armholes, or v-necks. Shetland Spindrift may not be merino-soft, but it’s perfectly suited to fair-isle knitting, and maintains its shape over time through repeated wearings and washings.

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Last week, when our Jamieson’s order arrived, I cast on for Sandy Blue’s “Autumn Tam,” a 10-color fair-isle hat that’s not nearly as intimidating as it might first appear. I have been having so much fun knitting this thing, I can hardly tell you. The colorwork charts are just complicated enough that they’re delightfully engaging without being frustrating, and either the foreground or background color changes every couple of rounds. As a result, the fabric in my hands is ever-evolving, and I am quite entertained by every moment spent with this project.

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I took this photo a few days after I cast on for the “Autumn Tam,” and my, it has grown since then–come by the shop and you’re likely to find me with my hands full of Shetland Spindrift, eagerly stitching on this hat. See you there!

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Shibui Mix Party.

On Sunday, we hosted a Shibui Mix Party. We currently stock three Shibui yarns, but we offered our Mix Party attendees the opportunity to sample and place special orders for any and all nine of the beautiful yarns that Shibui produces.

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In between sips of mimosas and bites of bagels, knitters and crocheters worked up swatches in all manner of Shibui yarns and yarn combinations, sharing pattern ideas as they stitched.

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Garments from the Shibui Trunk Show were passed around, tried on, and petted, and we all had a good time putting color combinations together for some of Shibui’s beautiful patterns.

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So many amazing projects were planned, garments and accessories alike–I am so looking forward to seeing them emerge, stitch by stitch!

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It was a delightful morning, spent chatting and laughing with a great group of people, enjoying each other’s company as much as the yarns. Come by the shop to check out the Shibui Cima, Pebble, and Silk Cloud that we currently have in stock. Stay tuned for more yarn tastings –and more from Shibui– in the future!

Knitting Traditions.

Another new magazine has found a home on the teacart at the shop. The latest issue of Knitting Traditions is here!

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Knitting Traditions focuses, as its title suggests, on traditional knitting and the history of the craft. Contemporary knitting patterns run alongside articles and archival photos of the knitting traditions that inspired them.

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In this issue, you can read about the knitting traditions of Sweden, Macedonia, Wales, Shetland, and beyond.

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Come by the shop to pick up the latest issue of Knitting Traditions and plan your next project!

KnitScene.

The Summer 2014 issue of KnitScene is here!

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Flipping through this issue, Anne and I were struck by how many of these garments are knit in fine gauge yarns, from sport weight down to lace weight.

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Though fine gauge sweaters may take longer to knit than their heavier counterparts in worsted, aran, or bulky weight, they are the answer to wearable knits in warm weather, along with openwork and cool plant fibers.

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Come by the shop to pick up a copy of KnitScene and plan your Spring projects!

New colors in Acadia.

Acadia, from the Fibre Company, is a special yarn indeed, and has become a favorite at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop. This DK weight blend of merino, alpaca, and silk has a unique blend of rugged tweedy texture and soft hand, and served as our introduction to the Fibre Company. We were delighted to receive the four newest colors in Acadia last week!

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We’ve been stocking Acadia at the shop for almost two years, and in that time, I’ve seen it put to good use in all kinds of projects: “Welted Fingerless Gloves,” the knit “Quaking Aspen” shawl, the crocheted “Belle Epoque” shawl, “Ritalin Cowl,” even a very special baby sweater.

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“Quaking Aspen” is a free pattern from the Fibre Company, calling for just two skeins of Acadia in the main color and one skein in the contrast color. Our “Quaking Aspen” sample is hanging up at the shop; come by to feel it for yourself, try it on for size, and get a good sense of how this yarn behaves in knitted fabric.

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We’re loving this expanded palette of Fibre Company Acadia. Find it in the second room of the shop, hanging on the tree in the DK weight section!

Shibui Trunk Show!

We’re delighted to announce that we’re hosting a Shibui Trunk Show, featuring 6 garments and accessories knit in Shibui yarns.

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Shibui yarns are designed to be knit on their own or held together, using two or three strands at a time to make bespoke yarn blends. We currently stock three Shibui yarns, all lace weight: CimaPebble, and Silk Cloud. Some of these trunk show garments are knit with one or two of those yarns, and some of these garments combine them with Shibui yarns that we don’t keep in stock at the shop, like Shibui Heichi and Linen. We’re happy to order any of those yarns for you if you’re willing to prepay for a special order.

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We have a stack of swatches at the shop that illustrate how Shibui yarns behave in different combinations: Cima knit with Pebble, Silk Cloud held double, etc. A swatch can tell us a lot, but a whole garment tells us even more. A trunk show is a great opportunity to see, touch, and try on finished garments in these yarn combinations, demystifying the Mix concept and making it easier to choose which size to make.

 

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These garments will be on display at the shop from April 1st – 15th — come by soon to see them yourself!

Knook.

Have you heard of the knook? A knook is a crochet hook with a large eye at one end, like a tapestry needle. It’s a fusion of knitting and crochet, a hook for making knitted fabric.

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We now have Addi Knooks at the shop, which come in sets of two: 4 mm and 6 mm. The knook is a great tool for crocheters who like the look of knitted fabric, but are hesitant to pick up knitting needles. No one needs to fear knitting needles, of course–there is nothing about knitting that is harder or more complicated than crochet! But if the trick of making knitting fabric with just one hook appeals to you, come by the shop and consider the knook.

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We’ve gotten in a couple of books to get you started, too.

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Come by the shop to plan your next knitting, crochet, or knooking project! See you there.

knit.wear.

The latest issue of knit.wear, always anxiously anticipated, is here!

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knit.wear is typically garment-focused, with more sweaters and tops than accessories, and this issue is no exception. You’ll find a mix of techniques at play in these designs: intarsia, stripes, slip-stitch texture patterns, lace and other openwork.

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There’s also a technique/design article on alternative edgings for sweater hems.

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Come by the shop to pick up a copy of knit.wear, and browse the latest books and magazines for inspiration. See you there!

New colors in Isager Alpaca 2.

Isager Alpaca 2 is a favorite yarn around here. This fingering weight blend of merino wool and alpaca is light and lofty, tremendously soft in the hand, and good for all kinds of projects. Many knitters have fallen in love with it while knitting the “Stole,” a simple striped wrap from the popular Wearwithall. Others have used Alpaca 2 for all manner of shawls, scarves, sweaters, and blankets. I’m happy to report that Isager has come out with two new colors in this favorite yarn, which just arrived at the shop this week.

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The bright fuschia and heathered chartreuse fit right into the existing Alpaca 2 palette, but brighten it up a bit–perfect for spring knitting or crochet.

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Come by the shop to see the full selection of Isager Alpaca 2, and consider it for your next project. If not a “Stole,” then perhaps a “Honeycomb Mesh Scarf,” or a “Barclay Scarf.”

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See you there!

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More show and tell: sweaters and vests.

As promised, here’s a second installment of show and tell, all sweaters and vests that started as yarns at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop.

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Beth and her husband came in to show off the sweater she knit for him in Plymouth Tweed. After solving a sizing conundrum and learning how to install a zipper, Beth was delighted to successfully complete this handsome sweater. Well done!

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Becky recently completed this beautiful vest using Noro Silk Garden Lite, a dk weight self-striping blend of silk, mohair, and wool. She used Sirdar’s “Collared Waistcoat Vest” pattern, which is shown in a solid-color yarn, making her own colorful finished piece a particularly exciting reveal. She was especially careful about her seaming, and her attention to detail shows.

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Here is a vest of a smaller size, “Onslow’s Vest” knit in the bulky weight Cascade Eco +. Margo attended Anne’s recent class on the subject, perfecting her fair isle technique and conquering steeks along the way. She sized it up so that it should fit a small child rather than the pattern’s intended recipient (a teddy bear), taking advantage of the larger gauge that a heavier yarn makes possible, and repeating a few motifs for added length.

Thanks to the knitters, crocheters, and other fiber artists who start their projects at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop, and who share their work with us! We’re lucky to be surrounded by inspiring stitches every day.

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